Conflict of Interest Examples

A conflict of interest arises when you participate in official action that could or would result in a financial benefit or detriment to you, your relative, or a business with which either is associated.

There are two types of conflicts of interest:
•    Potential conflicts exist when you COULD benefit from an action or decision you make in your official capacity.  
•    Actual conflicts exist when you WOULD benefit from an action or decision you make in your official capacity.
Financial interest may result in a conflict of interest related to a staff member's institutional responsibilities that include but are not limited to research, education, purchasing, and administrative activities.  Additionally, financial conflicts of interest for staff members, his/her spouse, domestic partner, or dependent children must be disclosed.

Examples of conflict or potential conflict include:


Disclosure Description
Disclosure Description
UNT Business Affiliations Activities with entities that relate to or conduct business with UNT
  • My child works for a pharmaceutical company that sponsors research studies at UNT.
  • My spouse is a freelance writer who worked with my department for five years, and occasionally writes articles for UNT.
  • My spouse is a sales representative for a company, which is an approved vendor for UNT.
Equity and Ownership Interest
Holders of equity, including stock, stock options or warrants, in publicly traded or privately held companies (This excludes investments in mutual funds over which staff members have no direct oversight)
An employee owns 5% of a local printing shop that may bid on university business.  
Consulting and Other Professional Services Recipients of consulting income, salary (excluding that from UNT), other emoluments, or other in-kind compensation per year A faculty member provides professional medical anthropology consulting services.
Editorial Services Journal services, scientific editor services A faculty member who is an expert in public health provides a specialized form of editing for a medical journal.
Intellectual Property Rights Recipients of license fees, equity, royalties, or contractual rights to receive royalties either through UNT or from an external entity A researcher receives royalties for a patented design created outside of university official duties from a third party.
Sponsored Travel Travel which is paid on behalf of the Discloser and not reimbursed to the Discloser A UNT staff member is invited to speak at a technology conference. An official duty of the UNT employee is to evaluate effective software. Conference organizers have paid for travel expenses.
Board or Elected Service Service as an officer, director, or in any other fiduciary role for a commercial entity A faculty member accepts a board of directors' position at a company.
Prizes and Honoraria Speaking compensation or prizes (Nobel Prize, Honorary Degrees) A professor is asked to speak at a criminology conference because of experience and knowledge and not because of a held position as Department Chair of Criminal Justice. A gift was given in recognition of service.
Outside Employment Employment external to your institution See UNT Policy 05.008 - Dual Employment and Other Activities for guidance and reporting responsibilities
Other Appointments Compensated or Uncompensated (positions, appointments, fellowships, or talent programs)other than those provided through UNT A faculty member participates in an international exchange through the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program.

Need Assistance?

It is important to contact the University Integrity & Compliance office when in doubt as to whether or not your financial interest, business affiliation, or personal relationship creates a conflict of interest.

Contact University Integrity & Compliance,
For additional assistance, consult UNT Ethics Policy 05.015