Resources for SRAs - EC

Brief Guide to Export Control Review


The Office of Export Controls has developed a process to ensure that university research is conducted in compliance with export control regulations. This process involves:

  • Conducting a thorough review of projects and contract provisions to determine whether and how a particular research projected is affected by export control regulations.
  • Managing export-controlled research to ensure that it is conducted in full compliance with the law.

This process involves a cooperative effort between the Principal Investigator, The Sponsored Research, and the Office of Export Controls. Sponsored Research Administrators (SRAs) review proposals and awards for potential export control issues. Research identified as potentially problematic will be routed to the Chief Export Control Officer for further review.

Proposal Screening

Red Flags in the proposal include:

  • High risk areas of research, for example: engineering, remote sensing, robotics avionics, encryption, and homeland security.
  • High risk sponsors, for example: DOD, DOE, Homeland Security, FBI and other intelligence agencies, NASA, and certain corporate sponsors.
  • Technology that has a specific military application, enhancement of an existing sensitive technology, nuclear, chemical or biological warfare research, and advanced encryption or sensing devices (list not inclusive).
  • Research involving foreign travel, collaboration with researchers in sanctioned or sensitive countries (see list of countries under Basics of Export Control), and projects involving the shipment of advanced equipment.
  • End-use that is specifically military in nature or an advanced commercial or dual-use application.
  • The RFP includes export control language.
  • Project with a classified security requirement (DD254).

Contract Review

Red flags in the contract include:

  • Sponsor or third-party specifies that export controlled technology, software or technical data will be required for or generated by the research.
  • Sponsor initiated or Government flow-down export control clause (other than a general statement).
  • Restrictions on publication (beyond a 60-90 day review).
  • Restrictions on foreign national participation.
  • Assertions that the research results will be proprietary or export controlled.
  • Contracts that include a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) or extreme physical and computer security requirements.

The Office of Export Controls

  • Reviews proposals and contracts
  • Reviews the participants through Visual Compliance screening.
  • Qualifies the research for an exclusion if applicable: Fundamental Research, Public Domain, or Educational.
  • Contacts the PI for a technical review and discussion.
  • Makes determinations and disseminates compliance requirements for identified export controlled projects (e.g. notices, licenses, Technology Control Plans, other security measures, or participation restrictions).
  • Makes recommendations and provides alternative plans to Sponsored Research for performing export controlled research with as minimal an impact as possible.
  • Prepares license applications and Technology Control Plans in coordination with the Principal Investigator and the SRA. This may involve restricting access and participation, compartmentalizing aspects of the project, or modifying the scope of the research.

The Principal Investigator (PI)

As the individual most knowledgeable about the technologies involved in the project, the researcher is responsible for assisting the Export Control Officer and Sponsored Research in determining whether or not the technology is on the EAR/ITAR list. The Office of Export Controls will assist PIs in assessing the application of the export regulations, but primary compliance responsibility must rest with the Principal Investigator.