Export Controls and Research

Export controls may sometimes affect university activities in unexpected ways. For example, research involving attenuated select agents may require additional security procedures beyond a biosafety protocol, and foreign national personnel may be restricted from accessing certain licensed software or experimental data, even if used for fundamental research. We must therefore consider the application of export controls to research projects and other activities on an individual basis.

Fundamental Research

Data and other information resulting from university-based research and other academic activities are often exempt from these licensing rules as the results of “fundamental research” – that is, research that is conducted openly and without restrictions regarding participation or dissemination. However, this exemption applies only to the results of research, not to any controlled materials that may be used to conduct research. This means that even research conducted openly and with the intent to share the resulting information broadly may sometimes still be subject to export controls. Other license exemptions may also apply in limited circumstances.

While we are generally committed to pursuing fundamental research and other activities that allow for open engagement and collaboration with the international community, controlled research is not prohibited at Urbana-Champaign. However, personnel wishing to participate in controlled research are responsible for working with administrative staff to prevent unlicensed exports, unauthorized disclosures, and other violations of export controls.