Harvard University Agrees to Pay Over $1.3 Million to Resolve Allegations of Overcharging Federal Grants

  • Harvard University has agreed to pay $1,359,791 to resolve government allegations that the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health was overcharging for certain grants.
  • This settlement resulted from Harvard’s self-disclosure of issues identified on NIH and HRSA grants between 2009 and 2014 by Professor Donna Spiegelman and her team.
  • According to United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling, the professor and her team overstated how long they spent working on specific grants. Instead, they allegedly reported they had split their time evenly across all grants.
  • “Grant fraud wastes scarce government resources and limits the availability of funding for other research. We commend Harvard for itself disclosing the alleged overcharges at the School of Public Health and for taking steps to prevent future recurrences,” said Lelling.
  • Since Harvard disclosed these potential overcharges to NIH and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2016, it investigated the potential overcharges by the professor and others at HSPH, disclosed its findings, and worked cooperatively to explain the overcharges. In addition, Harvard has put in place additional internal controls and safeguards aimed at preventing overcharges from occurring in the future.