"Georgia Tech's Progress and Service motto reflects our drive to use our technological expertise to improve the human condition, not only in Georgia and in the United States, but also across the globe. In addition to broad and robust technological training, we will instill values that prepare our students to become tomorrow’s leaders — with the conviction, social courage, and intercultural sensitivity to collaborate across geopolitical, cultural, and linguistic boundaries as they design solutions for the challenges of the 21st century."
Global Positioning Strategy
As one of the leading research universities in the United States and the world, Georgia Tech has a proud history of engaging with like-minded institutions and scholars around the globe to advance our education mission and produce technological solutions that improve the human condition at home and internationally. As outlined in the Institute’s Global Positioning Strategy, global engagement allows us to tap the contributions of some of the world’s brightest minds in our research and helps us prepare our students to effectively collaborate across geopolitical and cultural boundaries.
As we continue to develop and strengthen valuable global partnerships, it is important that we recognize some of the inherent risks involved and be prepared to address them. Georgia Tech has, therefore, developed a set of guidelines, policies, and procedures to help us make decisions and build relationships that will create value while mitigating risk. With proper planning and compliance with these procedures, Georgia Tech’s global relationships will be more likely to deliver important results without jeopardizing safety or violating our commitments to sponsors, state policy, and federal and other applicable regulations — at home and abroad.
We value collaboration. Here's how to be transparent.
Ethics and Compliance
- Export Control
- Managing Conflicts of Interest
- Appointments at Other Institutions
- Intellectual Property
- Materials, Data, and Confidential Information
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
Kara Tucker, Director & Lead Counsel
Office of Ethics and Compliance
- International Agreements
- Disclosing Foreign Relationships (sponsored funding, gifts, talent programs, and appointments)
Foreign Nationals on Campus
- Lab Tours
- Hosting Foreign Visitors including scholars, researchers, and collaborators
- Information on Exchange Visitor Host Responsibilities is available here.
Travel and Logistics
Lawful and Responsible Conduct
Federal export control laws govern how we transfer or transmit certain technology, materials, data, and information to anyone overseas and to foreign nationals on U.S. soil. With almost constantly changing international political, military, and economic environments, the rules are complicated. The export control regulations govern how information, technologies, and commodities can be transmitted overseas to anyone, including U.S. citizens, or to foreign nationals in the United States.
Within the Office of Ethics and Compliance, the Conflict of Interest Management team is charged with promoting objectivity throughout the Institute’s Research enterprise by effectively managing conflicts of interest, which are a natural outgrowth of successful research, collaboration, and commercialization efforts.
Potential types of disclosures might include research support or gifts from foreign sources, appointments at other institutions, and participation in talent programs. All faculty and staff must disclose any potential conflicts of interest and/or outside professional activity each year and are responsible for updating any changes to their situation throughout the year.
Georgia Tech wants to ensure that intellectual property is protected and, when required, reported to sponsors appropriately. Therefore, promptly disclose any potential inventions or other intellectual property to the Georgia Tech's Office of Technology Licensing.
Disclose any partnerships, investments, or sublicenses made with foreign entities to the Georgia Tech Office of Technology Licensing if your startup is based on licensed technology from Georgia Tech.
Terry Bray, Director
Office of Technology Licensing
Mark Coburn, Senior Associate Director
Office of Technology Licensing
When sharing data or materials with other collaborators/other institutions, foreign or otherwise, one of the following agreements should be in place: a material transfer agreement (MTA) a data use agreement (DUA) or a nondisclosure agreement (NDA).
Further, accepting or sharing any sensitive or controlled information under a research contract may require heightened cybersecurity requirements. Having such an agreement in place also allows Georgia Tech to complete all required reviews and approvals. The Exchange Agreements team within the Office of Industry Engagement provides guidance on these type of agreements.
Please remember that only those institutional officials with appropriate signature authority can sign such agreements.
Kendall Thompson, Associate Director
It is the policy of Georgia Tech that each of our employees, faculty members, staff members, agents, representatives, vendors, and other third parties that work with Georgia Tech, Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC), and Georgia Tech Applied Research Corporation (GTARC) comply with the anti-bribery laws of the United States and of the foreign countries where Georgia Tech does business.
Bribery of any kind in the United States and abroad, regardless of foreign custom or practice, is strictly prohibited. No Georgia Tech employee, faculty members, staff members, agent, representative, vendor or any other third party with which Georgia Tech works shall make any payment or provide anything of value to any person, in order to improperly influence that person to secure any advantage for Georgia Tech, including obtaining or retaining business, or directing business to any person or entity.
Sponsored research agreements with any foreign entity are executed by the Office of Industry Engagement, regardless of where the work is to be performed.
The Office of Industry Engagement contracting officers and personnel work closely with the Office of Research Integrity Assurance to ensure compliance with export control regulations.
Visit the team's contact page for a list of staff contacts by topic, including support for international contracting.
