Investigator Initiated Documents Required to Participate in Federally Funded Research
As has been communicated, the U.S. Government has raised concerns about foreign threats to the integrity and security of research conducted by universities, amongst other institutions. There are three areas of particular concern:
- Failure of researchers to disclose research resources and support provided by other organizations, including foreign entities
- Diversion of intellectual property to foreign entities
- Disclosing confidential grant application information by NIH peer reviewers to third parties
Federal funding agencies are working with associations and universities to address these concerns by advising on best practices and through implementation of enhancements to professional profile documentation by which individual disclosures are made.
Our goal in this and every communication is to recognize that while most international collaborations are encouraged, we urge NYU faculty and researchers to err on the side of transparency. International relationships and resources disclosed and vetted to determine if there are any potential conflicts of commitment, duplications of research, and/or diversion of intellectual property in the performance of federally funded research protects everyone’s interests – the Federal government, NYU, individual researchers, and your international collaborators.
In order to meet the standards set by our federal partners and to comply with NYU policies and best practice guidance on full disclosure of activities, please take the following steps for all proposals and sponsored awards (and repeat these steps any time there is a change in your activities or research resources):
Associate Vice Provost for Research
Jason St. Germain
Senior Director, Office of Sponsored Programs
Director, Office of Conflict of Interest
Update CV/biographical sketch and other support/current and pending support documentation using agency approved formats.
Update NIH Other Support, for proposals, awarded projects or projects that are pending issuance of a new award.
NOTE: the NIH Other Support documentation should include all resources, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value, available in support of an individual’s research endeavors. This includes:
- grants and contracts received from any entity (direct and pass-through included, Federal and non-Federal);
- gifts directly used to subsidize expenses related to your NIH-funded project;
- start-up funds received from entities other than NYU, domestic or international positions held;
- in-kind lab or office space;
- any visiting faculty, scholars, post-docs, or scientists supported from foreign resources who are participating in your NIH project;
- scientific materials received; and
- affiliations you have with foreign entities or governments, including talent programs (even if the affiliation is an honorary, visiting, or adjunct one).
Update NSF-approved Biographical Sketch and Current & Pending Support Forms: The NSF-approved formats for Current and Pending Support are SciENcv: Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae and an NSF fillable PDF.
NOTE: The Appointments section of the NSF biosketch must include:
- any titled academic, professional, or institutional position, whether or not remuneration is received.
- NSF Current and Pending support should include all sources of support and commitments of time, even if not receiving compensation from the source and irrespective of whether such support is provided through the proposing organization or directly to the individual.
Project or in-kind contributions *without a time commitment* are not required to be reported in Current and Pending Support. In-kind contributions that are intended for use with the project/proposal being proposed must be included as part of Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources.
The NSF Current and Pending Support website includes additional information as well as links to system-related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for both NSF-approved formats. A set of policy-related FAQs related to current and pending support is also available.
Update the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) form in the Standard Form (SF) 424 Research and Related (R&R) package to disclose Current and Pending Support.
Note: the following information must be submitted for all key personnel, whether or not the individuals' efforts under the project are to be funded by the DoD.
- A list of all current projects the individual is working on, in addition to any future support the individual has applied to receive, 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 individual is receiving in connection to each of the other research projects or will receive if other proposals are awarded;
- Name and address of the agencies and/or other parties supporting the other research projects; and
- Period of performance for the other research projects.
Failure to submit this information may cause the proposal to be returned without further review, and DoD reserves the right to request further details from a proposer before making a final determination on funding the effort.
Review your sponsored research proposal and award portfolio with particular focus on identifying and disclosing foreign components and foreign collaborations.
The Grants Policy Statement defines “foreign component” as: the performance of any significant scientific element or segment of a project outside of the United States, either by the recipient or by a researcher employed by a foreign organization, whether or not grant funds are expended. Activities that would meet this definition include, but are not limited to, (1) the involvement of human subjects or animals, (2) extensive foreign travel by recipient project staff for the purpose of data collection, surveying, sampling, and similar activities, or (3) any activity of the recipient that may have an impact on U.S. foreign policy through involvement in the affairs or environment of a foreign country.
Examples of other grant-related activities that may be significant are:
- collaborations with investigators at a foreign site anticipated to result in co-authorship;
- use of facilities or instrumentation at a foreign site; or
- receipt of financial support or resources from a foreign entity.
NOTE: Foreign travel for consultation is not considered a foreign component. (See Grants to Foreign Organizations, International Organizations, and Domestic Grants with Foreign Components chapter in IIB).
Foreign collaborations are disclosed on the NSF proposal cover page, in the “International Activities Country Names” box, and an explanation/justification must be provided in the project description.
Substantial collaborations not included in the budget should be described in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal.
NOTE: In addition to NIH and NSF guidance above, other federal agency sponsors may have requirements now or in the future. Please check this page regularly for updates as well as the specific funding opportunity announcement for disclosure requirements. Contact your OSP Project Officer if you have any questions or need assistance.
Review your COI disclosures and update when there is any change in your activities or research resources.
Current COI Guidance
Until such time as federal agencies harmonize requirements and disclosure mechanisms, Financial Conflict of Interest regulations remain in effect and there remain distinct and separate reporting requirements apart from the sponsor application materials previously discussed. These disclosures are made through the University’s secure Conflict of Interests web portal.
The Office of Conflict Of Interest (OCOI) and Office of General Counsel (OGC) have developed additional questions for the annual COI disclosure that focus on foreign engagements, including but not limited to compensation provided by non-U.S. government-supported talent programs which must also be disclosed. These types of activities should be disclosed to NYU even if they do not constitute other support or a foreign component of a funding application.
