Navigating International Research collaborations with guidance from Duke research support offices

Friday, May 17, 2019
Picture of panelists at Research Town Hall event











Foreign “relationships”

As Jim Luther, Duke Vice President for Finance and Sponsor Liaison and Research Compliance Officer emphasized, foreign relationships, regardless of financial components, should be considered for management & appropriate disclosure in grant documents.

  • In the context of international collaborations, special considerations should be given to intellectual property, the peer review process and the overlap between scientific and financial commitment.
    • National Institutes of Health requires that intellectual property is protected through the entire process of grant application and selection
    • Department of Energy mandates that all DOE contractor personnel fully disclose and, if necessary, terminate affiliations with foreign government-supported talent recruitment programs
    • Department of Defense limit or prohibit funding for institutions or individual researchers who violate regulations

Training and resources

Lindsey Spangler, JD, Assistant Dean for Research Facilitation at the School of Medicine advised:

  • Additional guidance from the NIH is forthcoming, and when received, will be posted on Duke’s Grant Support website (
  • If submitting a proposal to the NIH, be sure to review the definition of “Foreign Component.” To update the NIH on new or changing foreign components, work with your grant administrator to submit a prior approval request through your assigned central research administration office (ORA or ORS).
  • Note that the definition of foreign component may include publications with foreign co-authors, so it’s important to ensure proper disclosure to NIH if your publication will meet the definition of foreign component.

Conflict of Interest

Angie Solomon, Associate Director of the School of Medicine Conflict of Interest advised:

  • Full disclosure of financial support is required to Duke, funding agencies, collaborators and journal editors; non-disclosure can compromise the credibility of research even if nothing unethical happened.
  • Investigators with research sponsored by the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are required to disclose certain information about all sponsored or reimbursed international travel with a few exceptions.

International Shipping and Exports/ Imports regulations

Dan Vick, MBA, Director of Duke Export Controls, advised:

  • Contact Duke Export Controls Office to determine if export licenses or import permits are required for international shipment and, if so, to apply for these.
  • Contact Duke Export Controls for advice on travel to restricted destinations.

Read next article on International Research at Duke: Overcoming Challenges and Finding Success

Do you need help? Contact the following Duke Resources and Offices:

Office of Research Support (ORS)

List of contacts for departments

Office of Research Administration (ORA)


Conflict of Interest, Duke University 

919 684-3030.

Conflict of Interest – Duke University Medical Center



Office of Export Controls


Acknowledgements: Duke Office of Scientific Integrity would like to thank the distinguished panelists who participated in this event

Moderator: Geeta Swamy, Vice Dean and Associate Vice Provost for Scientific Integrity

Faculty Panel:

Susan Alberts, Professor of Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology, Chair of Evolutionary Anthropology

Michael “Luke” James, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Neurology

Sallie Permar, Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Dean, Physician Scientist Development

Erik Wibbels, Professor of Political Science

Hai Yan, Professor of Pathology

Administrative Panel:

Jim Luther, Associate VP for Finance and Sponsor Liaison, Research Compliance Officer

Lindsey Spangler, Assistant Dean, Research Facilitation

Angie Solomon, Associate Director, Conflict of Interest, Duke Office of Scientific Integrity

Dan Vick, Director, Export Controls