Disclosing Foreign Relationships (including sponsored funding, gifts, talent programs, and appointments)
Georgia Tech is committed to the lawful conduct of research and is further committed to disclosing all forms of other support and financial interests, including support coming from foreign governments or other foreign entities.
This commitment is in accordance with guidance from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) including:
- Statement on Protecting the Integrity of U.S. Biomedical Research from NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. — August 23, 2018
- Reminders of NIH Policies on Other Support and on Policies Related to Financial Conflicts of Interest and Foreign Components — July 10, 2019
Georgia Tech researchers are strongly encouraged to leverage the deep expertise available via the applicable compliance offices to ensure that all disclosure procedures are followed. There are dedicated support teams available to assist with outgoing proposal review, incoming awards compliance, conflict of interest management, export control, and intellectual property.
Foreign Nationals on Campus
Georgia Tech is pleased to showcase our buildings and facilities. However, prior to hosting guests and visitors in our research facilities or labs, hosts should be aware of the following best practices:
Prior to the tour visit:
- Conduct restricted party screening. The Office of Legal Affairs can assist in this process.
During the tour/visit:
- Safeguard all confidential/proprietary information and ensure that it is not visible during the tour.
- Accompany visitors throughout the duration of the tour.
- Do not allow photography or video of lab equipment or lab set up, unless it has been pre-approved by the Office of Legal Affairs. This includes individual guests or groups, as well as any filming and photography requests from external production companies.
- Prohibit visitors from inserting flash drives or any other media into Georgia Tech-owned computers or equipment.
Sheila Cranman, Assistant Chief Counsel – Export & Trade, Office of General Counsel, Ethics & Compliance
Office of Legal Affairs
The Office of International Education (OIE) administers the J Exchange Visitor Program at Georgia Tech. OIE also supports Georgia Tech students who enroll full-time in a degree program using the F student visa type.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions regarding Georgia Tech’s J Exchange Visitor Program.
Global Human Resources (HR) supports immigration services for nonimmigrant or immigrant employment sponsorship and individuals with work authorization based on their visa status (including employees in F-1 status with OPT or CPT, J-2s with employment authorization, etc).
Additionally, Global HR provides assistance to departments that are hosting foreign national visitors (generally in B-1 or VWB status). For additional information, visit the Global HR website or email email@example.com.
The Office of Legal Affairs will contact you for the following regarding your request:
- (i) Request to Host Foreign Visitors or Guest Form
- (ii) Resume/CV of Invited Guest
Travel and Logistics
When traveling outside the United States, everything you take with you is considered an “export,” under U.S. export control regulations. Some of these exports will require an export license from the United States government. Export licenses may be required because:
- i) there are restrictions on taking the item or data to your destination, and/or
- (ii) the item or data that you take or the activity that you will perform at your destination is controlled.
Even if the destination, the item, or data, or your activity may be controlled, a license exception may be available so that we do not need to seek a license. Each export should be evaluated to see what the concerns are, if any, and how best to proceed.
Additional guidance related to international travel is available in the Institute Travel Authorization Procedures.
Please note that all travel must be authorized via an Institute Travel Authorization request. Those requests should be completed no less than 30 days prior to all international travel. If your destination is subject to U.S. embargoes, if you are taking equipment, or if information or materials are export controlled, then the travel authorization request will be reviewed by the Office of Legal Affairs for export concerns. The Office of Legal Affairs will contact you to discuss if a license is required and provide guidance on export compliance for your travel.
Because you, as an individual, and Georgia Tech can be held liable for improperly transferring controlled technology, it is important that you review federal regulations.
Possible export control concerns are highlighted in the international section and routed to The Office of Ethics and Compliance for further review as necessary.
If you will be traveling with students or sending students to a site for research, the students must register their Georgia Tech travel through the International Academic Project Travel Registry.
The Travel Registry provides the Office of International Education (OIE) with students' Georgia Tech-related international travel information so that OIE can contact the student and provide assistance in the event of an emergency. After a student registers his/her travel, OIE will share important pre-departure information to assist with health and safety topics, will enroll the student in international insurance (which will be billed to the student's Bursar account), and will provide contact information for students to use in the event of an emergency while they are abroad.
Faculty Participation in Online Meetings hosted by Foreign Governments and Other Foreign Entities
Scholarly activities are core to our mission and a major part of academic exchange is participating at annual meetings and thematic research conferences and workshops. They may be independently organized meetings or tied to professional organizations and scholarly societies. Risks are generally low if the employee speaks only about material in the public domain; does not receive payment for participating; and does not commit to continued collaboration. Faculty should be mindful that continued collaborations can open the door to situations that can be problematic.
If you have any questions on these kinds of events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and notify the Provost and EVPR office with a CC to Rob Butera (email@example.com) and Jennifer Herazy (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please disclose any conflicts of interest and foreign engagements as required by federal sponsors and our internal COI disclosure process.