publication date: Mar. 30, 2018

Duke faces tightened NIH grant oversight over handling of past scientific misconduct

By Paul Goldberg

NIH has imposed tighter financial controls on researchers at Duke University, citing “ongoing issues” related to management of grants.

“While we cannot discuss the details of the ongoing issues with Duke University, we often enhance our degree of grant oversight when concerns arise about an awardee’s ability to effectively and properly manage NIH research funds,” officials from the NIH Office of Extramural Research, said in a written response to questions from The Cancer Letter.

On March 21, Duke announced to the faculty and staff that starting on April 1 NIH grantees “will be required to SEEK PRIOR NIH AUTHORIZATION for all no cost extensions of any final grant budget periods and unobligated balance carryforwards.  In addition, Duke also will be required to submit detailed budgets for any modular applications prior to NIH issuing an award (at Just In Time).

“NIH reports that these new requirements are a result of its concerns about Duke’s management of several research misconduct cases and grant management issues that date back to 2010, some of which have been widely reported like the Anil Potti case,” the memo states.

Duke faces a separate whistleblower suit that names the university and researchers Erin Potts-Kant and William Michael Foster. The suit claims that the researchers used falsified data to obtain funding from NIH. Potti was a cancer researcher. Potts-Kant’s work was in pulmonology.

Commenting on the enhanced requirements, Duke officials said the university has “already addressed many of the concerns that prompted this change through enhanced internal controls, education and training, and new information systems, and will continue to look for opportunities to improve our oversight.  … Continue reading Duke faces tightened NIH grant oversight over handling of past scientific misconduct

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