Introduction

As part of the U.S. Governments efforts to protect U.S. intellectual property and the integrity of federally funded research endeavors, major federal sponsors have issued clarification and new guidance regarding requirements for disclosing other support.

CU Boulder is committed to international engagement and collaboration and to complying with all U.S. regulations governing international research collaborations. Disclosing and vetting other support through the proper channels protects everyone’s interests and the CU research enterprise. In extreme cases, failure to disclose other support and outside activities can result in termination of funding, ineligibility for future funding, and threaten overall funding for the University.

The following provides guidance to researchers on best practices and requirements for disclosing other support and outside activities at the proposal stage.

CU Boulder Researcher Responsibilities

  • Maintain and update a record of all current and pending support. OCG has a current and pending spreadsheet to assist with this.
  • Be familiar with sponsor requirements for disclosing current and pending support (guidance for major federal sponsors provided below).
  • Annually disclose and update as needed all outside professional activities and financial relationships through the CU Disclosure of External Professional Activities (DEPA) form.
  • Provide accurate information and certification on an OCG Proposal Submission Request (PSR) form for each proposal.
  • Follow federal and CU Boulder disclosure and reporting requirements related to foreign support of research.
  • Err on the side of transparency when disclosing other support and outside activities to CU Boulder and federal agencies.
  • If you are involved in a foreign talent recruitment program, disclose this involvement in your DEPA and in proposal current and pending document. Note that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits national lab contractor personnel from participating in foreign talent recruitment programs.
  • In submitting proposals, PIs certify that all information is complete and accurate to the best of their knowledge. Exclusion of information in any documents may be considered by the university and the funder as providing fraudulent information.

Federal Sponsor Disclosure Requirements

National Science Foundation (NSF)

All PIs, Co-PIs and non-Co-PI senior personnel from CU and subaward or collaborative institutions must provide a Current and Pending Support document, that:

  • Follows NSF guidelines for content and format
  • Includes all current and pending support for ongoing projects and proposals from all sources, foreign and domestic
  • Include support from Federal, State, local, foreign, public or private foundations, industrial or other commercial organizations, or internal funds allocated toward specific projects
  • All projects or activities that require a time commitment from the individual must be included, even if there is no salary support from the project

All PIs, Co-PIs and non-Co-PI senior personnel from CU and subaward or collaborative institutions must also provide a Biographical Sketch, disclosing all appointments.

Reference NSF 19-200 Dear Colleague Letter: Research Protection posted July 11, 2019.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

All PIs, Co-PIs and senior/key personnel from CU and subaward institutions must provide an Other Support document, typically at the “Just in Time” phase before an award is made and in progress reports (RPPRs) if there are changes in support or addition of key personnel. Other Support must:

  • Follow NIH guidelines for content and format
  • Be provided for anyone contributing to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not they request salaries or compensation (all Senior/Key Personnel. Not required for Other Significant Contributors).
  • Include all financial resources, whether Federal, non-Federal, commercial or institutional, available in direct support of an individual's research endeavors. Include gifts in direct support of an individual’s research endeavors as well as financial support for laboratory personnel.
  • Include all non-financial resources (i.e. lab space, high value materials, animals, equipment, supplies, support for employees or  students contributing to the research) uniquely available (i.e., not a shared resource or facility broadly available) in direct support of an individual's research endeavors.
    • Non-financial resources intended for use on the proposed project can be reported in Facilities and Other Resources or the Other Support document.
      • If the time commitment or dollar value of the in-kind contribution is not readily ascertainable, the recipient must provide reasonable estimates.
      • If there is no associated effort level, zero effort can be listed but an estimated dollar value must be listed; effort and dollar value cannot both be zero.
      • An item or service given with the expectation of an associated time commitment is not a gift and is an in-kind contribution and must be reported as Other Support.
  • Include all positions and appointments, domestic and foreign, with or without remuneration full-time, part-time, or voluntary within the Biosketch. This includes Consulting agreements (that are not a part of one’s CU appointment), where the person will be conducting research as part of the consulting activities.
  • For foreign appointments, provide Supporting Documentation; copies of contracts specific to the individual’s foreign appointments and/or foreign employment and/or all foreign activities and resources that are reported in Other Support. If not in English, translated copies must be included.
  • Not include gifts and CU startup packages, unless in direct support of an individual’s research endeavors, nor training awards, prizes or gifts.
  • Not include either the application under consideration nor the current NIH award for this project.

