Guidelines for Faculty Requesting Board of Directors Positions with Outside Commercial 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 governing these 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 on the Board of Directors for an outside commercial entity without prior written approval from the Dean.

The following guidance document is for faculty members requesting to serve as a board of director for a commercial, for-profit entity. For board of directors requests in non-for-profit organizations, please contact the COI Office at for additional instructions.

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 (FBCC). The FBCC 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.
  • The faculty member must agree to abide by all provisions of any business conflicts management plan issued by the FBCC including research restrictions. 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.
  • The faculty member and the Company will be required to sign the Agreement for Faculty to Serve as Director or Officer, an agreement that describes the limitations of the faculty member’s role within the company, and provides protections/indemnifications for Mount Sinai).
  • The approval is subject to annual review.

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. The review/approval process will require approval by the faculty member’s direct supervisor/Chair and also review/approval by the Faculty Business Conflicts Committee (FBCC). The FBCC will make a recommendation to Dean Charney to either approve or deny a request.
  3. 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.
  4. All requests will be presented by the faculty member to the Faculty Business Conflicts Committee (FBCC).
  5. If the FBCC recommends approval for a Dean’s Exception, the faculty member will receive an e-mail detailing “next steps” and agreements needed. The approval will be contingent upon completing all requirements.
  6. All approvals will require that the faculty member agree to a business conflicts management plan. This is a written document issued by the COI Office and signed by the faculty member. The management plan will outline specific disclosure requirements, limitations on business/research activities here at Mount Sinai, and reinforce existing Mount Sinai policies governing faculty conduct with outside commercial entities.
  7. There may be additional requirements depending upon the nature of the Company (public vs. private) and its relationship to Mount Sinai.
  8. There may be additional requirements if the faculty member is also requesting other activities with the Company.

Appendix A: Questionnaire for BOD/C-Suite Request

BOD Request Guidelines