1. Whom do I contact?
  2. What are export controls?
  3. How can export controls apply to research?
  4. How will I know if Export Controls apply to my research?
  5. If I think Export Controls may apply to my project, what do I do?
  6. If Export Controls apply to my project, what do I do?
  7. What can I do to ensure compliance with Export Controls?
  8. Is training available?
  9. What can happen if I fail to comply with Export Controls?

1.  Whom do I contact?

The Division of Sponsored Programs is responsible for oversight of export control compliance relating to sponsored research projects.

Contact: 319-335-3582, export-control@uiowa.edu(link sends e-mail)
Website: Export Controls Home Page

2.  What are export controls?

Export controls are federal laws which restrict the export of goods, technology, related technical data, and certain services in the interest of protecting the national security and domestic economy. These laws have been in existence for many years, but the events of 9/11 have resulted in heightened concerns about national security and stricter interpretation and enforcement of export control laws and regulations by the federal government.

3.  How can export controls apply to research?

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 1) “dual use” (commercial in nature with possible military application) or 2) inherently military in nature.  Fundamental research (basic or applied research in science and/or engineering at an accredited institution of higher learning in the US resulting in information that is ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community) is excluded from export control regulations.  This means that where University research meets this definition, information (but not materials or technology) resulting from that research is not subject to export control restrictions. Work in the following areas is considered high risk: engineering, space sciences, computer Science, biomedical research with lasers, research with encrypted software, research with controlled chemicals, biological agents, and toxins.

4. How will I know if export controls apply to my research?

Examples of situations which may implicate export controls are:

  1. Presentations/discussions of previously unpublished research at conferences and meetings where foreign national scholars are in attendance.
  2. Research collaborations with foreign nationals and technical exchange programs.
  3. Transfers of research equipment abroad.
  4. Visits to your lab by foreign scholars.
  5. The sponsor of research, such as the Department of Defense

5.  If I think export controls may apply to my project, what do I do?

When routing a proposal or contract to start a project for which you think export controls may apply, indicate this by checking the “yes” box on the DSP routing form question about export controls.  You will then receive an automatically generated e-mail requesting additional information.  Your responses will be reviewed by the Export Control Coordinator who is trained to assist you in making determinations about whether or not export controls apply to your specific situation.

6.  If export controls apply to my project, what do I do?

The export control coordinator will assist you in determining what particular actions are required to ensure compliance with the export control regulations.  These actions may include the creation of an access control plan (a document which outlines the procedures for limiting access to export controlled items or technology), increased record-keeping or requesting export licenses from the federal government.  The actions required to be implemented to protect export controlled items or information must be in place before contracts for a project are signed or grant award funds are awarded.  Ultimately, the PI for an export controlled project is responsible for maintaining the compliance of the project.

7. What can I do to ensure compliance with export controls?

Make sure if you travel to foreign countries you do not take export controlled information on the electronic devices with which you travel and that the items you take with you are not export controlled.  Do not make any agreements with sponsors which limit your ability to publish your research or restrict who can work on the project.  If you have any concerns about the applicability of export controls to your project, contact the Export Control Coordinator for assistance.

8.  Is training available?

Yes. Contact export-control@uiowa.edu(link sends e-mail) to arrange for individual or group training sessions.

9. What can happen if I fail to comply with export controls?

The consequences for noncompliance are very serious for both the University and the researcher (including fines up to $1,000,000 and/or imprisonment up to 10 years for individuals). These penalties apply to single violations; multiple violations in the same project can easily result in enormous penalties.  In addition, the researcher can be held personally liable and subject to criminal proceedings.