Conflicting Interests at NIH

I'm glad to see The Scientist examine the issue of conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment for scientists at the National Institutes of Health.1A major question is whether the current salaries of high-level NIH scientists, generally ranging from $180,000 to $200,000, are too low. Obviously, it is possible to earn more elsewhere, but would the NIH be unable to attract top scientists if they don't allow their employees to supplement those salaries with outside income?Congress may be relu

Diana Zuckerman
May 9, 2004

I'm glad to see The Scientist examine the issue of conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment for scientists at the National Institutes of Health.1

A major question is whether the current salaries of high-level NIH scientists, generally ranging from $180,000 to $200,000, are too low. Obviously, it is possible to earn more elsewhere, but would the NIH be unable to attract top scientists if they don't allow their employees to supplement those salaries with outside income?

Congress may be reluctant to raise these salaries, since the current salary for most members of the US Congress is $158,100 per year and outside income is greatly restricted. The majority and minority leaders in the House and Senate each earn $175,600. The speaker of the House of Representatives and the vice president of the US each earn about $203,000. Most of these men and women could earn much more in other...

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