Managing real and apparent conflicts of interest is important, both to protect the integrity of NIH programs, and to protect the individual employee. Some financial interests are exempt from causing a conflict. If the regulatory exemption does not apply, then other options are available. Mechanisms to manage conflicts range from your disqualification from participation in official matters because of the conflict for you, to waiving the conflict because it is more important to the Government that you participate, despite your conflict. It is important that employees discuss real and apparent conflicts of interest immediately with their supervisor or with their IC's ethics staff. Specific information about conflicts and mechanisms to manage conflict is provided below. In addition, you may contact your IC's Ethics Officials (see links below) for assistance.