If You Have Stock or Stock Options in a Company Whose Interests are Related to Your Research, and/or You Consult for the Company

  • Pay attention to what the value of the stock or stock options are so that you report this accurately on your Annual Conflict of Interest and Commitment Disclosure and on any ad hoc or transactional disclosures you make.
  • Equity can raise the issue of such incentives compromising objectivity, particularly where human subjects are involved. If you are conducting, or planning to conduct, a clinical trial, do you really want to accept stock or stock options from the company sponsoring the trial, as you will likely be prohibited from participation in all or part of the research?
  • The more significant the equity is financially, or the more likely the research may benefit the company (and thus your equity--particularly in the case of stock options), the greater the risk of biasing the research or research results.
  • You must disclose this relationship with the company in publications and public discussions of any of your research that is sponsored by the company or related to the company.

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