Agency-Specific Foreign Influence Disclosure Guidance
Government agencies have identified foreign interests and activities that require disclosure to federal agencies when proposing to or participating in federally sponsored research. The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) provided guidance regarding government-wide foreign interest and activity disclosure requirements in accordance with National Security Presidential Memorandum (NSPM) 33: Presidential Memorandum on United States Government-Supported Research and National Security.
The below guidance is current as of Jan. 30, 2023.
What do researchers disclose?
The NSF publishes a reference table with essential information regarding pre-award and post-award disclosure information in the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support proposal sections.
The table identifies where these disclosures must be provided in proposals as well as in project reports. View the most current table on the NSF Pre- and Post-Award Table website.
How and when do researchers disclose?
- Use NSF-approved formats for Biographical Sketches and Current and Pending Support.
- Current approved formats: BioSketch and the NSF fillable PDF. The NSF prefers that researchers use SciENcv for biosketches. (Fillable PDFs will not be accepted after October 2023; SciENcv will be required at that time, and soon there will be common Biosketch and Current and Pending (Other) Support forms available.)
- Use the Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources section to report all in-kind contributions that support the research activity.
On the Proposal Cover Page:
- Researchers must select the box “Funding of a Foreign Organization” if the application proposes to fund a foreign organization (including subaward or consultant arrangement).
- For proposals with international activity, researchers must list the countries with which they will engage. International activity includes research, training, and/or education carried out in cooperation with international counterparts either overseas or in the United States using virtual technologies.
Submission of Important Updates:
- If researchers discover that they have Current and Pending Support that was not disclosed at proposal submission, they must report the oversight to the Office of Sponsored Programs immediately. The OSP has 30 days to report the oversight to the NSF.
- Researchers must indicate changes in Active Other Support since proposal submission or the last reporting period in their annual and final project report.
Include in Post-award Project Reports:
- Any new projects and in-kind contributions not intended for use on the project but having a time commitment.
- Postdoctoral scholars, students, or visiting scholars who are supported by an external entity (whose research activities are not intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed to NSF) and have an associated time commitment.
- Consulting activities that are not permitted by an individual’s appointment and not permitted by Viginia Tech’s outside activities policy.
- Travel supported by an external entity to perform research activities with an associated time commitment.
- Startup company based on non-organization-licensed IP.
- Startup packages from other than the proposing organization.
What do researchers disclose?
Full transparency in NIH applications and throughout the life of an NIH grant is critical. NIH requires the disclosure of all sources of research support, foreign components, and financial conflicts of interest for senior/key personnel on research applications and awards.
The NIH website includes detailed information and a reference table regarding pre-award and post-award disclosure information in the biographical sketch and other support reports.
The table identifies where these disclosures must be provided in proposals, as well as in post-award project reports. View the most current table on the NIH Requirements for Disclosure of Other Support, Foreign Components and Conflicts of Interest website.
How and when do researchers disclose?
- All positions, scientific appointments, organizational affiliations, and honors must be disclosed using the Biosketch form.
- In the pre-award/proposal stage, researchers must submit Other Support using Just-in-time (JIT) filing.
- Researchers are required to submit copies of agreements specific to senior/key personnel’s foreign appointments and/or employment with a foreign institution for all foreign activities and resources. Upload the documents to the eRA Commons with the JIT information.
- Researchers must disclose whether a portion of a project will be conducted outside of the U.S.
- Foreign components must be disclosed in a proposal as a Foreign Justification attached to the R&R Other Project Information Form.
- Senior key personnel must electronically sign their respective Other Support form prior to submission. The signature certifies that the statements are true, complete, and accurate.
- Immediately notify the Post-award team and NIH of developments that have a significant impact on NIH-supported activitiesObtain NIH prior approval for inclusion of any foreign components to an NIH award.
- Other support occurring post-award must be disclosed using the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) form.
