In August 2018, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2019 (H.R. 5515) which, among other things, charged the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with other appropriate government organizations, to “establish an initiative to work with academic institutions who perform defense research and engineering activities . . . to limit undue influence, including through foreign talent programs, by countries to exploit United States Technology...”

Just as companies and organizations recruit and compete for exceptional employees, so do entire countries. Many foreign governments find themselves actively competing with the U.S. to recruit the best and brightest. In order to attract such talent, some foreign governments are providing direct financial incentives to scientists, researchers, and scholars to work in their country. These foreign governments may also create comprehensive retention programs, both for their own talented citizens as well as U.S. citizens. Recruitment incentives can include, but are not limited to competitive salaries, tenure, promotion, research funding, honorific titles, and state-of-the art research facilities.

On March 20, 2019, DoD issued a memo directing that all new DoD Notices of Funding Opportunities pertaining to research and research-related educational activities include a requirement that proposers provide additional information on the other support and commitments of all key personnel, regardless of whether the proposal is funded.