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Foreign Interference and Influence in Academia

RUSH University is committed to an open research environment, which is critical to fostering research discoveries and innovations. International collaborations and foreign contributions are important to the success of the research enterprise. An open research environment must be balanced by mechanisms that protect intellectual works and discovery.

Newly emerging issues involve sophisticated efforts to exploit, influence, and undermine U.S. research activities and discovery thereby taking advantage of long trusted open environments. Detrimental activities have been exposed to show individual researchers (domestic and foreign) and foreign governments attempts to interfere, intercept and influence domestic innovation and collaboration by seeking to compromise U.S. national and economic security.

The following are examples of foreign interference and influence:

  • Failure to disclose foreign funding (foreign research grants, payments, salaries, and in-kind support)
  • Parallel laboratories (shadow laboratories) domestic and foreign where the same funded research is occurring simultaneously
  • Opaque foreign employment, affiliations, and appointments (including visiting scholarship, research personnel, leadership)
  • Participation in a "foreign talent" program
  • Conflicting financial interest (foreign investment in and/or ownership in private companies and foreign patents)
  • Conflict of commitment
  • Conducting undisclosed research for foreign governments or companies
  • Theft and/or diversion of information, data, and/or intellectual property or other legal rights
  • Breaches of contract and confidentiality in the peer review process

Visit the Federal Requirements for Reporting Foreign Influence in Research and Conflict of Interest Office for when, what and how to disclose possible conflicts. All COI-related policies are listed within the Conflict of Interest Office website.

JCORE Report on Research Security and Integrity

The National Science and Technology Council Joint Committee on the Research Environment, Subcommittee on Research Security released its final report titled Recommended Practices for Strengthening the Security and Integrity of America's Science and Technology Research Enterprise. The document outlines several recommended practices for organizations that conduct research. RUSH University has implemented best practices recommended in this report.