The information presented here is offered as an aid to faculty and other academic appointees who engage in consulting services.
Faculty members are responsible for complying with UC policies.
Consulting agreements between faculty or other academic employees and outside entities are personal agreements to which the University is not a party. It is the responsibility of a faculty member or other University employee to ensure that consulting agreement terms do not conflict with their University research and teaching obligations and that they are consistent with University policies and employment obligations and policies. Some, but not all, of the applicable policies include those related to disclosure and assignment of inventions to the University, conflict of interest and the University Health Sciences Compensation Plan.
The University provides resources to help faculty and other employees understand their University employment obligations and related University policies.
Before entering into a consulting agreement, faculty and other academic appointees should consider carefully issues such as whether the nature and scope of services are appropriate for a consulting agreement and are clearly defined in the agreement; if the activity may create a potential conflict of interest that must be disclosed; whether the terms of the agreement might conflict with their pre-existing obligations to the University and whether any commitments are being made that may impact University resources or other personnel. The University’s published policies and guidelines are a key resource available to faculty in addressing these types of issues. Any faculty member or other academic appointee who engages in consulting activities should review in particular the following:
- Guidance for Faculty and Other Academic Employees on Issues Related to Intellectual Property and Consulting. This document, issued by the Office of the President, is a non-technical summary of key policies and State law on the topic of intellectual property. It should be read in conjunction with the School of Medicine Health Sciences Compensation Plan (see below).
- UCSF School of Medicine Guide to Faculty Consulting Agreements. This guide outlines some common issues with regard to the specific terms and conditions included in consulting agreements. It provides some specific suggested approaches to address the more common problems.
- UCSF Consulting Agreement Template. This template illustrates sample text for use in consulting agreements to promote compliance with UCSF policy. It does not constitute legal or other advice on the contractual terms of the agreement.
- The School of Medicine Health Sciences Compensation Plan. The School Compensation Plan and department compensation plan implementing procedures, which are available from the Department Chair or Manager, specify the types of consulting and other income due to the Compensation.
If after reviewing the various published information available, faculty still have questions they should first consult with their Department Chair or Manager. If the Chair or manager is unable to answer a question, they will contact staff in the appropriate functional office, such as the Office of Technology Management, Office of Sponsored Research or the Office of the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs to ask for assistance.
Faculty are encouraged to rely upon the published policies and guidelines, rather than detailed review of proposed agreements. Faculty may, however, if they wish, request review of a proposed consulting agreement for compliance with policy related to the UC Patent Agreement and disclosure of information. The review provided does not constitute legal or other advice on the contractual terms between the faculty/researcher and the third party engaging the consulting services. In addition, University personnel do not negotiate consulting terms on behalf of faculty and are not authorized to sign on behalf of UCSF or The Regents on consulting agreements between faculty and outside third parties. To request review of a proposed consulting agreement, follow the instructions on the Request for Review of Faculty Consulting Agreement Form. Note that the average time for review is in the range of three to five weeks due to limited staffing currently available for this review.