Foreign Influence on Federally Sponsored Research

UVA strongly supports international collaboration and values its partnerships with universities and other organizations worldwide; however, it is important that all faculty members understand the current regulatory and enforcement landscape.

The U.S. Government is taking steps to increase oversight and protect U.S. research investments from undue foreign influence and by those seeking to compromise U.S. national and economic security by undermining our primacy as a global leader in research and technology development.

Foreign governments’ active recruitment of scholars into “foreign talent (recruitment) programs” and their attempts to influence nationals of their country (and supported nationals of other countries) to misappropriate federally funded research results and intellectual property from U.S. institutions of higher education are of particular concern. Note: The U.S. government has not formally defined “foreign talent programs” or “foreign talent recruitment programs” but has named China’s Thousand Talents Program as an example. 

UVA's Commitment to and Support of Global Engagement

The University of Virginia believes that global engagement, both by bringing international scholars to Grounds and encouraging our scholars to collaborate internationally, enriches the student experience and brings diverse knowledge and experiences that enhance our scholarship. UVA’s global engagement initiatives aspire to establish “a vibrant global presence that fosters global knowledge, inquiry, and cross-cultural understanding among faculty and students” (Global Affairs) which is seen as critical to positioning our students, the University, and the Commonwealth for success in an increasingly interconnected world. 

UVA promotes and supports global engagement of our faculty and students as part of our commitment to diversity, which along with ethics, integrity and academic excellence form the foundation of our University culture. “When people of different backgrounds come together, they exchange ideas, question assumptions (including their own), and broaden horizons for us all” (UVA’s Commitment to Diversity). 

Global engagement is a net positive for the University and nearly all forms of international collaboration and exchange are encouraged by University priorities and permitted by institutional policies as well as applicable laws and regulations. However, in limited instances, these activities may pose a risk of harm, loss of funding, or legal consequences for the University, its students, and its faculty. Taking a few simple steps, consistent with established University expectations and existing practices, will help ensure that international collaborations and other global engagement activities are transparent and in full compliance with applicable requirements. 

This guidance has been prepared by the Offices of the Vice President for Research, Export Controls, and Global Affairs.

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