The Office of Conflict of Interest is available to answer any questions about updating existing COI disclosures in the web portal. Faculty and other researchers covered by the COI Policy (Investigators) are required to disclosure outside activities and significant financial interests that are related to their NYU responsibilities, so that potential conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment can be identified and managed. This information will be cross-checked against documentation in federal funding applications and awards to confirm that disclosures are up to date, complete and consistent.
NOTE: Failing to disclose has the potential to lead to serious legal consequences to both individual researchers and the University, which may include personal criminal liability and False Claims Act charges. Additionally, failing to disclose outside interests and activities that are related to your NYU responsibilities is a violation of NYU’s COI Policy which may lead to disciplinary actions as set forth in the Faculty Handbook and/or the applicable NYU rules for non-faculty researchers, including applicable policies and procedures of the relevant Schools.
Report any change in support for Key Personnel that occurred over the last budget year. Be sure to include the items noted above and defined in NIH NOT-OD-21-073. If you wish to make a change to your project that requires prior approval, the progress report is not the place to do that. A formal prior approval request should be sent to OSP for institutional review and approval prior to forwarding to NIH.
The Project Reporting System in Research.gov has been enhanced to implement the revised Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR). The RPPR is a uniform format for reporting performance progress on Federally funded research projects and research-related activities. NSF awardees use the RPPR to prepare and submit annual and final project reports to NSF.
NOTE: New Question for Project Reports with Active Other Support Changes
NSF has added the following new question to the “Edit Participants” screen: Has there been a change in the active other support of the PI/PD(s) since the last reporting period? If Principal Investigators (PIs)/Project Directors (PDs) and co-PIs/co-PDs select “Yes,” they will be required to upload their most up-to-date Current and Pending Support document in an NSF-approved format to notify NSF that active other support has changed since the award was made or since the most recent annual report.
NOTE: Current and Pending Support documents not in an NSF-approved format will trigger a compliance error preventing document upload and submission of the annual or final project report.
NSF also added the following three questions to the "Impact" and "Changes/Problems" tabs:
- What was the impact on teaching and educational experiences? (Impact tab);
- What percentage of the award’s budget was spent in a foreign country? (Impact tab); and
- Has there been a change in primary performance site location from that originally proposed? (Changes/Problems tab).
Other Sponsor Updates
Department of Energy
The DOE has taken an aggressive position that restricts its employees, contractors, and grant-supported researchers from engaging with talent recruitment programs supported by non-U.S. governments, and potentially to limit collaboration on certain DOE-funded projects with researchers from designated countries. The DoE has indicated that current or future participation in such programs would jeopardize funding eligibility.
Sponsor Reference Materials
National Institutes of Health
- Implementation of Changes to the Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Page (NOT-OD-21-110)
- Upcoming Changes to the Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Page for Due Dates on or after May 25, 2021 (NOT-OD-21-073)
- Reminders of NIH Policies on Other Support and on Policies related to Financial Conflicts of Interest and Foreign Components (NOT-OD-19-114)
- FAQs: Other Support and Foreign Components
National Science Foundation
Current and Pending Support Format Training Resources:
- NSF PAPPG (NSF 20-1) webinar
- NSF-Approved Formats for the Biographical Sketch & Current and Pending Support Sections of NSF Proposals webinar
SciENcv has created the following materials to guide the community through the preparation of the NSF Current and Pending Support document in SciENcv:
- NSF Current and Pending Support Video Tutorial
- NSF-specific Bookshelf Resource (includes screenshots and step-by-step instructions)
Department of Defense
OUSD memorandum on protecting IP and controlled information (PDF: 344 KB)
Department of Energy
January 2019: Memo on Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs (PDF: 616 KB)
December 2018: Memo on International Science and Technology Engagement Policy (PDF: 240 KB)
Additional NYU Resources
OSP’s Research and Foreign Engagement Webpage resources which walk Investigators through:
Policies and Guidance
Tasks to Complete
Federal Initiatives around Fundamental Research Security
Advisors on Foreign Activities and Research (AFAR)
As part of its proposal review process, OSP will continue to utilize its Advisors on Foreign Activities and Research (AFAR) working group to support emerging concerns around the disclosure of foreign support and affiliations. During the AFAR review, if a proposal is identified that has a foreign component or is being submitted to a foreign sponsor, the OSP project officer and OCOI will review the funding portfolio of the PI and all Senior/Key personnel to confirm if any federal funding is active or has been recently submitted. In such cases, OCOI will review the biosketches, other support documents and COI disclosures, and confirm that all relevant funding and positions have been disclosed to the sponsor and the University.
This course provides university faculty, students, and others involved in international engagement with a concise overview of the risks and mitigations associated with undue foreign influence.
Learners will begin by reviewing the key concepts related to claims of undue foreign influence on the U.S. academic and research environment, including the publicly voiced concerns of federal funding agencies, federal law enforcement, and Congress. They will then learn about how undue foreign influence conflicts with the principles of research integrity, as well as the reporting requirements, U.S. government actions, and effective university practices that address undue foreign influence.
As a critical component of mitigating the risks associated with undue foreign influence, learners will further explore key cybersecurity practices, federal security and control regulations, and data privacy laws applicable to federally funded research activities. The course will close by providing learners with potential strategies to ensure that compliance with certain technology control and security requirements does not create unexpected conflicts with nondiscrimination laws.