We want the researchers we fund to go beyond delivering and publishing their research. We encourage engagement with others, including industry and government, to increase the impact of research outputs.
We need to make sure these activities do not compromise the delivery of our funded research and that potential conflicts of interest are identified and managed.
Wellcome encourages engagement with others to increase the impact of research outputs. This could involve:
Researchers and host organisations must identify and effectively manage any potential or actual conflicts of interest so that:
A conflict of interest exists when an individual’s personal interests, those of their family, or their loyalties to another person or organisation, may (or may reasonably appear to) unduly influence or affect a decision.
For example, there would be a conflict of interest if a university considered licensing Wellcome-funded IP to a company in which a researcher owned shares. In this case the conflicted researcher should not exercise any influence over the university’s decision to offer the licence, or the terms on which it is offered.
In particular, in each case where a commercial entity has a potential interest in the Wellcome-funded research or in any directly related fields, researchers must inform their organisation and comply with their organisation’s requirements:
The host organisation must:
Where there has been a potential breach of this policy or a host organisation’s policy on conflicts, we should be informed as soon as possible about the issues identified and the actions taken. Any breaches should be handled in accordance with our research misconduct policy.
Wellcome-funded researchers and host organisations must provide to us on request:
If a researcher or host organisation breaches this policy we will consider this to be a breach of our grant conditions and we may suspend or terminate the relevant award.
We may also audit the host organisation’s processes more widely.
This policy was updated in October 2018.