Faculty may have the opportunity to perform research, or to start or run research labs at institutions or companies outside of Harvard. The opportunity to perform such research or run such an additional lab may be available through a formal joint appointment arrangement approved by the Office of Faculty Affairs (e.g., faculty with appointments at the Broad and HMS; or Wyss and HMS) or, in very limited and discrete circumstances, the opportunity may be available through an outside activity arrangement.

Performing research or running a lab outside of Harvard has heightened risk considerations, including: overlap between the outside research and your Harvard research, conflicts of interest or commitment, diversion of IP (intentional or inadvertent), employment relationships, and disclosure of research resources to sponsors.

Research appointments or consulting arrangements at another university or academic institution may be accepted only with advance permission of the responsible Dean. Please note that full-time faculty should not, without permission of the institution upon recommendation of the appropriate Dean, engage in teaching, research, or salaried consulting at any other educational institution.Projects on which a Harvard academic appointee serves as a principal investigator or in an analogous role should be administered through the University or its affiliated medical institutions, unless the responsible Dean has specifically granted an exception.

If you are performing research or running a research lab outside of Harvard you are responsible for taking the following steps:

  1. Full-time academic appointees must obtain permission from their responsible Dean in advance.  
  2. If serving on a research project as principal investigator or in an analogous position, the project should generally be administered through the University (or the affiliated medical institution where the appointee is based).
  3. The outside research and/or lab leadership, including any employment relationships, must be disclosed to Harvard through the Outside Activities Reporting Portal). 
  4. All outside employment relationships must be disclosed to Harvard through the Outside Activities Reporting Portal
  5. Any positions or titles related to the outside research or lab must be disclosed on appropriate grant, proposal and reporting documents. ORA can help you to identify reporting requirements on a sponsor by sponsor basis.
  6. Disclose on Other Support Pages (and similar) all resources available to you through the outside research or lab including: funding, grants, gifts, materials, equipment, facilities, space, data, and trainees and employees.
  7. Obtain a Material Transfer Agreement or Data Use Agreement to share research materials or unpublished data between your Harvard lab and the outside lab.
  8. Be mindful of overlap between research at Harvard and the outside lab. Research outside of Harvard should be distinct from, and not overlap with, work done in your Harvard lab.

Harvard University Office of the Provost Statement on Outside Activities of Holders of Academic Appointments

HMS Faculty of Medicine Handbook