Florida Atlantic University (FAU) has a long history of successful collaboration with foreign research organizations and supports and encourages international research, collaboration, and scholarship, which contribute to the mission of the University.
In recent months, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other U.S. federal agencies (NSF, DOD, and DOE) that support university research have demonstrated concern over foreign influence and have issued guidance to universities to ensure transparency on financial support received from all foreign entities.
The first line of defense is full and accurate reporting of all foreign relationships by U.S. university researchers to their institution.This disclosure includes support/funding received through contracts and grants through FAU or consultant, visiting scholar, lecturer or similar non-FAU appointment. For faculty on nine-month appointments, this requirement includes applicable funds received from a non-FAU foreign entity for activities over the summer months.
An issue of special concern is participation by U.S. universities in foreign talent programs, such as China’s Thousand Talents Program, which the Pentagon has identified as an effort "to facilitate the legal and illicit transfer of U.S. technology, intellectual property and know-how" to China.
The Division of Research is establishing a committee to focus on foreign influence/threats, review current policies and procedures to ensure compliance and develop an implementation plan for FAU. Members of this committee will represent different interest groups across the University such as Provost’s office, OIT, HR and faculty researchers. The DOR has created this webpage to provide pertinent information and the federal agencies’ notices. DOR will also be scheduling Town Hall meetings to further distribute information and guidance related to this essential topic.
All federal agencies are taking this issue very seriously. The best advice at this point is to be sure to disclose any and all activities that involve a foreign entity. Thank you for giving your full attention to the critically important issue of preventing foreign exploitation of U.S. research discoveries. Stay tuned for additional resources and information.
Where to get help: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 561-297-0777
Updated July 10, 2019: "Reminders of NIH Policies on Other Support and on Policies related to Financial Conflicts of Interest and Foreign Components:" https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-19-114.html
NIH asks inspector general to investigate 12 allegations of foreign influence in U.S. research: https://www.statnews.com/2019/02/07/nih-inspector-general-allegations-foreign-influence/
March 30, 2018 Letter from NIH to research institutions regarding disclosure of foreign financial interests: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-18-160.html
Aug. 20, 2018 Letter from NIH to research institutions regarding increased disclosure: https://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/media/NIH%20Foreign%20Influence%20Letter%20to%20Grantees%2008-20-18.pdf
Sen. Chuck Grassley’s letter to NIH, Oct. 24, 2018: https://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/news-releases/chairman-grassley-seeks-transparency-nih-foreign-threats-research-grant-process
NIH response letter to Sen. Grassley, Dec. 21, 2018: https://www.grassley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/constituents/FR01%20WF%20376670%20Final%20Response.signed_0.pdf
Sen. Grassley’s response letter to NIH, Jan. 8, 2019: https://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/news-releases/grassley-receives-response-nih-foreign-threats-research-grant-process
Senate Committee on Finance: "Grassley Probes Foreign Threats to Taxpayer-Funded Research at Defense Department," April 2, 2019: https://www.finance.senate.gov/chairmans-news/grassley-probes-foreign-threats-to-taxpayer-funded-research-at-defense-department
Senate Committee on Finance letter from Chuck Grassley to NSF Director France A. Córdova, April 15, 2019 https://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2019-04-15%20CEG%20to%20NSF%20(research%20threats)1.pdf
July 11, 2019: Research protection letter from NSF Director France A. Córdova https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2019/nsf19200/research_protection.jsp
June 7, 2019: DOE Directive regarding Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs: https://www.directives.doe.gov/directives-documents/400-series/0486-1-border/@@images/file
March 20, 2019: DOD memorandum on Actions for the Protection of lntellectual Property, Controlled Information, Key Personnel and Critical Technologies https://www.rsp.wisc.edu/foreign-influence/dod_memo.pdf
Jan. 31, 2019: DOE Policy on Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs https://www.aip.org/sites/default/files/aipcorp/images/fyi/pdf/DOE-memo-on-foreign-I-talent-recruitment-programs.pdf
FBI Report on the risks to academia (PDF): https://www.research.psu.edu/node/3528
NIH presentation on Foreign Influences on Research Integrity (PDF): https://acd.od.nih.gov/documents/presentations/12132018ForeignInfluences.pdf
NSF Statement on security and science dated Oct. 23, 2018: https://www.nsf.gov/nsb/publications/2018/NSB-2018-42-statement-on-security-and-science.pdf
NIH Definition of Foreign Component: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/glossary.htm#ForeignComponent
NIH Definition of Other Support https://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/othersupport.htm
NIH Application Instructions (Foreign Components mentioned on page 66): https://grants.nih.gov/grants/how-to-apply-application-guide/forms-e/general-forms-e.pdf
NIH Guidance on Investigator Disclosures of Foreign Financial Interest: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-18-160.html
H.R. 5515 Sec. 1286: National Defense Authorization Act's initiative to protect researchers from undue influence and security threats: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5515/text?utm_medium=email&utm_source=FYI&dm_i=1ZJN,649EP,E29DCT,O1IA5,1#toc-HF98AABB1E47F407A86D0E399DD9C0FDB