Colleagues,

Last week Vice Chancellor for Research Khargonekar sent the below message to all faculty and supervisors regarding the potential influence of foreign entities amongst NIH researchers and peer reviewers. Please take a minute to review this message and the letter from NIH and bring it to the attention of your faculty.

In addition to the message below, the KR COI annual disclosure question and guidance will be modified in the near future to emphasize that Significant Financial Interests includes interests in foreign entities, foreign institutions of higher education and foreign governmental agencies.

Please let us know if you have questions.

message from Pramod Khargonekar

Letter from the NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins

Dear Colleagues:

I would like to bring to your attention a recent letter from National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins. In this letter, he articulates concerns regarding potentially harmful foreign programs to influence NIH researchers and peer reviews. Specifically, he highlights 3 areas of concern: 

  1. Failure by some researchers to disclose substantial contributions of resources from other organizations, including foreign governments;
  2. Diversion of intellectual property in grant applications or produced by NIH-supported research to other entities, including other countries; and
  3. Sharing of confidential information by peer reviewers with others, including with foreign entities, or otherwise attempting to influence funding decisions.

Dr. Collins also emphasizes that earlier this year, NIH reminded grant applicants and awardees that they must disclose all forms of other support coming from foreign governments and institutions of higher education.  There are similar and related security concerns from other federal agencies, which are working with the administration and congressional leaders to develop steps to address these issues and mitigate their impact on U.S. research.

The Office of Research is working with colleagues from UCOP and other UC campuses to understand and consider approaches to address these concerns.  In addition, we are working with AAU and APLU on these issues, as academic institutions across the U.S. work with federal agencies to develop processes to address these concerns. Our goal is to ensure that UCI follows all applicable rules and regulations completely.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Pramod Khargonekar, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Research
Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science