NSF News

NSF 2022 Research Security Training for the United States Research Community awardees announced

Research security is integral to national security. Addressing knowledge gaps, strengthening training in research security, managing and mitigating risk in international collaborations, and adhering to research security best practices help safeguard scientific progress and protect U.S. research interests from foreign and domestic risks and threats.

The U.S. National Science Foundation announced four awards under the Research Security Training for the United States Research Community program. The program is a cornerstone of the NSF mandate to strengthen research security in the U.S. while encouraging principled international collaboration. NSF has long worked in partnership with federal agencies that fund research to improve the development and implementation of research security. In addition to NSF, the research security training module series is also supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense.

Awardees will receive financial support to establish research security training frameworks that address U.S.-funded research and development security concerns, risks and threats. The four awardees will focus on developing training modules that detail research security insights and best practices, address the importance of disclosure, identify and remedy knowledge gaps in risk management and mitigation, and provide training on principled international collaboration.

The 2022 Research Security Training for the United States Research Community awardees are listed below.

  • Research Security Training: The Importance of Research Security, The University of Alabama in Huntsville.
    The team will develop research security training that provides information and insights about best practices in designing, developing and evaluating educational tools for the adult learner. The training module will focus on the importance of research security, enhance awareness and provide online training about existing and emerging risks and threats to the global research ecosystem. This project is funded with a contribution from NSF’s EPSCoR program.

  • Research Security Training: The Importance of Disclosure, Texas A&M University System.
    The team will design and develop a training module about research security that will focus on the importance of properly disclosing information when proposing for and conducting federally funded research, increase awareness and understanding of the current disclosure process, and clarify the importance of transparency and risks associated with non-disclosure. The Texas A&M team is part of a consortium that includes the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, the Texas A&M University System Administrative and General Offices and Redcliff Enterprises.

  • Research Security Training: Risk Management and Mitigation, University of Pennsylvania.
    The team will develop a research security training module based on an assessment of current research security understanding and knowledge gaps among researchers. The module will examine actions researchers and their institutions can take to assess, reduce and manage security risks to ongoing, planned and unpublished research data. Institutions will be able to modify the training module to incorporate local practices. The University of Pennsylvania team is part of a consortium that includes the University of Madison at Wisconsin, the University of Chicago, Regents University of Michigan and the University of Pittsburgh.

  • Research Security Training: International Collaboration, Associated Universities, Inc., and AUI Labs
    The team will create an online research security training module focused on the importance of principled international collaboration and ongoing threats posed to scientific research security by improper foreign government influence. The training module will be customized for specific stakeholder groups in the U.S. research ecosystem and use hypothetical scenarios and real-world case studies to propel learners through advanced levels of knowledge and skills.  

The modules the awardees develop will be available to the appropriate researchers, stakeholders, students, academics, research security experts and leaders, government agencies and national laboratories.