The University of Notre Dame expects that all personnel, including faculty, staff, visiting scientists, postdoctoral fellows, students, and all other persons retained by or working at the University, comply with all U.S. laws and regulations while teaching, conducting research, or engaging in service activities at or on behalf of the University.
As such, all personnel are required to comply with certain U.S. laws and regulations that regulate the transfer of items, information, technology, software, and funds to destinations and persons outside of the U.S., as well as to non-U.S. citizens at the University. These current laws and regulations are collectively referred to as the “Export Control Laws.” Many of the research, teaching, or service activities conducted by University faculty and staff are shielded from the Export Control Laws by a long-standing “fundamental research” exemption; however, it is still important for University personnel to understand these laws and the University’s procedures for ensuring compliance with them.
To review the full University of Notre Dame Export Control Guidelines, please download the PDF. For Export Control information specific to Notre Dame Research, please contact the Director of Research Contracts.
Restrictions apply to information, items, technologies, or services and include:
- Military or “dual use” items
- Chemical or biological weapons
- Encryption technology and related software
- Funding, information, services, or items provided to embargoed countries
In addition to activities involving military items or weapons, it is critical to note that many normal, everyday University activities are subject to export controls, including:
- Traveling overseas on university business (e.g., conferences, conducting field work, international symposia)
- Research collaborations with foreign nationals (here or abroad)
- Visits or tours of research facilities by foreign nationals
- Sponsoring research (e.g., via a subcontract) to an embargoed or sanctioned country
- Providing professional services (e.g., consulting) internationally or to problematic end-users
Export controls can impact the ability to:
- Ship items out of the U.S.
- Collaborate with foreign colleagues
- Allow the participation of foreign students or foreign researchers in research activities
- Provide services (including training) to foreign persons both here and abroad
Noncompliance with export control laws and regulations can result in severe civil and criminal penalties, including imprisonment, loss of research contracts, seizure and forfeiture of goods, and loss of export privileges.
Applicability to Notre Dame Researchers
Most research conducted at the University Notre Dame will not be affected, but there are some areas of export control regulations that university researchers should be aware of, including:
- The export of physical items, such as scientific equipment, or transfer of controlled information, including technical data, to persons and entities outside of the United States.
- The “deemed export” of verbal, written, electronic, or visual disclosures of controlled scientific and technical information related to export controlled items to foreign nationals within the United States.
- Travel to certain sanctioned or embargoed countries for purposes of teaching or performing research.
- Research projects containing restrictions, such as publication restrictions.
Fundamental research, which is defined as basic and applied research in science and engineering, is not subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) or the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Normally, the results of fundamental research are published in scientific literature, thus making it publicly available and research intended for publication, whether it is ever accepted by scientific journals or not, is considered to be fundamental research. Therefore, the EAR and ITAR apply only to researchers at Notre Dame who are conducting work in the areas that are subject to the EAR and ITAR and are willing to accept sponsor restrictions on publishing the results of the work.
It is important to note that the fundamental research exclusion only covers the “results” of research. It does not cover actual materials, items, or technologies involved in or resulting from the research. Export Controls may still apply to these items. For more information, please review the Export Control Guidelines.
Export Control Management
Technology Control Plans
In the event that a piece of equipment, technology, or technical data is identified as regulated by one of the three export control agencies, Notre Dame Research Administration assists the faculty member in creating a detailed Technology Control Plan (TCP) to ensure compliance.
A Technology Control Plan (TCP) is a customized management plan that outlines the procedures in place to prevent unauthorized exportation of protected items, products, information, or technology deemed to be sensitive to national security or economic interests. The Technology Control Plan is a critical component of Notre Dame’s export control compliance program, and it may require an export control license.
The PI is required to fill out the plan, paying close attention to the required details. All students or post-docs who seek access under the TCP are required to submit a copy of their CVs and visas. The completed form should be submitted to Notre Dame Research Administration; please contact the Director of Research Contracts for any questions. All TCPs will be reviewed annually.
Export Control Licensing
Export control laws are in place to protect U.S. national security, foreign policy, and economic interests without imposing undue regulatory burdens on legitimate international trade. An export control license is the U.S. government mechanism to allow and trace transfers of export controlled technologies. License requests must be submitted to the specific federal agency responsible: the Department of State for ITAR-controlled items, the Department of Commerce for EAR-controlled items, and OFAC for OFAC-controlled countries.
To determine if a license is required, four questions must be answered:
- What is being exported (is it controlled and which agency controls it)?
- Where is it going?
- Who is receiving it and what is their citizenship?
- How will it be used?
If a researcher has a project/technology that is export controlled and needs an export license to proceed, he/she must curtail the activity until an exception/exclusion is identified or a license is approved. Note that “deemed exports” may also require a license.
Only a designated ‘empowered official’ may apply for a license. Any request for an export license for a controlled item must be initiated through Notre Dame Research Administration.
A license application and approval/denial can take up to six months for review before a final determination is made. Each license is for a specific export transaction. If there is concern that a license may or may not be needed, please contact Notre Dame Research Administration as soon as possible to allow for an analysis of the need and to process the application.
Conversations about projects subject to export controls, or otherwise restricted, must be discussed with appropriate precautions. To avoid violations, please adhere to the following guidelines:
- Please limit discussions about projects subject to a TCP to the identified, contributing investigators.
- Please ensure discussions about projects subject to a TCP are only held in areas with authorized personnel.
- Please have all third party subcontractors sign agreements that fully respect the limitations of disclosures before beginning any discussions that might include restricted content.
All export controlled shipments must comply with licensing, packaging, and all other material transfer regulations. To avoid violations, please adhere to the following guidelines:
- Please contact the Export Control Officer before conducting any kind of international shipments. This will allow the team to confirm that the recipient’s name and address are not connected to any denied or debarred entities.
- Please contact the Export Control Officer before shipping commodities or data covered by a TCP. This will ensure that Notre Dame Research helps ensure that the University complies with government licensure requirements.
Storage and Access
Data, notebooks, reports, and research materials associated with export controlled data must be concealed from unauthorized people at all times. To avoid violations, please adhere to the following guidelines:
- Please consider utilizing computer screen privacy filters or posted signage to safeguard all work.
- Please physically secure equipment, internal components, associated operation manuals, and/or schematic diagrams with export-controlled technology with at least two security levels, such as locked cabinets or rooms.
- Please consider security measures that might be needed prior to any potential visits from guests in order to prevent disclosure to unauthorized personnel.
Traveling with export controlled data can be considered a violation, even if it is not directly accessed while traveling. To avoid violations, please adhere to the following guidelines:
- Please do not travel with confidential, export controlled, or proprietary data.
- Please do not attempt to access export controlled data remotely when traveling internationally.
The University of Notre Dame requires export control training via an institutional subscription to the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI), a consortium of universities that provides convenient and comprehensive online training modules, for all faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral scholars who anticipate working in export controlled areas or anticipate submitting an export control license (or exception). Certification is good for three years and it must be completed before beginning work.
The export control training consists of the modules shown below. The Export Compliance for Researchers is required for personnel participating in a project subject to export controls. The remainder are optional, but recommended, depending upon occupational responsibilities. The time commitment for each module is approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
- Introduction to Export Compliance
- Export Compliance for Researchers
- Export Compliance for Research Administrators
- Export Compliance and Biosafety
- Export Compliance for Operational Departments
- Export Compliance for International Shipping
- Export Compliance and Purchasing
- Export Compliance and International and Foreign Waters
- Export Compliance and Collaborations
- Export Compliance and United States Sanctions Programs