Guidelines and Process for Faculty Requesting Board of Directors/C-Suite Positions for Outside Entities


The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (“Mount Sinai”) supports successful academia-industry collaborations and encourages innovation and career growth. Mount Sinai has adopted a comprehensive set of policies relating to such potential collaborations and has established the Office of Industry Engagement and Conflicts of Interest (“COI Office”) to facilitate the review, management and oversight of the conflicts of interest that often flow from such relationships. Mount Sinai policies include a prohibition on full-time faculty serving in an executive or managerial position for an outside commercial entity or serving on the Board of Directors for an outside commercial entity without prior written approval from the Dean

Criteria for Dean’s Exception Approval:

  • The request must not present an unmanageable conflict of interest or conflict of commitment with the faculty member’s role and responsibilities at Mount Sinai. This assessment will be made by the Faculty Business Conflicts Committee (which includes representation from COI, MSIP, Legal, and Compliance).
  • The mission of the Company must be consistent with Mount Sinai’s institutional missions and core values.
  • The faculty member must be able to recuse himself/herself from any activities at Mount Sinai related to the Company including research oversight and any purchasing decisions.
  • There must be clear separation of work performed by the faculty member at Mount Sinai and the services provided to the company, and this must be clearly defined in the scope of work submitted with the request.

Please note: The faculty member (as well as the junior faculty and students/trainees they supervise) cannot be engaged in sponsored research with the Company unless this is part of a separate co-development agreement with Mount Sinai negotiated by MSIP with appropriate oversight to ensure the scientific integrity of the research.

Limitations for Leadership Positions with Early Start-up Companies:

  • The proposed leadership role shall be limited in time (typically not to exceed two years) and will require an annual review. The nature of the time limited role is to facilitate the development of a commercially viable entity.
  • Faculty seeking to continue with an executive leadership role with the Company beyond the permitted period will be required to reduce his/her percent effort at Mount Sinai and abide by any additional elements of any business management plan.

Requesting a Dean’s Exception: Step-by-Step

  1. Faculty members should contact the Office of Industry Engagement and Conflicts of Interest ( with their request.
  2. Faculty members will be asked to complete the questionnaire in Appendix A which provides details about the Company as well as the faculty member’s proposed role, scope of work, and compensation.
  3. All requests will be presented by the faculty member to the Faculty Business Conflicts Committee (FBCC).
  4. If the FBCC recommends approval for a Dean’s Exception, the faculty member will receive an e-mail detailing “next steps” (Appendix B). The approval will be contingent upon completing all requirements.
  5. All approvals require a written business management plan issued by the COI Office and signed by the faculty member (and their supervisor) which will detail disclosure requirements as well as faculty “do’s and don’ts” vis a vis the Company.
  6. Faculty members requesting a separate consulting agreement with the company in which they are founders and/or equity owners should follow these instructions.

Appendix A: Questionnaire for BOD/C-Suite Request

Appendix B: Sample E-mail Confirming BOD/C-Suite Request