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NSF Freezes Grants to UConn After Professors Bought Equipment From Their Own Company

The National Science Foundation has frozen millions of dollars in grants to the University of Connecticut after auditors found that two professors there used grant money to buy equipment from their own company, The Hartford Courant reports.

The state Auditors of Public Accounts found that the professors, who control a marine sensor and communication technology company, bought $253,000 worth of acoustic modems using NSF funds. The professors told the auditors they did not read a clause on a form they signed indicating there was no financial conflict of interest.

The NSF froze all of the university’s research grants related to underwater communication and exploration, totaling $4.6 million.

The university said in a statement that it would have prohibited the purchase of the modems if the professors “had disclosed their conflicts of interest as principals in the company from which the items were purchased.”

The professors’ identities have not been revealed.

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