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UCI SOM Guidance on Foreign Affiliations and International Research

Recent reports and guidance from the federal government have highlighted the importance of disclosing financial interests, affiliations, activities, and relationships with foreign entities. At UCI, international collaboration is very important. However, it is also important to be aware of disclosure requirements and compliance procedures UCI has in place to protect faculty members.

Issues that are often problematic are:    

  • Conflict of Commitment not filed annually
  • Conflict of Interest not filed when needed
  • “Other Support” reporting is incomplete
  • Funding agencies are not updated on new foreign engagements
  • Lack of awareness of regulations regarding international collaboration and possible threats

The UCI Office of Research has provided detailed guidance and contact information on their website. (  

To improve transparency and streamline faculty reporting, the UC has created the Outside Activity Tracking System (OATS), a simple, web-based interactive application through which university faculty members can report outside activities and income, in accordance with UCOP conflict of commitment policies. The system is designed to help faculty understand these and related policies. You can find the site here ›

The following points summarize existing policies and provide guidance as you navigate international collaborations. 

  1. Conflict of Commitment (COC) should be filed annually and be consistent with the Conflict of Interest (COI) information.
  2. Conflict of Interest (COI) should be filed when needed. It is the faculty’s responsibility to completely and accurately disclose all external financial interests and support, affiliations, activities and relationships with any foreign entities when applying for federal grants. UCI Office of Research provides a disclosure chart re: State Law, NSF, PHS and Human Subjects.
  3. Visiting Researchers
    Proposals: A visiting researcher should submit other support documentation, if he/she will contribute in any way to the research set out in the scope of work. Submit in the format required by the sponsor and at the time the sponsor requires. Visitors should note if they are participating in a Foreign Talent Program.

    On-going projects: Report all participants on a project within your progress report. This section also requests whether the individual’s primary affiliation is with a foreign organization.
  4. Documentation of Research Destination
    Faculty should document in writing conversations and decisions about what each student, visiting researcher, and postdoctoral scholar will take when leaving a laboratory.
  5. Hosting Visitors 
    • The resume/curriculum vitae is necessary to verify the background of the international visitor and confirm there is no affiliation with restricted parties or embargoed organization. UCOP
    • Laboratory and VIP medical visits which can be potential entry points for unwanted information gathering. 
    • UCI hosts should review goals and parameters of each visit.
    • Be aware of activities like adding unrelated additional visitors with little advance.
    • Be clear on vetting visitors, be sure to discuss expected project ownership outcomes and what is considered appropriate data exchange.
  6. Visiting Foreign Countries
    Hand-carrying items for research or University work in your luggage when going abroad is an export. Depending on the item you are carrying and your ultimate travel destination, an export license may be required. The UCI Office of Research has provided export control guidance and contact information on their website

NIH: Other Support
NIH: Biosketch Format, Instructions and Samples
NIH: NOT-OD-18-160 – SFI Reminder
PHS: Promoting Objectivity in Research
NSF: Current and Pending Support
NSF: Biographical Sketch(es) – Synergistic Activities
NSF: Collaborations and Other Affiliations

UCI SOM Guidance on Peer Review 

Individuals serving on NIH, NSF or other federal agency scientific peer review panels should note and comply with all requirements to maintain the confidentiality of the information in research grant applications. In addition, researchers should refrain from approaching individuals on committees reviewing applications. 

NIH Peer Review Policies and Practices are available here.