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Dos, Don’ts, and Maybes

These are Okay, but disclosure is required.

  • The University has or will receive an award/subaward from a foreign university or company. No additional disclosure to the University is required. Related RU Requirements: None

  • A foreign entity (university, government, industry, or foundations) reimburses an investigator’s travel costs, pays an honorarium or otherwise provides funding or support to an investigator to participate in a conference or deliver a lecture. This must be disclosed in the RU Online Disclosure System as part of the Conflicts of Interest review. Related RU Requirements:Policy 90.2.5 Investigator Conflict of Interest andeCoI web page; and, if applicable to the employee,Ethics Armor, Employee Obligation to Report Potential Conflicts of Interest.

  • An investigator engages in unpaid research activities with a foreign research laboratory—typically at a university. However, review and approval may be required based on intellectual property considerations, or if an investigator’s affiliation on research products such as proposals and publications is not solely that of his/her home institution. Related RU Requirements: Policy 50.3.1 and Policy 50.3.14, Patent Policies.

  • An investigator participates in research in a foreign country.

    • In cases where the researcher is paid, this must be disclosed as current or pending support in funding applications. This includes grants, gifts, or any other financial support for research.

    • If a researcher is a named investigator at another institution, the project should be disclosed on your biosketch even if compensation is not provided. Any resulting publications must include the investigator’s affiliation with their home university as a primary affiliation. Related RU Requirement: Foreign influence webpage and ORSP

These are sometimes Okay (“gray area”) but disclosure is required.

  • A foreign university will pay an investigator directly to participate on a research project as a consultant; this may require approval depending on your school. Related RU Requirements: eCOI and Rutgers Ethics Armor

  • An investigator forgot to disclose a financial interest, foreign or domestic. While this is generally a policy violation, it is preferable that it be discovered via self-disclosure rather than via audit by the University (or worse, a federal agency). If the non-disclosed interest is a COI with federally (HHS)-sponsored research, HHS policy (and usually, university policy) requires a retrospective review of the research to check for the introduction of bias. Related RU Requirements:Investigator Conflict of Interest Policy; RU foreign influence website

  • An academic appointment is conferred at another institution, foreign or domestic. This requires the written prior approval of the Provost if the appointment is non-visiting. Related RU Requirements: *Faculty Holding Appointments at Other Institutions or Organizations. *do we have a similar policy

  • Recruitment into a foreign “talents” program (e.g., 1000 Talents Plan). If an investigator is contacted by such a program, s/he should contact the Office of Vice President for Research for guidance. While not illegal, federal legislation is under consideration that would bar individuals who have participated in such programs from receiving grant funding from the Department of Defense. There is some concern that this bar could be broadened to include other federal granting agencies, such as the Department of Energy. Related RU Requirements: General information provided on the RU foreign influence website.

  • An investigator’s extended absence overseas while employed at the University. This generally must be approved by the University in advance, and for a limited period of time. Payment from sponsored sources for any such time must be carefully monitored and fully disclosed to, and acknowledged/approved by, the funding agency and the home institution. Related RU Requirements:Human Resources Leave of Absence *do we have a similar policy

  • Export of materials, equipment, hardware, software, or technical data subject to restrictions on access/dissemination out of the US; this includes sharing technical data with foreign nationals (e.g., students) even if it stays in the US. Depending on the applicable regulation(s), technical data controls may apply to information already in existence, developed in the context of performing the current research, or both. A principal investigator on a project that is subject to publication and/or personnel restrictions, or who intends to take or send such items abroad, must consult with the Office of Export Control to determine licensing requirements and the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) to negotiate a Material Transfer Agreement or Data Use/Transfer Agreement. Related RU Requirements: *FIN-036, Signatory Authority for Executing University Contracts; OSP’s electronic Non-Funded Agreement request process; FIN-043, Managing Export and Sanction Compliance in Support of University Activities; and export controls website. *do we have a similar policy

These are Not Okay.

  • Outside activity (i.e. consulting) for a foreign entity beyond the duration allowed by university policy (see policy referenced below). Exception: An investigator may devote additional outside effort during periods when they are not working full-time at the university, such as during unpaid months in the summer for those on < 12-month appointments. However, this outside activity must be reported*. Related RU Requirements: Rutgers Ethics ArmorOutside Employment for Faculty; *HRM-045, Faculty External Consulting and Internal Overload; RES-005, Financial Conflicts of Interest for Research Investigators; and, if applicable to the employee, FIN-054, Employee Obligation to Report Potential Conflicts of Interest. *do we have a similar policy

  • “Double-dipping”; i.e., receiving support for the same project/effort from two different entities (e.g., one foreign and one domestic). This does not refer to joint sponsorship situations that are clearly disclosed to and supported by both sponsors. Related RU Requirements: None but would violate the terms and conditions of federal awards. Recent Actions:Emory researchers.

  • Disclosure of any confidential information (privileged grant application or review information, approval status, confidential results, reviewer identity, etc.) to any individual or entity, foreign or domestic, without the explicit authorization of the data owner (e.g., grant applicant or submitting author) or custodian (e.g., sponsoring agency or publisher to whom the data information was submitted by the owner). Related RU Requirements: None. Recent Actions: MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers (Science article;Houston Chronicle article).

  • Any effort, compensation, or authorship credit relating to foreign research must be disclosed, and must be in accord with actual work done/effort expended. Related RU Requirements: Annual Performance Reviews; ICMJE’s guidance on“Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors”; and theResearch Integrity website.

  • Development of intellectual property without disclosure to the University and/or release of intellectual property for work conceived or done as a university investigator to any entity without appropriate licensing/contract from the University. Related RU Requirements: All employees have an obligation to report intellectual property and any improvements to existing intellectual property promptly to theRutgers University Office of Research Commercialization via an invention disclosure; ORC’s Notice of Invention forms and Patent Policy documents on theForms, Policies and Guides page.