Helping Universities Effectively Navigate NSPM-33 



The federal government addresses university research exploitation 

Due to the increasing amount of foreign government interference and exploitation of federally funded research, the U.S. government issued NSPM-33, putting the responsibility on universities to develop robust security programs. 

What is NSPM-33? 

The National Security Presidential Memorandum 33, or NSPM-33, is a presidential directive that aims to provide action to reinforce protections of research and development (R&D) supported by the United States Government. This memorandum strives to safeguard federally funded research from undue foreign influence. In January of 2021, the U.S. government issued the memorandum under the Trump Administration. The Biden administration endorsed NSPM-33 in August of 2022. 

What are the goals of NSPM-33? 

  • Increase protection, clarity, and consistency of research institutes receiving federal funding  
  • Protect U.S. national security while maintaining open collaboration within the research community  
  • Set clear security expectations for research institutions  
  • Avoid xenophobia 

What’s required of organizations? 

NSPM-33 requires research organizations that are awarded more than $50 million/year of federal research funding to:  

  • Disclose information of the personnel working on the specific research that received the funding.
    • For example, a scholar, student, or visiting scholar who is part of the research must disclose whether they are supported by an external entity  
  • Implement additional security measures in the following 4 areas:  
  1. Cybersecurity: Universities should implement diverse cybersecurity procedures to strengthen their IT teams and systems, such as monitoring, controlling, and protecting organizational communications.  
  1. Foreign travel security: Universities should carry out training and security briefings for individuals participating in foreign travel for research business, teaching, conference attendance, research purposes, or any offers of sponsored travel that would put a person at risk.  
  1. Research security training: Universities should execute training to relevant personnel on research security threat awareness and identification, incorporate relevant elements of research security into existing training, and conduct tailored training in the event of a research security incident.  
  1. Export control training: Universities should enforce training to relevant personnel for reviewing foreign sponsors, collaborators, and partnerships to ensure compliance with Federal export control requirements and restricted entities lists.  

Repercussions of not complying with NSPM-33 

  • Termination or suspension of the funding that the organization received  
  • Mandatory return of research fund 
  • Suspension and debarment of individuals or research organizations 

With universities at risk of financial as well as reputational damage, remaining compliant with these rules and regulations is essential for research institutes to avoid incurring disciplinary action.  

Strider can help universities comply with NSPM-33 

Using our robust collection of critical open-source data and our proprietary AI processing methodology, we help universities pursue safe collaborations and partnerships. Our current products and services include: 


Our flagship product, Ranger enables universities to identify what IPs and technologies are at risk, and illuminate any connections to sanctioned, restricted, or state-owned entities that employees and researchers may have. With Ranger, you can ensure individuals working on specific research have disclosed appropriate information and connections beforehand.  


A new product from Strider, Sentry empowers universities to conduct instant due diligence to screen researchers and visitors for potential connections to state-sponsored risk. It identifies potential connections in areas including restricted, government, and military entities, as well as industry and education associations. 


Checkpoint allows universities to screen third-party entities (including other universities) for security risks before collaboration and partnership.  

In an everchanging geopolitical landscape, universities need to be equipped with the right information and context to safely navigate state-sponsored risk. Reach out to a Strider representative today and see what insights our intelligence can deliver for your organization.