Also to be noted:

  • “Financial resources” is interpreted broadly and includes any project an individual is committing measurable effort to and research efforts under an appointment or affiliation with a foreign institution or entity where support is non-monetary.
  • Include in-kind support and selection to foreign talents or similar-type program.
  • Gifts and CU start up packages do not need to be reported. However, if a gift received from an outside entity is in direct support of an individual’s research endeavors, the recommendation is to report it.
  • All current scientific positions, appointments and honors should also be disclosed in the NIH Biographical Sketch document.
  • Institutional resources (ex: broadly available core facilities/shared equipment) should be listed under Facilities and Other Resources within the proposal application. When in doubt, disclose.

NIH has specific requirements for foreign components related to disclosure. NIH defines foreign component as “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.” Note that a visiting fellow working on an NIH funded project may be considered a foreign component and should be discussed with the NIH Grants Management Officer (see FAQ #7).

Disclosure of a foreign component must be made in the NIH application:

  • On the R&R Other Project Information Form
  • In a “Foreign Justification” attachment
  • In cases where foreign support is provided (ex: foreign fellow working on NIH project, etc., disclose this support on the Other Support document as an In-Kind Contribution.
  • Supporting Documentation (i.e. copies of contracts) should be provided for all foreign activities and support.

See NIH NOT-OD-19-114 released July 10, 2019 and FAQs on Other Support and Foreign Components and Examples of What to Disclose to NIH about Senior/Key Personnel on Applications and Awards.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Current and pending support must be provided in NASA proposals as follows:

  • For all PIs and Co-PIs
  • For all Co-Is proposing to spend 10% or more of their time on the proposed project
  • PIs and Co-PIs must disclose all ongoing pending projects and proposals, regardless of salary
  • Co-Is must disclose ongoing and pending projects that require a significant share (more than 10%) of their time
  • Follow NASA requirements and formatting

NASA is restricted from using funds to enter into or under any grant or cooperative agreement of any kind “to participate, collaborate, or coordinate bilaterally in any way with China or any Chinese-owned company, at the prime recipient level or at any subrecipient level, whether the bilateral involvement is funded or performed under a no-exchange of funds arrangement.” For all NASA proposals:

Department of Defense (DOD)

As of April 20, 2019, DoD notice of funding opportunities (NFO) for research and research-related educational activities will include a requirement for current and pending support documentation from all key personnel at the proposal stage.

The current and pending support document must include:

  • A list of current projects the individual is working on, as well as any future support applied for, regardless of source. This includes all projects funded or pending funding decision from any source: all domestic and international sources, funds internal and external to CU, and funds paid directly to the individual
  • Titles and objectives of the other research projects
  • Percentage per year devoted to the other projects
  • Total amount of support the individual is receiving or will receive
  • Name and address of agencies and/or other parties supporting other research projects
  • Period of performance for the other research projects

For reference, see the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) memo issued on March 20, 2019.

Department of Energy (DOE)

DOE does not provide agency guidance on current and pending documents. Refer to specific DOE funding opportunity announcements for details.

On July 7, 2019, DOE issued a directive regarding foreign government talent programs. Per this directive:

  • DOE does not allow participation in foreign talent programs by its employees or contractor personnel.
  • A CU researcher who is contracted to work in a DOE national lab and who is part of a foreign talent program must remove his/her association with the talent program before receiving funding.
  • Foreign government talent recruitment programs are defined as, “any foreign-state-sponsored attempt to acquire U.S. scientific-funded research or technology through foreign government-run or funded recruitment programs that target scientists, engineers, academics, researchers, and entrepreneurs of all nationalities working or educated in the United States.”

Resources

If you have any questions regarding sponsor requirements for disclosure at the proposal stage, contact your Proposal Analyst. If you have questions regarding disclosure or updates to disclosures once an award has been made, contact your Grant or Contract Officer. All OCG staff contacts can be found in the OCG Directory.