Employment by an outside company or institution, even where unpaid, raises the risk that the Faculty’s affiliation with and allegiance to the company may influence his or her judgment with respect to his or her teaching, clinical care, research, and other responsibilities at Harvard. This includes academic positions at institutions outside of Harvard, including, in many cases, honorary or visiting appointments. Faculty must disclose all outside employment relationships, paid or unpaid, through the Outside Activities Reporting Portal.  Faculty are encouraged to speak with the HMS COI Team or HMS Research Compliance in advance of accepting an outside employment relationship to ensure compliance with institutional policies, including conflict of commitment issues.  Human Resources and/or the Benefits Office may also need to be consulted regarding the impact of dual employment on one’s benefits eligibility.  In all cases, an individual should rely on personal legal counsel for legal guidance.  Faculty members may not hold a regular faculty appointment at another institution, except in connection with a Harvard-sponsored joint program with that institution, or similar arrangement as approved by their Dean.  Harvard academic appointees should not participate in teaching courses for another institution or organization in these direct or indirect ways without express permission of the Dean of the Faculty and of the Corporation.

Research appointments at another university or academic institution may be accepted only with advance permission of the responsible Dean. 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.

Full-time appointees should not engage in paid consulting for another educational institution or educational organization without the permission of their Dean and the Corporation.

Full-time faculty are reminded that Outside Activities must be limited to no more than 20% of their total professional time (equivalent to one day per week).

If you hold an employment relationship outside of Harvard you are responsible for taking the following steps:

  1. All outside employment relationships must be disclosed to Harvard through the Outside Activities Reporting Portal, including employment with academic or research institutions in the US or abroad.
  2. Disclose any positions or titles related to the employment activity on appropriate grants proposal and reporting documents. Work with ORA to identify reporting requirements on a sponsor by sponsor basis.
  3. Disclose on Other Support Pages (and similar) all resources available to you through the employment activity including: funding, grants, gifts, materials, equipment, facilities, space, data, and trainees and employees.
  4. Obtain a Material Transfer Agreement or Data Use Agreement to share research materials or unpublished data between your Harvard lab and the outside company.
  5. Be mindful of overlap between your Harvard responsibilities and research at the outside entity. Employment outside of Harvard should be distinct from, and not overlap with, your Harvard responsibilities.

Special Requirements for Executive Positions with For-Profit Companies.

An Executive Position is any position that is responsible for a material part of the operation or management of a business.

Full-time faculty may not hold an Executive Position in a for-profit business engaged in commercial or research activities of a biomedical nature. Faculty with part-time appointments may hold approved Executive Positions at for-profit businesses but may not participate in clinical research on the business’s technology nor receive sponsored research support from the business.  

An individual who holds an Executive Position in a for-profit business engaged in commercial or research activities of a biomedical nature and who teaches Harvard learners at least 50 hours per year may only hold a Lecturer, Part-time or Senior Lecturer, Part-time title.


Outside Activities Reporting Portal

HMS Faculty of Medicine Handbook

HMS Policy on Conflicts of Interest and Commitment

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