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Foreign Government Talent Programs – Malign

What is a Foreign Government Talent Program?

A foreign talent recruitment program is any program, position, or activity that includes compensation in the form of cash, in-kind compensation, including research funding, promised future compensation, complimentary foreign travel, things of non de minimis value, honorific titles, career advancement opportunities, or other types of remuneration or consideration directly provided by a foreign country at any level (national, provincial, or local) or their designee, or an entity based in, funded by, or affiliated with a foreign country, whether or not directly sponsored by the foreign country, to an individual, whether directly or indirectly stated in the arrangement, contract, or other documentation at issue. (source: Foreign Talent Program Defined OSTP Memo 2.14.24)

Based on the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy’s National Security Presidential Memorandum 33 (NSPM-33), a foreign/international talent recruitment program (FGTRP) is an effort organized, managed, or funded by a foreign government, or a foreign government instrumentality or entity, to recruit science and technology professionals or students (regardless of citizenship, national origin, or full-/part-time status).

What does it mean if I choose to participate in a foreign/international talent recruitment program:

The Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act of 2022 prohibits federal employees, contractors, and awardees—including institutions, individual investigators, and other key personnel —from participating in Malign Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs.

Any participation or past participation in such a program must be disclosed to the University on your Financial Conflict of Interest disclosure prior to submission and confirmed at award. Participation must be disclosed to the potential funding agency in the appropriate federal forms (Current and Pending/Other Support, Biosketches, etc.). Participation in a foreign talent program that is deemed a malign foreign talent program may affect your ability to obtain or benefit from federal grant funding. Georgia Southern does not support faculty participation in malign foreign talent recruitment programs

How do I know? Malign Foreign Talent Program distinguishing features include (but are not limited to):

  • Compensation provided by the foreign state to the targeted individual in exchange for the individual transferring their knowledge and expertise to the foreign country. The compensation can take several forms, such as cash, research funding, honorific titles, career advancement opportunities, promised future compensation, or other types of remuneration or consideration.
  • Incentives to physically relocate to the foreign state. 
  • Programs that allow for continued employment at U.S. research facilities or receipt of US federal research funds while concurrently receiving compensation from the foreign state.
  • Focus on individual researcher instead of project/subject matter
  • Remuneration (salary, stipend, research funding, etc.) significantly above “market” for expected activities
  • Foreign entity title for researcher implies greater connection than underlying facts
  • Foreign residency application encouraged or facilitated
  • Requires changing of researcher’s primary institute affiliation or author placement for purposes of journal citations
  • Fundamental research purpose unclear or undefined
  • Contracts that include language which creates conflicts of commitment and/or conflicts of interest for researchers
  • Voluntary termination: inability to terminate the talent program contract/agreement except in extraordinary circumstances, while the foreign government/entity may terminate at any time;
  • Requirements to attribute awards, patents, and projects to the foreign institution, even if conducted under U.S. funding
  • Requirements to recruit or train other talent recruitment plan members, circumventing merit-based processes
  • Requirements to replicate or transfer U.S.-funded work in another country
  • Sources: Office of Science Technology and Policy presentation “Enhancing the Security and Integrity of America’s Research Enterprise”, DOE O 486.1A

See the University Know Your Collaborator website for additional information and resources to help you maintain transparent, safe and secure collaborations.

Last updated: 3/1/2024