How and What to Disclose
To help understand what activities and relationships need to be disclosed and to whom, ORSP provides the following non-exhaustive guide. In the event of uncertainty, it is best to err on the side of disclosing. Please note that if you are participating in an outside activity, a request for approval form must be submitted through the Outside Activity Portal before the outside activity begins. Help or clarifications can be found at email@example.com (disclosing with UTEP) or firstname.lastname@example.org (disclosing to a federal sponsor).
Disclosure and Approval at UTEP
All full-time faculty, full-time administrative and professional staff and full-time classified staff are required to request electronic approval prior to engaging in any activity which occurs outside of fulfilling one’s employment obligations, and annually thereafter if the activity is ongoing.The following activities require electronic approval:
- all outside employment or other compensated activity
- any outside activity, regardless of compensation, that reasonably appears to create a conflict of interest or a conflict of commitment
- outside board service; and
- Foreign Affiliations - Any substantial relationship between an employee and any program sponsored, funded, directed, or controlled by a foreign government, foreign agency, or foreign institution. In particular, any participation in foreign talent programs or honorary / position titles that may be perceived as employment of a foreign institution.
Note: Some activities may be considered pre-approved. (Please see section 29.6.3 of the policy for more information). Substantial relationships with foreign entities are not considered pre-approved.
For all faculty, the permissible level of time commitment to an outside activity cannot exceed an average of 8 hours per week during the term of an appointment without the explicit approval of the President.
For more information on requesting approval for an outside activity visit the following website: https://www.utep.edu/compliance/conflicts-of-interest/request-approval-of-outside-activities.html
What to Disclose to a Federal Research Sponsor
The following sections are intended to help in understanding the reporting requirements for various federal research sponsors.
NIH posted a new webpage summarizing NIH’s position on international collaborations and foreign influence, and provides additional guidance on the disclosure of other support, foreign relationships and activities, and conflicts of interest.
You may also reference NIH NOT-OD-21-073, NIH NOT-OD-19-114, NIH FAQs Other Support, Foreign Components, FCOI.
What to Disclose
Other Support per the NIH "includes all resources made available to a researcher in support of and/or related to all of their research endeavors, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value and regardless of whether they are based at the institution the researcher identifies for the current grant. This includes resource and/or financial support from all foreign and domestic entities, including but not limited to, financial support for laboratory personnel, and provision of high-value materials that are not freely available (e.g., biologics, chemical, model systems, technology, etc.)."
- List all positions and scientific appointments both domestic and foreign for all key personnel that are relevant to an application including affiliations with foreign entities or governments. This includes titled academic, professional, or institutional appointments whether or not remuneration is received, and whether full-time, part-time, or voluntary (including adjunct, visiting, or honorary). [As of 2022, use of new biosketch formats will be required, see NOTICE NOT-OD-21-073]
- Report all resources and other support for all individuals designated in an application as senior/key personnel – including for the program director/principal investigator (PD/PI) and for other individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not they request salaries or compensation. Information must be provided about all current support for ongoing projects, irrespective of whether such support is provided through the applicant organization, through another domestic or foreign organization, or is provided directly to an individual that supports the senior/key personnel’s research efforts.
- As of 2022, applicants must provide copies of supporting documentation, including copies of contracts, grants or any other agreement specific to senior/key personnel foreign appointments and/or employment with a foreign institution for all foreign activities and resources that are reported in Other Support. An English translation must be provided if the original contracts, grants or other agreements are not in English. (Note NIH may request copies of foreign contracts prior to mandatory implementation)
- Report all current projects and activities that involve senior/key personnel, even if the support received is only in-kind (e.g. office/laboratory space, equipment, supplies, employees). All research resources including, but not limited to, foreign financial support, research or laboratory personnel, lab space, scientific materials, selection to a foreign "talents" or similar-type program, or other foreign or domestic support must be reported.
- Provide the total award amount for the entire award period covered (including facilities and administrative costs), as well as the number of person-months (or partial person-months) per year to be devoted to the project by the senior/key personnel involved.
When to DiscloseAll active and pending support at the time of application submission and prior to award must be reported using "Just-in-Time Procedures" by providing all information indicated above. Applicants are responsible for promptly notifying NIH of any substantive changes to previously submitted Just-in-Time information up to the time of award, including "Other Support" changes that must be assessed for budgetary or scientific overlap. Further, if other support, as described as above, is obtained after the initial NIH award period, from any source either through the institution or directly to senior/key personnel, the details must be disclosed in the annual Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR). Post-award, recipients must address any substantive changes by submitting a prior approval request to NIH in accordance with the NIH Grants Policy Statement section on Administrative Requirements—Changes in Project and Budget.
