As noted in a Washington Post article today, the NIH is clamping down on security, calling for visitors to disclose their citizenship in order to be issued a visitor badge. Foreign nationals from Iran, Syria, North Korea or Sudan must complete paperwork that can take 10 days to process before they are allowed entry.
A GW postdoc was recently denied entry to a scientific workshop for which she had pre-registered, because she had not processed the required NIH foreign visitors data request form in advance. Discussion with an NIH police spokesman suggested the recent practice was a renewal of an old policy, although it is not clear why there is a change. The enforcement of a policy to require citizenship disclosure is a major concern for GW, as research progress relies upon open and active engagement of researchers from around the globe.