Compliance Quick Topic – Foreign Influence (Friday)

November 8, 2019

Each day during UC Merced’s Ethics and Compliance Week (November 4-8, 2019), we publish a daily Compliance Quick Topic and quiz question. Answer the question at the bottom of this page to enter a drawing for a prize.

Compliance Quick Topic – Foreign Influence

Do you travel internationally for University business or research? Do you have several collaborative relationships with foreign entities?

Over the last several years, the federal government has expressed increasing concern over potential inappropriate influence of foreign governments and entities on U.S. government sponsored research. Many federal funding agencies have issued notices providing clarity on what Principal Investigators need to disclose, and the U.C. has issued information on the required escalation of any formal communication from the federal government on foreign influence.

Best Practices:

  • Disclose all foreign research support in grant proposals
  • Disclose all foreign collaborations or foreign research sites in grant proposals
  • Make sure to complete all conflict of commitment forms and report to school when required
  • Make sure to complete all conflict of interest forms when submitting grant proposals
  • Make sure to have all foreign visitors screened by campus Export Controls office
  • Utilize the UC Connexus system for all foreign travel arrangements
  • Do not travel to any of the 5 embargoed countries without contacting campus Export Controls office
  • Make sure to utilize the campus laptop loaner program for foreign travel

Additional Resources:

Scenario and Quiz Question:

You are beginning to plan out a multi-year collaboration with colleagues in Morocco on the topic of emerging infectious diseases. This collaboration could include a research personnel exchange and scholarly visitors, travel to Cadi Ayyad University, in Marrakesh, and testing of different compounds in Moroccan medical labs. You hope to fund this collaboration with an NIH grant, but currently have some University (start-up) funds to kick it off.

True or False: This collaboration would require disclosure of many types, including disclosure of start up funding to NIH, and foreign sites and relationships, and screening of any visitors to campus, and talking with campus export controls about taking technology/biological agents overseas, and securing any devices when going overseas.

Submit your answer at and enter to win a prize!