As of May 25, 2021, when a recipient organization discovers that a PI or other Senior/Key personnel on an active NIH grant failed to disclose Other Support information outside of Just-in-Time or the RPPR, as applicable, the recipient must immediately submit updated Other Support to the Grants Management Specialist named in the Notice of Award as soon as it becomes known.
Foreign ComponentsNIH requires recipients to determine whether activities it supports include a foreign component, defined as "the existence of any 'significant scientific element or segment of a project'…" outside of the United States. This includes:
- Performance of work by a researcher or recipient in a foreign location, whether or not NIH grant funds are expended and/or
- Performance of work by a researcher in a foreign location employed or paid for by a foreign organization, whether or not NIH grant funds are expended.
Foreign components are reported in Section G.9 of the NIH Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR). For additional information, see page 99 of the RPPR Instructional Guide.
Note: If an activity does not meet the definition of foreign component because all research is being conducted within the United States, but there is a non-U.S. resource that supports the research of an investigator and/or researcher, it must be reported as other support. For example, if a PD/PI of an NIH-funded grant has a collaborator outside of the U.S. who performs experiments in support of the PD/PI’s NIH-funded project, this would constitute a foreign component, regardless of whether the foreign collaborator receives funding from the PD/PI’s grant. Additional funding from a foreign source for the NIH-supported research of a PD/PI at a U.S. institution would not constitute a foreign component but would necessitate reporting as Other Support.
NSF requires full disclosure of current and pending support, which includes domestic support and any foreign support or engagement. The following are from NSF Chapter II.C.2.h of the NSF Proposal & Awards Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) 22-1. NSF held a webinar on February 6, 2020, during which they provided clarification of some of the new requirements for reporting current and pending support as well as other changes in the new PAPPG (NSF 20-1).
What to Disclose
Current and pending support information must be separately provided for each individual designated as senior personnel on the proposal. Current and pending support includes all resources made available to an individual in support of and/or related to all his/her research efforts, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value. Current and pending support also includes in-kind contributions (such as office/laboratory space, equipment, supplies, employees, students, postdocs). In-kind contributions not intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed also must be reported. Support information must be provided for ongoing projects and any proposals currently under consideration from whatever source, irrespective of whether such support is provided through the proposing organization or is provided directly to the individual. Please consult this list of Frequently Asked Questions provided by NSF for additional guidance on the disclosure of current and pending support.
Please see the NSF announcement Enforcement of NSF Approved Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support Formats for format and details. A webinar on the NSF website also provides additional information on these formats. NSF has a disclosure table for reference: NSF Pre-award and Post-award Disclosures Relating to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support, to identify where these disclosures must be provided in proposals as well as in project reports.
When to Disclose
Current and pending support must be disclosed to NSF when grant applications and annual and final progress reports are submitted. If that information hasn’t been incorporated into applications or progress reports and should have been, the PI should contact ORSP as soon as possible so that revised information can be submitted to NSF.
A revision of the NSF Agency Specific Requirements, effective on October 5, 2020, requires information be submitted to NSF by the university’s Authorized Organizational Representative within 30 calendar days of the identification of undisclosed support or contribution.
On September 28, 2020, NSF implemented additional requirements for the Revised Research Performance Report (RPRR), including a new question on current and pending support to be answered by PIs when submitting their annual and final reports.
NSF defines an international activity as research, training, and/or education carried out in cooperation with foreign counterparts either overseas or in the U.S. using virtual technologies. For each proposal that describes an international activity, PIs should list the primary countries involved on the proposal cover sheet (a maximum of five countries may be listed). Proposers also should enter the country/countries with which project participants will engage and/or travel to attend international conferences. See Item 8 of NSF 20-1, Chapter II.D.
If payment to a foreign organization is being proposed, including through use of a subaward or consultant arrangement, the proposer also must enter the name of the applicable country(ies) in the International Activities Country Name(s) box described above. See Item 6 of NSF 20-1, Chapter I.E.
DOD requires full disclosure of current and pending support, which includes any domestic and foreign support or engagement.
Proposers must submit the following information for all key personnel (in addition to the PI or Co-PI), whether the individuals' efforts under the project are to be funded by DOD or otherwise:
- A list of all current projects on which an individual works,
- Any pending support the individual has applied to receive, regardless of the source,
- Title and objectives of each of these research projects,
- The percentage per year each of the key personnel will devote to the respective project/s,
- The total amount of support the individual is receiving in connection to each of the other research projects or will receive if other proposals are awarded,
- Name and address of the agencies and/or other parties supporting the other research projects, and
- Period of performance for the other research projects.
