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Undue Foreign Influence

West Virginia University is committed to the production and advancement of innovative, ground-breaking research and scholarship.

The U.S. Government (including federal funding agencies, intelligence agencies and Congress) has expressed increasing concerns about foreign threats to federally funded research activities, including diversion of intellectual property, sharing of confidential information and other breaches of research ethics.

As recipients and stewards of federal funds for research and education, we share a responsibility to acknowledge these threats and ensure that we are protecting the United States' interests by following federal and state laws, as well as University policies, when we engage in international collaboration and research.

While West Virginia University encourages international collaboration, WVU also expects, as directed by WVU Policy (PDF), that faculty be transparent in their professional activities, conducted on behalf of the university and other affiliated entities. When such activities include foreign components or international involvement, West Virginia University requires that faculty appropriately disclose this information to the institution and federal sponsors.

While most international collaborations and other forms of global engagement are acceptable and encouraged, University members are urged to err on the side of transparency and inclusion with respect to disclosure both to the institution and federal sponsors.

As part of its obligations for facilitating and administering federally funded research, WVU must make researchers, including covered individuals or senior/key personnel on federally sponsored projects, aware of these disclosure requirements. The University has implemented practices to achieve complete and accurate individual disclosures in accordance with these requirements. The University and its affiliates rely on both these practices and the individual’s representations when it completes its required institutional certifications for federally-sponsored proposals and awards.

Here are five important best practices to consider in ensuring compliance with your international collaboration and research:

  1. Foreign Partnerships in Research Disclosure
  2. Disclosure of Financial Conflicts of Interest and Conflicts of Commitment
  3. Sponsored Research Disclosures (Hide show info below)
  4. Export Controls, Sanction Compliance and Restricted Party Screening
  5. Personal Agreements with International Entities

If you have questions or concerns about your international collaborations, we encourage you to contact Abigail Wolfe as soon as possible.