Foreign Talent Recruitment Programs

How Does the CHIPS and Science Act Affect Research and Research Security?

The CHIPS and Science Act prohibits federal employees, contractors, and awardees, including institutions, individual investigators, and other key personnel from participating in malign foreign talent recruitment programs(MFTRPs).The CHIPS and Science Act also includes provisions requiring research security training for Federal research award personnel. It requires that Federal agencies establish a requirement that each covered individual listed on an award application completes research security training and that research institutions certify that this training has been provided. 

What are Foreign Talent Recruitment Programs and Malign Foreign Talent Recruitment Programs?

A foreign talent recruitment program 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 or national origin, or whether having a part-time or full-time position). 

A malign foreign talent recruitment program is a talent program requiring one or more problematic actions and having problematic sponsorship. Not all talent recruitment programs are malign.  

How Do You Know if an Arrangement is a MFTRP?


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 the targeted individual, whether directly or indirectly stated in the arrangement, contract, or other documentation at issue

In exchange for the individual— 

  1. engaging in the unauthorized transfer of intellectual property, materials, data products, or other nonpublic information owned by a United States entity or developed with a Federal research and development award to the government of a foreign country or an entity based in, funded by, or affiliated with a foreign country regardless of whether that government or entity provided support for the development of the intellectual property, materials, or data products; 
  2. being required to recruit trainees or researchers to enroll in such program, position, or activity; 
  3. establishing a laboratory or company, accepting a faculty position, or undertaking any other employment or appointment in a foreign country or with an entity based in, funded by, or affiliated with a foreign country if such activities are in violation of the standard terms and conditions of a federal research and development award; 
  4. being unable to terminate the foreign talent recruitment program contract or agreement except in extraordinary circumstances; 
  5. through funding or effort related to the foreign talent recruitment program, being limited in the capacity to carry out a research and development award or required to engage in work that would result in substantial overlap or duplication with a federal research and development award; 
  6. being required to apply for and successfully receive funding from the sponsoring foreign government's funding agencies with the sponsoring foreign organization as the recipient; 
  7. being required to omit acknowledgment of the recipient institution with which the individual is affiliated, or the Federal research agency sponsoring the research and development award, contrary to the institutional policies or standard terms and conditions of the Federal research and development award; 
  8. being required to not disclose to the Federal research agency or employing institution the participation of such individual in such program, position, or activity; or 
  9. having a conflict of interest or conflict of commitment contrary to the standard terms and conditions of the Federal research and 

And is a program sponsored by— 

  1. a foreign country of concern (FCOC), currently defined as:
    • China,
    • Iran,
    • North Korea, and
    • Russia;
  2. an entity based in a FCOC, whether the program is directly sponsored by the government of the FCOC; or 
  3. an academic institution or a foreign talent recruitment program identified by the Department of Defense. 

Federal Government and University Expectations Regarding Disclosure and Reporting

Open scientific and scholarly collaboration between scholars from all over the world is one of the cornerstones of innovation and technological advancement, and Emory University remains committed to fostering such collaboration.  

However, disclosure and transparency regarding international collaborations and relationships are paramount not only to federal sponsors, but also to the University, via the University’s Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment processes.   

Be sure to always: 

  • Obtain prior approval for any research engagements or appointments with foreign entities.   
  • Disclose travel, housing, gifts, or other types of compensation received from any foreign entities.   
  • Report any support or compensation to federal sponsors as Other Support/Current & Pending Support, if applicable.  
  • If you work with export-controlled technologies, also check with the Office of Export Control regarding your collaboration.   

I Want to Collaborate with an International Entity. What Should I Do?

We are here to support and assist your international collaborations.  

Before entering into an agreement or engaging in an activity with a foreign entity (government or academic institution), or if you have already received compensation from a foreign entity, contact Research Compliance and Regulatory Affairs (RCRA) at  

Our team can help you with a risk assessment by discussing potential conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment, reviewing the proposed agreements to identify potentially problematic terms, determine if the activity falls under the U.S. federal government’s definition of MFTRP, and work with you on next steps as needed.