Maintaining Objectivity in Research — Update on Ongoing Efforts to Enhance NIH?s System of Oversight


The January 2008 Nexus highlighted how essential it is that the NIH–in collaboration with grantee institutions and, most importantly, with you–works to maintain the highest standard of objectivity in all our research endeavors.

To this end, the NIH is engaged in a system-wide review of policies, procedures and guidance on financial conflicts of interests (FCOI) and is also reexamining guidance provided to staff in their oversight efforts. We have asked a number of institutions for additional information about how they manage potential FCOIs of investigators conducting various types of research.

These efforts will be important in informing future activities and helping to improve the guidance provided to institutions on this topic. Finally, the NIH is considering how to enhance our education and outreach efforts to raise awareness in the community of the importance of rigorous and thorough management of FCOI issues.

Updated Frequently Asked Questions containing important information about FCOI compliance have been posted on the OER Web site (see news brief in the “Resources” section).

As always, you are welcome to email your comments on this important issue to Dr. Norka Ruiz Bravo. Watch this space for a monthly update of our progress on these activities.