About Research Security at Emory


Research Security Areas

The U.S. Government has raised concerns about foreign threats to research security that it funds at U.S. academic institutions. In collaboration with the American research community, the federal government is taking expanded action to protect research integrity without compromising research equity, honesty, and objectivity. In January 2021, the U.S. government issued a directive (National Security Presidential Memorandum 33 – NSPM-33) to strengthen protections of government-supported research and development (R&D) against foreign government interference and exploitation. In January 2022, the U.S. government issued an implementation guide for the NSPM-33 directive. NSPM-33 is a directive from the President of the United States requiring all federal research funding agencies to strengthen and standardize their disclosure requirements for federally funded awards. NSPM-33 also instructs major research institutions receiving more than $50 million in annual federal research funding to establish research security programs to protect U.S.-funded research from foreign exploitation and interference. NSPM-33 aims for protection, clarity, and consistency as institutions work to protect American national security while promoting openness in the research community.

Emory supports and encourages international collaborations in its research and is committed to reducing the risks of foreign threats on U.S. government-sponsored research. Because Emory receives more than $50 million in annual federal research funding, a Research Security Program is required. 

Navigating regulatory requirements related to international travel, disclosure compliance, export controls, and data protection measures can be challenging; Emory’s research compliance and security teams provide centralized guidance to faculty and staff to tackle these challenges, keeping in mind that violations of these regulations and requirements carry severe penalties to individuals and academic institutions.

Emory’s Research Security Program provides collaborative support and expertise to facilitate sponsored research with processes, policies and training to comply with requirements and regulations.

Emory is committed to strengthening its research enterprise within the five major areas outlined by NSPM-33:

  1. Disclosure requirements and standardization
  2. Digital persistent identifiers
  3. The consequences for violation of disclosure requirements
  4. Information sharing, and
  5. Research security.

Emory’s research security program aims to support researchers to continue and enhance their international research collaborations and affiliations. Navigating the many regulatory requirements related to foreign travel, disclosure compliance, and data protection measures can be cumbersome and challenging. The research security team is ready to provide assistance so that Emory’s global research footprint can continue to flourish and grow. 

ORIC ID (Digital persistent identifiers)

Many Emory researchers already have an ORCID ID (Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier), a unique, persistent identifier free of charge to researchers that meets all NSPM-33 requirements. This identifier helps track researcher disclosures and reduces administrative burden. Going forward, however, faculty will need to connect their ORCID records to Emory so that the institution may access them.

What you need to do:

For questions about research security and the new requirements, visit the Research Security Office website or email researchcompliance@emory.edu

Emory researchers with foreign engagements may be required to disclose certain information to the University’s COI-COC office and federal funding agencies.  

COI: PIs and other investigators who are responsible in some way for the design, conduct, or reporting of sponsored research, gifts from external donors, or material transfer agreements must disclose the details of such activities to the COI-COC office. The information to be filed will depend on the source of funding. This is done in eDisclose.  

COC: All faculty, regardless of effort, are required to disclose annual reports and external activity reports. This is done in eDisclose.  

Contact the Office of Conflict of Interest (COI) and Conflict of Commitment (COC) for more information.

Activities with any international nexus may be impacted by U.S. export controls and sanctions regulations, including: 
  • Activities involving actual export or transmission from the U.S. to a foreign destination of information, technologies, and commodities; 
  • Release of export-controlled information or technology to Foreign Persons in the U.S. or abroad commonly referred to as deemed exports; 
  • Activities involving entities or individuals listed on restricted or prohibited party lists; and 
  • Activities or transactions in countries or involving nationals of countries against whom the U.S. has placed economic and trade-related embargoes. Comprehensively embargoed destinations include Iran, Cuba, Syria, North Korea, and the Crimea region of Ukraine. 

In an academic and research setting such as Emory's, activities that can fall into one or more of these broad categories include activities related to international collaborations, international shipping, international travel, hosting international visitors, employment of non-immigrant visa holders, conducting research which has restrictions on publications or Foreign Persons' participation, and conducting research which makes use of export-controlled inputs. 

Contact the Export Control Office for more information.

Foreign travel under a foreign engagement must be disclosed following Emory’s Foreign Travel Policy. This is done in eDisclose. The travel may be reviewed for compliance with funding agency policies, export controls, and other areas. Traveling to sanctioned and high-risk destinations (i.e., Iran, Cuba, Syria, North Korea, Ukraine, and Russia) may require approval from the University and the government.   

Emory researchers traveling abroad may receive a research security briefing and/or loaner laptop, depending on the circumstances.  

Find more information about Foreign Travel here or ask our office.

Research security also entails protecting the intellectual property (IP) of the University and its researchers. The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) licenses IP and seeks patents/copyrights as needed. Under Emory Policy 7.6, the University owns IP created or developed during faculty members’ normal duties, even when that IP arises from employment at another institution or company. Researchers are required to disclose inventions to OTT accordingly.  

Contact OTT for more information about Intellectual Property and Tech Transfer