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In This Month's E-News: October 2020

Although full implementation is several years away, leaders of research institutions and organizations representing them are asking the Department of Defense to exempt fundamental research from requirements in DoD’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program. Contractors and possibly subcontractors would be required to obtain third-party CMMC depending on the type of information they hold and the level of security required. In a recent letter, the Council on Governmental Relations, the Association of American Universities, and others expressed concern that “without additional clarification, [there is] too much room for the inappropriate application of certification requirements that are not relevant to the fundamental research activities that a project may include.” (9/17/20)

“What would you do if, as the Dean of Research at a major university, a group of students, postdocs, and junior faculty reported that they had been pressured into writing reviewer critiques for a senior faculty member?” That’s the question Mike Lauer, NIH deputy director for extramural research, posed on his Open Mike blog. According to Lauer, this situation was faced by an institutional official, and NIH leaders “were so impressed by the careful handling” that was done that the agency decided to “share this story” with some identifying details removed and fictional names added. Under the title, “Case Study in Review Integrity: Abuse of Power,” the blog entry is part of a “series to raise awareness, encourage dialog and inspire creative problem solving for challenges in maintaining integrity in peer review.” (9/17/20)

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