Recent NIH and NSF Communications on Science and Security, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest

July 19, 2019


Office of the Dean for Research


To: Members of the Princeton research community

From: Pablo G. Debenedetti, Dean for Research

Subject: Recent NIH and NSF communications on science and security, disclosures, and conflict of interest

Date: July 18th, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

I write to advise you of communications issued last week on the broad topics of science and security, disclosures, and conflict of interest by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), Princeton’s two largest federal sponsors.

On July 10, the NIH issued a notice as well as FAQ to remind the research community about the need to report foreign activities through documentation of other support, foreign components, and financial conflict of interest to prevent scientific, budgetary, or commitment overlap.

Please take the time to review the notice and the FAQ in their entirety to ensure compliance in your NIH submissions.

On July 11, NSF Director France Cordova issued a Dear Colleague Letter providing an agency- level view of the matter of research protection, including recent steps NSF has taken to address concerns in this arena. There is no immediately actionable information here, but I provide this to convey the broad attention that the matter of science and security is receiving among federal agencies.

As I wrote to you in February, the issue of non-disclosure of sources of funding in grant and contract applications continues to receive increased scrutiny at the federal level. The situation continues to develop and we will share additional information and guidance as it becomes available. The Office of the Dean for Research is carefully reviewing the information in these agency communications and working with peer universities and national associations to productively engage federal agencies on these matters and clarify policies and requirements as needed.

In closing, I would like to reassure you that as government agencies work to advance innovation and protect the integrity of the U.S. research enterprise, Princeton remains committed to openness and international collaboration, which are essential to our research enterprise--in the nation’s service and the service of humanity.

Should you have any questions regarding the NIH and NSF communications, please do not hesitate to reach out to Elizabeth Adams, Director of the Office of Research and Project Administration (ORPA) at [email protected]/8-3090, or your ORPA Grant and Contract Administrator.


Best wishes, Pablo


Pablo G. Debenedetti, Dean for Research

Class of 1950 Professor in Engineering and Applied Science

Phone: 609-258-5480