Nature, Published online: 07 July 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-02051-8
The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has for the first time released figures on the actions it has taken against researchers found to have violated rules on the disclosure of foreign ties. Since 2018, the agency has reassigned, suspended or terminated grants, forced institutions to return funds or barred researchers from applying for future funding in 16–20 cases in which rules weren’t followed, according to Rebecca Keiser, the agency’s first chief of research security strategy and policy.
All of these were cases in which the NSF’s Office of Inspector General, an independent body responsible for oversight of the agency and its grant recipients, had investigated and made recommendations on how to handle sanctions. Separately, the inspector-general referred an undisclosed number of criminal and civil cases involving fraud and nondisclosure to the US Department of Justice.
Furthermore, in the past two months, seven universities have contacted the NSF directly with information on faculty members who might have violated rules.