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Foreign Engagement



A Message from Vice Provost Wirtz and Vice Provost Links – 7/20/2020

Dear Faculty Colleagues:

Johns Hopkins values and seeks to enhance our education and training activities with international partners and students. To successfully nurture such engagements, faculty need to be attentive to a variety of reporting requirements, including several recent updates by the NIH and NSF. There are helpful links below, and you may always reach out to your responsible research office, faculty affairs office, and conflict of interest office with any questions.

While we pursue robust international engagement, we recognize that our research enterprise is funded from a variety of sponsors, both domestic and foreign, and that we must be attentive to their requirements. In particular, U.S. government agencies, which fund the majority of our research, have expressed increasing concern about protecting national security and U.S. economic interests when taxpayer dollars fund our work. We must be responsible stewards of these funds and ensure that we are mindful of protecting intellectual property and know-how, as required by the terms of our funding.

We must also be transparent regarding our outside activities. All personnel are required by policy (and for some funded research, regulation) to disclose all of their outside activities—even uncompensated activities—that are related to university duties. For faculty who engage with institutions abroad, all such appointments must be reviewed and prospectively approved by the responsible school leadership. For that approval to be effective there must be a clear delineation of the need for the faculty appointment at the foreign institution, the obligations associated with the additional appointment, and any compensation or expense reimbursement that the faculty member will receive. Any expectations that the foreign institution may have related to the faculty member’s additional appointment must be explicitly clear, and if the appointment requires a commitment of effort by the faculty member at the other institution, a corresponding reduction in employed effort at JHU will be required.

When a faculty member holds an approved appointment at a foreign institution, he/she may not bring students or trainees from that institution for research and educational opportunities at JHU unless there is an institutional-level agreement between the two institutions. Faculty members must also ensure that they completely disclose their relationships on any grant applications and progress reports.

The NIH and NSF have both recently updated their disclosure requirements about exactly what needs to be disclosed and when. All faculty should check these new requirements and ensure that they are making current, complete disclosures.

We urge faculty to be attentive to these requirements and thank you for your support of our longstanding commitment to conducting fundamental research with a worldwide community of scholars and broadly publishing the results for the benefit of all humankind


Denis Wirtz
Vice Provost for Research
TH Smoot Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Andrew Douglas
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Additional JHU Communications on Foreign Collaboration

Additional Resources



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