The Johns Hopkins University
Homewood Conflict of Interest and Commitment

Outside Activity

An outside activity is an involvement with non-JHU or JHHS entities and other activity conducted outside one’s institutional responsibilities. Outside activities include, but are not limited to, consulting, service on governing boards (e.g., board of directors of for-profit and non-profit entities) or scientific advisory boards, outside speaking, professional or academic society work, outside administrative responsibility such as serving as an officer or employee of an outside entity, expert witness activity, and outside teaching (outside appointments). See examples below.

Private Agreements

When a faculty member intends to initiate an outside activity and/or financial interest in a for-profit the arrangement should generally be administered under a private agreement between the faculty member and the entity. JHU is not a party to and therefore the Homewood Conflict of Interest office review or sign private agreements.

All outside activities and/or financial interests administered under private agreements must adhere to JHU institutional and divisional policies, and faculty are personally responsible for ensuring this concurrence. Included below are guidelines that highlight the main aspects of these policies.

We recommend you append this Rider to your agreement. The Rider, if entered into without modification or edit by you or the entity to which you plan to provide the outside service, will cause your private agreement to be in compliance with applicable policies. Prior to signing any private agreement and/or providing outside services, you must disclose the proposed arrangement for review in the JHU online system, eDisclose. This disclosure requirement is applicable regardless of whether you use the Rider.

Types of Outside Activities

Consulting/Other Service to Outside Entities

This refers to the provision of scientific/medical advice or service to an entity on an ad hoc or regular basis.  May include commenting on, advising, or consulting on a research protocol, or conducting research. You may consult with or advise an outside entity, though exceptions per JHU policy will apply. Work or activity on behalf of a U.S. federal, state, or local government agency, an institution of higher education as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001(a), an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with an Institution of higher education must be disclosed.


Delivering lectures or talks, in person or through any other medium (e.g., webinar) outside of Johns Hopkins. Under the JHU policy when faculty are speaking for industry, Academic staff must retain full control and authority over professional material they present.

Medical-Legal (Expert Witness)

Providing expert review of medical or scientific information and/or expert witness testimony for or on behalf of a party to a legal dispute. This may involve providing advice to a law firm working for a patient, physician, company, or other client or to a government prosecutor’s office.

Teaching at Institutions of Higher Education Other than JHU

Delivering ongoing lectures or talks, in person or through any other medium (e.g., webinar) at an academic institution outside of Johns Hopkins. Approval by Dean is required.

The following does not need to be disclosed: Seminars, lectures, or teaching engagements (includes grand rounds) organized by a U.S. federal, state, or local government agency, an institution of higher education as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001(a), an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with an Institution of higher education (medical center includes not only medical centers associated with an institution of higher education or government agency, but also other medical centers that do not have such an affiliation, e.g., a local hospital). While not technically required to be included in eDisclose, full-time faculty cannot accept any teaching appointment at another academic institution without the consultation and approval of the appropriate Dean.

If the activity is provided to a foreign institution of higher education or government agency, the activity must be disclosed.

Publishing, Editing, and/or Authoring

Serving as editor or author of scientific, biomedical, or health-related works in any medium for any audience. This activity should be disclosed only if remuneration has been received or is anticipated.

Fiduciary Roles

Fiduciary role in an entity, including, but not limited to, Board member, officer, or manager. When faculty propose to be an Operating Officer in a start-up company, the 1/2/2021 institutional policy mandates a two year limitation on acting in this role. The two year limit starts at date of incorporation or no later than six months after the date of incorporation.

Data Safety Monitoring Board/Data Safety Monitoring Committee (DSMB/DSMC)

Participation in a board or committee that is established to periodically review detailed research data in order to identify and report safety issues or unanticipated benefits that may be attributed to one of the treatments under evaluation. As a DSMB/DSMC member, you should not be an investigator in the relevant study. This situation, while unlikely, would create an unmanageable COI.

Additional Considerations

Using JHU Facilities/Resources

In providing services for an outside entity under a private agreement, you may not use facilities, equipment, materials, funds, or resources owned or administered by JHU. Minimal and discretionary use of your office and office equipment such as computer, telephone, fax machine, etc. is permitted. Should the provision of services require the use of JHU and/or JHHS funds or resources the work must be conducted under an institutional agreement administered by ORA and/or other appropriate institutional offices.

Engaging JHU Students and/or Employees

Depending on the type of outside activity, while engaged in services the policy may prohibit Academic Staff from engaging or employing students, trainees, post-doctoral fellows or other employees of JHU to provide services to the outside entity. Any JHU student, trainee, post-doctoral fellow, or employee who proposes to consult for an outside entity must enter into his/her own private agreement with the entity.

No Disclosure of JHU Proprietary Information

In the course of providing services to an outside entity, you may not disclose any invention, unpublished data, patient information or other information that is proprietary to JHU.

Legal Advice

To protect your personal interests, it is recommended that you consult your own attorney or other professional advisor before signing private agreements.

Academic Freedom

Nothing in your private agreement may restrict or interfere with your ability to conduct or publish research and other academic activities conducted at or on behalf of JHU.

Compensation for Services

Any compensation associated with services provided to an outside entity under your private agreement must be provided directly from the entity to you. Such compensation may not be directly deposited from the entity into a JHU account.

Use of Name

Other than citing your JHU title and affiliation, an outside entity may not use the names or logos of Johns Hopkins in any of its documents or marketing materials, whether in print, electronic, or any other media. The entity may not quote you in its documents or materials in the areas of your professional expertise. Exceptions may be made only in rare instances and with the written permission of an authorized JHU official. Requests for approval should be submitted to the school’s or division’s communications office, which may consult with the university Office of Communications. If you have questions, visit the JHU Use of Name guidelines.

No Endorsement

You may not participate in any activity that could imply or constitute endorsement or promotion of any product, technology, service, or company.

Intellectual Property

An outside entity shall have no rights to any intellectual property other than intellectual property developed as a sole and direct result of your private service and without JHU-administered funds, space, material, equipment, or other resources. Intellectual property developed with University support is subject to the JHU Intellectual Property Policy and should be reported to the Office of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV). JHU support is defined as financial or other support, regardless of origin, that is used in the discovery or development of intellectual property and is provided through University channels. JHU defines Intellectual Property as any new and useful process, machine, composition of matter, life form, article of manufacture, software, copyrighted work, or tangible property. Intellectual property developed under an institutional research agreement between JHU and the entity is governed by the terms of the institutional agreement. For additional information please refer to the Johns Hopkins University Intellectual Property Policy.

Guidance on Outside Appointments

Faculty members must not accept offers of appointments at outside institutions (e.g., universities, institutes of higher education, research institutes, corporations or similar organizations) until written approval is granted by the faculty member’s respective Dean’s Office. In some cases, the commitment to the outside institution may require a reduction in the faculty member’s FTE appointment at the University.

Click Here for the Whiting School of Engineering Outside Appointments Form

KSAS-Outside-Appointments_2021 (2) (1) is the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Outside Appointments Form