Miller and Brody argue that the notion of clinical equipoise is fundamentally misguided. The ethics of therapy and the ethics of research are two distinct enterprises that are governed by different norms. They state, “The doctrine of clinical equipoise is intended to act as a bridge between therapy and research, allegedly making it possible to conduct RCTs without sacrificing the therapeutic obligation of physicians to provide treatment according to a scientifically validated standard of care. This constitutes therapeutic misconception concerning the ethics of clinical trials, analogous to the tendency of patient volunteers to confuse treatment in the context of RCTs with routine medical care.”  Equipoise, they argue, only makes sense as a normative assumption for clinical trials if one assumes that researchers have therapeutic obligations to their research participants. Further criticisms of clinical equipoise have been leveled by Robert Veatch  and by Peter Ubel and Robert Silbergleit. 
A researcher wants to test a teacher-focused intervention in schools. However, she worries that if she randomizes teachers within a school to receive the intervention or not, there may be contamination. She fears that teachers will talk to each other about the study, and that control group teachers will observe intervention teachers' behavior and model it, even though they were not randomized to receive the intervention. In response, the researcher decides to randomize different schools to receive the teacher intervention or no intervention.