How To

Disclose a potential conflict of interest.

Faculty must disclose, on an annual basis, all financial relationships that reasonably appear to be related to their institutional responsibilities. This is done through the Outside Professional Activities Certification System  known as OPACS.  

In addition, as faculty enter into changed or new financial relationships related to their institutional responsibilities they can access their OPACS disclosures to update previously reported activities or financial relationships, or to enter new activities. T

Personal financial interests in a company may reasonably appear to be related to the research/scholarship if that company/organization:

  • Sponsors research at Stanford in which the investigator is directly involved

  • Has financial interests that could reasonably be considered to have a potential influence on the design, conduct or reporting of the investigator’s research/scholarship

  • Has a reasonable possibility of being financially affected by the investigator’s research/scholarship

  • Makes gifts to Stanford that benefits the investigator’s research/scholarship (including equipment gifts or loans)

  • Makes a product that is under study in research in which the investigator is involved

  • Licenses Stanford intellectual property in which the investigator has a financial interest

  • Has a Materials Transfer Agreement or Human Tissue Agreement (MTA/HTA) to provide materials used in the investigator’s research or for materials provided by the investigator to the company/organization

  • Sponsors or makes a product that is under study in human subjects in which the investigator is directly or indirectly involved

  • Has interests that are related to the investigator’s general scientific or scholarly expertise

The financial interest thresholds defined as significant financial interests (SFI) by the Public Health Service (PHS) are as follows:

  • Payments for services over $5,000 /year or the ownership or promise of stock or stock options valued at $5,000 in a publicly traded company;

  • The ownership or promise of stock or stock options of any amount in a privately-held or start-up company;

  • Royalties over $5,000/year not paid through Stanford University.

While most disclosures of financial interests will be deemed de minimus or insignificant in terms of potential effects on your ability to perform your duties without risk of bias, financial interests above thresholds will automatically be deemed significant conflicts of interest and will require closer scrutiny and possible elimination, mitigation, and/or management.


For more information, please contact:

School Contacts

Conflicts of Interest

Lee, Mary R.

Director, University Conflicts of Interest Program

Vice Provost and Dean of Research

(650) 736-6518

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