FOREIGN ENTITIES ASSOCIATED ISSUES
While international collaborations may be acceptable, UD personnel are expected to disclose foreign involvement to ensure that potential issues are properly addressed and resolved. The following issues should be considered.
Conflicts of Interest
Involvement of faculty and / or professional staff with appropriate commercial enterprises is an important part of the transfer of knowledge and is encouraged by UD to enhance both educational and research programs. UD personnel who have an interest that may bias or give the appearance of biasing their research may have a conflict of interest. University of Delaware’s Research Policy 6-11 defines a potential conflict of interest as an occurrence when there is a divergence between an individual’s private interests and his or her professional obligations, such that an independent observer might reasonably question whether the individual’s professional judgment, commitment, actions, or decisions could be influenced by considerations of personal gain, financial or otherwise. UD has a webform for the annual disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. If a conflict exists, then a management plan is established that includes the investigator, the chair of the investigator’s department, the dean of the investigator’s college, and the Research Office. For specifics and further explanation of conflicts of interest and UD’s management of conflicts, see:
UD research is subject to U.S. Export Control laws that protect national security, foreign policy, and trade, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), implemented by the U.S. Department of State and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), implemented by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), which is part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is responsible for administering and enforcing economic and trade sanctions against certain nations, entities, and individuals.
UD complies with export control laws and regulations related to the export of both goods and services. These laws and regulations control the export of strategic information, technology and services to foreign countries, as well as to foreign nationals inside the United States. Information about export controls is available at: https://research.udel.edu/regulatory-affairs/#3.
In accordance with the University “Conflict of Interest Policy and Procedures for Faculty and Staff“ (Research Policy 6-11), faculty and professional staff must disclose their significant financial interest as defined in the Policy, in addition to those of their spouses and dependent children. Disclosures must be completed via UD web form annually and within 30 days of any changes to previously disclosed interests.
Additionally, UD investigators are expected to disclose current and pending support when submitting federal proposals. The National Science Foundation (NSF), for example, in its Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide, calls for the disclosure of “all current and pending support for ongoing projects and proposals, including this project, and any subsequent funding in the case of continuing grants” in proposals. Funding sources include, but are not limited to, federal, state, foreign, foundations (public or private), industrial, and internal funds. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) disseminated a notice on July 10, 2019 clarifying that support includes “all resources made available to a researcher in support of and/or related to all of their research endeavors, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value and regardless of whether they are based at the institution the researcher identifies for the current grant.”
The July 10, 2019 NIH notice provided guidance regarding “the need to report foreign activities through documentation of other support, foreign components, and financial conflict of interest to prevent scientific, budgetary, or commitment overlap.” The NIH Grants Policy Statement defines a foreign component as “[t]he 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.” NIH approval may be required when foreign component involvement is implicated. Specifics associated with a particular sponsor should be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Information for individuals traveling internationally is available through the Research Office. The Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation issued a December 2015 memorandum regarding “University Procedure for International Travel with Electronic Devices” to remind University of Delaware (UD) employees of the states-of-nature and UD expectations that exist when traveling internationally with mobile devices, laptop computers, personal-digital assistants and other electronic devices. Further safe travel practices information is available at Secure UD.
Each faculty and staff member’s performance is reviewed annually in annual Employee Performance Planning & Appraisal reviews. The Employee Performance Planning & Appraisal system provides a means for regular performance feedback between employee and supervisor. It is designed to improve job understanding, encourage effective performance and establish goals that support unit and career development. The annual report should identify all international activities and engagements. Information is available at MY UD.
Restricted Party Screening
Restricted party screening is conducted prior to the initiation of collaboration with international entities. Restricted party screening identifies individuals and entities with whom UD should not interact. Restricted parties, for example, may be listed because they are associated with a terrorist organization, because they have been identified as a threat to national security, or because they have a history of corruption. These lists are updated regularly.
Names of parties with whom UD investigators are considering interacting are provided to and screened by the Research Office. The Research Office utilizes software that accesses numerous databases of individuals and entities that are barred or are restricted from transacting with U.S. entities. The software continues to monitor the screened parties and alerts the Research Office if there is a change in status.
In addition to this software, the U.S. Government maintains a Consolidated Screening List that is available on the export.gov website.
Office of Foreign Assets Control
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States. OFAC publishes lists of individuals and companies owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, targeted countries. Use the links below to view the latest OFAC changes.
- NIH Guidance Updates on Foreign Influence and Other Support: July 16, 2020
- AAU and APLU April 22, 2019 – Actions Taken by Universities to Address Growing Concerns about Security Threats and Undue Foreign Influence on Campus
- APLU Statement on New Efforts to Bolster NIH-Funded Research Security
- APLU and AAU April 22, 2019 – Responding to Undue Foreign Influence Memo
- DOE – Deputy Secretary of Energy December 14, 2018 Memorandum – Department of Energy International Science and Technology Engagement Policy
- DOE – Deputy Secretary of Energy January 31, 2019 Memorandum – Department of Energy Policy on Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs
- NIH – Department of Health & Human Services August 20, 2018 Memorandum – Statement on Protecting the Integrity of U.S. Biomedical Research
- NIH – Reminders of NIH Policies on Other Support and on Policies related to Financial Conflicts of Interest and Foreign Components
- NSF – Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), February 2019
- Travel Practices
- UD Conflict of Interest
- UD Export Control
- UD International Travel
- UD Performance Reviews
Phone: (302) 831-2792
E: UD IRB Office
P: (302) 831-2137
F: (302) 831-2828
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