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. 

Faculty should initiate a request by completing either:

a) Approval of Outside Activities Form for activities that will occur outside of their University employment and with an outside contract, or

b) A Proposal Approval Form ("goldenrod") for activities that will occur under an institutional agreement.


The faculty member should consult with his or her chair to determine which option to pursue.

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.