Carnegie Mellon University

September 6, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to share with you a recent letter from the director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, outlining escalating concerns of the NIH regarding the activities of foreign entities that attempt to undercut the foundational trust amongst researchers, peer reviewers and the agency by diverting intellectual property and confidential grant application information of NIH-supported researchers and institutions to foreign organizations.

As Dr. Collins notes, these issues are not limited to biomedical research supported by the NIH.  Therefore, I encourage all researchers to read the attached letter.  As you know, protecting your confidential grant information and intellectual property is critical to meeting our obligations to our sponsors as well as supporting and sustaining your individual research activities.  The issues raised in Dr. Collins’ letter are real.  It is our individual and collective responsibility to guard against such breaches in confidentiality.  Accepting and meeting this responsibility, however, should not and does not preclude us from embracing and expanding our role as a top global research university with a long history of international collaboration.  Continuing to build upon this history is critical to our current and future success.

Should you have any questions or concerns about your own research programs that are related to the issues raised in Dr. Collins’ letter, I remind you that the offices of the vice provost of research (OVPR), specifically the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance, are available to provide the necessary support and guidance on these topics. Please do not hesitate to reach out via email to ovpr@andrew.cmu.edu.

Warm Regards,

Gary Fedder
Vice Provost for Research, Wilkoff Professor of ECE and Robotics
Carnegie Mellon University