Research Conflict of Interest Definitions

Covered Individual

A covered individual is an individual who, regardless of title or position, is responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of research, including a principal investigator, co-investigator, project director, any other person identified as senior/key personnel in a grant application, research protocol, or report, and others who direct or can materially influence the research.  The principal investigator is responsible for determining if other research staff (e.g., research nurses, research coordinators, data managers, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows) meet the definition of being responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of the research. All covered individuals must certify whether or not they have a significant financial interest related to the research during the R&A submission process, IRB submission process and AWC submission process. 

Significant Financial Interests

"Significant" Financial Interests include the aggregate interests of the Covered Individual and his/her family members.  Such interests are defined by the Research Conflicts of Interest Policy and include, but are not limited to: 

Family Member

“Family Member” is defined as your spouse, dependent children/step-children, any person financially dependent upon you, and any person with whom you have joint financial interests where your professional responsibilities at UTHealth could affect or be affected by those interests. Researchers must also disclose other financial interests not specifically required by the Policy if they have concerns that the activity or interest would appear to affect or be affected by the proposed research.


The term “Entity” refers to any organization, company, foundation, trust, or other enterprise.