Important Policies for the Columbia Research Community

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community,

Columbia University is deeply committed to integrity in scholarly research, and we write to remind you of key policies and resources to support your research endeavors. If you conduct research or support people who do, please be sure to read the information below.

Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policies

  • The University’s conflict of interest and conflict of commitment policies set out disclosure requirements while affirming that a researcher’s outside activities may stimulate and nurture scholarship.
  • These policies set out disclosure requirements to address how real or perceived conflicts may cause bias in research, or affect an individual’s ability to carry out their University responsibilities because of time commitments or competing priorities. All Columbia researchers must comply with these policies.
  • CUIMC affiliates must also follow CUIMC’s policies on conflict of interest in clinical care and education which address some of the additional complexities of biomedical research. 
  • Disclosure of potential conflicts to the University must be completed at least annually through Rascal.
  • New resources this year include new guidance regarding start-up company roles and Phase 1 SBIR/STTR activity.

Research Security Resources and Guidance

  • Research security remains a priority at the federal and University levels. To safeguard our research, the University’s Research Security webpage contains resources and guidance in this area.
  • FAQs address considerations for common international engagements and collaborations.
  • Researchers must pay particular attention to making all disclosures required by federal funding agencies. 
  • The U.S. government recently published revised disclosure requirements that will be implemented over the coming year.  Please review the updates to make sure your current and pending (other) support and biographical sketch disclosures are complete.
    • Federal law and Columbia policy prohibit senior and key personnel on federally-funded sponsored projects from participating in malign foreign talent recruitment programs (MFTRPs).  Please review the definition of MFTRP. Starting in 2024, federal funding agencies will require researchers to certify that they are not participating in MFTRPs. If you have questions about whether a possible engagement might be considered an MFTRP, please contact [email protected].
  • The University has established two administrative groups that address research security issues, an operationally-focused group and a leadership group. The groups are described on the Research Security webpage.

 Policies and Resources on Misconduct in Research and Data Management and Retention

  • The University’s Policy on Misconduct in Research ensures that issues of plagiarism, falsification, or fabrication of research are addressed with rigor, care, and confidentiality. 
  • The University’s Guidelines on Retention of Research Data reiterate that research data acquired under the auspices of the University must be stewarded, managed, and shared in accordance with scholarly practice and funding agency requirements. 

Additional Resources

  • The Office of the EVP for Research publishes 6 research handbooks containing key research policies and procedures in many areas; a Quick Guide to Research, highlighting the many offices that support research at Columbia; and a Quick Guide for Principal Investigators, which summarizes key information for PIs. This office also offers many resources to help researchers find funding and collaborate on major proposals.  Visit the Find Funding webpage for more information.

If you have questions about research compliance issues, please contact the applicable EVPR office or the Office of Research Compliance and Training at [email protected].

Wishing you a productive end of 2023 and start to 2024.

Katrina A. Armstrong

Executive Vice President and CEO of the Health Sciences


Dennis A. Mitchell

Interim Provost


Jeannette M. Wing

Executive Vice President for Research

December 15, 2023