Notice of Intent (NOI)
Filing a notice of intent (NOI) is a requirement that protects the individual and the university from conflicts of commitment, which occur when the pursuit of an external activity involves an investment of time that interferes with an employee’s work obligations. The university is also required to compile and report this information in aggregate to the UNC System on an annual basis.
What is an External Professional Activity for Pay?
An External Professional Activity for Pay (EPAP):
- Is not included within one’s primary or secondary university employment duties
- Is performed for any entity, public or private, other than the university
- Is undertaken for compensation
- Is based upon the professional knowledge, experience, and abilities of the employee
Primary university duties are defined as assigned teaching, scholarship, research, institutional service requirements, administrative duties and other assigned employment duties.
Secondary university duties are defined as professional affiliations and activities traditionally undertaken by covered employees outside of the immediate university context, such as:
- Membership in and service to professional associations and learned societies
- Membership on professional review or advisory panels
- Presentation of lectures, papers, concerts, or exhibits
- Participation in seminars and conferences
- Reviewing or editing scholarly publications and books without receipt of compensation
- Service to accreditation bodies
Examples of an EPAP include but are not limited to:
- Secondary employment which is related to one’s institutional responsibilities
- Ownership or management position in a company or other entity
- Service on a board of directors or scientific advisory board
- Speaking engagements not included as institutional responsibilities
Who must submit an NOI form?
Any faculty member or EHRA professional staff member who is planning to engage in an External Professional Activity for Pay (EPAP). NOI forms are not required of SHRA employees. SHRA employees must follow the university’s Secondary Employment Policy and should contact their HR representative if they have questions or need assistance.
There is a $0 threshold for reporting an EPAP, so all EPAPs must be reported.
When should I submit my NOI form?
An NOI form must be completed at least 10 days prior to the commencement of an External Professional Activity for Pay.
Why do I have to submit an NOI form?
Engaging in an External Professional Activity for Pay (EPAP) is a privilege of serving in an EHRA professional or faculty position. The Board of Governor’s policy and NC State University regulation require prior notification of your intent to engage in an EPAP and approval by your supervisor (e.g., department head, dean, etc.). This is done in order to avoid conflicts of commitment, which occur when the pursuit of external activities involves an investment of time that interferes with an employee’s work obligations.
How do I file a NOI?
What information do I need to include on my NOI?
The NOI form will guide you through the questions necessary for your department head to consider and approve your External Professional Activity for Pay (EPAP). Generally, you must inform your supervisor of:
- The name and address of the entity with whom you will be working
- Description of the work you will be conducting
- Begin and end dates of the work activity
- Any missed university responsibilities and arrangements you have made to cover for them, if applicable. For example, if you are scheduled to teach on the day of your EPAP, then prior to submitting the notice of intent, you must outline a reasonable arrangement to cover the missed class (such as identifying a post-doc or senior graduate student to handle the class that day).
- Any use of university resources. Nothing more than incidental use of your office space and your personal computer are generally allowable uses of university resources without a separate facilities use agreement form.
- Any conflict(s) of interest to review as a result of your EPAP, including Intellectual Property (IP) disclosure
If I intend to engage in an EPAP, do I need to update my COI disclosure?
Yes; once your NOI has been approved by your Department Head, you should update your COI disclosure accordingly within 30 days of the commencement of the EPAP. For advice on COI policies and procedures, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919.513.8141.
Can I have a TSA with a firm with which I am engaged in an EPAP?
Technically, no. The rules governing a Testing and Services Agreement (TSA) clearly state the TSA is appropriate for work performed and where:
- “such efforts will not have any research component.”
- individuals involved “shall not work as a consultant for the same client during the term of any services agreement or for the purpose [of] creating the client’s protocol or interpreting or analyzing the data delivered without an approved conflict of interest management plan. Mitigation of such situations shall be handled under the university’s conflict of interest policy and with the use of an appropriate management plan developed by the individual and approved by the department head and dean of the college.”
Please see the Office of General Counsel’s Consulting FAQ for more information.
May I consult with a company for which my lab is performing services under a TSA?
Generally not. TSAs are designed for use in cases where there is no research component. If a university employee (whether acting as a consultant or on behalf of the university) provides an analysis of results or interpretation of data, the project becomes research and should be contracted with the university pursuant to a sponsored research agreement. University guidelines for TSAs prohibit consulting by individuals who also supervise staff/students performing the tests, determine use rates, or administer the contract TSA on behalf of the university (See Guidelines for Testing Service Agreement (TSA) Activities). Furthermore, such consulting may be in violation of state law, which prohibits employees from benefiting from public contracts (See N.C.G.S. 14-234 (a)(1)).
In general, it does not appear possible to “firewall” your EPAP engagement with a firm that is conducting business with a service center in which you are a principal (director, employee, participant, student, or other affiliation). Cases should be reviewed by the department head and dean on an individual basis.