- When a sponsor discovers that a Principal Investigator or other Senior/Key personnel on an active NIH grant failed to disclose Other Support information outside of JIT or the RPPR, the recipient must submit updated Other Support to the Grants Management Specialist named in the Notice of Award as soon as it becomes known.
What do researchers disclose?
- Researchers must disclose team members (including students) participating (paid or unpaid) on a DoE award who are also participating in a Foreign Government-Sponsored Talent Recruitment Program (FGTRP) of a Foreign Country of Risk.
- The list of Foreign Countries of Risk change over time; current countries of risk include China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
- Countries of Risk foreign nationals are subject to enhanced vetting by DoE and may be restricted from accessing technology or information. A foreign national is defined as any person who is not a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization.
All FGTRP and foreign national personnel participating on a DoE project (regardless of position) must be disclosed to the DoE. Participation on the project includes involvement in contracted research, financial agreements, and/or access to Department of Energy sites, information, or technologies.
- Personnel include faculty, post-docs, students, and visiting scholars.
- Disclosure requirements do not apply to dual citizens if one of the citizenships is the United States, but disclosure requirements do apply if personnel are U.S. lawful permanent residents.
- Virginia Tech may request exemption from the prohibition for post-docs and students.
Access to DoE Resources
When a principal investigator adds a foreign national to a project, Virginia Tech must submit to DoE multiple documents for DoE review via Kiteworks. The request must include the following:
- Countries of affiliation
- Identification of the DoE physical sites, information, and/or technologies to be accessed
- Justification for the request, including specific activities or involvement
- Proposed start and end-date of the access request (not to exceed four years), a Curriculum Vitae, a Site Security Plan, and other documentation of immigrant or nonimmigrant status, citizenship, identity, and eligibility to be in and work in the U.S.
Activities to Disclose
- Compensation of any kind, including cash
- Research funding
- Career advancement opportunities
- Promised future compensation
- Remuneration of any kind, including in-kind compensation
- Honoraria for travel (if a foreign country of risk provides majority of sponsorship)
- Honorary titles associated with work for foreign countries of risk.
- Foreign nations working in laboratories must provide a curriculum vitae (CV) that has no lapses for the past 10 years. The CV should include
- Academic background (teaching experience, degrees, research, awards, publications, presentations, and other achievements)
- All employment activities since the age of 18 years, with all of the individual’s science and technology specialties
How and when do researchers disclose?
- All involvement in a Foreign Government-Sponsored Talent Recruitment Program (FGTRP) must be identified in Current and Pending Support. Current, Pending, and Other Support may be provided on SciENcv.
- Researchers must read and sign a faculty agreement confirming that they are not participating in an FGTRP.
- On identification of a FGTR participant, Virginia Tech has 30 days to remove the individual or for the participant to terminate the FGTR relationship. If the individual is not removed, DoE may alter or terminate the funding contract.
- In addition to Current and Pending Support, the DoE sponsor may require disclosure of past support (up to 5 years).
- During the life of the award, any previously submitted disclosures by principal investigators or other senior/key personnel must be kept current.
- Individuals added as principal investigator or other senior/key personnel must submit disclosures within 30 days of the change or on the timeline as directed by the DoE sponsor.
- Viginia Tech must also file reports on a quarterly basis providing the information for each disclosed or otherwise identified activity.
What and when do researchers disclose?
In the proposal, for non-procurement research and research education supported by the Department of Defense (DoD) (e.g., grants, Co-op Agreements), researchers must submit information for all key personnel, whether or not the individuals' efforts under the project are to be funded by DoD.
Proposals should include the following:
- A list of all current projects and any future support the researcher has applied for, regardless of the source.
- Title and objectives of the other research projects.
- The percentage per year to be devoted to the other projects.
- The total amount of support the researcher is receiving for other projects or will receive if other proposals are awarded.
- Name and address of the agencies and/or other parties supporting the other research projects.
- Period of performance for the other research projects.
