Outside Appointments and Conflict of Interest Policy

Conflict of Interest Policy

The University’s Conflict of Interest policy requires all staff, students, and others working at the university to recognise and disclose activities that might give rise to actual or perceived conflicts of interest. Please ensure that you are familiar with the requirements of the policy.  

The policy, including a useful summary leaflet covering the key points, is available on the University's Conflict of Interest website.

A conflict can occur when your university duties compete with your personal interests or your duties to other people or organisations. Actual or perceived conflicts can arise from external activities that are undertaken in addition to your university role, personal relationships, or conflicting roles within the collegiate university. They can be financial, non-financial or both.

If you have any queries, please contact Dr Jocasta Gardner.

Approval for outside appointments

All academic and academic-related employees and emeriti, who are actively engaged in research, or who hold University appointments (and holders of Visitor Agreements of durations over 3months) must complete a separate OA1 form each time they wish to gain approval for any potential income-earning or financial interest which may involve a conflict of interest with an individual’s University role, as well as for holding an outside appointment.

In addition, a conflict of interest management plan may have to be agreed with the Head of Department.

The OA1 form and the full University policy (in line with Council Regulations 5 of 2004) are available here:

https://hr.admin.ox.ac.uk/holding-outside-appointments

All forms should be submitted to Sally Mullins for Head of Department approval.

Departmental Guidance on Outside Appointments

An individual OA1 form is required for each new activity, or for continuing an activity for which the past approval has expired. Please note that Part 5 of the OA1 form is for listing activities which have been approved previously; the main point of this section is to check whether the total amount of approved activity exceeds 30 days per year (it is NOT for listing multiple new activities).

In the case of an activity with no end date, approval will not usually be given for more than 3 years. Activities approved for multiple years do not need to be renewed within that period.

If you are not sure of the approval dates received for an ongoing activity, please check with Brenda Willoughby or submit a new OA1 form.

Please note that an OA1 form is not required for appointments which are considered to be standard academic activities. The following examples are intended as illustrations to clarify what does, and does not, require an OA1 form.

Requiring an OA1 form:

  • Being a college Stipendiary Lecturer
  • Being an Editor-in-Chief of a journal if there is a significant time commitment and/or payment
  • Serving on an ERC panel requiring more than 5 days effort

Not requiring an OA1 form:

  • Being a college Non-stipendiary Lecturer
  • Giving a colloquium lecture for which an honorarium is received
  • Being an external examiner at another university
  • Being a reviewer for another university (e.g. REF preparations, Athena Swan submission, departmental review) if no more than 2 days effort
  • Serving on an appointment panel for another university
  • Reviewing journal articles or being an Associate Editor
  • Reviewing EPSRC proposals, or serving on an EPSRC panel
  • Being on a scholarship selection committee requiring no more than 2 days effort per year

If you are unsure if an OA1 form is required, please discuss with the HoD or HAF, noting that the level of time commitment and remuneration will be key factors.

Nil Returns

Using an OA2 form, academic members of staff are requested to submit a nil return each October, if appropriate, to confirm that no outside appointments have been held in the past academic year.