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14. Foreign Influence in Research: Shaping Effective Internal Practices and Responding to External Inquiries and Investigations

  • As higher education institutions seek to balance commitments to international engagement with protections against improper foreign influence (including foreign espionage and soft-power initiatives), this session will address both proactive and responsive measures to ensure the security and integrity of research, with particular focus on the following topics:
  • Proactively managing conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment; screening foreign sponsors and collaborators, including visiting researchers and faculty; compliance measures and self-reporting; and relationships with federal security agencies.
  • Methods for identifying and understanding unreported faculty academic and industry affiliations and income (i.e., internal audit/stress-test practices)
  • Why and how the federal government has concentrated on academic grants in its effort to identify improper foreign influence and technology leakage in U.S.-based scientific research.
  • Responding to federal agency (NIH, DoD, DoE, and NSF) and other governmental inquiries about investigator affiliations and activities, and campus concerns (e.g., anti-discrimination, privacy, and academic freedom) arising from efforts to address undue foreign influence.

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