Research Integrity


Conflicts of interest

As UCL receives public and other funds it has a duty to fulfil the highest standards of corporate governance. The UCL Disclosure of Conflict and Declaration of Interest Policy helps UCL staff and research students recognise activities that might lead to a perceived or actual conflict of interest, and understand how to manage these situations.

Conflicts of interest are not restricted to just financial interest but include non-financial interests as well, for instance enhancement of an individual's career, education or professional reputation; access to privileged information or facilities.

In order for UCL and its employees to maintain the highest standards of integrity and reputation, it is essential that all employees disclose any interest that they, or members of their family, may have that could give the appearance of a conflict, even where no actual conflict exists. Disclosures should be made as soon as they arise. In addition, senior staff (including professional services staff) are expected to submit an annual declaration on interest, even if no conflicts exist (see Section 8 of the Policy).

Everyone will have conflicting interests or duties at some point or other during their careers. Considering the principles of integrity (as set out in the Statement on Research Integrity) can assist you with addressing these.   

  • Be honest and transparent! 
  • Asses for any potential conflicts (perceived or actual) of interests at the beginning of any research and monitor throughout the research lifecycle, and be honest when they arise.​ 
  • Be open and transparent about conflicts that are identified and declare any conflicts. 
  • Show personal responsibility by considering how conflicts can be managed.  ​ 

UCL offers a training course, which all staff and doctoral students must complete. We also have additional guidance and resources, to help staff and students differentiate disclosures of conflict from declarations of interest.