Activities with Foreign Entities

The lists of entities on this page reflect only entities we have been asked to consider for purposes of the Emoluments Clause and Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act.  Any entity not listed has NOT been considered for these purposes and an evaluation of the case MUST be made before the activity can be approved.

There are some issues to keep in mind when considering an activity with a foreign entity. Generally, an employee of the Federal Government may not accept employment, gifts or compensation from any foreign government, including any entity which is owned or operated by the foreign government, which may include public research institutions or universities. This prohibition is found in the "emoluments clause" of the US Constitution. The Constitution specifically states that "with the consent of Congress" certain activities, gifts and honors are permissible.  Congress' consent is found in the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act (FGDA), which permits gifts up to the minimal value (as of January 2014, that value is $375).  The FGDA also permits travel, lodging and meal expenses when it occurs totally outside of the United States.  This means that travel expenses may be paid only for that travel which originates and ends outside of the US. 

The following provides specific information about various types of activities, and a list of foreign entities with which Outside Activities may be permitted. There is no restriction for official duty activities with outside organizations. For official duties, reimbursement may be accomplished via the sponsored travel mechanism since the reimbursement is to NIH, not to the individual.  For additional information, contact your Deputy Ethics Counselor or your IC's Ethics Coordinator, or the Division of International Relations, Fogarty International Center, at 496-4784.  The dates below indicate when the entity was cleared for inclusion on the list.

Foreign and international governmental organizations in which the United States Government is a member are not considered foreign government, e.g., NATO, WHO, UN, PAHO.  Foreign governmental organizations in which the US is not a member are considered foreign government, e.g., European Union.

Note:  SGEs who have an honorary title that predates their appointment as an SGE may retain the title during the appointment provided that they will not and are not required to provide any type of service or assistance to the foreign government during the SGE appointment time frame.

Outside Activities

Outside Activities with foreign entities may be permitted as long as the foreign entity is not owned or operated by the foreign government. Professional societies are not listed since these are normally not related to the government.  The following foreign entities may be funded by the foreign government but are considered independent of the foreign government in relation to academic appointments, so the emoluments clause of the US Constitution will not apply in such cases. This was verified by individual Coordinators, usually by calling the entity or checking the web site, and confirmed by OGC Ethics Division. Outside Activities, including compensation and travel expenses, may be permitted with prior approval with these organizations, unless the foreign entity is a substantially affected organization, supported research institution, or health care provider or insurer.  If so, the activity is prohibited by the HHS Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct, unless an exception applies.

