COI Advisory Memo

Things to keep in mind related to Outside Activities:

  • You should maintain separation between your Duke responsibilities and your work with external entities.
  • Outside Activities should be limited to the maximum allowed by the Faculty Handbook (See Chapter 5, page 15). Staff should consult with their immediate Supervisor.
  • The following situations represent a significant financial interest (SFI) and carry Principal Investigator (PI) restrictions unless approved in advance for projects and protocols (research at Duke):
    • Having equity in a private company/entity (any amount);
    • Receiving income >$50K from any entity;
    • Stock ownership >$50K in value;
    • Equity/Stock options (any amount);
    • Projects/protocols involving optioned/licensed Intellectual Property (IP)
  • It is important to involve DOSI-COI in discussions at the time projects are being planned when a SFI is present.
  • It is not legal to use Duke’s non-profit resources to advance the commercial prospects of a for-profit entity.
  • You must not disclose non-public or confidential research information to any for-profit entity except as allowed by agreements executed through the University. 
  • Always disclose Outside Interests internally and externally. Disclosure is recommended when the objectivity of your research or presentation may be called into question if you do not volunteer the information.
  • Disclose your Outside Interests to each student, fellow, or staff person whom you supervise when their work or degree could be related to one or more of your Outside Interests.
  • All outside professional activities that may involve a non-faculty member of the Duke community working with and/or reporting to the Duke faculty member as part of their primary commitment requires review and approval by:
    • the appropriate Dean(s), including of the graduate or undergraduate school as applicable if the non-faculty member is in a student/trainee role.
    • the department chair, if the non-faculty member is an employee of the University.
  • When listed as key personnel on a proposal related to an Outside Interest, the electronic grant attestation should reference the company/entity name and describe the relationship.
  • Any Duke work related to an outside entity must be performed under a Sponsored Research Agreement regardless of the funding source.
  • Duke policy limits participation in Speaker Bureaus and non-CME lectures and video/audio productions.  Participation in these promotional medical education activities is only allowed if certain criteria are met.  For more information you may access the Duke speaking policy at
  • Remember to disclose Outside Interests as appropriate on Other Support and BioSketch documents.


Last updated 02/18/2021