Undue Foreign Influence

The George Washington University is committed to enhancing the global reach of our research and therefore supports and encourages international collaborations, interdisciplinary research, and the global exchange of ideas. GW values our partnerships with universities and organizations worldwide and appreciates the value these collaborations have on the education and research efforts of the institution.

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 concerns include the following:

  • 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
  • Threats to national security and economic competitiveness

While GW values openness in research, the free exchange of research and scholarly ideas, and international collaboration, measures must be taken to safeguard unauthorized access and sharing of intellectual property and confidential information all while ensuring appropriate use of federal funding and compliance with sponsor requirements. 

Since 2018, The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) has identified and addressed potential issues regarding foreign affiliations. This entails enhancing disclosure rules and requirements governing foreign affiliations, working with the Office of Ethics, Compliance and Privacy including conducting an RCR Session on Foreign Influence in October 2019.