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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title XLVIII
EARLY LEARNING-20 EDUCATION CODE
Chapter 1010
FINANCIAL MATTERS
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F.S. 1010.35
1010.35 Screening foreign researchers.
(1) Each state university or entity listed in subpart A. or subpart B. of part II of chapter 1004 that receives state appropriations or state tax revenue and has a research budget of $10 million or more must screen applicants seeking employment in research or research-related support positions, graduate and undergraduate students applying for research or research-related support positions, and applicants for positions of visiting researcher who are citizens of a foreign country and who are not permanent residents of the United States, or who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States who have any affiliation with an institution or program, or at least 1 year of prior employment or training, excepting employment or training by an agency of the United States government, in a foreign country of concern as defined in s. 286.101. Such screening is required prior to interviewing such applicant or offering to such applicant a position of employment or of visiting researcher. At the discretion of the university or entity, other applicants for such positions may be screened.
(2) In addition to satisfying all employment and enrollment qualifications imposed by federal law, the Board of Governors or the governing board of the applicable entity must require the following of applicants included in subsection (1):
(a) A foreign applicant must submit a complete copy of the applicant’s passport and most recently submitted Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, DS-160. After extraction of all information relevant to the requirements of this section, a university or entity may destroy or return the copy of the DS-160 submitted by an applicant.
(b) All applicants described in subsection (1) must submit a complete resume and curriculum vitae, including every institution of higher education attended; all previous employment since the applicant’s 18th birthday; a list of all published material for which the applicant received credit as an author, a researcher, or otherwise or to which the applicant contributed significant research, writing, or editorial support; a list of the applicant’s current and pending research funding from any source, including funder, amount, applicant’s role on the project, and brief description of the research; and a full disclosure of nonuniversity professional activities, including any affiliation with an institution or program in a foreign country of concern. For applicants who have been continually employed or enrolled in a postsecondary education institution in the United States for 20 years or more, the resume may, but need not, include employment history before the most recent 20 years.
(3) The president or chief administrative officer of the state university or applicable entity shall designate a research integrity office to review all materials required in subsection (2) and take reasonable steps to verify all attendance, employment, publications, and contributions listed in the application required in subsection (2) prior to any interview of or offer of a position to the applicant. Reasonable steps include searching public databases for research publications and presentations and public conflict of interest records to identify any research publication or presentation that may have been omitted from the application, contacting all employers of the most recent 10 years to verify employment, contacting all institutions of higher education attended to verify enrollment and educational progress, searching public listings of persons subject to sanctions or restrictions under federal law, submitting the applicant’s name and other identifying information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any federal agency reasonably willing to scrutinize such applicant for national security or counterespionage purposes, and any other steps deemed appropriate to the office. The state university or applicable entity may also direct the office to approve applicants for hire based on a risk-based determination considering the nature of the research and the background and ongoing affiliations of the applicant.
(4) The requirements of this section must be completed before interviewing or offering any position to an individual described in subsection (1) in any research or research-related support position and before granting such individual any access to research data or activities or other sensitive data. An applicant who must be screened under this section may not be employed in any research or research-related support position if he or she fails to disclose a substantial educational, employment, or research-related activity or publication or presentation at the time of submitting the application required in subsection (2), unless the department head, or a designee, certifies in writing the substance of the nondisclosure and the reasons for disregarding such failure to disclose. A copy of such certification must be kept in the investigative file of the research integrity office and must be submitted to the nearest Federal Bureau of Investigation field office.
(5) The research integrity office must report to the nearest Federal Bureau of Investigation field office, and to any law enforcement agency designated by the Governor or the Board of Governors and the governing board of the applicable entity described in subsection (1), the identity of any applicant who was rejected for employment based on the scrutiny required by this section or other risk-based screening.
(6) By July 1, 2025, the Inspector General of the Board of Governors, the inspector general of an entity described in subsection (1), or the Auditor General must perform an operational audit regarding the implementation of this section.
History.s. 4, ch. 2021-76.