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Guidelines on Disclosure and Recusal
(adopted March 7, 2007)

  1. Purpose and Scope
    The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission seeks to ensure that its decision making about applications for financial assistance is fair and objective, and is seen to be so. These guidelines, which incorporate both requirements of the Maryland Public Ethics Law and prudential considerations beyond the Ethics Law, identify the grounds for recusal of Commission members. The guidelines are not intended as a complete digest of members' obligations under the Ethics Law. Members must comply with all applicable provisions of the Ethics Law, including those unrelated to recusal.

  2. Disclosure and Recusal
    A member whose recusal is required shall announce on the record, prior to consideration of an application, that he or she is recused and shall leave the room during the entire period of discussion and voting about the application. A member need not state the reason for the recusal. If, however, the recusal of a member would result in the loss of a quorum and so make Commission action impossible, the member may participate after he or she discloses on the record the circumstances that would otherwise lead to recusal.

  3. Economic Interests
    Recusal is required if a member or a qualifying relative (defined in the Ethics Law as a spouse, parent, child, or sibling) has an "interest" in any applicant, as that term is defined in § 15-102(t) of the Ethics Law.

  4. Employment
    Recusal is required if a member or a qualifying relative (defined in the Ethics Law as a spouse, parent, child, or sibling) is employed by, or is negotiating employment with, an organizational applicant or by an organization that employs any individual applicant.

  5. Professional Relationships
    Recusal is required if a member has been a student, supervisor, or collaborator of an applicant, or has co-authored a publication with an applicant, within the last three years. 2 Disclosure is required if a member has had a material scientific or ethical disagreement with an applicant.

  6. Other
    Recusal is required if a reasonable person would conclude that, because of a personal relationship with an applicant, a personal disagreement with an applicant, or another reason not elsewhere described in these guidelines, a member cannot provide a fair and objective review of an application.