In December 14, 2018, the Department of Energy issued a Memorandum addressing concerns about foreign exploitation of the U.S. scientific community. This Memorandum announced several policy changes, including prohibiting sensitive country foreign nationals from designated countries from conducting foreign visits and assignments on specific research areas. It also identified its proposal to prohibit DOE grant recipients from using U.S. tax dollars to conduct international research collaborations in specified research areas and locations.
In January 2019, the DOE issued a Memorandum announcing a plan to, in part, prohibit individuals from participating in foreign talent recruitment programs of DOE-designated sensitive countries while performing on DOE contracts. DOE specifically noted that “[t]hese limitations also will apply to recipients of financial assistance (e.g., grants or cooperative agreements).”
In February 2019, DOE issued a notice regarding its intention to require “federal and contractor personnel [to] fully disclose and, as necessary, terminate affiliations with foreign government-supported talent recruitment programs.” A notice followed in June 2019 in which the DOE provided its definition of a Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Program. The notice defined a foreign government talent program 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.”
In addition, the DOE requires additional information in their required quarterly progress reports. The following is a summary of the DOE’s new reporting requirements for senior or key personnel. These requirements as listed below, are excerpted directly from the DOE award terms:
“Include the following information on participants and other collaborating organizations during the reporting period:
i. What individuals have worked on the project?
Provide the following information for: (1) Project director(s)/Principal investigator(s) (PDs/PIs); and (2) each person who has worked at least 160 hours on the project during the reporting period, regardless of the source of compensation. Please note that such reporting does not constitute a formal institutional report of effort on the project, but rather is used by agency program staff to evaluate the progress of the project during a given reporting period.
ii. Provide the name and identify the role the person played in this project.
Indicate the total number of months (including partial months) (Calendar, Academic, Summer) that the individual worked on this project. Using the project roles identified below, select the most senior role in which the person worked on the project for any significant length of time. For example, if an undergraduate student graduated, entered graduate school, and continued to work on the project, show that person as a graduate student, preferably explaining the change in involvement.
Community College Faculty Technical School Faculty
Postdoctoral (scholar, fellow or other postdoctoral position) Other Professional
iii. Identify the person’s state, U.S. territory, and/or country of residence
State whether this person collaborated internationally.
If the participant was U.S.-based, state whether this person collaborated internationally with an individual located in a foreign country and specify whether the person traveled to the foreign country as part of the collaboration, and, if so, what the duration of stay was. The foreign country(ies) should be identified.
If the participant was not U.S.-based, state whether this person traveled to the U.S. or another country as part of a collaboration, and, if so, what the duration of stay was. The destination country should be identified.
Name: Mary Smith
Total Number of Months: 5.5
Project Role: Graduate Student
Researcher Identifier: 1234567
Contribution to Project: Ms. Smith has performed work in the area of combined error-control and constrained coding.
State, U.S. territory, and/or country of residence: Michigan, U.S.A.
Collaborated with individual in foreign country: Yes
Country(ies) of foreign collaborator: China
Travelled to foreign country: Yes
If traveled to foreign country(ies), duration of stay: 5 months
iv. What other organizations have been involved as partners?
Describe partner organizations- academic institutions, other nonprofits, industrial or commercial firms, state or local governments, schools or school systems, or other organizations (foreign or domestic) – that have been involved with the project. Partner organizations may provide financial or in-kind support, supply facilities or equipment, collaborate in the research, exchange personnel, or otherwise contribute.
v. Have other collaborators or contacts been involved?
Some significant collaborators or contacts within the recipient’s organization may not be covered by “What people have worked on the project?”. Likewise, some significant collaborators or contacts outside the recipients’ organization may not-be-covered under “What other organizations-have been involved as partners?”
For example, describe any significant:
collaborations with others within the recipient’s organization, especially interdepartmental or interdisciplinary collaborations;
collaborations or contact with others outside the organization; and
collaborations or contacts with others outside the United States or with an international organization.”