Recently, the U.S. government has shown serious concerns about undue foreign influence, which has become a science and security concern over the past few years . These inappropriate influences by foreign entities seeking to influence researchers have been targeting federally funded research. At the top of these concerns is the failure of federally-funded researchers at U.S. institutions to disclose their relationships and activities with foreign institutions and foreign funding agencies . As such, several Federal agencies have indicated that the failure to disclose foreign relationships and activities may jeopardize the institution's eligibility for future funding [3-8].
While we encourage partnerships and collaborations beyond Fayetteville State University and the UNC system, to include national and international collaboration, we would like to encourage all of you to consider full transparency and attend the Export-Control and Foreign Influence-Science and Security workshops offered by the staff of the Research and Technology Transfer Office (RTTO) and the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs (OSRP) at Fayetteville State University.
The RTTO and the OSRP have been and continue to provide regular briefings on proposal development and export control. These briefings include information on undue foreign influence, which has recently been referred to as "Foreign Influence/Science & Security".
We encourage you contact FSU-OSRP at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a face-to-face briefing or send an email to OSRP@uncfsu.edu and request the schedule for upcoming training. Alternatively, you may check the calendar at the Office of Faculty Development to sign up for a briefing.
The best action to take is to disclose foreign relationsips and activities. While most international collaborations are perfectly acceptable, faculty and staff are urged to err on the side of transparency.
§ Foreign components of federally funded research should be disclosed on proposals, progress reports, and final technical reports.
· ID Foreign component
· ID foreign site for performing research
· ID all foreign relationships, as PI, Co-I., as your Co-authors
· ID foreign financial resources, even if they relate to work that is performed outside of a researcher's appointment period.
§ Faculty and staff should ensure they disclose all applicable "Other Support" as required by federal sponsors.
§ Significant financial interests received from any foreign entity, including governments and universities, must be disclosed.
§ Disclose all foreign consulting and other outside business activities.
Also, we strongly recommend full disclosure and transparency of all support, financial or in-kind by foreign entities during the conduct of research, conference attendance, invitations, keynote speaking, gifts, foreign consulting, and business partnerships with any foreign entities by updating your conflict of interest and conflict of commitment form with such information as a potential conflict.
These actions protect everyone's interests - the Federal government, FSU, individual researchers, and their international collaborators all need to have international relationships disclosed and vetted to determine if there are any potential conflicts of commitment, duplications of research, and/or diversion of intellectual property in the performance of federally funded research.
In extreme cases, failure to disclose all relationships could result in the termination of funding for a project and potential ineligibility for future funding. Noncompliance can also threaten not only the funding for individual projects, but overall funding for the University and from federal appropriations.
Schedule of trainings that we recommend you immediately and regularly attend:
- Proposal Writing and Compliance
- IRB Compliance and App;ication Filing
- Export Control and Undue Foreign Influence
- FBI Urges Universities To Monitor Some Chinese Students And Scholars In The U.S. https://www.npr.org/2019/06/28/728659124/fbi-urges-universities-to-monitor-some-chinese-students-and-scholars-in-the-u-s
- America's universities are finally waking up to the China threat, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/americas-universities-are-finally-waking-up-to-the-china-threat/2019/04/04/1b21e616-5716-11e9-9136-f8e636f1f6df_story.html
- 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
- Frequently Asked Questions - Other Support and Foreign Components https://grants.nih.gov/grants/faq-other-support-foreign-components.htm
- NIH Grants Policy Statement https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps/HTML5/section_8/8.1.2_prior_approval_requirements.htm?Highlight=prior%20approval
- The Department of Defense (DoD) issued a memo on March 20, 2019, outlining disclosure requirements for all key personnel listed on DoD-funded financial assistance agreements. (OUSD Research Protection Memo)
- The National Science Foundation issued a Dear Colleague Letter on July 11, 2019, outlining its plans to "address emerging risks to the nation's science and engineering enterprise." - NSF- Research Protection.
- Preventing Chinese espionage at America's universities, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/josh-rogin/wp/2018/05/22/preventing-chinese-espionage-at-americas-universities/