This page aims to provide answers to common questions about Notice of Intent (NOI) regulations and engaging in an External Professional Activity for Pay (EPAP) while employed at NC State University.

If you have questions about how to fill out an NOI form or have encountered an error within the NOI system, please visit the Notice of Intent (NOI) System Help page for more information and assistance.

For questions about consulting, please visit the Consulting FAQs page.

If you are looking for a link to the NOI system, you may access it via this direct link to the NOI system or by going to the SPARCS website, hovering your mouse over the Systems Portal heading, and clicking “NOI.”

An External Professional Activity for Pay (EPAP):

  1. Is not included within one’s primary or secondary University employment duties
  2. Is performed for any entity, public or private, other than the University
  3. Is undertaken for compensation
  4. 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 EPAPs include, but are not limited to:

  • Consulting
  • 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

Any faculty member or EHRA professional staff member who is planning to engage in an External Professional Activity for Pay (EPAP).

There is a $0 threshold for reporting EPAP, so ALL EPAPs must be reported.

NOTE: 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.

An NOI form must be completed at least ten days prior to the commencement of an External Professional Activity for Pay.

NOTE: The NOI reporting period runs from August 16th to August 15th of each year. If an EPAP runs continually from one reporting period to the next, a new NOI form must be submitted to cover the new reporting period. For example, if you reported an EPAP in the 2018-2019 academic year (i.e. August 16, 2018, through August 15, 2019), then you must complete a new NOI form to cover any time worked AFTER August 15, 2019.

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 (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.

The NOI system 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 the entity you propose to engage in external professional activities for pay is also involved in a business relationship with the University (such as sponsored research or providing goods and services), and you have a possible role in selecting or supervising one or more individuals who select the entity’s sponsored research funds, goods and services, etc., you must also update your Conflict of Interest (COI) disclosure prior to submitting your NOI form or certify that your current COI disclosure is complete and up to date. For advice on Conflict of Interest policies and procedures, please email Jill Dale at or call (919) 513-8141.

Technically, no. The rules governing TSAs 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 clients 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.

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.

If you have any questions about NOI and/or EPAP that were not answered above, please email Jill Dale at or call (919) 513-8141.

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