Summary of information from recent communication from UM Provost/VP Research

Amid growing federal concerns regarding "foreign influence" on research activity, some federal agencies have issued statements emphasizing the need for increased transparency with respect to international collaborations. Failure to comply could jeopardize the ability of faculty and the university to receive federal support for research.

Faculty applying for and/or currently receiving funds from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest external sponsor of U-M research, must pay special attention to the agency’s updated reporting requirements. Importantly, NIH recently clarified its reporting policies for Other Support, Financial Conflicts of Interest, and Foreign Components (NOT-OD-19-114). The National Science Foundation (NSF) also recently released a Dear Colleague Letter about plans to update their policy. We strongly encourage you to review the recently clarified guidance, which impacts reporting obligations.

To fully comply with NIH policies, researchers are responsible for identifying and ensuring the accuracy of any foreign components, support from foreign entities, and any foreign affiliations (e.g.,appointments and/or visiting scholar affiliations held at foreign institutions) on federally sponsored research proposals, progress reports, and final technical reports. If you are unsure whether or not to report an activity with a foreign component, please refer to the university’s International Research Activity Guidance.

As other federal agencies plan to implement their own policies, we will work with colleagues from across campus to provide timely guidance and communications. As a first step, the U-M Office of Research developed a webpage that will be updated routinely with current information for international research and scholarship activities, including reporting for grants, conflicts of interest and commitment, travel guidelines, and more.

If you have any questions, please reach out to your unit research administrator or, alternatively, contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects at 734-764-5500 or