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Unannounced Visits by Federal and State Agencies

Learn about unannounced visits by regulatory agencies.

About regulatory visits

The university’s research activities take place in a heavily regulated environment and are subject to oversight by a wide range of federal and state agencies. As a result, UC San Diego can expect occasional site visits by outside agencies as part of routine oversight activities and when there are specific ongoing investigations. Examples of outside agencies that may conduct unannounced visits include the USDA, NIH, NSF, CDC, DEA, FDA, FBI, OEE (Office of Export Enforcement), Customs, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), etc.

It is the university policy to cooperate with outside investigating agencies to the fullest extent required by law, while fully protecting the rights and privacy of our students, faculty, staff members, and research subjects.

To accomplish this, the Office of Research Affairs recommends all researchers and research staff members be generally aware of the possibility of site visits by oversight agencies and be prepared to respond appropriately.   

Your responsibilities

In many cases, the most important action taken by the person who is the first point of contact (whether a principal investigator, a graduate student working in a lab or a research staff member) is to promptly contact the Office of Research Compliance and Integrity so that someone who is familiar with state and federal law and the university’s obligations can participate in the event of a site visit.

If an outside investigating agency presents a subpoena, search warrant, court order, national security letter or other document compelling the university or an individual to produce documents or otherwise provide information immediately notify the Office of Research Compliance and Integrity and campus counsel.

Campus resources


  • Vice Chancellor for Office of Research and Innovation: Corinne Peek-Asa, PhD, (858) 534-9758
  • Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Compliance and Integrity: Shanda Hunt, (858) 534-7321
  • Campus Counsel: Daniel Park, (858) 534-1236
  • Risk Management Interim Director: Edith Mitchell, (858) 534-3820
  • Conflict of Interest Director: Jennifer Ford, (858) 534-3335
  • Environmental Health & Safety Director: Corey Singleton, (858) 822-4923
  • Export Control Director: Laura Provencher, (858) 534-4175
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Director: (858) 534-6069
  • Audit & Management Advisory Services Director: Christa Perkins, (858) 534-1191


  • UCSD Guidelines for Serving, Accepting and Responding to Subpoenas, PPM 470
  • Audits & Investigations by External Agencies, PPM 300

After Hours Number

If you are contacted after working hours or on the weekend, please contact the Research Compliance and Integrity Office’s Hotline for Unannounced Governmental and Law Enforcement visits at (858) 246-4600.  Please leave a message with your name, contact phone number, and the name of the agency who made the contact.  A Research Compliance and Integrity Office team member will contact you as soon as possible. 

For additional information, contact the Office of Research Compliance and Integrity at (858) 822-4939,