Service by Intramural Scientists on a Scientific or External Advisory Board for a DHHS-funded Project

If an intramural NIH employee is asked to serve on a scientific or external advisory board in support of a DHHS-funded project, the following policy applies:

  1. the NIH employee must serve while on official duty, thereby precluding any type of honorarium.

  2. the NIH employee may not accept sponsored travel/per diem costs unless the source of funds is non-federal- otherwise such costs must be covered by the NIH employee's IC.  

  3. the NIH employee may only provide scientific advice, and should not be involved in writing an application for funding, annual progress reports, or other documents to be submitted to DHHS or any of its operating divisions.  The NIH employee will not be involved in providing direct advice or representation to any Federal government agency on behalf of the outside entity.

  4. if several applicants respond to an RFA (Request for Applications) or RFP (Request for Proposals) which requires the establishment of an External or Scientific Advisory Board as part of the investigator-initiated funding application or proposal, NIH employees should consider all applicants' requests to serve on such a board equally.  

  5. an NIH member of a Scientific or External Advisory Board should not:
    • be a relative of, or have a close personal relationship with, the Principal Investigator (PI) of the grant
    • have any personal or imputed financial or intellectual property interest related to the PI, the grant, the grantee, or the contractor

  6. he activity must be approved as an appropriate official duty activity by the employee's supervisor, Scientific Director, and the Extramural Program Management Committee (EPMC) member (or other designated program official) or Grants Management Officer overseeing the grant/contract.  The request will then be forwarded to the IC ethics staff for final approval consistent with existing procedures.  IC ethics staff will determine whether there is any actual or apparent conflict of time commitment or financial interest in the service, and will provide guidance or approval as appropriate to ensure that all matters associated with the activity are processed in accordance with existing requirements.

Approved by NIH Deputy Director 8/23/04; Distributed by NIH Office of Intramural Research, 9/3/04

Updated: 2/19/13