Research, foreign influence and academic security

Federal agencies have recently expressed growing concerns regarding inappropriate influence by foreign entities over federally funded research. This has resulted in new legislation, guidance and policy statements clarifying and adding additional research security measures including:

  • Disclosure of relationships and activities with foreign institutions.
  • Restrictions on participation in foreign government talent recruitment programs.
  • Guidance on conflict of interest and conflict of commitment reporting.
  • Information security.

The Office of the Vice President for Research is actively working with our partners across the university to address these new and evolving requirements to develop and implement new processes and procedures in an open and transparent manner.

K-State values

K-State values and encourages international research, collaboration and scholarship. It is through our scholarly relationships — both domestic and international — that our faculty, staff and students continue to generate innovations and discoveries that leave lasting impacts across the globe. International students and scholars contribute significantly to the U.S. research enterprise.

At the same time, K-State is committed to adhering to regulatory requirements and being a good steward of state and federal agencies’ resources while pursuing our mission. K-State supports academic freedom and is committed to maintaining an open and transparent research environment that welcomes the participation of researchers from around the world. It is equally important that we support the research enterprise by complying with regulatory requirements.

Message from federal funding agencies

The recent message from the funding agencies is clear: Investigators and their universities must completely disclose all foreign activities to their federal funding sponsors. Many agencies require other support to be reported, such that all resources made available to a researcher in support of and/or related to all of their research endeavors must be included, regardless of whether they have monetary value or are based at the institution the researcher identifies for the current grant.

These disclosures include resource and/or financial support from all foreign and domestic entities, including, but not limited to:

  • In-kind resources, such as office/laboratory spaces, equipment, supplies, employees, students and visiting scholars, both within in the United States and internationally.
  • Financial support through active grants, pending proposals and other awards through cooperative agreements and contracts.
  • Professional affiliations, such as positions and scientific appointments.
  • Current or pending participation in “talents” or similar programs.
  • “Gifts” where items or funds are received when conditions are attached or deliverables are expected upon return.

For more information on these requirements, please see the federal agency links. In addition, the University Research Compliance Office, in coordination with PreAward Services, is developing templates that will be available soon to assist in reporting requirements.

For any questions related to foreign research and academic security, please contact Brad Woods at