Undue Foreign Influence

The George Washington University (GW) is committed to supporting and encouraging international collaborations and the global exchange of ideas. We value our partnerships with universities and organizations around the world. These collaborations extend the reach of our groundbreaking research and enrich the experience of our students and trainees.

Recent press coverage and federal oversight activities have highlighted concerns about foreign threats to U.S. intellectual property and the integrity of research endeavors. To mitigate such risks, congressional leaders, several federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and the Departments of Education, Defense and Energy, have issued statements outlining these concerns. In some cases, they have also instituted new disclosure and eligibility requirements. The agencies have raised a number of concerns, including:

  • diversion of intellectual property to foreign entities;
  • disclosing confidential grant application information to third parties;
  • failure of researchers to disclose research resources and support provided by other organizations, including foreign entities and foreign governments; and
  • threats to national security and economic competitiveness.

While GW values openness in research, the free exchange of research and scholarly ideas, and international collaboration, the university must take measures to safeguard intellectual property and confidential information and ensure compliance with all relevant sponsor requirements.

Since 2018, The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) has been working with stakeholders across campus to identify and enhance policies and processes that relate to foreign affiliations and appropriate disclosure, including:

  • enhancing disclosure rules and requirements governing foreign affiliations,
  • working with the Office of Ethics, Compliance and Privacy to streamline and harmonize compliance efforts across the campus,
  • participating in interdisciplinary campus working groups and
  • seeking opportunities to communicate with and educate the GW community, including a Responsible Conduct of Research session on foreign influence