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The letter reveals that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, recently asked federal investigators to review 12 allegations of rule violations, mostly involving researchers at U.S. universities who allegedly failed to disclose foreign affiliations on their grant proposals.

The letter also discloses that over the past 5 years, investigators at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), NIH’s parent agency, referred two cases to prosecutors that involved federally funded scientists who allegedly failed to disclose foreign ties or stole intellectual property. Neither of those cases appears to have involved NIH. (HHS also oversees other research agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.) In both cases, the Department of Justice declined to file civil or criminal charges.

The 31 January letter, released yesterday by Senator Chuck Grassley (R–IA), is signed by HHS Inspector General (IG) Daniel Levinson. It responds to a series of questions posed in a 17 January letter from Grassley, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance and one of many members of Congress who have raised concerns that China and other nations are exploiting U.S.-funded research for their own benefit.

…continue reading ‘NIH Asks Federal Watchdog to Investigate 12 Allegations Related to Foreign Influence’

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