Download the full document of Official Duty Activities (https://ethics.od.nih.gov/topics/ODA/2-ODA-Chart.pdf) .

Academics Activities

ActivityNot PermittedNo Formal Approval NeededSupervisory Approval NeededOther Clearance NeededNotes
Adjunct faculty (Clinical, Lecturer or Mentor)  E, B, I E, B, I: Disqualify institution from employee's portfolio and for one year after leaving employment with the institution. When approving, supervisor must balance professional development of employee with programmatic and agency considerations. Conflict with individual mentee after professional relationship ends for a minimum of three years (but may be much longer choose to have a lifetime recusal with former students or mentors)
Membership on thesis committee (not faculty member) IE, B Possible conflict with individual doctorial candidate. Supervisor's discretion on time between thesis and other matter but should be a minimum of three years.
Presenting CME lectures for commercial CME providersE, B, I   Could seek approval to participate as an outside activity
Presenting CME lectures for not-for-profit CME providers  E, B, I No recusal necessary.
Grand Rounds lectures IE, B No recusal necessary.

Activities with Professional Organizations

ActivityNot PermittedNo Formal Approval NeededSupervisory Approval NeededOther Clearance NeededNotes
Member of Professional Organization E, B, I   
Leadership Role in a Professional Organization     
  General Leadership e.g. committee or symposium chair  E,B,I  
Officer of Professional OrganizationE, I & B if position includes budget, management or personnel responsibilities  E,B,IE,B,I: Need a section 208 waiver; consult your IC DEC
Attending Professional Organization's Events  E, B, I Seek DEC advice if gifts (e.g., waiver of registration fees, meals) offered.
Federal Liaison to Professional Organization  E, B, I  

Advisory Activities

ActivityNot PermittedNo Formal Approval NeededSupervisory Approval NeededOther Clearance NeededNotes
Grant review for other government agencies (foreign, U.S. or state) or not-for-profit organizations IE, B Scientific advice on whether the organization should fund or continue to fund an application; no NIH funds involved. Service could be ad hoc or as a committee member. No recusal necessary. Additional approval needed for travel and formal contracts or agreements.
Service on NIH Review Panels including Study Sections  E,B,I E, B: Service on staff administrative review panels and non-R&D contract panels is permitted with supervisor's approval. For I: NIH study sections also permitted
Seeking or providing advice from Intramural Scientist to Extramural Program Official re: program direction I, E, B   
Service on scientific review or advisory boards for educational institutions or not-for-profit organizations WHEN PROJECT IS NOT DHHS FUNDED  E, B, I This activity could include scientific review of a specific program or department, or help with preparation for accreditation. Not-for-profits include patient advocacy groups. Lobbying activities prohibited. Recusal necessary for employees with extramural responsibilities for grants/applications within employees portfolio while on the board and for one year after leaving the board.
Service on scientific review or advisory boards for educational institutions or not-for-profit organizations for DHHS funded projectE, B  II: must receive prior approval from supervisory and DEC. This activity could include scientific review of a specific program or department, or help with preparation for accreditation. Not-for-profits include patient advocacy groups. Lobbying activities prohibited. May require coordination with extramural program office.
Service on scientific review or advisory boards for industryE, B  II: must receive prior approval from supervisor and DEC.

Appearing Before Another Government Agency at a Public Meeting or Hearing (Does not include Professional Scientific Meetings)

ActivityNot PermittedNo Formal Approval NeededSupervisory Approval NeededOther Clearance NeededNotes
At the other agency's request  E, B, I Ask the agency to confirm in writing its invitation to you to appear before or give testimony as an NIH employee before you make such an appearance or give such testimony.
At a company's requestE, B, I   You are prohibited from being a representative of a company in your official capacity, or as a consultant as an outside activity. You may, however, ask the other agency if it wants an appearance or testimony from an NIH employee and present in that capacity. If you are then invited by the agency to make an appearance or give testimony (ask for written confirmation), you should clarify that you are there as an NIH employee and not a representative of the company.
At NIH's initiative  E, B, I You may ask the other agency if it wants an appearance or testimony from an NIH employee and present in that capacity. Ask the agency to confirm in writing its invitation to you to make an appearance or give testimony as an NIH employee before you make the such an appearance or give such testimony.

Clinical Practice

ActivityNot PermittedNo Formal Approval NeededSupervisory Approval NeededOther Clearance NeededNotes
Clinical Practice (not at NIH CC)  E, B, I E, B: Disqualify institution from employee's portfolio while employee still in practice and for one year after leaving employment with the institution. When approving this activity, supervisor must balance professional development of employee with programmatic and agency considerations.

Collaborative Activities

ActivityNot PermittedNo Formal Approval NeededSupervisory Approval NeededOther Clearance NeededNotes
CRADAs   E,B,ICOIFA review by DEC. For E,B: Potential COI with Institutions involved in the CRADA if future applications are received from those institutions.
MCRADAs   E,B,ICOIFA review by DEC. For E, B: Potential COI with Institutions involved in the CRADA if future applications are received from those institutions.
Cooperative Agreements  E, B, I E,B: Recused from dealing with collaborator as part of portfolio while collaborating and for three years after collaboration ends.
MTAs  E,B,I  
Collaboration between NIH intramural scientist and NIH extramural scientist IE, B E, B: Recused from dealing with applications or grants where intramural NIH employee, with whom you have a a collaboration, is named as a collaborator or co-Investigator on the application or grant. Recused for three years after collaboration ends.
Collaborations with other U.S. government scientists IE, B E, B: Recused from dealing with applications or grants where government employee, with whom you have a collaboration, is named as a collaborator or co-Investigator on the application or grant. Recused for three years after collaboration ends.
Collaborations with academic and not-for-profit foundation scientists IE, B E,B: Recused from dealing with collaborator as part of portfolio while collaborating and for three years after collaboration ends. For RFA's: if a named collaborator (PI, co-PI, Advisor) submits to an RFA under the employee's purview, employee must recuse themselves from the entire RFA. However the employee is not recused from the entire RFA if other applications are submitted from the collaborator's institution, without the collaborator named on the application. If letter of support is being submitted with grant application, consider whether project should be managed as a cooperative agreement.
Collaborations with industry scientists not as part of a CRADA   E,B,IAll employees must receive prior approval from supervisor and DEC. Potential COIs depending on the size and structure of the industrial partner (single vs. multiple entity - See case study)
Scientific advisor on cooperative agreement   E,B,ISupervisory, Scientific Director and/or extramural director approval required.

Institutional Relationships

ActivityNot PermittedNo Formal Approval NeededSupervisory Approval NeededOther Clearance NeededNotes
Entering into Public-Private Partnerships (NIH & an outside organization) (including preliminary discussions)   E, B, IRequires NIH-level approval and execution of MOU. Conflict may arise if employee has personal or imputed interest in outside organization.
Participating in governance bodies for partnerships between NIH and outside entities   E, B, IRequires NIH-level approval of partnership. Conflict may arise if employee has personal or imputed interest in outside organization.
Entering into Co-Sponsorship Agreements   E, B, IRequires NIH-level approval prior to initiation of co-sponsorship. Conflict may arise if employee has personal or imputed interest in outside organization.
Receiving conditional or unconditional gifts   E, B, IRequires NIH-level approval prior to receipt of gift. Conflict may arise if employee has personal or imputed interest in outside organization.

Reference Letters/Letters of Recommendations

ActivityNot PermittedNo Formal Approval NeededSupervisory Approval NeededOther Clearance NeededNotes
Reference Letters for colleagues with whom you have or had interactions while at the NIH, or persons who are applying for U.S. government jobs E, B, I  May use government letterhead and sign letter with official title. However, extramural employee may not write such a letter for an investigator in his/her portfolio
Letters of Recommendation from superior to subordinates E, B, I  May use government letterhead and sign letter with official title. Can be included in grant applications (K99 and R00)
Letters of support for collaboration on NIH extramural applicationsN/A for E  B, IApproval by SD after consultation with the extramural program director. IC Directors must write letters as intramural scientist on the lab's IC letterhead.
Letters of support for Work Visas or green cardsE, B, I   Prohibition includes representations to other govt agencies. Permissible if part of official request through Division Of International Services, ORS.

Service on DSMBs

ActivityNot PermittedNo Formal Approval NeededSupervisory Approval NeededOther Clearance NeededNotes
DSMB service for your own ICE, B, I   DSMB policy being finalized
DSMB service where DSMB members selected by another IC  E, B, I DSMB policy being finalized
DSMB service where DSMB members selected by employee's IC's granteeE, B, I   DSMB policy being finalized
DSMB service where DSMB member selected by another IC's grantee  E, B, I DSMB policy being finalized.
DSMB service for protocol funded by industry   E,B,IDSMB policy being finalized.
Attending DSMB meeting as a Scientific Coordinator  E, B, I  

Speaking

ActivityNot PermittedNo Formal Approval NeededSupervisory Approval NeededOther Clearance NeededNotes
Programmatic or scientific presentations at grantee or collaborating institutions IE, BIC Director or Deputy DirectorNo recusal necessary. Content review or remarks recommended. IC Directors and Deputy Directors should get supervisory and DEC approval.
Speaking at Professional Organization's Events  E, B, IIC Director or Deputy DirectorContent review of remarks recommended. IC Directors and Deputy Directors should get supervisory and DEC approval.
Serving as an expert witness   E, B, IOGC advice and if permissible, get supervisory approval as well.
Responding to media inquiries   E, B, IConsult with IC public affairs office, and if permissible get supervisory approval as well.
Responding to congressional inquiries   E, B, IConsult with IC legislative contact, and if permissible, get supervisory approval as well

Writing and Editing Activities

ActivityNot PermittedNo Formal Approval NeededSupervisory Approval NeededOther Clearance NeededNotes
Review of manuscript (book, book chapters, or journal articles) where author is not grantee or collaborator IE, B Consider the likelihood of author becoming a grantee or collaborator, and whether conflict would arise. Use supervisor's discretion on time between grant application and manuscript review but not less than one year.
Review of manuscript (book, book chapters, or journal articles) where author is or likely to be grantee or collaborator IE, B E, B: if author is a grantee, then consider potential conflict if author is within employee's purview. Supervisor's discretion on time between grant application and manuscript review but not less than one year.
Submission of article to journal as author   E, B, IClear manuscript before submission to journal pursuant to IC's procedures.
Service on a journal's editorial board or editing a multi-author textbook (duties include publication decisions and scientific policy decisions)E, I & B if position includes budget, management or personnel responsibilities E, B, I E, B: if author is a grantee, then consider potential conflict if author is within employee's purview. Supervisor's discretion on time between grant application and manuscript review but not less than one year.
Press releases and other media contacts   E, B, IConsult with IC public affairs office after securing supervisory approval.
Materials to be submitted to Congress   E, B, IConsult with IC legislative contact after securing supervisory approval.
Letters to the Editor/Op Ed articles  E, B, I If writing in personal capacity (no use of NIH letterhead or title), no approval necessary. Caution not to disclose non-public information.

*Note: You may need separate administrative approval for some of these activities, e.g., travel (either government-paid or sponsored (348)). This table does not give guidance on administrative requirements. Employees should consult with their AOs.

Prepared by: NIH OIR and OER 
KEY: E = Extramural Employee;   I = Intramural Employee;   B = Employees with both Extramural and Intramural Responsibilities