Michigan Tech is committed to supporting international collaborations and partnerships as an important and necessary component of the research enterprise. While the University encourages international collaborations, it is also important to remain vigilant in protecting the security of the research enterprise. The U.S. Government has expressed serious concern regarding violations, and the threat of potential violations, of federal law and / or funding agency policies through activities conducted by federally funded researchers and / or their relationships with some foreign entities and individuals. Collaborations and relationships with high-risk entities or individuals, including some foreign governments, may violate the principles of national security or scientific integrity. These risks drive the need for policy and guidance.
It is Michigan Tech’s policy that all individuals involved in research at Michigan Tech, including faculty, staff, and students, conduct their research-related activities and transactions in accordance with research-sponsor requirements, federal and state laws and regulations, and University policies and procedures. This policy supports Michigan Tech’s research security principles and describes the responsibilities of the University and its researchers in the identification and management of interactions and engagements with restricted parties.
Restricted Parties are entities or individuals considered to be of heightened concern or high-risk with respect to U.S. national security interests. There are various lists and tools available (for the screening and identification of Restricted Parties) many of which are established and maintained by the U.S. Government. Interaction with any Restricted Party may require additional export licenses and permits, for example, for information and items that are designated as EAR99, and as such, not listed on the Bureau of Industry and Security Commerce Control List (CCL). A careful review of any proposed transaction or activity with any Restricted Party is warranted.
Restricted Parties Screening
Restricted Party screening to identify restricted or high-risk entities and individuals is conducted by the University’s Export Control Office and other administrative offices. The screening must be conducted for the following (prior to the initiation of research-related activities or transactions):
- Individuals and their current and past institutional affiliations; this includes both:
- visiting scholars, and
- graduate students involved in, whether paid or unpaid, sponsored research activities subject to a foreign national restriction,
- Foreign entities (includes institutions, companies, individuals) entering into contracts or agreements,
- Foreign entities sharing or receiving technology,
- Export-controlled purchases from foreign entities, and
- Others, as otherwise required by law or University policy.
For activities conducted according to University requirements for notification and approval, Restricted Party screening is performed as a part of the approval process for the listed activities/transactions. If desired, faculty, researchers, and staff may perform a restricted party screening pre-check early in their research planning by utilizing the Restricted Party lists and tools or may contact the Export Control Office to request a screening.
Entities and Individuals Identified as Restricted Parties
If screening results in the identification of a Restricted Party, the proposed interaction is either denied or will require further evaluation.
It is Michigan Tech’s policy to deny interaction with entities or individuals on the Denied Persons List or with members of the Seven Sons of National Defense Universities. As of June 2021, the Seven Sons of National Defense Universities are:
- Beihang University,
- Beijing Institute of Technology,
- Harbin Engineering University,
- Harbin Institute of Technology,
- Nanjing University of Science and Technology,
- Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and
- Northwestern Polytechnical University.
It is also Michigan Tech’s policy that an evaluation will be performed on a case-by-case basis for any proposed interactions with entities or individuals on any of the following lists:
- U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List,
- Export Administration Regulations Unverified List,
- Australian Strategic Policies China Defence Universities Tracker,
- Center for Security and Emerging Technology Chinese Talent Program Tracker,
- Any other lists issued by the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce or Treasury, or any relevant federal entity.
Permitted interactions will be determined by the Export Control and the Associate Vice President for Research Administration offices, with input from the Vice President for Research, Chief Information Security Office, and Legal Counsel, as appropriate.
Requests for Reconsideration
Requests for reconsideration of a determination can be made to the Associate Vice President for Research Administration based on additional or new information obtained after the initial review. The request must be submitted by email within five (5) University business days of the initial determination and include a detailed description of the additional or new information. The request will be reviewed by the Associate Vice President for Research Administration and Facility Security Officer, with input from the others, as appropriate. A written response via email will be sent within a time frame that allows for a thorough analysis of all available information and also accounts for time sensitive issues identified in the request for reconsideration.
Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Program (FGTRP)
Based on the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy's National Security Presidential Memorandum 33 (NSPM-33), a foreign/international talent recruitment program (FGTRP) is an effort organized, managed, or funded by a foreign government, or a foreign government instrumentality or entity, to recruit science and technology professionals or students (regardless of citizenship, national origin, or full-/part-time status).
FGTRPs raise U.S. sponsor concerns when they appear to operate with the intent of acquiring proprietary technology or software, unpublished data and methods, or other intellectual assets to further the military and/or economic goals of a foreign government through actions including, but not limited to:
- Incentivizing/compensating the FGTRP participant to relocate physically to a foreign country in order to import/acquire the proprietary technology, software, etc.;
- Allowing for or encouraging the FGTRP participant to receive U.S. Federal research funds while concurrently working at and/or receiving compensation from a foreign institution for the same, or similar, work;
- Directing FGTRP participants not to disclose their participation to United States entities;
- Compelling FGTRP participants to enter into contracts that conflict with their responsibilities to, or that are disallowed by Michigan Tech.
Compensation may include cash, research funding provided directly to the individual and not through U-M, access to research facilities or other in-kind support, honorific titles, career advancement opportunities, promised future compensation, or other types of remuneration/consideration.
Michigan Tech researchers are advised that participation in an FGTRP must be disclosed to the university by contact Ramona Englund, and to federal sponsors in Biosketches and Current & Pending/Other Support, as applicable.
Federal governments consider this disclosure in determining funding. Failure to disclose participation in an FGTRP has resulted in legal action by the U.S. government against researchers who are engaged in federally-sponsored research.
Restricted Party Lists/Tools
There are multiple public lists/tools available to conduct restricted party screening, and include but are not limited to:
The Denied Persons List is a list of high-risk individuals and entities that have been denied export privileges by the U.S. Government.
The U.S. Government describes the ‘Seven Sons of National Defense’ as a group of leading Chinese universities with deep roots in the military and defense industry. The universities are all subordinate to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which oversees China’s defense industry through its subordinate agency, State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND).
The Entity List identifies foreign parties that are prohibited from receiving any items subject to the EAR unless the exporter (Michigan Tech) secures a license. Parties on this list have been identified by the U.S. Government as presenting a greater risk of diversion of certain items contrary to U.S. national security and/or foreign policy interests.
The Unverified List is a list of parties that have not cooperated with the U.S. Government during post-shipment verification checks. The presence of a party on the Unverified List in a transaction is a “red flag” that must be resolved by the University before proceeding with the transaction.
The China Defence Universities Tracker is a tool to inform universities, governments and scholars as they engage with the entities from the People’s Republic of China. Research for this tool focused on institutions for their military links, security links, or known connection to human rights abuses or espionage.
The Chinese Talent Program Tracker is a catalog of Chinese Party-State-sponsored initiatives aimed at cultivating China’s domestic talent pool in support of China's strategic civilian and military goals. It resulted from analysis of primary Chinese sources publicly available on PRC ministry and government websites, state-owned media sources, and Chinese university websites. It is not meant to provide a comprehensive assessment of individual talent programs. Rather, it aims to make this information more accessible to the general public so they can have a better understanding of the depth and breadth of China’s talent initiatives.
Department of Defense
- DoD Policy: Countering Unwanted Foreign Influence in Department-Funded Research at
Institutions of Higher Education
- Beginning August 2024, no award will be made where a "covered individual" is part of a foreign talent program (as defined in the CHIPS and Science Act). Page 10 contains a table titled "Decision Matrix to Inform Fundamental Research Proposal Mitigation Decisions Factors for Assessing a Covered Individuals Associations, Affiliations, Collaborations, Funding, and the Policies of the Proposing Institution that Employs the Covered Individual".
Adopted: 9/21/2021. Approved by Vice President for Research