January 25, 2019


SUBJECT:    New Federal Requirements: Why you MUST disclose all foreign engagements and what this means for you

UC San Diego is committed to sustaining an environment that attracts and
retains the brightest scholars and most exciting scholarship - and
likewise is committed to the University of California's principles of
academic freedom. Our many talented foreign scholars and students are
essential to the research and education enterprise on our campus and we
value their contributions highly.

At the same time, like all other institutions of higher education, our
university and its faculty must adhere to federal reporting and
disclosure requirements. Not doing so could result in loss of federal
funding, not only for the individual who failed to report, but for the
institution as a whole.

Last year, the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense
issued guidance with respect to those agencies' growing concerns over
the potential for foreign influence. Specifically, there is a heightened
concern that certain foreign entities may be seeking to influence U.S.
research at all levels including peer review, diversion of intellectual
property, sharing of confidential information and the use of resources
originating outside the U.S. While other federal agencies have not yet
come forward with their own guidance, it is very likely they will follow

Sustained federal research funding is critical to UC San Diego's success
and impact; therefore, we must comply with existing and new policies and
regulations, including those related to full disclosure of foreign
engagements, conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment.

*It is your professional responsibility to completely and accurately
disclose all external financial interests and support, affiliations,
activities and relationships with any foreign entities.
The University of California requires all faculty to submit an annual
Conflict of Commitment (COC) report indicating whether or not they have
engaged in outside activities during the fiscal year. Outside
professional activities are separated into three categories: Categories
I and II include activities that must be reported and in the case of
Category I, must receive prior approval before the faculty member
engages in the activity. Examples of Category I activities include:
o Faculty or research appointments at other institutions (even if
o Directorships of labs, centers or programs at other institutions
(even if uncompensated) Disclosure forms are required even if faculty
members have nothing to disclose. Deans are responsible for ensuring
that all faculty members submit an annual disclosure and that the
disclosures are accurate. Read more about COC requirements on blink:

*Conflict of Interest (COI) policies require all university employees
who are conducting research or other related activities to disclose
certain financial interests, whether domestic or foreign. Financial
interests include anything of monetary value (whether that value can be
easily determined or not) held by the employee, a spouse or registered
domestic partner, and dependent children. Examples include:
o income or payments for salaries
o consulting or honorariums
o holding a position such as founder, partner, employee or board
o having ownership interests such as stocks, bonds or stock options
o travel funds or reimbursements
New financial interests should be disclosed within 30 days of their
acquisition. Read more about required COI disclosures on blink:

*Applicants for federal grants must list all foreign affiliations
(biosketch) and "other support" prior to award and are required to
identify any changes in each annual progress report. According to the
NIH policy this includes:
o collaborations with investigators at a foreign site anticipated to
result in co-authorship;
o use of facilities or instrumentation at a foreign site; or
o receipt of financial support or resources from a foreign entity.
This covers research contracts and grants, cooperative agreements and
organizational awards, including any from foreign governments or
entities (e.g. affiliations; collaborations; foreign patents; and
exchange of information, materials or data):

Any external support or engagement that you would acknowledge in public
presentations or publications is something that you must also disclose
in grant applications, annual reports and closeout summaries and in
university-related COI and COC disclosure forms (as required).

It is essential for you to be transparent about any affiliations with
foreign entities when applying for federal grants. Only by your full
disclosure will UC San Diego be in compliance with University of
California regulations and be able to advise, assist and protect you and
your work.
This situation is fluid so there may be additional guidance in the
future. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your
department chair or the Office of Research Affairs.

Elizabeth H. Simmons
Executive Vice Chancellor
Academic Affairs

Sandra A. Brown
Vice Chancellor - Research