Examples of problematic terms and conditions in Outside Activities Agreements include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Serving in an employment position that is responsible for operation or management of the business or supervision of staff.  Full-time Harvard faculty members may not hold an executive position or be responsible for a material part of the operation or management of a business
  • Participating in talent programs or similar
  • Holding academic appointments, teaching, receiving grants, performing research or running labs outside of Harvard
  • Obligating the faculty member to keep the relationship with the entity private or secret and not disclose the relationship, including to Harvard
  • Limiting the faculty member’s ability to terminate or end the outside activity agreement
  • Committing effort beyond the 20% time allowance (equivalent to one day per week) for full-time Faculty (cumulative for all outside activities)
  • Requiring grant submissions/sponsored research activities to be submitted through the entity, being named as an investigator on a grant through the entity, and/or participating in any grant that is not awarded through Harvard (or an affiliated institution)
  • Requiring use of Harvard resources or Harvard name or insignia, or including Harvard as a party to the agreement
  • Obligating the faculty member or Harvard to make Harvard-based training opportunities available, including exchange of or preference for trainees or scholars to work in Harvard labs or participate in Harvard academic programs
  • Requiring exchange of Harvard-owned IP or unpublished data
  • Incorporating authorship standards not in keeping with HMS Authorship guidelines
  • Obligating the faculty member to publish a certain number of papers and/or list the entity as their primary affiliation in publications
  • Requiring disclosure of or prior review of data and/or manuscripts arising from your Harvard research (unrelated to the scope of work under the outside activities agreement)
  • Including unusual compensation terms or methods of payment or payment in excess of Fair Market Value
  • Using third-party intermediaries for payments or activities (payments not made directly to you by the entity)
  • Using an off-shore bank account
  • The offer seems “too good to be true.” A large amount of compensation or access to resources is offered in exchange for very little or no work or effort

If you encounter these, or any other terms that infringe upon your academic freedoms or institutional obligations, or make use of or rely on Harvard resources or names, they may be in violation of Harvard policies.  Contact the HMS COI Team or HMS Research Compliance for policy guidance and/or your personal legal counsel for legal advice.