How do researchers disclose?
Researchers should disclose foreign interest activities in the pre-award/proposal phase.
- Use Standard Form (SF) 424 Research and Related (R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded).
- Make disclosures part of Biographical Sketch or Current and Pending Support.
Disclosures to Virginia Tech
Viginia Tech exercises due diligence to identify foreign components or participation by Senior/Key Personnel in Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs and agrees to share such information with the government upon request.
To comply with DoD and other government agencies, Viginia Tech maintains internal disclosure procedures. Select each link to learn more.
Special DARPA Requirements
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) includes foreign influence disclosure requirements in Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs).
DARPA will evaluate researchers’ biographical sketches and other support documentation to evaluate the foreign influence risk across four risk factors:
- Past or present participation with a strategic competitor or countries with a history of targeting U.S. technologies.
- Past or present affiliation with an entity on the U.S identified-denied-entity-or-person list or similar issuances.
- Past or present direct funding from a strategic competitor or countries with a history of targeting U.S. technologies.
- Past or present affiliation with a high risk foreign institution.
If during a project subject to BAA conditions, Virginia Tech learns information that affects DARPA risk assessment, Viginia Tech must notify the Government Contracting Officer or Agreements Officer within five business days.
To assist researchers in determining whether or not their foreign interest or activity is subject to DARPA's risk evaluation, DARPA provides more information about what must be disclosed on the Risk-Based Measures to Assess Potential Undue Foreign Influence Conflicts of Interest or Conflicts of Commitment table.
What is prohibited and allowed?
According to federal law, researchers may be ineligible for funding if their on-going or proposed work involves bilateral activity with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) or PRC-owned companies or entities. PRC-owned company indicates any company owned by the PRC or any company incorporated under the laws of the PRC. Chinese universities and other similar institutions are considered to be incorporated under the laws of the PRC; therefore, the funding restrictions apply to grants and cooperative agreements that include bilateral participation, collaboration, or coordination with Chinese universities. See NASA funding FAQs for more information.
- PRC students and student interns from PRC institutions of higher education on a J-1 visa
- Visiting scholars from PRC institutions of higher education
- Adjunct faculty from PRC institutions of higher education
- Viginia Tech faculty, staff, post doctoral candidates, and students (regardless of nationality) having bilateral participation, collaboration, or coordination with businesses and entities of the PRC. Note: NASA considers all Chinese institutions of higher learning to be entities of the PRC.
So long as they do not engage in bilateral participation, collaboration, or coordination with institutions of the PRC (e.g., universities) or Chinese-owned companies, whether funded or performed under a no exchange of funds arrangement, the following Virginia Tech PRC citizens are not prohibited from receiving NASA funding or participating in NASA-sponsored projects:
- Students with PRC citizenship in the US on an F-1 visa
- Postdoctoral candidates and research faculty with PRC citizenship in the US on an H1-B visa
- Faculty, staff, and students with PRC citizenship who are also US resident aliens
Prohibited Bilateral Activities
- Attending conferences in PRC
- Publishing papers that include authors from only the USA and PRC
- Data sharing agreements with PRC organizations
- Reviewing manuscripts from PRC journals
- General scientific discussions with PRC researchers
- Participating in research funded by non-NASA sponsors that involve scientists affiliated with PRC institutions
- Attending multilateral, widely-attended conferences in PRC
- Publishing papers that include authors from USA, PRC, and other countries
- Reviewing journal manuscripts not from PRC, even if they include authors from PRC
- Using PRC data that is publicly available
When submitting a proposal, Viginia Tech is required to make the following assertion in the contract:
"By submission of its proposal, the proposer represents that the proposer is not China or a Chinese-owned company, and that the proposer will not participate, collaborate, or coordinate bilaterally with China or any Chinese-owned company, at the prime recipient level or at any subrecipient level, whether the bilateral involvement is funded or performed under a no-exchange of funds arrangement."