You may find it surprising that 68% of universities hold equity stakes in businesses that sponsor research on campus, and that there is a 2-to-1 chance that a researcher will take commercial considerations into account when choosing a research topic.


All members of the scientific community are faced with balancing conflicting interests. In the last few years, we've seen New York Times headlines that read "Drug Trials Hide Conflicts for Doctors" (5/16/1999) and "Columbia Sets Pace In Profiting Off Research" (8/2/2000).


There is growing concern by many that a commitment to profit has resulted in a loss of confidence in the integrity of institutions of higher education and research.

Throughout this module we hope to stress the importance of identifying and managing conflicts of interest. Upon completion of this module we hope that the reader will be able to define the different types of conflicts of interest, and also identify conflicts of interest at the individual, institutional, and IRB levels. Also, we will present material and examples that should help the reader to understand specific guidelines in governmental, institutional, and professional organization policies that deal with conflicts of interest as well as their problematic areas. Review Learning Objectives

Next: Proceed to a series of "Challenge Questions" that will test your understanding of Conflicts of Interest or go on to the next section.

Answer Challenge Questions | Next: → Case Study