Resources for Departments - EC

What USF Researchers Need to Know

While export controls can impact a variety of activities at the university, one area of particular concern is research. The university's commitment to the creation and dissemination of knowledge encourages full and free exchange of information. Open communication in the research setting has always been a cornerstone of academic institutions.

Unfortunately, this type of environment can create export control issues. The enforcement of export control regulations has stepped up in recent years, and the academic community has been subjected to increased scrutiny. Research that once was assumed to be exempt from export controls is now being reassessed by the federal government.

The information in this section provides an overview of information that all researchers should know. Please contact the Office of Export Controls at any time for assistance with determining if your research is subject to export controls.

How can Export Controls affect my research?

There are several scenarios that may require an export license including, but not limited to:

  • A physical transfer/disclosure of an item outside the U.S.
  • Any transfer/disclosure of a controlled item or information within the U.S. to a foreign national
  • Participation of foreign national faculty, staff, or students in affected research
  • Presentation/discussion of previously unpublished research at conferences or meetings where foreign national scholars may be in attendance
  • Research collaborations with foreign nationals and technical exchange programs
  • Transfers of research equipment abroad
  • Visits to your lab by foreign national scholars

What kinds of projects raise Export Control concerns?

Any research activity may be subject to export controls if it involves the actual export or "deemed" export of any goods, technology, or related technical data that is either:

  • "Dual or commercial use" (commercial in nature with possible military application); or
  • Inherently military in nature

Research in export restricted science and engineering areas—examples include:

  • Military or Defense Articles and Services
  • High Performance Computing
  • Dual Use Technologies (technologies with both a military and commercial application)
  • Encryption Technology
  • Missiles & Missile Technology
  • Chemical/Biological Weapons
  • Nuclear Technology
  • Select Agents & Toxins
  • Space Technology & Satellites
  • Medical Lasers

Research in the following disciplines can frequently require export control:

  • Engineering
  • Space sciences
  • Computer science
  • Biomedical research with lasers
  • Research with encrypted software
  • Research with controlled chemicals, biological agents, and toxins

In addition, any of the following will raise export control questions for your project:

  • Sponsor restrictions on the participation of foreign nationals in the research
  • Sponsor restrictions on the publication or disclosure of the research results
  • Indications from the sponsor or others that export-controlled information or technology will be furnished for use in the research
  • The physical export of controlled goods or technology is expected

Helpful Questions to Consider:

  • What is the nationality of researchers including professors and research assistants (grad students/post-docs)?
  • Will there be restrictions on publications, access, dissemination or proprietary information?
  • Will I be receiving any restricted information?
  • Is the research going overseas to a foreign company, government or individual?
  • What do the end-users intend to do with the research results?

Where can I get help?

Any time you have a question about the application of export control to any stage of a specific research project, contact the Office of Export Controls by email or call 974-5638.