Federal Definition

Financial conflict of interest (FCOI) means a significant financial interest (remuneration, equity interest, intellectual property rights, related to investigator’s institutional responsibilities) that could directly and significantly affect the design, conduct, or reporting of research.

Under sponsored federal programs, the potential conflict is between the investigator’s personal financial interests, and that of the investigator’s immediate family , that could affect the investigator”s ability to perform objective research.

Federal regulations are intended to promote objectivity in research by establishing standards that provide a reasonable expectation that the DESIGN, CONDUCT and REPORTING of sponsored research will be free from bias that may result from conflicts of interests by anyone involved in, or associated with the sponsored project.

State of Florida Code of Ethics Definition

The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees located in Chapter 112, Part III (ss 112.311-326) of the Florida Statutes requires that no state employee shall have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect; engage in any business transaction or professional activity; or incur any obligation of any nature which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his or her duties in the public interest. Sections 112.313 (3) and (7) specifically prohibit the activities and are described below.

To facilitate technology transfer and related research, the Florida Legislature passed an exemption to the law that allows these relationships in certain circumstances. In accordance with 112.313(12.3h), if the transaction or activity falls within subsections (3) or (7), and relates to sponsored research s. 1004.22 or technology transfer s. 1004.23, an exemption may be granted upon full disclosure of the transaction/relationship and receipt of approval by the University President and the Chair of the University Board of Trustees.

Doing Business With One’s Agency [Sec. 112.313(3), Fla. Stat.]

(a) A university employee acting as a purchasing agent, is prohibited from directly or indirectly purchasing, renting, or leasing any realty, goods, or services for UCF from a business entity in which the employee or his or her spouse or child is an officer, partner, director, or proprietor, or owns more than a 5% interest. (b) A university employee, acting in a private capacity, also is prohibited from renting, leasing, or selling any realty, goods, or services to UCF.

Conflicting Employment or Contractual Relationship [Sec. 112.313(7), Fla. Stat.]

(a) A university employee is prohibited from holding any employment or contract with any business entity or agency doing business with UCF.
(b) A university employee also is prohibited from holding any employment or having a contractual relationship which will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between his/her private interests and the performance of his/her university duties or which will impede the full and faithful discharge of his/her university duties.


“Business entity” means any corporation, partnership, limited partnership, company, limited liability company, proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, self-employed individual, or trust, whether fictitiously named or not, doing business in this state.

“Agency” means any state, regional, county, local, or municipal government entity of this state, whether executive, judicial, or legislative; any department, division, bureau, commission, authority, or political subdivision of this state therein; any public school, community college, or state university; or any special district as defined in s. 189.012.

“Purchasing agent” means a public officer or employee having the authority to commit the expenditure of public funds through a contract for, or the purchase of, any goods, services, or interest in real property for an agency, as opposed to the authority to request or requisition a contract or purchase by another person.