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National Institute of Health (NIH)

In August 2018, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Francis Collins issued a Foreign Influence Letter to Grantees and testified to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee regarding concerns about systematic programs of foreign influence in U.S. research.

NIH Protecting U.S. Biomedical Intellectual Innovation WebPage [NEW 7.16.2020]

NIH and the biomedical research enterprise have a long history of International collaborations with rules of engagement that allow science to advance while also protecting intellectual capital and proprietary information of the participating countries. These rules of engagement also are designed to limit bias in the design, conduct, and reporting of NIH-supported research. This page describes actions that NIH, institutions, and researchers can take to protect U.S. biomedical intellectual innovation. The principles described here align with those announced by the White House's Office and Science and Technology Policy in June 2020.

NIH Director Collins Dear Colleague Foreign Influence Letter

In December 2018 and June 2019, the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) released a report entitled ACD Working Group for Foreign Influences on Research Integrity identifying recommendations around communication and awareness; risk mitigation; and monitoring, actions, and consequences.

Other Support: Expanded List of Reportable Items

In July, NIH issued NOT-OD-19-114 clarifying and reminding the research community of NIH policies on Other Support and Foreign Components.

Reminders of NIH Policies on Other Support and on Policies related to Financial Conflicts of Interest and Foreign Components NOT-OD-19-114 July 10, 2019
Reminders of NIH Policies on Other Support and on Policies related to Financial Conflicts of Interest and Foreign Components NOT-OD-19-114 July 10, 2019


The updated definition includes “all resources made available to a researcher in support of and/or related to all of their research endeavors, regardless of whether they have monetary value and regardless of whether they are based at the institution the researcher identifies for the current grant.” It should be noted that in their FAQs, NIH indicates that foreign collaborations that “directly benefit” an investigator’s research must be reported even if the investigator is not involved and the project is not funded with NIH dollars.

What, Where, & When to Submit

What to Disclose Where to Disclose When to Disclose
Outside Appointments, both paid and unpaid Biosketch Proposal, RPPR
International Collaborations with a Foreign Component
  • Proposal: Other Project Information section on SF424 RR
  • Correspondence with NIH Grants Management Officer
  • Proposal
  • On active awards, International Collaborations must be pre-approved by NIH Grants Management Officer
Related sources of support including post-docs and visiting scholars funded by foreign sources, in kind resources provided by other institutions, and foreign grants the investigators Other Support Proposal, RPPR
International Collaborators in your lab (not key personnel) Personnel report in RPPR RPPR only if effort exceeds month
Outside professional activities, including financial interests received from a foreign entity. This requirement is distinct and in addition to the reporting of other support and foreign components to the NIH.  UNM conflict of interest in research disclosure. at the time of the proposal submission, annually, and/or within 30 days of any material changes, acquiring new interest/s, or commencing new activity that merits disclosure.

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