NIH Provides Information on Foreign Components

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires reporting of foreign components in both new applications and progress reports.  NIH defines foreign component as follows:

The performance of any significant scientific element or segment of a project outside of the United States, either by the recipient or by a researcher employed by a foreign organization, whether or not grant funds are expended.

Activities that would meet this definition include, but are not limited to the following:

(1) 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 as follows:

  • Collaborations with investigators at a foreign site anticipated to result in co-authorship
  • Use of facilities or instrumentation at a foreign site
  • Receipt of financial support or resources from a foreign entity

Foreign travel for consultation is not considered a foreign component.

In new applications, the question is on the SF424 R&R Other Project Information Form question 6.  Does this project involve activities outside of the United States or partnerships with international collaborators?

In progress reports (RPPRs), section G.9 asks responders to “Provide the organization name, country, and description of each foreign component.”  Please note that at the time of submission, if the foreign component response is “no” but there are publications with authors from foreign sites, funding is being held until the relationship is clarified or the response to section G9 is resubmitted.

If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Gray at