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Export Control

The University of Montana believes that, absent extraordinary circumstances, teaching, research, and service activities will be accomplished openly and without prohibiltions or restrictions on publication and dissemination of the results of academic and research activities.

However, certain federal regulations may require the University to obtain permission before allowing foreign nationals to participate in research involving specific technologies or before sharing research information or materials with persons who are neither citizens of the United States nor permanent resident alients.

These export control regulations have the potential to limit opportunities of University researchers and their students, affect publication rights, or prevent international collaboration. In addition, violations of these export control regulations can result in the loss of sponsored agreements, monetary fines, or prison. The regulations do not apply, however, to information that is in the public domain or the result of fundamental research activities, as defined by federal law.

Therefore, the University of Montana shall pursue its mission in teaching, research, and service in a manner that enables the University to claim the benefit of public domain or fundamental research exemptions from federal export regulations whenever possible, while at all times complying with such regulations. To implement these guidelines, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP), the Office of Legal Counsel, and Principal Investigators (PIs) must thoroughly review the terms and conditions of sponsored projects to determine the applicability of export control regulations and exemptions as follows:  

  1. The PI will disclose on the Checklist for Proposal Approval via E-Prop whether s/he is aware of
    • any restrictions on access to or publiction of research and technical data,
    • limitations of the participation of foreign nations in the research effort, or
    • other restrictions rendering exemption from export control regulations inapplicable.
  2. Upon disclosure, the PI will complete the Export Control Review (ECR) form for ORSP review.  Disclosure of awareness of such restrictions will not result in disapproval, but ORSP will work with the Office of Legal Counsel, PI, and sponsor to determine the nature and impact of such restrictions.
  3. After receipt of notice of award, ORSP will review the agreement terms and conditions for any provisions that restrict access to or publication of research and technical data, that limit participation of foreign nationals in the project, or that otherwise render the exemptions from the export control regulations inapplicable. If the ECR is not on file, ORSP will request the PI complete it.  
  4. If the results of such review indicate that an exemption from the export control regulations may not be available, ORSP will forward the ECR and supporting documentation to the Office of Legal Counsel. The Office of Legal Counsel will confirm the ORSP review and if the research contract or grant contains terms or conditions that affect the University’s exemption from export control regulations, the matter will then be referred to the Vice President for Research and Creative Scholarship (VPRCS) or his/her designee.
  5. The VPRCS (r designee), Legal Counsel and principal Investigator will confer and together will determine if the research is export controlled or if other restrictions apply.  This determination will be documented in the ORSP Award file.
  6. If the research agreement falls under any of these regulations, ORSP, in collaboration with the Office of Legal Counsel, will contact the research sponsor to negotiate removal or modification of the provisions that affect the University’s exemption from export control regulations. If such negotiation is unsuccessful, the matter will be referred to the VPRCS (or designee) to determine if the University will apply for an export control license, conduct the research under export control restrictions, or abandon the research effort due to the possible burdens or restrictions associated with regulatory compliance.
  7. If the VPRCS (or designee) approves the conduct of research subject to an export control license, the Office of Legal Counsel will proceed to make application for the appropriate license. No work under a contract or grant, or proposed contract or grant, can begin until this process has been completed and any required export control license has been secured.
  8. If the research is to be conducted under export control restrictions without an export license, the PI shall certify that controls are in place to protect the restricted items or data from disclosure to non-resident foreigners and from export out of the country.  
  9. If a research sponsor requests publication or security restrictions after a sponsored agreement (without such restrictions) has been executed, the PI shall contact ORSP and Office of Legal Counsel before agreeing (formally or informally) to any such publication or security restrictions. The PI, ORSP, Office of Legal Counsel, and the VPRCS (or designee) will work together for assessment of export control consequences and disposition of the sponsor request.

Any questions or concerns about the application of export control regulation or any matters related to export control should be addressed to the Office of Legal Counsel, 243-4755.