Starting a New International Collaboration

Cautious Optimism:

Outreaches from potential collaborators are exciting. Unfortunately, bad actors are using email, social media, training opportunities, and research organizations with military or government connections to gain access to information that may allow foreign governments to unfairly benefit from U.S. science and technology. When starting a new collaboration proceed with cautious optimism.


Confirm that the person and institution are who they say they are. Review the individual’s resume or curriculum vitae and speak with them via video conference. Check out their publications, associated journals, and patents. Reach out to common connections, such as a trusted colleague who may be able to vouch for your new collaborator. Review the institution’s website and consider their reputation in your field. Use additional caution when individuals or organization have a current or recent connection with a foreign military, foreign government, and/or a competing financial interest.

Screening Tools:

Emory has a university-wide license to Visual Compliance, a screening tool that will identify whether your prospective collaborator is a restricted or denied party under U.S. regulations. Also, the Chinese Defence Universities Tracker is a free online database of Chinese institutions engaged in military or security-related science and technology research. Contact Export Control for screening assistance or Visual Compliance training

Mutual Benefits:

Successful collaborations are a two-way street. Understand your collaborators motivation for working together. Identify mutual benefits and discuss long-term plans.

Get Advice:

If you are unsure how to proceed with a collaboration or need help verifying or screening potential collaborators, write to International Collaborations.