Fast Facts About Foreign Components

Funding News Edition: November 02, 2022
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Investigators, does your research involve a foreign component? The answer is “yes,” if you or a researcher employed by a foreign organization are planning to perform any significant scientific element or segment of a project outside of the United States (U.S.), whether or not grant funds are expended.

Activities that would meet the definition of foreign component include, but are not limited to, (1) the involvement of human subjects or animals, (2) extensive foreign travel by recipient project staff for the purpose of data collection, surveying, sampling, and similar activities, or (3) any activity of the recipient that may have an impact on U.S. foreign policy through involvement in the affairs or environment of a foreign country. Examples of other grant-related activities that may be significant are:

  • Collaborating with investigators at a foreign site anticipated to result in co-authored publications
  • Using facilities or instrumentation at a foreign site
  • Sharing of samples and/or data
  • Receiving financial support or resources from a foreign entity

Each funding opportunity announcement has an Eligibility section that indicates whether foreign institutions, foreign components of U.S. institutions, or foreign components are allowed to apply. See Grants Policy Statement (16.2 Eligibility) for additional details.

Note that principal investigators must obtain prior approval before adding a foreign component, and domestic applications with foreign components require Advisory Council approval, but they are not presented as a special issue. As a reminder, foreign applications must be presented to NIAID's Advisory Council as a special issue to obtain approval.

We encourage you to read our Foreign and International Grants and Components SOP for additional information, such as providing a detailed budget and indicating on the Research and Related Other Information form whether your project involves activities outside the United States or partnerships with international collaborators.

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