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Undue Foreign Influence Overview

Certain agreements and activities between university faculty members and various foreign universities and institutions may have a negative impact on federal funding decisions for individual researchers. Of particular concern are the cases where researchers are not disclosing these relationships and activities to their university or to U.S. federal sponsors of their work. The recent message from the funding agencies is clear: investigators and their universities must completely disclose all international activities to their sponsors.

Prior to accepting any affiliation with another institution that requires a commitment of time or resources, and irrespective of whether the affiliation is compensated or not, UF employees must disclose the activity to the University and receive approval. This includes participation in foreign talent recruitment programs or other affiliations/appointments at another institution.

Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs

As part of the national discussion of inappropriate foreign influence on U.S. research, many federal sponsors, including NIH and NSF, have cited foreign talent recruitment programs as posing a particular threat to the U.S. research community. Participation in foreign government talent recruitment programs (FGTRP) often involves academic or research affiliations with foreign institutions, financial or other in-kind support for a U.S. researcher’s program, and commitments of time and resources from the U.S. researcher.

In order to comply with federal, state, and sponsor requirements, all participation in FGTRP must be disclosed to UF. Additionally, activities similar to those described above but not labeled as a foreign talent recruitment program must be disclosed (i.e., affiliations or appointments at another institution, whether or not remuneration is received, and whether full-time, part-time, or voluntary—including adjunct, visiting, or honorary).