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Careers in Clinical Research: Obstacles and Opportunities
Abide by restrictions on the type and amount of outside activity, as determined by the academic institution or by subsequent agreements between faculty and the academic institution or hospital administration.
Abide by commitments of effort as specified in the contractual research and grant applications.
MANAGING ACADEMIC-INDUSTRY RELATIONSHIPS
The management of academic-industry relationships poses challenges to both academic institutions and industry. It is imperative that these relationships not threaten the fabric of academic principles or freedoms nor compromise the proprietary information of industry. Varrin and Kukich (1985) have proposed a partial list of management guidelines for academic institutions to consider in these relationships that include the following: retain publication rights, retain ownership of all patents, minimize the use of proprietary information in research and do not require graduate students to sign confidentiality agreements, create research units with faculty, and hire full-time researchers to staff such units if necessary, do not permit faculty to consult with sponsors in the area of the sponsored research, do not permit a faculty entrepreneur's company to sponsor his or her research on campus, share personnel and resources with industry, which is beneficial for both parties, and prepare model research agreements for potential industrial sponsors. The preceding list is not exhaustive nor is it totally inclusive; it is merely intended to raise consciousness about several potential pitfalls in striving to develop fruitful academic-industry collaborations.
To prevent improprieties, academic institutions could require full disclosure of the commercial interests of faculty, academic officers, and senior management in their institutions on a regular basis. Academic institutions could develop criteria or standards of what is and what is not acceptable in the various types of academic-industry relationships. This is particularly applicable in clinical research, in which the financial interests of the faculty or administration could cause bias to be injected into a study (Blumenthal, 1992).
Academic institutions also need to be concerned about the balance of interdepartmental and intradepartmental resources. Whereas some departments may engender the interest of industry, financially as well as scientifically, other departments fear that they will be starved of resources (U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, 1987). Thus, institutions should take care to provide balance in the allocation of resources in light of some lucrative academic-industry collaborations.