Frequently Asked Questions

Foreign influence or undue foreign influence are terms used to describe the federal government's concerns over foreign governments and entities' influence in academia which could negatively impact the United State's economic competitiveness and national security.  The four main areas of concern are:

  1. Peer review violations
  2. Failure to disclose substantial foreign resources, including but not limited to: foreign employment arrangements, foreign grant support that creates problem with overlap, or over-commitment, foreign talents programs.
  3. Failure to disclose significant foreign financial conflicts of interest
  4. Compliance with regulatory requirements including US Export Control laws and regulations, which establish a set of requirements for the transfer of technology and data to foreign countries and/or foreign nationals in the US and sanctions from the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which restrict interactions with individuals or entities on the sanctions list.

These concerns resulted in new legislation, federal investigations, and updated disclosure requirements, emphasizing the importance for researchers and universities to disclose accurately, properly and consistently and establish practices to reduce the risks.

Please review the Basics section and continue to monitor our website and campus emails for announcements of changes since this is an evolving compliance area. 

If you have specific questions, please contact Nadia Wong at

  • Failing to disclose all the required information such as foreign outside financial interests, relationships and affiliations.
    • Examples:
      • Not disclosing participation in a foreign talents program as Other Support/Current & Pending Support to the federal agency.
      • Not disclosing receipt of foreign government grants or research funding.
      • Not disclosing position/appointment/time commitment at foreign institutions.
  • Having inconsistent disclosures when compared those collected for research proposals and awards, conflict of commitment, conflict of interest and other publicly available information.
    • For example, disclosing consulting activity in your conflict of commitment form (UC OATS) but not including the income received from those consulting activities in your financial disclosures to Conflict of Interest for your PHS/NSF research project.
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