Foreign interactions for HDR students’ research


Does your research engage with foreign individuals, groups or organisations? Please refer below for important information about this engagement.

The University welcomes interactions with foreign individuals, groups or organisations and recognises they are an important part of University life and integral to the success of Flinders University’s research activities. It is vital that all HDR students and supervisors are familiar with the University’s Foreign Interactions Policy and its implications. The Policy helps the University assess and manage the risks associated with its foreign interactions.

You can find more information at:

  • The Foreign Interactions webpage for staff that provides information on the various legislation, definitions, due diligence and reporting obligations relevant to foreign interactions to support members of the University community to manage the potential risks arising from their foreign interactions, and to ensure compliance with legislation and the University’s policy.
  • The Foreign Interference in student activities webpage that provides information about how to act if you become aware of or suspect interference in student matters or activities by persons directed or influenced by a foreign government, please report your concerns using the Formal complaints form.

Research engagement and foreign interactions are mostly beneficial for both parties and important for the exchange of knowledge and ideas. However, with foreign interactions comes the risk of foreign interference, as universities can become targets for foreign actors seeking to act against Australia’s national interest. To this end, foreign actors may seek to interfere in the university sector through:

  • efforts to alter or direct the research agenda
  • economic pressure
  • solicitation and recruitment of researchers and academic staff
  • cyber intrusions.

Anyone engaging in any activity or partnership on behalf of or with a foreign government, foreign university, foreign business or any other foreign organisation or entity as part of their University business, including HDR student research, must evaluate the proposed activity or partnership for the risk of foreign interference, foreign influence and/or statutory reporting or regulatory obligations. Please refer to Due Diligence tool for the process for arrangements with a foreign partner.

HDR students and supervisors wishing to discuss the details of activities involving a foreign party can seek advice from Legal Services (ext 12762 or by submitting a Service One).


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