Letter from the Provost

Dear Colleagues,

At the University of New Mexico, we know that free and open exchange of information and ideas improves the work that our faculty, staff and students do to advance discovery, creativity and innovation. This openness includes international collaboration, which extends our reach in research and educational opportunities to a global community, and brings the knowledge and talents of the world to New Mexico. UNM has a long history of supporting cooperation and collaboration with global partners and welcomes students, faculty and researchers from all over the world.

Over the last decade, and with growing frequency, federal agencies that support research, as well as federal intelligence and security agencies, have expressed concern about systematic programs mounted by some foreign governments to unduly influence and capitalize on U.S. taxpayer funded research to obtain a competitive advantage in critical areas of research and innovation. These concerns include some foreign talent programs run by countries seeking to exploit U.S. technology by recruiting faculty from U.S. institutions to share appointments with institutions abroad. To protect US interests, many agencies, including NSF, NIH, DOE and DOD, have issued revised requirements and guidance for disclosing potential conflicts of commitment and conflicts of interest related to support from foreign governments or other foreign entities. Failure to observe these regulations can have, and in some high-profile cases has had, significant legal consequences for individual researchers and for the university.

We want to remind all UNM faculty, staff and students involved in research of their responsibility to follow all funding agency disclosure requirements. Disclosure requirements are not new, and federal agencies are updating regulations and policies to support protection of critical technologies, controlled information and intellectual property, and to limit undue influence.In many cases, agencies have revised disclosure and reporting requirements for documents that list professional appointments and affiliations (e.g., biosketches and CV’s) as well as documents that list current and pending support, including non-monetary support (e.g, in-kind support).

In short, please ensure that you are transparent, thorough and complete when disclosing to NIH, NSF, DOD and DOE, and other granting agencies. Disclosing all of your other sources of funding and professional affiliations is the best path. Principal Investigators are personally responsible for the completeness and accuracy of their documents, even if others have provided assistance in preparing those documents.

If you have questions about what to disclose and how, contact the offices below:

Thank you for your outstanding contributions to building UNM’s research enterprise.

James Paul Holloway
Professor of Nuclear Engineering
Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs