The University expects faculty to be transparent about their professional activities on behalf of the institution and other entities. Having a comprehensive understanding of the current and planned activities of faculty members allows institutional officials and administrators to more effectively support and coordinate aligned initiatives; address regulatory and sponsor requirements; and identify and manage risks including, but not limited to, actual or perceived conflicts of interest and commitment.
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.
2019 National Defense Authorization Act, Sec. 889
The University prohibits the purchase of telecommunications and surveillance equipment manufactured by or services provided by certain companies in order to retain our ability to receive federal funds, including grants and contracts, and to safeguard University systems and resident data from unauthorized access/intrusion. The federal prohibitions on procurement and contracting with parties that use covered equipment or services are found in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Sec. 889. Specifically the NDAA identifies the following companies:
- Huawei Technologies Company;
- ZTE Corporation;
- Hytera Communications Corporation;
- Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company;
- Dahua Technology Company; or
- Any subsidiary or affiliate (of the above listed companies). The list of companies identified to date are included with the list of other companies subject to procurement prohibitions, available HERE (Netbadge required).
Examples of covered equipment include, but are not limited to, laptops, phones, servers, hubs, switches, modems, routers, gateways, repeaters, VoIP switches, and surveillance cameras.
11/24/2020: The Office of Management and Budget published FAQs regarding the implementation of Sec. 889 to assistance agreements through updates to 2 CFR 200.216 (Uniform Guidance). Note: Federal contracts are subject to the requirements of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) which differ from the Uniform Guidance.
2018 National Defense Authorization Act, Sec. 1634
A similar but broader prohibition was enacted in the 2018 NDAA, Sec. 1634, pertaining to purchases of hardware, software or services developed or provided by certain entities. The prohibition became effective 10/1/2018 and reads as follows:
(a) Prohibition. -- No department, agency, organization, or other element of the Federal Government may use, whether directly or through work with or on behalf of another department, agency, organization, or element of the Federal Government, any hardware, software, or services developed or provided, in whole or in part, by --
- Kaspersky Lab (or any successor entity);
- any entity that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with Kaspersky Lab; or
- any entity of which Kaspersky Lab has a majority ownership.
The list of companies identified to date are included with the list of other companies subject to procurement prohibitions, available HERE (Netbadge required).
The requirements of Section 1634(a) were implemented by amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to add a new subpart 4.20, Prohibition on Contracting for Hardware, Software, and Services Developed or Provided by Kaspersky Lab, with a corresponding new contract clause at 52.204-23. As prescribed by 4.2004, 52.204-23 is to be inserted in all solicitations and contracts subject to the FAR.
Kaspersky Lab develops and markets antivirus, internet security, password management, endpoint security, and other cybersecurity products and services.
To assure compliance with federal requirements it is imperative that all University personnel be diligent in reviewing planned purchases to ensure that covered equipment does not become part of University systems, whether or not used to support federal awards or activities.
Compliance with these requirements is particularly challenging due to 1) the inclusion of subsidiary and affiliate companies, which are numerous and sometimes difficult to identify; 2) many of these covered items are offered by third party retailers (e.g., Amazon); and 3) the cost of many of the covered items is below the small dollar purchase threshold ($10K), meaning they can be purchased with a T&E card. Please send any questions or concerns related to this topic to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each faculty member must submit an annual report in a prescribed format summarizing their teaching, research, service, and outside consulting activities for the reporting period as well as other information deemed relevant by the provost, dean, department chair, or unit head (Annual Performance Reviews). The annual report should identify all professional activities and engagements, whether or not funded, such as honorary appointments, consulting activities, serving on a student advisory committee, corporate board or government advisory committees, and involvement with or participation in a talent development or recruitment program.
With regard to reporting external consulting, University policy HRM-045, Faculty External Consulting and Internal Overload, states the following:
"Faculty members are required to disclose their Consulting activities as part of their annual report, including the number of days of Consulting while on salary (including External Consulting and Internal Overload), the clients/units for whom the Consulting was done, and any other information requested by their school as part of the annual reporting process."
The University expects faculty members to disclose the names of all external consulting clients regardless of when the work was performed (i.e., while on or off salary) and the total number of days spent consulting while on salary on the annual report. The amount of compensation received need not be reported on the annual report, unless required by the faculty member's school or unit; however, faculty members are reminded that external consulting compensation that meets or exceeds established thresholds for "significant financial interests" (see RES-005, Financial Conflicts of Interest for Research Investigators) must be reported through the University's On-Line Disclosure System.
Academic Leadership is responsible for determining whether or not an activity constitutes a conflict of commitment with University duties. This determination is independent of whether or not the activity constitutes a (financial) conflict of interest.
A University researcher who has a personal financial interest that may bias or appear to bias their research, could have a research related financial conflict of interest. Virginia law, federal research rules, and University policy define and regulate these conflicts. No distinction is made between domestic and foreign financial interests with regard to these requirements. For more information, visit the Office of Vice President for Research’s conflict of interest page.
Acceptance of gifts, monetary awards, and honoraria by University faculty and staff are also governed by financial conflict of interest and, when permitted, must be disclosed. Gifts to the University that are subsequently distributed to support an individual’s professional activities, e.g., endowed chairs, that follow standard institutional process need not be disclosed by the individual.
Current & Pending or Other Support
Applicants for external funding are, as part of the proposal package, typically required to disclose all sources of research support in the “Other Support” or “Current & Pending Support” section of their proposals. This includes all financial and non-financial resources, foreign and domestic, available to them to support their individual’s research endeavors.
Recently federal sponsors have become particularly concerned about participation in foreign government talent recruitment programs or talent development programs. While participation in such programs is not illegal, it is a source of support that must be disclosed. Depending on the sponsor and proposed research, key personnel may be advised or required to terminate their affiliation with the foreign talent program in order to receive an award.
Other forms of support, e.g., provision of laboratory facilities or support staff at a foreign institutions as part of an affiliate or honorary appointment, are also being scrutinized and must be disclosed.
See, Sponsor Information.
Under the NIH Grants Policy Statement, “foreign components” must be disclosed on proposals, progress reports, and final technical reports. Adding a foreign component or transferring substantive programmatic work from a domestic recipient to a foreign component requires prior approval from NIH. A “foreign component” is defined as the performance of any significant scientific element or segment of a project outside of the United States, either by the recipient or by a researcher employed by a foreign organization, whether or not grant funds are expended. Activities that would meet this definition include, but are not limited to,
- the involvement of human subjects or animals;
- extensive foreign travel by recipient project staff for the purpose of data collection, surveying, sampling, and similar activities;
- any activity of the recipient that may have an impact on U.S. foreign policy through involvement in the affairs or environment of a foreign country.
Examples of other grant-related activities that may be significant are:
- collaborations with investigators at a foreign site anticipated to result in co-authorship;
- use of facilities or instrumentation at a foreign site; or
- receipt of financial support or resources (e.g., research materials, data sets, cell lines, etc.) from a foreign entity.
Other federal and non-federal sponsors may have similar requirements. Faculty should review current sponsor-specific guidance and instructions and work with their school or departmental research administration staff or the Office of Sponsored Programs to assure compliance with current sponsor disclosure requirements.
Export controls are a complex set of US government laws and regulations intended to limit trade and other activities, including those related to the conduct of academic research, to countries and for purposes that are aligned with US interests (e.g., national security, treaty compliance, short supply, crime control, antiterrorism, regional stability, etc.). In general, export controls are targeted at specific categories of commodities which are identified on lists defined in statues, regulations, or treaties (e.g., endangered species, nuclear weapons, munitions, biological weapons, or commercial goods).
Export controls apply to items (e.g., equipment, components, and materials), software, and certain types of proprietary information about controlled items. Licensing (and denial) criteria are based on a combination of what is being exported, where it's going, who will receive/use it, and for what purpose. Because export controls apply to information as well as items and software, a license may be required for release/disclosure to foreign nationals in the US.
License exceptions or exemptions are available to authorize many University activities that are subject to export controls. When practicable and necessary to support University activities, the Office of Export Controls (OEC) will pursue export licenses to support University activities; however, OEC cannot guarantee such license requests will be granted or how long it may take to receive a license, if granted.
See Export Controls for additional information and available UVA resources.
Similar to export controls, sanction programs are used to implement US foreign policy regarding trade; sanction programs may be country-based (e.g., Iran, Cuba, or North Korea) or list-based (e.g., global terrorists or narcotics traffickers). Comprehensive country-based sanction programs have very broad prohibitions including on the import and export of commodities, financial transactions, and the provision of services, including those related to research and education, to parties in sanctioned countries or by such parties to US parties.
General licenses are available to authorized certain activities and services related to research and teaching but they are narrow and vary among the sanction programs. When practicable and necessary to support University activities, the Office of Export Controls (OEC) will pursue specific licenses for activities subject to sanction program prohibitions; however, OEC cannot guarantee such license requests will be granted or how long it may take to receive a license, if granted.
See Export Controls for additional information and available UVA resources.
Restricted Party Screening
Restricted party screening is a best practice that should be conducted prior to investing significant time or effort in developing collaborations or agreements with new foreign entities. Restricted party screening identifies entities and individuals subject to us export control restrictions, denial or debarment orders, sanction programs, as well as state and federal non-procurement programs. Upon submission of a request to email@example.com, the Office of Export (OEC) controls will perform pre-engagement restricted party screenings; all that is needed is the name of the entity or individual but additional information, such as country or physical address, is appreciated to prevent false positives.
Restricted party screening is performed as part of normal business processes for export and sanction assessments, new vendor registration, risk assessment of new sponsors, subcontractors/subawardees, parties to non-funded agreements, and to review international visitors. Additional information is available on OEC's restricted party screening page.
UVA has expanded our restricted party screening processes to include certain other entities of concern to the institution or US government. In some instances, inclusion on a UVA Client Inclusion List is only informational in nature while in others it represents an institutional decision not to conduct business with the listed party. Specific instructions for these entities are included in the notes provided to the individual conducting the screening.
Contact OEC at firstname.lastname@example.org with any requests for restricted party screening.
It is important to realize that all aspects and phases of the research lifecycle can be vulnerable to undue foreign influence, this is particularly true of the peer review process that selects which research proposals receive funding and which manuscripts are published.
Similar to how shared core principles and values (i.e., openness and transparency; accountability and honesty; impartiality and objectivity; respect; freedom of inquiry; reciprocity; and merit-based competition) form the foundation for principled collaborations, the peer review process relies on individuals commitment to confidentiality, disclosure (e.g., of potential conflicts of interest), and data security. Regardless of whether or not you are submitting content for review or serving as a reviewer, you need to understand how and why confidentiality is assured and the potential for bias in the review process is mitigated.
In response to recent findings of confidentiality breeches during the peer review process, federal sponsoring agencies have taken additional steps to clarify expectations regarding required disclosures (e.g., of potential conflicts), enhance system safeguards, and increase monitoring. They have also taken steps to address inappropriate behaviors that undermine the integrity of the peer review process and the overall research enterprise, primarily by removing individuals from peer review panels. Similar steps are being taken by reputable publishers.
Check out this NIH Case Study in Review Integrity: Sharing an Application Being Reviewed for additional insights on sponsor and institutional expectations regarding peer review confidentiality.
The following are provided as examples, please refer to the policies, procedures, and guidelines issued by the sponsors and publishers appropriate to your field or discipline.
Sponsoring Agencies (Funding Proposals)
- NIH Peer Review Policies and Practices
- NSF Merit Review
- DOD CDMRP's Two-Tiered Review Process
Publishers (Journals and Manuscripts)
- ICMJE Responsibilities in the Submission and Peer-Review Process
- Nature Peer-review Policy and Confidentiality
- Science Peer Review at Science Publications
- IEEE About the Peer Review Process and Ethics in Peer Review
- Springer Peer Review Policy, Process and Guidance
- PNAS Information for Reviewers
For current travel guidance please consult UVA's Novel Corona Virus website at https://www.virginia.edu/coronavirus/travel-guidance.
Basic information for individuals traveling abroad for University purposes is available on Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services’ international travel page. The page includes information on University policies, procedures and resources related to international travel (e.g., Traveler’s Clinic services, health plan coverage, and vehicle rental insurance for international travel) as well as links to a variety of U.S. government resources.
Export Controls and Sanction Programs
Everything you take with you on international travel is considered an export, even if you bring it back or use it up while on travel. FIN-043, Managing Export and Sanction Compliance in Support of University Activities, requires that all exports of University-owned items (including laptops, tablets, and smart phones) be reviewed and approved prior to export (i.e., international travel). While licenses aren’t typically required for standard items to most destinations, request an assessment well in advance of travel to allow time to obtain licenses when necessary. Licenses are routinely required for University travel to and activities in or involving comprehensively sanctioned countries (e.g., Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria). For additional information visit the Office of Export Controls international travel page or contact a staff member for assistance.
Traveling Securely Abroad
Protecting your data and electronic devices while traveling is extremely important. Check with your department or local support provider (LSP) to see if a “loaner” laptop is available for you to take on travel. Avoid carrying any sensitive, confidential, or proprietary data on your device or portable media. If it is absolutely essential that you take such data with you, check with both the Office of Export Controls and Information Security to ensure that you have appropriate licenses or other authorizations and safeguards in place to adequately protect the information. Consult Information Security’s Best Practices for Traveling Internationally page for specific guidance on precautions before you go, while traveling and when you return.
Obtaining a Visa for International Travel
It is important that all University travelers engaged in University activities outside the United States travel with the appropriate immigration documentation, including passport and visa where required. It is the traveler’s responsibility to obtain all required authorizations and documents prior to engaging in international travel. Non-US citizen members of the University community who will be returning to Grounds following international travel should consult their sponsoring office for required documents, signatures, and U.S. entry visa requirements. International students and scholars are encouraged to review the guidance provided on International Studies Office’s Travel and Re-entry page.
The Office of the Vice President for Research developed Guidelines for Authorship and Avoiding Authorship Disputes (PDF) as a supplement to the University policy, RES-004, Research Misconduct. The guidelines also provide answers to frequently asked questions and links to reference materials.
As a general rule, UVA expects to be the only institutional affiliation listed by our employees (e.g., faculty and research staff); trainees/fellows; and enrolled students. Common exceptions to this general rule are when an author changes affiliations during the course of the research (this typically can and should be noted) or holds dual appointments (UVA and an external entity) approved by the Provost's Office (see, University policy PROV-009, Faculty Holding Appointments at Other Institutions or Organizations). Other than these common exceptions, authors are advised to consult with the associate dean for research in your school or the Office of the Vice President for Research prior to listing multiple affiliations in research publications.
Visiting students/scholars/scientists should affiliate with their home institution but may, if desired, recognize work performed while in a visiting role at another institution in the acknowledgements.
Individuals who provided support or contributions to the research/scholarship but who do not meet authorship criteria, should be recognized in the acknowledgements.
Sponsors are also typically identified in the acknowledgements section but authors should follow publisher instructions. When research is supported by multiple awards or sponsors, it may be important to note the aspects of the work funded by each; if this is not possible (e.g., due to limits on length) or permitted by the publisher, the authors are advised to document it in their own records in case questions arise later.
Connections to Foreign Influence
One way that research sponsors and enforcement agencies identify potential cases of undue foreign influence and/or non-compliance with sponsor terms and conditions for further investigation is by comparing coauthors, affiliations, and sponsor acknowledgements listed in publications against collaborators, affiliations, and current & pending (other) support reported in research proposals and reports. While not all cases identified by these comparisons are problematic, it is important that authors and principal investigators be able to explain any apparent inconsistencies.