Engaging Visiting Collaborators
- Visiting scientists are a tremendous asset to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s global research program, and their contributions to what we do are recognized and appreciated. In addition to restricted party screening, it is important to follow proper appointment procedures to ensure that we obtain the required documentation to ensure that individuals are properly authorized to engage in collaborative research at the university. In addition, the export control officer will need to review the I-129 Visa attestation to ensure that visiting scientists are given access to university space and systems that are appropriate for the proposed work. Offices to consult when considering visiting scientist, scholar, and student engagement include UNC Global International Student and Scholar Services, Workforce Strategy, Equity, and Engagement – Human Resources, and firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Be diligent in evaluating the nature of any visiting collaborators: visitors with extended stays, or who do not have the appropriate background for the anticipated research activity, must be carefully scrutinized. Any activity that raises suspicion should be thoroughly evaluated in consultation with your Dean’s Office and the Export Control Officer.
- The NIH policy applies to foreign involvement in any of the work scope, regardless of whether NIH funds are actually expended to directly pay for such involvement.
- NIH has clarified that the policy also applies to unfunded collaborations where a foreign entity or person performs work contributing to the NIH work scope, at no charge to the NIH grant (e.g., performing an analysis, animal study).
- NIH has now reminded the research community that “receipt of financial support or resources from a foreign entity” includes visiting scientists funded by foreign sources who are engaged in NIH work scope while collaborating with NIH-funded faculty here are considered “participants” and must be reported to NIH. See RPPR instruction guide dated May 22, 2017, 6.4 Section D – Participants.
- Given this last clarification, NIH expects researchers—at a minimum—to disclose the in-kind support that visiting scientists provide as part of the “Other Support” portion of the grant application. Furthermore, NIH also requires prior approval of a foreign component if the visiting scientist will continue to perform any of the NIH grant work scope upon return to their home country.
- Please discuss with the Office of Sponsored Research or the School of Medicine Sponsored Programs Office on how to characterize unpaid effort by collaborators (both domestic and foreign) in grant progress reports.