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Please keep in mind that submission of a Request for External Activity Approval form does not satisfy the requirement to submit an eLAS time off request.

UAB is committed to conducting its activities in ways that promote and maintain public trust.  To this end, UAB faculty and staff are required to adhere to the standards set forth in the UAB Enterprise Conflict of Interest Conflict of Commitment Policy opens a new website, which establishes requirements for seeking advance approval of external activities.

Requirements for requesting approval of external activities under the policy are satisfied at one form location on the UAB Electronic Forms opens a new website website. See below for specific instructions for completing the Request for External Activity Approval Form.

FAQs and Resources

  • Submitting a Request for External Activity Approval Form
    1. Click on UAB Forms and login with your BlazerID and password. You can also access UAB Forms by navigating to UAB Administrative Systems and selecting the UAB Forms button. Access is only available via on-campus network or UABSecureAccess VPN.
    2. Click "Conflict of Interest and Commitment Forms Suite" on the left menu.
    3. Complete the form questions. Provide as much information as needed for reviewers to make an informed judgment as to whether the external activity meets institutional standards, including “when” you plan to perform the work – whether during evenings, on weekends, rearranging UAB work for external activities days, or on vacation – so that reviewers can anticipate whether or not an eLAS time off request should also be submitted.
    4. If you recognize you need more details about your external activity prior to submitting the form, the “Save Form” button on the left of the screen can be utilized. You can come back to it on the “Submitted Forms” tab on the UAB Electronic Forms website.
    5. Once full and complete, click “Submit” at the bottom of the form. While you are required to obtain approval in advance of your external activity, UAB encourages full transparency, and the electronic form does allow for after-the-fact submissions. You will be expected to describe why the form was not submitted timely. In some circumstances, there may be consequences for non-compliance, particularly if the information was needed by the CIRB for purposes of managing conflicts of interest in research. Remember, obtaining approval in advance of your activity protects you and UAB.
  • Professional Public Service Activities

    Professional public service activities are specifically defined in the UAB Enterprise Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment opens a new website policy and follow the exceptions for conflicts of interest outlined in the federal research regulations. They are activities that are performed for external entities but are considered to be part of an employee’s institutional responsibilities or academic appointment. Professional public service activities may or may not be separately compensated. Typically, outside organizations offer no more than reimbursement of lodging and travel expenses, a minor token of appreciation, or small honorarium to recognize the work performed. As a general rule of thumb, the greater the compensation, the less likely the activity is to be categorized as a professional public service activity.

    It is important to categorize activities properly so that employees and reviewers can identify appropriate treatment. Generally, professional public service activities do not require advance approval by supervisors; however, your school may have stricter requirements for approval of professional public service activities, so check with your dean’s level reviewer. If you are unsure as to how an activity is best categorized, err on the side of external activity and seek approval prior to performing the services.

    Employees must:

    In addition, investigators and institutional officials must:

    • Submit a Notice of Professional Public Service Activity opens a new website form for any resulting financial interest (which includes sponsored or reimbursed travel) exceeding $5,000 acquired from any one entity in the previous 12 months for their participation in professional public service activities;
      • Exception: investigators and institutional officials do not have to submit such form for such financial interest if the financial interest is acquired in return for providing seminars, lectures, presentations, or service on advisory committees or review panels for U.S. federal, state, or local government agencies, U.S. institutions of higher education as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001(a), U.S. academic teaching hospitals, U.S. medical centers, or U.S. research institutes that are affiliated with a U.S. institution of higher education; and
    • Submit a Notice of Professional Public Service Activity opens a new website form for any financial interest in any amount received from a foreign person or entity (governmental, non-profit, for-profit, etc.).

    For example, if you are invited as a guest lecturer to talk about your scholarship and the University of Hawaii pays for your travel expenses (presumably a value greater than $5,000), you will need to submit a Notice of Professional Public Service Activity.

    As part of one's institutional responsibilities or academic appointment, time away from UAB work to perform professional public service activities generally qualifies for professional leave.

  • Information Maintained in the UAB Forms Database

    Information submitted through Request for External Activity Approval forms is stored within a searchable database. Reviewers have access to data related to employees within the orgs for which they have authority. If a department chair or dean has delegated review to an administrator and is not listed simultaneously as a reviewer, the chair or dean will not have access to the database and will have to work through the delegate to obtain information.

    Reports show an employee’s total portfolio of external activity request forms. If reviewers have questions or concerns about the cumulative amount of time spent engaged in external activities, not simply for one activity at a time, this information may be helpful to address potential conflicts of commitment. For information on accessing the database and running reports, see Training/FAQ UAB Forms (pdf) opens a new website and UAB Electronic Forms Dashboard General Guide (pdf) opens a new website for more information.

  • Additional Information

    The following links provide supplemental guidance for UAB employees and their supervisors on various special circumstances surrounding external activities. For more general FAQs, including those specifically about the forms processes, see FAQs for UAB Electronic Disclosure Form (pdf) opens a new website and Training/FAQ UAB Forms (pdf) opens a new website for more information.

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