Carnegie Mellon University

February 12, 2019

Several federal agencies that support academic research have recently issued statements and/or policies regarding potential exploitation of U. S. resources by foreign competitors. Last spring the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a notice regarding investigator disclosures of foreign financial interests and in August 2018 sent a letter to many grantees expressing NIH’s concerns about foreign influence.

The statement below was issued by the Department of Energy (DOE) on February 1, 2019.  It is likely that in the near future the research community will be asked to comply with a number of new policies on this topic. As stated, the new DOE policy will require disclosure to DOE of affiliations with foreign government-supported talent recruitment programs. 

While we will ensure that we are compliant with any new policies, we are committed to mitigating any potential impacts these policies will have on our international programs and researchers.

As we learn more about DOE’s implementation of this policy and the implications for CMU researchers we will share that information with you.  

Regards,

Ann Mathias
Assistant Vice President for Research Compliance
Office of Research Integrity and Compliance

The Department of Energy Issued the Following Talent Policy Notification on February 1, 2019:

“The Department of Energy’s world-class National Laboratories have a unique ability to link leaders in America’s scientific and academic communities with the best minds around the world to foster innovation and better understand the world around us. Unfortunately, some foreign government-sponsored talent recruitment programs have taken advantage of America’s openness to collaboration to infiltrate our labs, steal our technology and use our own resources against us. We can no longer allow these programs to operate within our scientific community at the expense of our own national interest. To limit further exploitation of the National Lab system and prevent taxpayer dollars from benefiting foreign competitors, going forward, DOE federal and contractor personnel, including laboratory employees, will be subject to limitations, including prohibitions on their ability to participate in talent recruitment programs sponsored by countries determined sensitive by DOE while maintaining employment within the DOE system.

NOTIFICATION:

  • DOE is announcing the policy today and will implement it in an orderly fashion pursuant to DOE internal processes.
  • This policy will address talent recruitment programs sponsored by certain countries seeking scientific and technological exploitation of our expertise.
  • This policy seeks to cease the influence of foreign talent recruitment programs in the U.S. scientific community, specifically the DOE laboratory complex. This action is being taken to protect U.S. national security interests and scientific integrity.
  • DOE values and fully intends to continue international collaboration efforts. We will maintain our engagement in shared research opportunities and welcome new opportunities for cooperation with those countries that follow the scientific principles of transparency and reciprocity.
  • It mandates that DOE federal and contractor personnel fully disclose and, as necessary, terminate affiliations with foreign government-supported talent recruitment programs.

Examples and reports of foreign abuse in our national laboratory system can be found here, here, and here.”