NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS CLOSEOUT MEMORANDUM 11 Page 1 of 1 Our office received an allegation of plagiarism in two proposals' submitted to NSF. Our inquiry determined that the allegation was substantive2, and we referred the matter to the university. The university convened an inquiry that confirmed that material from multiple sources were copied into the proposals. The university'determined that the PI, who was a tenured faculty member, was not responsible for the copied text. Instead, the author was a foreign visiting scientist (the subject13and a colleague of the PI. The university determined it had no jurisdiction over the subject. Therefore, the university decided not to conduct an investigation and returned the matter to our office. As a part of our investigative review, we uncovered additional plagiarism in a third proposal4 the subject authored. The subject's response to our questions regarding the copied texts was insufficient to dispel the allegation. Therefore we concluded that the subject committed plagiarism. We forwarded the matter to the office of the Deputy Director with a recommendation that NSF make a finding of Research Misconduct. This memo with the attached letter from the Deputy Director and the attached Report of Investigation constitute the closeout for this case. Accordingly, this case is closed. NSF OIG Form 2 (1 1/02) National Science Foundation Office of Inspector General Confidential Investigation Report Case Number A03050028 July 20, 2005 CONFIDENTIAL NSF OIG FORM 228 (1103) Summary The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has concluded that the Subject committed plagiarism in a funded proposal submitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF) through a U.S. collaborator.' The awardee institution conducted an inquiry but declined to conduct an investigation on the grounds that the Subject was not an employee of the institution. Our independent investigation documented a pattern of plagiarism extending to three NSF proposals. We recommend that NSF take the following actions as a final disposition in this case: 1. Issue a letter of reprimand informing the Subject that NSF has made a finding of research misconduct against him. 2. For a period of 3 years, prohibit the Subject from serving as an NSF reviewer, advisor, or consultant. 3. For a period of 3 years, debar the Subject from participation in Federal programs. OIG's Inquiry We reviewed an allegation that two NSF proposals (Proposal-1 and ~ r o ~ o s a l - 2were 3) plagiarized from published sources. Our review of Proposal-1 identified approximately 135 lines drawn from six sources without attribution and di~tinction.~Our review of Proposal-2 identified approximately 41 lines drawn from four sources without attribution and di~tinction.~ Both proposals resulted in awards to University-1 .6 We wrote to the Principal Investigator (PI) requesting his perspective on the allegations.7 The PI responded that his foreign collaborator (the Subject) was the author of both proposals: I wish to state at the outset that both proposals were written by [the Subject]. When I signed the proposals, after reviewing them and making some minor corrections, I was not aware of, nor did I have any reason to suspect, any irregularity. Also, I had no personal interest, professional or financial, in the success of those proposals; the ensuing funding benefited almost exclusively [the Subject] and his institution in Egypt. I agreed to participate only to help a young person, who I thought was in a disadvantaged position Proposal-1 and alleged sources, with identical text highlighted and cross-referenced, are at Tab 1. Proposal-2 and alleged sources, with identical text highlighted and cross-referenced, are at Tab 2. 6 7 Our letter to the PI is at Tab 3. because of the country where he worked, to obtain access to funds to advance his research.[*] The PI explained that the Subject, a former Ph.D. student at University-1, approached him about developing an NSF proposal (Proposal-1) which would allow the Subject to return to University- 1 as a visiting researcher. The PI agreed on condition that the Subject write the proposal. The PI also described the history of Proposal-2 in detail and stated that this proposal was developed by the ~ u b j e c t . ~ The PI immediately brought the allegations to the attention of University- 1, which froze spending on the open award (Proposal-2) and initiated an inquiry. After University-1 notified us of its inquiry, we formally referred the matter to University-1 and deferred further action pending completion of the inquiry." The University's Inquiry The Vice Provost for Research (VPR) conducted the inquiry and provided us with a copy of the Inquiry ~ e ~ o r t .According " to the Report, the VPR examined the proposals, the alleged source documents, copies of e-mail correspondence between the PI and the Subject, and grant records. The VPR also interviewed the PI, but did not contact the Subject. Based on the evidence, the VPR observed that: A simple side-by-side comparison of the text of each of the proposals with the "alleged source documents" provided by NSF leads to a clear finding that significant proportions of the proposals were copied directly from the source documents, either verbatim or with minor editorial changes that leave large portions of the copied materials intact. The probability of the same words being used in both the source documents and the proposals is vanishingly small; it is inconceivable that the similarities happened by coincidence.[12' The VPR concluded that the PI was not responsible for copying text into the proposals, and recommended that the matter be returned to OIG for any further investigation.I3 As the VPR explained to us: any further action with regard to [the Subject] is logically a matter for NSF to address rather than [the University], since we have no relationship to him . . . In practical fact, there is really no way for us to conduct an investigation into this [sic] actions in respect to the subject proposals.['41 University-1 subsequently closed the open award and took no further action. 8 Tab 4, p. 1. 9 Tab 4, p. 2. 'O OIG's referral letter to University-1 is at Tab 5. II University-] 's Inquiry Report is at Tab 7. l 2 Tab 7, p. 3. 13 Tab 7, p. 4. l 4 Tab 6. OIG's Investigation Upon receipt of the Inquiry Report, we reviewed the evidence supporting University-1 's conclusion that the PI did not write the relevant sections of the proposals. Our analysis supported the PI'S assertion that he did not write the proposals. Accordingly, we notified the PI that the matter was closed with respect to his inv~lvement.'~ Because the Subject was employed by a foreign institution, we did not refer the matter to his institution but rather conducted our own independent investigation. We first contacted the Subject by e-mail and requested his address for delivery of a package.'6 ~e responded immediately and provided his address. We then notified the Subject by Federal Express of the initiation of our investigation, provided him with annotated copies of the two proposals and alleged sources, and asked him to respond to certain questions about the proposals and his use of s o ~ r c e s . 'We ~ requested his response by April 30,2004. The package was successfully delivered to the address specified by the Subject and signed for on April 15,2004, seven days after our last e-mail contact with the subject.18 On April 28, we sent the Subject a reminder using the same e-mail address as before. On May 7, we sent a second reminder. On May 17, we sent a third reminder and informed the Subject that if we received no response by May 21, we would have to proceed without the benefit of his perspective. On September 2, we sent the Subject a fourth reminder using both his personal and work e-mail addresses. The Subject did not reply to our letter or our e-mails. In the course of our investigation, we reviewed evidence bearing on the authorship of the proposals, including e-mail correspondence provided by the PI and the publication records of the PI and the Subject. We also considered NSF's jurisdiction in this matter and whether the alleged acts fell within the scope of NSF's Research Misconduct regulation. The PI stated that the Subject wrote Proposal-1. Our review supported the PI'S account: the relevant sections of the proposal are related to the Subject's research area, the budget request is solely for support of the Subject, and no other project personnel are mentioned. Finally, in his responses to a message from the PI conveying the allegations, the Subject accepts responsibility for the allegedly copied text in both proposals: If there is any text copied it might be used as part of the research survey and for sure was cited . . . I am willing to carry the responsibilties but it might be un-intentioned mistake although I beleive that all the proposed ideas and the developed results are new new new. I am sorry for all that.[lgl l5 Tab 8. 16 OIG's e-mail correspondence with the Subject is at Tab 9. 17 OIG's investigation letter to the Subject is at Tab 10. 18 The Federal Express delivery confirmation is at Tab 1 1. l 9 A copy of this message is included in the PI'S response to our initial letter, at Tab 4 (final page). This excerpt is reproduced exactly as written, with no corrections. 3 It seems I have a diflferent way (or we, the egypt sie) of dealing with such a details but we learn from such things. I will make sure that in the future I will not go to such a mistake, as US believe, again. Finally, I am sorry for what happen and I promise you and myself that this will not happen again. This was a lesson for me.[201 Our review of NSF records showed that Proposal-1 was submitted directly to NSF by University- 1. We concluded that Proposal-1 was written specifically for submission to NSF, that the Subject was the author of the proposal, and that the Subject was solely responsible for copying 135 lines of text from published sources into the proposal without attribution and distinction. With regards to Proposal-2, our review supported the PI'S assertion that the Subject was its author. However, NSF records show that Proposal-2 was originally submitted to the U.S.-Egypt Joint Board on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (the Joint Board) under a competitive grant program coordinated by the U.S. Department of ~ t a t e . ~NSF ' is one of several agencies that participate in this program. After the Joint Board recommended the proposal for consideration by NSF, it was submitted to NSF through University-1 . When the Subject and the PI submitted Proposal-2 to program administrators in Egypt, they did so under Joint Board guidelines. Joint Board guidelines in effect at the time contained no guidance on scholarly standards for proposals. Accordingly, we believe Proposal-2 should be considered as evidence of a pattern of behavior rather than as an independent incident of research misconduct. OIG's Assessment NSFYsResearch Misconduct regulation was revised effective April 17, 2002. The allegations in this case involve activity that took place prior to April 17,2002. For that reason, OIG, in agreement with IVSF, applies the definition of research misconduct in effect at that time: Fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing, carrying out, or reporting results from activities funded by NSF [221 For all other purposes, the current version of the Research Misconduct regulation is applicable. A finding of research misconduct by NSF requires that (1) there be a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community, that (2) the research misconduct be committed intentionally, or knowingly, or recklessly, and that (3) the allegation be proved by a preponderance of the evidence.23 20 This message is cited in University-1 's Inquiry Report at Tab 7, pp. 3-4. This excerpt is reproduced exactly as written, with no corrections. 2 ' The U.S.-Egypt proposal cover page is found directly behind the NSF cover page for Proposal-2, at Tab 2. The U.S.-Egypt program announcement, dated August 2000, is at Tab 12. All indications are that the 1999 program announcement was substantially similar in all respects relevant to the present case. 22 45 C.F.R. 8 689.1 (2001). 23 45 C.F.R. §689.2(c) (2002). The Act Proposal-1 contains 135 lines of text that are identical or substantially similar to publications by others. None of this text is distinguished from the rest of the proposal by the use of quotation marks or indentation. Our investigation concluded that the Subject was the author of the proposal and was responsible for copying this text. Copying or closely paraphrasing text original to another author without attribution and distinction is an act of plagiarism. The version of NSF7sGrant Proposal Guide in effect at the time clearly states: NSF expects strict adherence to the rules of proper scholarship and attribution. The responsibility for proper attribution and citation rests with authors of a research proposal; all parts of the proposal should be prepared with equal care for this concern. Serious failure to adhere to such standards can result in findings of misconduct in science. NSF policies and rules on Misconduct in Science and Engineering are discussed in GPM Section 9 3 0 . I ~ ~ ~ Copying 135 lines of text from the writings of others, without attribution and distinction, constitutes a serious failure to adhere to the standards of proper scholarship. As such, it is a significant departure from accepted practices in the research community. Intent We do not have the benefit of the Subject's explanation for his behavior. University-1 did not interview him, and he has not replied to our requests for information. However, he replied to a message from the PI conveying the allegations.25 In his reply, the Subject wrote: I am dead sure that the technical merit in our two proposals are new. There is no way that I copied an idea or borrowed any idea from any one. If there is any text copied it might be used as part of the research survey and for sure was cited . . . I am willing to carry the responsibilties but it might be un-intentioned mistake although I beleive that all the proposed ideas and the developed results are new new new. I am sorry for all that.[261 The failure to cite and distinguish 135 lines of copied text cannot be characterized as an unintentional mistake. First, the act of copying text from a source into a proposal is inherently a knowing activity.27 Second, we note that the Subject conducted his doctoral studies at University-1 and since that time has spent additional time in the U.S. conducting research. It is reasonable to conclude that the Subject was aware that his actions were not accepted practice and that his actions were done knowingly. 24 NSF 99-2, section I.A. 25 The Subject's e-mail to the PI is included in the PI'S letter to OIG, at Tab 4. 26 Tab 4, final page. This excerpt is reproduced exactly as written, with no corrections. 27 OIG Semiannual Report to Congress, September 1993. Standard o f Proof We conclude that a preponderance of the evidence shows that the Subject committed research misconduct when he prepared an NSF proposal by copying text from publications by others without providing proper attribution to the original authors, and persuaded a U.S. PI to submit the proposal to NSF. OIG's Recommended Disposition In deciding what actions are appropriate when research misconduct is found, NSF must consider several factors. These factors include how serious the misconduct was; the degree to which the misconduct was knowing, intentional, or reckless; whether it was an isolated event or part of a pattern; whether it had significant impact on the research record, research subjects, other researchers, institutions or the public welfare; and other relevant circumstance^.^^ Seriousness We believe the Subject's misconduct was very serious. The amount of copied text in Proposal-1 is substantial (135 lines), and the severity of the Subject's misconduct is elevated because his proposal resulted in a $20,000 award. The award hnded the Subject's roundtrip travel to the U.S. and provided him with a $13,600 stipend as well as a personal computer, books, and registration fees for two conferences.29 Pattern of Behavior The Subject's behavior was not an isolated event. Our investigation established that the Subject appropriated the writings of others and incorporated them into two subsequent proposals, namely Proposal-2 and ~ro~osal-3.30 These proposals were submitted to NSF after first being submitted to the Joint Board. Proposal-2 has already been discussed; Proposal-3 was the focus of a previous investigation involving the ~ u b j e c t . ~ ' With regards to Proposal-2, our review supported the PI'S assertion that the Subject was the author of the proposal. Specifically, the relevant sections of the proposal concern the Subject's research area. According to the Final Project Report for Proposal-1, the Subject developed Proposal-2 during a visit to university-1 .32 Finally, the Subject's messages to the PI indicate that the Subject accepted responsibility for the allegedly copied text in both Proposal-1 and Proposal- 2. We concluded that the Subject was the author of Proposal-2 and that he was solely responsible for copying 41 lines of text from published sources into Proposal-2 without attribution and distinction. 28 45 C.F.R. §689.3(b) (2002). 29 Universitv-1's sumrnarv of emenditures under the award is at Tab 14. ;?h 32 The Final Project Report for Proposal-1 is at Tab 13. Proposal-3 came to our attention in a previous investigation involving the Subject. That case was opened in response to an allegation of plagiarism in Proposal-3, submitted to NSF by a faculty member (PI-2) at ~ n i v e r s i t ~ - 2Specifically, .~~ it was alleged that five paragraphs of the proposal were copied without attribution and distinction from a journal article by another author. As part of our inquiry we wrote to PI-2, who identified the Subject as the author of the technical sections of the proposal.34 We then wrote to the Subject asking him about his role in the proposal and other standard questions concerning his use of sources.35 In his reply, the Subject acknowledged that the source text was not properly cited.36 he Subject conveyed his awareness of scholarly standards and characterized his failure to cite and distinguish the copied text as an unintentional mistake: I, Dr. [Subject], have had a chance to study in the USA where I received my PhD. I used to respect the rules and regulation for copyright format. I never intended to break these rules. If any mistake happened it is for sure Not on purpose, with any means.[371 Our subsequent review identified additional unattributed text in Proposal-3, for a total of approximately 130 lines of text copied from seven sources.38 We concluded that the allegation of plagiarism was substantiated and that the Subject was responsible. We determined that Proposal-3 was submitted by the Subject and PI-2 to the Joint Board and subsequently to NSF. Because this proposal was submitted to the Joint Board and then to NSF, we decided not to pursue fixther action at that time. We notified the Subject of the conclusion of our investigation and informed him that we might use the results of our investigation as evidence in a hture case.39 We invited his comments or rebuttal, but received no response to our letter. Impact This case does not involve an impact on the research record or on research subjects. However, the Subject's actions have adversely affected other researchers. The Subject abused the trust of two NSF PIS when he asked them to serve as PIS on his plagiarized proposals. As a result of the Subject's actions, PI-1 became the focus of a lengthy university inquiry. 34 OIG's letter to PI-2 is at Tab 16. PI-2's response is at Tab 17 35 OIG's letter to the Subject is at Tab 18. 36 The Subject's response is at Tab 19. 37 Tab 19, p. 2. This excerpt is reproduced exactly as written, with no corrections. Proposal-3 and alleged sources, with identical text highlighted and cross-referenced, are at Tab 15. 39 OIG's letter to the Subject notifying him of the conclusion of our investigation is at Tab 20. Other Relevant Circumstances The Subject has been highly successf?ul in his attempts to secure Federal funding, and we believe he poses a special risk to the ~ o v e r n r n e n t .The ~ ~ Subject is not employed by a U.S. institution, and is not subject to actions or oversight by NSF awardee instit~tions.~' The Subject has not cooperated with our investigation, and we have no evidence that he has changed his behavior. He has continued to pursue Federal hnding through the Joint ~ o a r dand ~~, he may pursue other Federal programs that support international collaborations. We believe that government-wide debarment of the Subject is necessary to protect the integrity of Federal programs. Recommendations Consistent with the need to protect the interests of the Government, we recommend that NSF take the following actions as a final disposition in this case: 1. Issue a letter of reprimand informing the Subject that NSF has made a finding of research misconduct against him.43 2. For a period of 3 years, prohibit the Subject from serving as an NSF reviewer, advisor, or consultant.44 3. For a period of 3 years, debar the subject from participation in Federal programs.45 Subiect's Response We sent our draft Report of Investigation to the Subject on May 2,2005, and requested that he send us any comments by June 8. After requesting and receiving an extension of time, the Subject formally responded to our draft Report on June 1 6 , 2 0 0 5 . ~In~ his response, the Subject expressed respect for NSF and regret for his actions. He stated that he received no instruction concerning plagiarism as a student, and that he was unaware of the concept of plagiarism until his first interaction with our office. The Subject's response did not lead us to modify our draft Report. 40 We are aware of four NSF proposals involving the Subject, three of which resulted in awards. Three of the proposals are discussed in this Report. The fourth proposal is.- 41 University-1's decision not to investigate or take an action against the Subject is a case in point. 4 2 The Subject is currently supported under & , based on a proposal submitted to the Joint Board with a PI at yet another U.S. university. 43 A letter of reprimand is a Group I action. 44 Prohibition from serving as a reviewer, advisor, or consultant is a Group I11 action. 45 Debarment of an individual is a Group I11 action. 46 The Subject's response to our draft Report is at Tab 21. , . t. NATIONALSCIENCEFOUNDATION n 4201 WILSON BOULEVARD ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA 22230 OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR JAN 2 4 2006 Re: Notice of Proposed Debarment and Notice of Misconduct in Science Determination Dear ~ r . l l ) . . prepared by NSF's Office of Inspector General ("OIG"), your proposal contained plagiarized text. In light of your misconduct, this letter serves as formal notice that the National Science Foundation ("NSF") is proposing to debar you from directly or indirectly obtaining the benefits of Federal grants for a period of two years. During your period of debarment, you will be precluded from receiving Federal financial and non-financial assistance and benefits under non- procurement Federal programs and activities. See 45 CFR Part 620, Subparts A, B and I. In addition, you will be prohibited from receiving any Federal contracts or approved subcontracts under the Federal Acquisition Regulations ("FAR"). See 45 CFR 620.125. During your debarment period, you also will be barred from having supervisory responsibility, primary management, substantive control over, or critical influence on, a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement with any agency of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. See 45 CFR 620.115. In addition to proposing your debarment, I am prohibiting you from serving as an NSF reviewer, advisor, or consultant until January 1,2008. Lastly, you must complete an ethics training course on plagiarism, and certify in writing to the OIG that you have done so, before you will be permitted to submit any further grant proposals for Federal funding. Page 2 ScientificMisconduct and Sanctions other than Debarment . . Under NSFYsregulations in effect in 1999,' "research misconduct" was defined as "fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing, carrying out, or reporting results from activities funded by NSF." A finding of research misconduct requires that: (1) There be a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community; and (2) The research misconduct be committed intentionally, or knowingly, or recklessly; and d@@~he ,sf;,, allegation be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. ~$...#+....#$~'*:' 45 CFR 9 689.2(c). Your proposal contains verbatim and paraphrased text from other source docurnents. By submitting a proposal to NSF that copies the ideas or words of another without adequate. attribution, as described in the OIG Investigative Report, you misrepresented someone else's 'work as your own. In addition, you failed to properly acknowledge or credit the authors of the source documents in your proposal. Your conduct unquestionably constitutes plagiarism. I therefore conclude that your actions meet the applicable definition of "research misconduct" set forth in NSF's regulations. Pursuant to NSF regulations, the Foundation must also determine whether to make afinding of misconduct based on a preponderance of the evidence. 45 CFR 5 689.2(c). After reviewing the Investigative Report, NSF has determined that, based on a preponderance of the evidence, your plagiarism was knowing and constituted a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community. I am, therefore, issuing a finding of research misconduct against you. NSF's regulations establish three categories of actions (Group I, IT, and ID) that can be taken in response to a finding of misconduct. 45 CFR 689.3(a). Group I actions include issuing a letter of reprimand; conditioning awards on prior approval of particular activities from NSF; requiring that an institution or individual obtain special prior approval of particular activities from NSF; and requiring that an institutional representative certify as to the accuracy of reports or In 2002, NSF amended its regulations on research misconduct. Because the proposal at issue was submitted to NSF in 1999, however, NSF's research misconduct regulations in effect at that time govern. Page 3 certifications of compliance with particular requirements. 45 CFR $ 689.3(a)(l). Group 11 actions include award suspension or restrictions on designated activities or expenditures; requiring special reviews of requests for funding; and requiring correction to the research record. 45 CFR §689.3(a)(2). Group JII actions include suspension or termination of awards; prohibitions on participation as NSF reviewers, advisors or consultants; and debarment or suspension from participation in NSF programs. 45 CFR 5 689.3(a)(3). In determining the severity of the sanction to impose for research misconduct, I have considered the seriousness of the misconduct; our determination that it was knowing; the determination that it was part of a pattern of misconduct; and your failure to cooperate during the investigative process. I have also considered other relevant circumstances. 45 CFX § 689.3(b). I find your plagiarism to be serious because the amount of text that you copied was substantial and the proposal was funded by NSF in the amount of $20,000. Moreover, as documented in the Investigative Report, this instance of plagiarism was not isolated, but, in fact, is part of a pattern of plagiarism. I, therefore, take the following actions: From the date of this letter until January 1, 2008, you are prohibited from serving as an NSF reviewer, advisor, or consultant. You are required to complete an ethics training course on plagiarism by December 31, 2007. You must certify in writing to the OIG that such training has been completed. Regulatory Basisfor Debarment Pursuant to 45 CFR 620.800, debarment may be imposed for: (b) Violation of the terms of a public agreement or transaction so serous as to affect the integrity of an agency program, such as - (1) A willful failure to perform in accordance with the terms of one or more public agreements or transactions; or (3) A willful violation'of a statutory or regulatory provision or requirement applicable to a public agreement or transaction In any debarment action, the government must establish the cause for debarment by a preponderance of the evidence. 45 CFR 620.850. In this case, you knowingly plagiarized data in connection with research funded, in part, by the Foundation. Thus, your actions support a cause for debarment under 45 CFR 620.800(b). Page 4 Procedures Governing Proposed Debarment and Appeal of Other Sanctions The provisions of 45 CFR Sections 620.800 through 620.855 govern debarment procedures and decision-making, and 45 CFR section 689.10 governs appeal procedures for all other sanctions. Under our regulations, you have 30 days after receipt of this notice to submit, in person or in writing, or through a representative, information and argument in opposition to the proposed debarment andlor the other sanctions imposed. 45 CFR 620.860; 45 CFR 689.10. Comments submitted within the 30-day period will receive full consideration and may lead to a revision of the recommended disposition. If NSF does not receive a response to this notice within the 30- day period, this debarment and the other sanctions will become final. Any response should be addressed to Lawrence Rudolph, General Counsel, National Science Foundation, Office of the General Counsel, 420 1 Wilson Boulevard, Room 1265, Arlington, Virginia 22230. For your information, we are attaching a copy of the Foundation's regulations on non-procurement debarment and FAR Subpart 9.4. Sincerely, Kathie Olsen Deputy Director Enclosures: Investigative Report Nonprocurement Debarment Regulations FAR Regulations NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION ' 4201 WILSON BOULEVARD ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA 22230 OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OVERNIGHT MAIL ~ r . MAY 2 5 2006 Associate Professor - t- -- - - - - -- -- - --- - - - - - - ---- - - - - - - - _._ . ~- - Re: Debarment Dear Dr. On January 24,2006,.the National Science Foundation ("NSF") sent you a Notice of proposed Debarment in which NSF proposed to debar you from directly or indirectly obtaining thebenefits of Federal grants for a period of two years. Although the initial notice was returned, NSF sent a. second copy of this.Notice to you, which you received on March 26,2006. The Notice sets forth in detail the circumstances giving rise to NSF's decision to propose your debarment. Specifically, NSF indicated in the Notice that the proposed debarment is based upon your plagiarism of data incorporated into an NSF proposal. In that ~ o t i c eNSF , provided you with thirty days to respond to the proposed debarment. Over thirty days have elapsed and NSF has.not received a response. . Accordingly, you are debarred until January 24,2008. Debarment precludes you from receiving Federal financial and non-financial assistance and benefits under non-procurement Federal programs and activities unless an agency head or authorized designee makes a determination to grant an exception in accordancewith 45 CFR Section 620.215. Non-procurement transactions include grants, cooperative agreements, scholarships, fellowships, contracts of assistance, loans, loan guarantees, subsidies, insurance, payments for specified use, and donation agreements.. / L ) ..; In addition, you are prohibited from receiving Federal contracts or approved subcontracts under the Federal Acquisition Regulations (''FAR") at 48 CFR Subpart 9.4 for the period of this debarment. 45 CFR Section 620.11O(c). During the debarment period, you may not have. supervisory responsibility, primary management, substantive control over, or critical influence on, ii grant, contact, or cooperative agreement with any agency of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. . . ~ , note that, in the Notice of Proposed Debarment, NSF also: (1) pohibited you from ~ a s t lplease . . . serving an NSF reviewer, advisor, or consult,antuntil January 1,2008; and (2) required you b . . .completean ethics training course on plagiarism by December 31,2007. These actions remain in effect. If you have any questions regarding the foregoing, please contact , Assistant General Counpl, ~ a t i d d iScience l Foundation, Office of the General Counsel, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 1265, Arlington, Virginia, 22230, & 3 ?& v . -9 Sincerely, &LO&- Kathie L. Olsen Deputy Director
Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 2006-06-13.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)