NSF Updates on Foreign Influence and Appropriate Disclosure of Financial Support

Dr. France Cordova, Director of the National Science Foundation, issued a “Dear Colleague” letter on July 11, 2019. In it, Dr. Cordova reaffirmed NSF’s commitment to maintaining a “vibrant and diverse research community that thrives on the values of openness, transparency, and merit-based competition,” along with NSF’s belief that “international collaboration is essential to pursuing the frontiers of science.”

Dr. Cordova did also take the opportunity to remind the NSF grantee community of NSF’s long-standing requirement that senior project personnel on proposals disclose all sources of support, both foreign and domestic.

In addition to the letter, NSF has issued a draft version of the next Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG). This draft version adds clarification regarding the types of support for which disclosure is required. According to a clarifying comment in the draft PAPPG, the following should be disclosed:

  • Information must be provided for all current and pending support irrespective of whether such support is provided through the proposing organization or directly to the individual.
  • Examples of current and pending support have been expanded to include non-profit organizations and consulting agreements.
  • All projects and activities that require a time commitment must be reported (no minimum has been established), even if the support received is only in-kind.

It is important to note that NSF is currently accepting comments on the draft from the national research community. Several professional member organizations in which Emory participates have submitted comments. Therefore, NSF’s requirements and clarifications may change. OSP will provide updates as we learn more.

Dr. Cordova’s letter also reiterated NSF’s proposed use of an electronic format for submission of biosketches, as described in a prior Emory ORA Newsletter which can be found at: https://scholarblogs.emory.edu/ranews/2019/07/03/nsf-mandates-use-of-approved-systems-for-biographical-sketches/. Such a format will require disclosure of all appointments an individual holds. Similarly, NSF is also working on an electronic format for the submission and disclosure of current and pending support information and proposes to eliminate the use of the current PDF form.

OSP will provide more information on each of these topics as soon as we receive it. In the interim, we recommend that all NSF-funded investigators read the entire “Dear Colleague” letter linked above.

This entry was posted in NSF, OSP and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.