All University staff are required to “declare to their Head of Department any personal interest, which may affect any University Business and act in accordance with the instructions given as to management of any conflict” (Financial Regulations A2.3).
Applicants for ethical approval must declare as part of their applications any real or perceived conflicts of interest that are relevant to the research project being sent for review and be ready to provide details of the process that has been agreed to manage these.
A conflict of interest, openly declared and with an agreed process for managing the conflict, is unlikely to be a barrier to receiving ethical approval, provided the proposed project is compliant with the agreed management process. Failure to declare a conflict of interest may lead to the refusal of ethical approval or, if identified after approval has been given, the withdrawal of ethical approval.
Conflicts of interest should also be declared in any publications, according to any particular rules for such declarations provided by the journal or publisher.