Foreign Collaborations and UCSF's Research Security Program

What is research security?

Research Security is broadly defined as “safeguarding the research enterprise against the misappropriation of research and development to the detriment of national or economic security, related violations of research integrity, and foreign government interference.” It refers to national security concerns surrounding research involving certain types of sensitive data, intellectual property, export controlled information, and other risks. The federal. The federal government has recently intensified its oversight efforts regarding the protection of the US research enterprise by issuing and proposing new legislation, policies, and regulations related to research in foreign countries and with foreign collaborations. To comply with regulations, UCSF must continue to proactively protect our research enterprise from threats and manage research security risks.

Why is research security important?

  • Protecting intellectual property: Research often generates valuable intellectual property like inventions, discoveries, and data. Strong research security safeguards this from unauthorized disclosure, theft or exploitation, protecting our competitive edge and ensuring fair allocation of benefits. 
  • Maintaining academic integrity: Robust research security upholds the integrity of the research process by preventing misconduct, fabrication, plagiarism, and other forms of scientific dishonesty. This ensures the research conducted at the university is reliable and trustworthy. 
  • Complying with regulations: UCSF receives funding from various sources, including government grants and private contracts. These often come with strict regulations regarding research security and data protection. Implementing effective security measures ensures compliance with these regulations and avoids legal repercussions. 
  • Maintaining global research partnerships: UCSF collaborates with researchers worldwide, creating a vibrant exchange of knowledge and innovation. Research security fosters responsible international partnerships by preventing unauthorized technology transfer and ensuring ethical research practices. 
  • Protecting reputation and public trust: UCSF relies on its reputation for excellence and integrity. Research security measures contribute to this by preventing scandals, data breaches, or misuse of research, safeguarding UCSF's reputation and maintaining public trust in its research endeavors. 
  • Safeguarding sensitive research and individuals: Some research areas delve into potentially sensitive topics, handling hazardous materials, or collecting personal data. Research security helps protect both the researchers and the participants involved in such research by establishing proper safety protocols and data privacy measures.