Consulting Agreements

The Conflict of Interest Advisory Committee (COIAC) may review consulting agreements in connection with its review of potential conflicts of interest involving research funding.

A consulting agreement is an agreement between a faculty member and a company, nonprofit entity, or governmental entity. A consulting agreement can be (a) a letter (signed by an officer of the company or nonprofit entity and the faculty member); (b) a short statement of consulting activities that is signed by the faculty member and an officer of the company or nonprofit entity; (c) a lengthier agreement signed by both the faculty member and an officer of the company or nonprofit entity, or (d) a verbal agreement. If there is no written consulting agreement, the COIAC may ask the faculty member to obtain a written consulting agreement that specifies the nature of the consulting activities in detail.

The COIAC review is limited to whether there is a conflict between (a) the consulting activities for a company or nonprofit entity and (b) the research being done under a sponsored research agreement from the same company or nonprofit entity. No overlap of research activities and consulting activities is allowed.

If the faculty member appears to be doing the same research or services under the consulting agreement as he/she is doing under the sponsored research agreement, the COIAC requires that the consulting activities be rolled into the sponsored research agreement and that the consulting agreement be terminated. A faculty member can have a consulting agreement with the sponsor at the same time as he/she has a sponsored research agreement from the sponsor -- provided that (1) the consulting activities are clearly delineated in a written consulting agreement and separate from the sponsored research activities, and (2) the sponsored research is not a clinical study.

The consulting activities should not use any UCSF resources, such as personnel or space.

The COIAC does not review the consulting agreement for compliance with UC policies or California law, but sometimes recommends that the consulting agreement be reviewed by the appropriate person(s) at UCSF for compliance with UC policies and California law.

The School of Medicine's website about consulting agreements contains an excellent template for a consulting agreement, along with additional information about UC policies and the law: http://academicaffairs.medschool.ucsf.edu/faculty-consulting-activities

Page updated 04/01/2016