Policy

Conflict of Interest policy for download (PDF)  - February 2017

This Policy is intended to assist MIT researchers in applying and complying with MIT’s requirements regarding the disclosure, review and reporting of conflicts of interest in research and with the requirements of MIT sponsors. If a sponsor’s policy varies significantly from MIT policy, guidance regarding the sponsor’s requirements will be provided in an Addendum to this Policy. The PHS Addendum to this Policy sets forth guidance regarding the requirements of the PHS (as defined herein) and certain foundations that have elected to apply the PHS requirements. 

Every researcher has an obligation to become familiar with, and abide by, the provisions of this policy. If a situation raising questions of conflict of interest arises, a researcher should discuss the situation with his or her Department, Lab or Center Head, MIT’sConflict of Interest Officer, the Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs, the Conflict of Interest Committee, or the Vice President for Research. 

MIT policy requires that researchers disclose certain financial interests, which disclosure enables MIT to determine if a financial interest creates a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest. The existence of a conflict or the appearance of one does not imply wrongdoing on anyone's part and does not necessarily mean that a researcher may not retain his or her financial interest and undertake the affected research. Some conflicts must be eliminated, but often MIT can work with the researcher to manage a conflict or the appearance of a conflict so that the research can continue in a way that minimizes the possibility of bias in the research and preserves the objectivity of the research. Proper management of a conflict depends on full and prompt disclosure.

When in doubt, disclose.

This Policy is divided into the following sections: