GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Van Andel Research Institute has agreed to a $5.5 million settlement with the Department of Justice for failing to disclose grants from the Chinese government.
Federal authorities say the research institute submitted federal grant applications and progress reports without disclosing details on grants from the Chinese government, which funded two of its researchers.
Only a small number of applicants receive funding each year, and officials say the lack of transparency is unfair to other grant applicants.
Van Andel Research Institute released a statement on the settlement:
“Van Andel Research Institute is an independent biomedical research organization that collaborates around the world to advance biomedicine and education. In the past five years, scientific findings by our researchers have been among the most noteworthy in the field,” said Jana Hall, chief operations officer of Van Andel Research Institute. “Over the past several months, the Institute has been cooperating with a U.S. Department of Justice civil investigation related to the filing of certain administrative reports and communications associated with National Institutes of Health grants. We recently reached a settlement, which we believe is in the best interest of the Institute. VARI did not admit any liability, and this civil matter has no connection to the quality of the Institute’s science or the validity of our research findings. In addition, both professors referenced in this civil matter have resigned from VARI. We remain deeply committed to ensuring that our processes meet funding disclosures and NIH requirements.”