Research

Foreign Influence on Research Activities

Overview

The U.S. Government has expressed serious concerns regarding inappropriate influence by foreign entities over federally funded research. Several federal agencies have indicated that failure to disclose foreign relationships and activities may jeopardize eligibility for future funding.

Michigan Tech and all other US educational institutions must comply with federal reporting and disclosure requirements. Michigan Tech’s Conflict of Interest Policy (Board of Trustees Policy 4.7 Conflict of Interest Policy) and Procedures (Faculty Handbook Appendix B) require the disclosure of activities that may create a financial conflict of interest or more generally a conflict of commitment, whether compensated or not, to your immediate supervisor and, under some conditions, to the Conflict of Interest Coordinator. These activities must also occasionally be disclosed to comply with federal guidelines; the NIH Grants Policy Statement requires such disclosure on all applications and progress reports, and the National Science Foundation requires disclosure on the Current and Pending support documents accompanying proposals.

Any external support or engagement that you would acknowledge in a presentation or publication must generally be disclosed in funding applications and through the University Conflict of Interest Procedures. It is critical for all members of the campus community to be transparent, particularly with respect to any affiliations with foreign entities. Your disclosure is required by University policy and procedures and for the University to be in compliance with federal guidelines. Only through disclosure can the University advise, assist, and protect you and the integrity of your scholarly activities.

If you have any questions regarding federal regulations or internal Conflict of Interest Procedures please contact Jim Baker, Associate Vice President for Research Administration at 487‐2226.

Additional Information

Foreign Influence Letter to the Michigan Tech Campus

Reminders of NIH Policies on Other Support and on Policies related to Financial Conflicts of Interest and Foreign Components

NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Research Protection

Executive Office of the President: Letter to the United States Research Community

U.S. Department of Energy: Department of Energy Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs

U.S. Department of Energy International Science and Technology Engagement Policy

The Under Secretary of Defense: Letter for Universities

Office of Private Sector - 2019 FBI Academia Summit on October 10, 2019

In The News

3/9/20:  Safeguarding Research on Campuses Against Foreign Threats (Inside Higher Ed) 
There's an urgent need for increasing and maintaining good security policies and practices, writes Ted Mitchell (President of the American Council on Education) who recommends some immediate actions to take….Sobering warnings have been delivered to the U.S. higher education community over the past several years by national security and law enforcement officials about the threats to campuses from some foreign governments, notably China, seeking to influence, interfere and, in some cases, steal scientific research and intellectual property. 

2/27/20:  University of Tennessee researcher arrested, charged with wire fraud, making false statements about relationship with Chinese university (WBIR) 
Anming Hu was booked into the Blount County jail after federal authorities allege he illegally worked with a Chinese university while also doing UT projects.  

2/19/20: Harvard Professor's Arrest Raises Questions About Scientific Openness (NPR) 
"This is a big, big case," says Frank Wu, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law who tracks Chinese espionage cases. "This is a case that's all about U.S.-China relations. It's about competition. It's about how science should be done." 

2/10/20:  In Wake of Lieber Arrest, Dean of Science Says FAS ‘Limited’ In Its Ability to Track Unauthorized Research Activity (Harvard Crimson)