Failure to submit this information may cause the proposal to be returned without further review. DOD also reserves the right to request further details from a proposer before making a final determination on funding the effort. Please note that DOD proposals for other types of awards may have other requirements; please check the program solicitation and direct any questions to ORSP.
DOE requires full disclosure of current and pending support, which includes any domestic and foreign support or engagement. The following requirements are from pages 66 and 92-93 of the DOE Office of Science FY 2021 Continuation of Solicitation for the Office of Science Financial Assistance Program issued on October 1, 2020:
- Provide a list of all current and pending support for the PI and senior/key personnel, including subawardees, regardless of funding source.
- The PI and each senior/key person at the prime applicant and any proposed subaward must provide a list of all sponsored activities, awards, and appointments, whether paid or unpaid; provided as a gift with terms or conditions or provided as a gift without terms or conditions; full-time, part-time, or voluntary; faculty, visiting, adjunct, or honorary; cash or in-kind; foreign or domestic; governmental or private-sector; directly supporting the individual’s research or indirectly supporting the individual by supporting students, research staff, space, equipment, or other research expenses.All foreign government-sponsored talent recruitment programs must be identified in current and pending support.
For every activity, list the following items:
- The sponsor of the activity or the source of funding
- The award or other identifying number
- The title of the award or activity. If the title of the award or activity is not descriptive, add a brief description of the research being performed that would identify any overlaps or synergies with the proposed research.
- The total cost or value of the award or activity, including direct and indirect costs. For pending proposals, provide the total amount of requested funding.
- The award period (start date – end date).
- The person-months of effort per year being dedicated to the award or activity
Please note that DOE Offices other than the Office of Science may have different requirements; check the program solicitation and direct any questions to ORSP.
NASA requires full disclosure of current and pending support, which includes any domestic and foreign support or engagement. The following requirements are from the NASA Guidebook for Proposers Responding to a NASA Funding Opportunity, revised as of May 2020.
Current and Pending Support
PIs and Co-PIs must provide all ongoing and pending projects and proposals (regardless of salary support) in which they are performing or will perform any part of the work. Co-Is proposing to spend 10% or more of their time to the proposed effort must provide a list of ongoing and pending projects and proposals (regardless of salary support) that require a significant share (more than 10%) of their time. Proposals do not need to include the current proposal on the list of pending proposals unless submitted to another funding opportunity (NASA or another sponsor).For those investigators for whom it is required (see above), the proposal shall provide following information for each current and pending project:
- Title of funded project or proposal title;
- Name of PI on award or proposal;
- Program name (if appropriate) and sponsoring agency or organization, including a point of contact with their telephone number and email address;
- Performance period;
- Total amount received by that investigator (including indirect costs) or the amount per year if uniform (e.g., $50 k/year); and
- Time commitment by the investigator for each year of the period of performance.
Current and pending support is not required for Co-Is at non-U.S. institutions. Current and pending support is usually not required for students. It may be requested, depending on the specifics of the NOFO. Proposers may request student funding in three different ways:
- As a direct labor cost, the same as a key or other personnel.
- As a scholarship or other student aid that must comply with the requirements in 2 CFR 200.466, Scholarships and student aid costs.
- As a participant support cost as defined in 2 CFR200.75
Separately, it is worth noting that NASA is restricted from using funds to enter in to or fund any grant, cooperative agreement or contract of any kind to participate, collaborate, or coordinate bilaterally in any way with China or any Chinese-owned company. To ensure compliance with the restriction, the University is, therefore, restricted from collaborating with, or issuing a subaward to China or a Chinese-owned Company, whether the collaboration is funded or performed under a no-exchange of funds arrangement. "China or a Chinese-owned Company" is defined in the NASA guidance documents as "the People’s Republic of China, any company owned by the People’s Republic of China, or any company incorporated under the laws of the People’s Republic of China."
NASA’s implementation of the Appropriations Acts may restrict the use of NASA funds to support Chinese national students on scholarships from PRC. Moreover, visiting researchers who retain their affiliation with PRC may not work on NASA funded projects. The NASA Grant Information Circular states that participation by Chinese nationals will be reviewed by NASA grant and technical officers prior to awarding grants or cooperative agreements (including amendments); and the Procurement Information Circular states that, if collaboration with China or a Chinese-owned company is anticipated, the contractor must contact the contracting officer to determine if funding may be used for that purpose.
The restrictions do not prohibit the purchase of commercial or non-developmental items, since participation, collaboration or coordination between the parties would not be required.
At the onset of each NASA award, every PI must confirm their understanding and compliance with these restrictions, known as Public Law 112, by signing a confirmation form within ORSP’s compliance portal.