Vice President for Research and Economic Development - Office of Research Security (ORS)
October 3, 2013; Reviewed/Revised November 13, 2023

To provide guidance to The University of Alabama in Huntsville (“UAH”) faculty, staff, and students who may be contacted by a Federal Agent/Federal Investigator for the purposes of arranging an in-person visit.


It is the policy of UAH to cooperate fully with all duly authorized Federal Investigators, provided that appropriate security and privacy safeguards are respected. 

 Any UAH faculty, staff or student receiving an announcement that a Federal Investigator will be coming to the UAH campus at a particular time shall immediately notify ORS or the Office of Counsel of the date and time of the appointment. The term “Federal Investigators,” as used in this policy, may apply to Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and similar officials who have jurisdiction to investigate criminal activity.

The term “Federal Investigators” may also apply to employees of the Offices of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Defense (DOD), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), federal auditors, or other similar officials who have jurisdiction to investigate financial or scientific misconduct.

ORS is available to attend the interview and provide a location for the visit with Federal Investigators.

This policy also applies to unannounced visits by Federal Investigators. However, this policy does not apply to background investigations for Personnel Clearance Levels (PCL). When Federal Investigators make an unannounced visit, UAH employees should treat the Federal Investigators with courtesy, politeness, and respect.

First, ask to examine the Agent's identification and credentials to ensure that they are genuine. Write down the Agent's name and phone number. Obtain a business card (if feasible) and find out why they are there.

Then, ask the Agent to wait while you contact ORS (256-824-6035) or Office of Counsel (256-824-6633). UAH employees should refrain from answering questions until after you have spoken with ORS or Office of Counsel. A UAH representative will be sent to accompany the agent(s) while they are on campus.

ORS and the Office of Counsel will contact each other after the initial employee call. 

UAH employees have a right to decline to speak with a Federal Investigator or to wait until a UAH representative is present.  If the Federal Investigator refuses to wait, the employee should accompany the Federal Investigator and take notes of their actions and what questions were asked.

If the Federal Investigator requests to take anything from the premises, make copies as possible and make a list if other items are taken.

The ORS Director be responsible for the review of this policy every five years (or whenever circumstances require).

Federal Investigators Visits