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New NIH Guidance on Reporting International Relationships

Published July 22, 2020

The NIH continues to be concerned on possible inappropriate influence by foreign governments over federally funded research, and investigations into researchers remain ongoing. A Science Magazine article published on June 12, 2020, reported the investigations have led to serious consequences; 54 scientists across the U.S. have resigned or been fired as a result of failures to disclose financial ties to foreign entities, some have been charged criminally. The investigations targeted 189 researchers at 87 institutions, and some are still ongoing.

During this time, NIH Program Officers continued to closely review and ask for clarifying information on researcher’s affiliations with foreign institutions when reviewing applications for funding.

The NIH recently created a new website to provide additional clarity on what actions NIH, institutions, and researchers can take to protect data and innovations. The guidance provides examples of what activities need to be disclosed in grant applications, RPPRs, JITs, and which activities should be reviewed by the institution for potential financial conflicts of interest.

Of critical importance is remaining fully transparent with funding agencies by disclosing appropriately in all funding applications, and during the lifecycle of an award. WashU continues to update a website dedicated to the disclosure and reporting requirements for international research partnerships and collaborations that includes best practices, FAQs, and additional resources.

Please share this information with your faculty and staff who may need this information.

Contacts for Questions

For funding application reporting requirements (e.g. biosketch and other support):
Office of Sponsored Research Services

For financial disclosure/conflict of interest reporting requirements to the University:
askCOI Team

For any questions pertaining to foreign relationships and agencies requirements, continue to contact:

Jeneane Braden
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Integrity and Ethics

Joseph M. Gindhart
Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Sponsored Projects