Policy AC80 Pre-approval Requirement

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Office for Research Protections     |     Conflict of Interest 

The Office for Research Protections (ORP) is responsible for monitoring related to outside business activities and private consulting, per Policy AC80. The ORP collects data, generates reports, and supports department heads in monitoring compliance related to Outside Business Activities. The ORP would like to remind faculty members of the pre-approval requirement included in Policy AC80. Outside Business Activities are defined as "paid or unpaid entrepreneurial or professional services that are in the faculty member’s  general area of expertise, but beyond the scope of his/her University employment responsibilities" (Policy AC80). The University assumes no responsibility for Outside Business Activities.  

All full-time faculty are required to obtain prior approval before engaging in the following:

  • Starting a company;
  • Exceeding the monthly time limits on Outside Business Activities (40 hours per month during the appointment period);
  • Involving students or staff in outside business activities;
  • Teaching for another university during the appointment period; and
  • Assuming an executive or management position for a third party.  

Download the form to request pre-approval for the above activities. This form should be completed and submitted to your department head prior to engaging in the requested activity.

Outside Business Activities which require annual disclosure, but do not require prior approval when practiced within the monthly or annual time limits, include (but are not limited to) the following: 

  • Private Consulting;
  • Serving as an expert witness;
  • Practicing a licensed profession, (e.g., veterinarian, architect, nurse, attorney);
  • Teaching for an Entity other than the University outside of the Appointment Period;
  • Outside Business Activities for a third party entity in which the faculty member holds non-public equity;
  • Becoming an employee of a company or other third party entity;
  • Serving on a board of directors outside of the University.


*The above may require prior approval under another policy. See e.g., AD77, RP06 

In September 2018, the revised Policy AC80: Outside Business Activities and Private Consulting Policy (formerly HR80) became effective. Policy AC80 outlines the rules (time and expectations) under which Outside Business Activities can be engaged by University faculty during their respective appointment periods and provides a basis for reporting such activities. For questions related to the changes to this policy, please contact Morgan Rhinehart, Outside Business Activities Analyst at mar472@psu.edu or the Outside Business Activities Program at OBAAdmin@psu.edu. You can also find additional information on our website at https://www.research.psu.edu/oba.