Conflict of Interest Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I am a paid consultant or visiting scholar for Company A and my lab receives funds from Company A in either the form of sponsored research or via a gift to Caltech that sponsors my postdoc.  Do I need to report my consulting or scholar activity?

    ANSWER: Yes, report this in this Question #2, as consulting for a company that sponsors your research or directly or indirectly sponsors lab personnel is related to your institute responsibilities and funding.

  2. I have $5000 worth of stock in Company A.  My lab receives funds from Company A in either the form of sponsored research or via a gift to Caltech that sponsors my postdoc.  Do I need to report my consulting investment interest?

    ANSWER:  Yes.  You have direct control over your investment in Company A and Company A sponsors your research or directly or indirectly sponsors lab personnel (through a gift), so this investment is related to your institute responsibilities and funding.

  3. I have $5000 worth of stock in Company A.  I believe Company A might sponsor research at Caltech, but I do not receive any of these funds.  Do I need to report this investment?

    ANSWER:  Maybe. You have direct control over your investment in Company A.  If you are responsible for any aspect of Caltech's relationship with Company A, such as licensed technology from your lab, or negotiating an agreement with Company A for research sponsorship at Caltech, this would be related to your institute responsibilities and reportable. If in doubt, err on the side of caution and disclose or call for help.

  4. I have $500,000 worth of stock in my retirement fund.  I do not control the individual investments, but I know that part of my portfolio includes stock in Company A.  My lab receives funds from Company A in either the form of sponsored research or via a gift to Caltech that sponsors my postdoc.  Do I need to report my consulting investment interest?

    ANSWER:  No.  You do not have direct control over your investment in Company A.