SOM review of proposed consulting agreements

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SOM review of proposed consulting agreements


SoM faculty are often approached by biomedical, pharmaceutical, and device manufacturers to enter into consultancies. Consulting engagements, while important for the individual faculty member, may be problematic for the institution. To ensure that these activities are consistent with the missions of the SOM and to ensure that the highest ethical considerations are upheld, faculty must comply with the SOM Policy on External Consulting and Professional Activities.  Faculty should initiate a request by completing the Approval of External Activities Form (which must be signed by the Chair) and forwarding it with a review copy of all anticipated contractual engagements to the Assistant Dean for Research Administration, Office of Grants and Contracts.  Under normal circumstances the faculty member and Chair will be provided a recommendation via e-mail, within five business days, on how the consultancy should be treated.  Depending upon the criteria described below, the recommendation might be one of the following:  the agreement must be contracted between the University and the sponsor; the faculty member may contract directly with the sponsor; or, more rarely, the project should be considered under a research agreement.  In some instances the faculty member will be advised not to pursue the consultancy.

SOM goals in reviewing the terms of Consulting Agreements.

  • identify any conflict of interest and implement a plan to manage it if possible;
  • oversee potential conflict of commitment;
  • protect the rights of students, particularly as they pertain to accepting confidential information or restricting publication rights unduly;
  • protect University intellectual property;
  • avoid inappropriate use of University services, equipment, facilities, trainees, or staff;protect the faculty member by ensuring that liability/insurance issues are adequately addressed;
  • determine whether the business entity is a vendor of goods or services or a source of patient referrals to the Medical Center;
  • avoid noncompliance or the appearance of noncompliance with regulatory requirements; avoid unacceptable legal and regulatory restrictions;
  • prevent the faculty member from inadvertently agreeing to engage in either promotional or endorsement activities;
  • ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that consulting agreements for faculty are managed in a uniform and consistent manner;
  • and ensure that the terms of such agreements are in compliance with University, SOM, and Medical Center policies.


Consulting agreement review process. The Statement of Work will be reviewed carefully to ensure that the appropriate F&A rate is applied.  Once the faculty member is notified whether the consultancy will be treated as internal or external to the University, additional paperwork may be requested (including a Sponsored Programs Routing Sheet and Conflict of Interest).  If University participation is recommended, then a determination will also be made regarding whether the consultancy will be either a Sponsored Research Agreement or a Sales and Service Agreement.  University participation in a consulting agreement affords the faculty member with liability protection and the use of University facilities such as office space, administrative support, e-mail, telephone, computer, facsimile, supplies, etc.

Incentive payments resulting from consulting revenues.

  • Sponsored Program Agreements.  The faculty member shall be paid salary in the same manner as with any sponsored activities.  Appropriate effort should be charged to the sponsored program account.  Depending upon whether a faculty member is meeting the minimum standard of extramural salary support for faculty in the basic science departments and the Clinical Faculty Remuneration Plan for faculty in the clinical departments, faculty may become eligible to receive an incentive payment.  Any payments would be in accordance with existing SoM policies on incentive payments in the basic sciences and in the clinical departments.  Incentives will not be paid directly as a result of sponsored program agreements.  However, incentives may result from higher levels of extramural salary support in the basic science departments under the Basic Science Incentive Plan and larger surpluses under the Clinical Remuneration Plan in the clinical departments.
  • Sales and Service Agreements.  The payout of consulting fees for Sales and Service Agreements shall be in accordance with the minimum standard of extramural salary support for the faculty in the Basic Science Department and the Clinical Faculty Remuneration Plan for faculty in the Clinical Departments.  Provided the thresholds have been met, and with Chair approval, an immediate bonus of up to 50% of the payment received may be issued to the faculty member.  Incentive payments from consulting agreements will not be paid to faculty who are not meeting expectations.  In these cases consulting, fees will first be used to help the faculty member meet the minimum expectations.  Once the expectations have been met, then the balance of any fee may be distributed per the policy.


Option 1 Consulting Guidelines (Jan. 4, 2011)

Approval of Outside Activities Form (7/2014)