Skip to content

Export Controls

Export controls are U.S. laws that regulate distribution to foreign nationals, foreign entities, and foreign countries. Please review the Export Control Basics briefing.

If you have questions about export controls, please contact OSP’s Export Control Officer, Todd Nilsen.

There are a number of United States export laws that directly affect University research, specifically they include:

  • The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) controlled by the Department of Commerce,
  • The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) managed by the State Department
  • The sanction regulations governing the transfer of assets governed by the U.S. Department of Treasury through its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

If research involves technological, biological, and chemical and military-related technologies, the government may exert control and supervision of the research and require the University to obtain a license or find and record an exception to the law before allowing foreign nationals to participate in the research, before partnering with a foreign company, or before sharing research results in any manner (including by publication or presentation at conferences) with persons who are not U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens. Licenses are not easily obtained and require careful preparation and an inordinate amount of lead-time.

Export regulations apply whether or not the recipient is funded by a grant, contract, or other agreement, and apply whether or not the EAR or ITAR are cited in the award document. If a researcher accepts export-controlled technology or information from a government agency or from industry, the researcher is subject to ITAR or EAR regulations.

The University of Utah adheres to principles of openness in research based on its mission of education, research and public service. Consistent with these principles, the University will generally not enter into a contract nor accept a grant to carry out research if the grant or contract restricts the freedom of the University publish results or limits the participation of researchers on the basis of citizenship.

Most University of Utah research activities are excluded from export controls because of a general exception for "fundamental research" under the export control regulations. By not accepting any restriction on publication or foreign nationals, the University of Utah protects the fundamental research exemption.

Penalties are severe for non-compliance, including monetary and criminal punishment.


Last Updated: 4/29/24