  • Aligarh Muslim University, India (4/04)
  • Australian National University, Canberra, Australia (3/03)
  • Cambridge University, England (2/02)
  • Canada Foundation for Innovation, Canada (11/07)
  • Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIAR), Toronto, Canada (5/05)
  • Canadian Society of Transplantation, Ottawa, Canada (1/08)
  • Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada (4/04)
  • Carlsberg Laboratory, Denmark (11/02)
  • Center for Study of Emerging Diseases, Israel (9/05)
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China (3/07)
  • Dalhousie University, Canada (1/14)
  • Dutch Cancer Society (11/02)
  • European Society of Urogenital Radiology (11/02)
  • Evangelische Akademie zu Berlin (06/05)
  • Finnish Genome Center (6/03)
  • Federal University of Juiz de Fora (11/12)
  • Federation of European Biochemical Societies, Europe (9/02)
  • Fondazione Cariplo, Italy (9/09)
  • Free University of Berlin, Germany (11/02)
  • German Society for Cell Biology [Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zellbiologie (DGZ)], Germany (3/06)
  • Hagedorn Research Institute, part of Nova Nordisk A/S, Denmark (11/07)
  • Hamamatsu University, Japan (8/08)
  • Health Informatics NZ, New Zealand (7/06)
  • Hebrew University, Israel (11/02)
  • Human Frontier Science Program
  • Imperial Cancer Research Fund, UK (11/02)
  • Imperial College of London, UK (6/07)
  • Inflammation Research Association (IRA), professional society (10/02)
  • Institute of Molecular Pathology (Boehringer Ingelheim), Austria (11/02) * - Some events/activities with IMP could be considered to be with a foreign government entity due to IMP's close work with the Austrian government. Each request should be examined on a case-by-case basis.
  • Institute Pasteur, France (11/02)
  • International Union of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (10/02)
  • Israel Cancer Association (11/02)
  • Japan Medical Library Association
  • Japanese Cancer Association (9/03)
  • Japanese Medical Society for Biological Interface (JMSBI), professional society (9/02)
  • Japanese Medical Society (10/02)
  • Jikei University (School of Medicine) (10/03)
  • Juan March Foundation, Madrid, Spain  (9/02)
  • Karolinska Institute, Sweden (9/02)
  • Keio University, Japan  (4/03)
  • Kinki University, Higashiosaka, Japan
  • Kobe University, Japan (12/04)
  • Korean Society of Cardiology (professional society), Korea (4/08)
  • Kyoto University, Japan (12/04)
  • Kumamoto University, Japan (12/04)
  • Labcatal Iberica, Spain/France  (9/02)
  • Leeds University, United Kingdom (9/04)
  • Linacre College (2/02)
  • Macquarie University, Australia (8/02)
  • McGill University, Canada (10/02)
  • McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada (6/03)
  • Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia (8/02)
  • National Cancer Institute of Canada (10/02)
  • Oxford University, United Kingdom (3/03)
  • Osaka University, Osaka, Japan (aka Osaka Prefecture University) (12/04)
  • Polytechnic di Torino (5/07)
  • Prince Mahidol Award Foundation, Bangkok, Thailand (11/02)
  • Projekttrager Julich (PTJ) (Project Management Organization in the Julich Research Center), Germany (6/2/05)
  • Rey Jamie Foundation, Spain (4/07)
  • Research Institute for Biological Sciences (11/02)
  • Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Toronto, Canada (9/02)
  • Service d'Oncologie Medicale Pitie Salpetriere (SOMPS)
  • Shinshu University, Japan (12/04)
  • Shuyuan Education and Academic Promotion Foundatioin, China (5/04)
  • Sociedad Chilena de Ciencias Fisiologicas (Chilean Physiological Society), Chile (11/07)
  • St. Georges University, Grenada, West Indies
  • Swedish Heart Lung Foundation, Sweden (9/02)
  • Technion - Israel Institute of Technology (10/02)
  • Tohoku University, Japan (12/04)
  • Tokyo University of Science, Japan (11/02)
  • Tokyo University, Japan (12/04)
  • Tokyo Women's Medical University, Japan (12/05)
  • Tzu-Chi General Hospital, China (5/04)
  • Universidad de Chile, Chile (11/07)
  • Universidad Internacional del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador (3/03)
  • Universidad Internactional Menéndez Palayo, Spain (9/03)
  • Universidad Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Mexico (9/03)
  • University Leuven, Belgium (Catholic)  (9/02)
  • University of Alberta, Canada
  • University of Aarhus, Denmark (11/02)
  • University of Birmingham, United Kingdom (8/02)
  • University of Bologna (5/07)
  • University of British Columbia, Canada  (9/02)
  • University of Bristol, United Kingdom (8/02)
  • University of Capetown, South Africa
  • University of Catania, Italy (5/10)
  • University of Copenhagen, Denmark (1/04)
  • University of Edinburgh, Scotland (7/03)
  • University of Ferrara, Italy (10/07)
  • University of Glasgow, Scotland (8/02)
  • University of Grenada, Spain (2/09)
  • University of Guelph, Canada (9/02)
  • University of Helsinki, Finland (6/03)
  • University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (8/02) (excludes the State Key Laboratory located at UHK; Key Lab is Chinese Government, 5/07)
  • University of Ibadan, Nigeria  (9/02)
  • University of Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), Belgium (10/02)
  • University of Lisbon, Portugal (9/02)
  • University of London, UK (5/07)
  • University of Lund, Sweden (8/02)
  • University of Manchester, UK (11/02)
  • University of Manitoba, Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada (5/10 moved, posted below 1/03)
  • University of Marseilles, Marseilles, France (03/03)
  • University of Milan, Italy  (9/02)
  • University of Melbourne, Australia (1/06)
  • University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy (9/09)
  • University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • University of Namur, Belgium (10/12)
  • University of Natal, Durban, South Africa (11/02)
  • University of Navarre (Spain) (5/04)
  • University of New South Wales, Australia (1/03)
  • University of Otego, New Zealand (7/08)
  • University of Padua (Padova), Italy (11/07)
  • University of Paris, France (9/02)
  • University of Pisa, Italy (9/02)
  • University of Pretoria, South Africa (10/04)
  • University of Queensland, Australia (1/04)
  • University of Rome, Italy (3/03)
  • University of Saarland, Germany  (9/02)
  • University of St. Andrews, Scotland (3/09)
  • University of Sassari, Italy (1/09)
  • University of Stellenbosch, South Africa (2/04)
  • University of Sussex, Brighton, UK (3/11)
  • University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada (8/02)
  • University of Torino (Turin), Italy  (6/03)
  • University of Ulsan, Chamsil-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, Korea (3/05)
  • University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • University of Western Australia, Australia (3/07)
  • University of Western Ontario, Canada (9/07)
  • University of Windsor, Canada (9/07)
  • Uppsala University (5/07)
  • World Demographic Association (7/08)
  • Yokohama City University, Japan (11/06)

The following foreign entities ARE considered part of the foreign government and therefore employees are PROHIBITED from accepting compensation, titles, or other expenses except as permitted by the exception in the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act (e.g., lodging, per diem, and travel expenses for travel outside the US):

  • Academia Sinica, Taiwan  (6/03)
  • Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (8/02)
  • A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology & Research), Singapore (5/05)
  • Alberta Cancer Institute, Alberta, Canada
  • Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, Alberta, Canada (8/07)
  • Austrian Science Fund (11/02)
  • Biomedical Research Council (BMRC), Singapore, Malaysia (10/02, 1/09)
  • Biozentrum (part of University of Basel), Switzerland (11/02)
  • Bose Institute, India (11/02)
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (8/02)
  • Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (8/12)
  • Center for Nutrition and Toxicology, at Huddinge University Hospital, Sweden
  • Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France (CNRS) (11/10)
  • China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, China (11/07)
  • Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Beijing, China (9/02)
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences, People's Republic of China (9/02)
  • Chinese Institute of Neuroscienct, China (5/07)
  • Commonwealth of Australia (2/03)
  • CSRIO, Australia (11/02)
  • DKFC - Foundation Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (German Cancer Research Center), Germany (10/08)
  • Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School (5/05)
  • Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2/05)
  • ERAWATCH QANA, European Commission (4/07)
  • European Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM), European Commission (9/02)
  • European Commission (2/03)
  • European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC) (4/03)
  • European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) (10/02)
  • European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) (9/02)
  • European Research Council Executive Agency (ERC) (8/09)
  • European Union (2/03)
  • Foundation Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum - DKFC (German Cancer Research Center), Germany (10/08)
  • Genome Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canado (2/04)
  • Genome Institute of Singapore (2/03)
  • Genome Quebec, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (9/12)
  • German Research Foundation, Germany (12/05)
  • Guelph, Canada (2/03)
  • Health and Welfare, Canada (10/02)
  • Health Research Board of Ireland  (11/02)
  • Helmholtz Gemeinschaft (the Helmholtz Association)
  • Huazhong University, China (7/10)
  • INSERM, France (French equivalent to NIH) (9/02) (see "Awards" below)
  • Instituo Nacional de Psiquiatria (Ramon de la Fuente), Mexico (9/03)
  • Instituto Superiore di Sanita (Italian National Institute of Health), Italy (6/03)
  • International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) (9/02)
  • Israeli Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) (10/08)
  • ISREC (Swiss National Cancer Research), Switzerland (11/02)
  • Italian National Research Council (8/02)
  • Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India (8/04)
  • John Innes Center, UK (4/03)
  • Key Laboratories, See State Key Laboratories of China (5/07)
  • King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (11/02)
  • Leiden University, Netherlands (11/03)
  • Le Fonds de la recherche in sante du Quebec (FRSQ), Quebec, Canada  (9/02)
  • Max-Plank Institutes (Germany), (5/07)
  • Medical Center of Fudan University (Former Shanghai Medical University), China  (9/02)
  • Medical Research Council, Canada
  • Medical Research Council (MRC), England, Scotland (Great Britain) (9/02)
  • Millennium Science Initiative (Inicitiva Cientifica Milenio), Chile (8/04)
  • Nara Prefectural Medical University, Japan (2/02)
  • National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI), Great Britain (10/02)
  • National Cancer Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan
  • National Center of Biological Sciences of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), (India) (12/11)
  • Nagoya City University, Japan
  • National and Capodistrian University of Athens, Greece  (9/02)
  • National Health Research Institutes (NHRI), Taiwan
  • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australia
  • National Institute of Public Health, Norway (2/02)
  • National Institute of Genetics, Japan (11/02)
  • National Researach Program for Genomic Medicine, Republic of China (Taiwan) (5/10)
  • National Science Council, Republic of China (Taiwan) (2/02)
  • National Taiwan University Hospital (11/02)
  • National University of Singapore (05/05)
  • Norwegian Radium Hospital, Norway (NCI 5/03)
  • Norwegian University for Science and Technology (formerly University of Trondheim) (3/04)
  • Ontario Ministry of Environment (2/03)
  • Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan (10/03)
  • Peking University, China (10/02)
  • Prince Salman Center for Disability Research, Saudi Arabia (11/02)
  • RIKEN (Institute of Physical and Chemical Research) and each of its institutes and facilities (Japan) (8/04)
  • Science Foundation Ireland (SRI), Ireland  (9/02)
  • Seoul National University, Korea (6/03)
  • Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology & Research Academy (SASTRA), India (9/02)
  • Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, India (11/07)
  • State Key Laboratories (various locations in China, various names eg. Cognitive Science), China (5/07)
  • Statzione Zoologica of Naples (Ministry for Research in Science and Technology, National Institute of Italy)
  • Stavanger College University, Norway (11/02)
  • Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, Sweden (11/07)
  • Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (5/06)
  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), National Center of Biological Sciences (NCBS) (India) (12/11)
  • Umea University, Sweden (10/07)
  • United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), UAE (2/05)
  • United Kingdom Research Councils, including the following councils: (10/02)
    - BBSRC = Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council
    - CCLRC = Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils
    - EPSRC = Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council
    - ESRC = Economic & Social Research Council
    - MRC = Medical Research Council
    - NERC = Natural Environment Research Council
    - PPARC = Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council
  • University of Amsterdam, Netherlands  (9/02)
  • University of Bergen, Norway (3/04)
  • University of Berne, Switzerland (7/03)
  • University of Dresden, Germany  (9/02)
  • University of Dusseldorf, Germany (9/02)
  • University of Crete, Greece
  • University of Frankfurt, Germany
  • University of Geneva, Switzerland (7/03)
  • University of Heidelburg, Germany (1/04)
  • University of Konstanz, Germany (8/02)
  • University of Mainz, Germany (10/02)
  • University of Oslo, Norway (11/08)
  • University of Panama, Panama (9/02, unable to determine, assume government)
  • University of Stavanger, Norway (11/08)
  • University of Sydney, Australia (11/02)
  • University of Tampere, Finland (10/02)
  • University of Tromsø, Norway (3/04)
  • University of Tubingen, Germany (12/05)
  • University of Turku, Finland (10/02)
  • University of Utrecht, Netherlands (5/03)
  • University of Vienna, Austria (9/02)
  • University of Zurich, Switzerland (11/02)
  • The Vatican (Italy) (8/04)
  • Vlaams Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology (VIB), Belgium (9/05)
  • Wolf Foundation

Awards from Foreign Governments

The Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel has interpreted the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act (FGDA) definition of "decoration" to exclude cash prizes.  Therefore, cash prizes under the FGDA are considered gifts, and any gift over the minimal amount permitted under the FGDA ($375) can only be personally accepted if the gift qualifies as a educational scholarship.  The following prizes have been evaluated and may (or may not) be accepted as noted below.  The permitted awards and decorations have been determine to be bona fide programs, but other applicable laws (i.e., the US Constitution and the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act) may restrict an employee's ability to personally accept some or all of the gifts associated with the award.  Talk to your Deputy Ethics Counselor or ethics specialist if you are offered one of these awards.

Permitted Awards & Decorations

  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award, German Federal (3/02)
  • Republic -- Educational scholarship (2/02)
  • Carnegie Centenary Professorship (4/03)
  • French Legion d' Honneur (8/02), Honor, no money
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science: International Prize for Biology (1/10), may accept the honor, but not the cash prize
  • Meyenburg Prize (4/03)
  • Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (8/02), Honor, no money
  • Prince Mahidol Award Foundation, Thailand -- Annual Prince Mahidol Award (11/02)
  • INSERM, Fellowships may be considered educational scholarships, evaluate each situation (9/02)

Prohibited Awards & Decorations

  • Hans-Sigrist Prize, Switzerland -- Cash prize, not a scholarship

Official Duty Activities

Federal employees may conduct activities with foreign entities, including foreign governments, as part of their official duties when such activity is required and approved. If travel is necessary, the employee travels on a travel order just like any other official duty activity. If travel support from the foreign entity is expected, see the section below on Sponsored Travel.

Sponsored Travel

Sponsored Travel is regulated by the Travel Regulations issued by the General Services Administration (GSA). Offers of travel payment from a non-Federal sponsor must be reviewed for conflicts of interest. Also, it may be permissible to use the sponsored travel mechanism with foreign entities. Receipt of in-kind or reimbursement of expenses to the agency is considered a gift to the agency, and NIH has the authority to accept such gifts. Contact your Administrative Officer for specific questions about sponsored travel.

Honorary Degrees from Foreign Governments

The Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act  (FGDA) (5 USC 7342(d)), provides congressional consent to the receipt of decorations from public universities operated by a foreign government.  The Department of Justice has interpreted decorations to include honorary degrees.  [Federal employees are prohibited from having a compensated outside activity or title with a foreign public university by the emoluments clause in the US Constitution.   But receipt of an honorary degree is not an outside activity and there is no receipt of a "present, Emolument, Office, or Title from" the foreign government.]

For additional information, contact your IC's Ethics Officials (links below), or the Division of International Relations at 301-496-4784.

Updated: 6/11/14