As a faculty member engaged in research or a staff member supporting faculty research, your work may be impacted by the laws and regulations governing exports. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations can have very serious consequences for both you and UAB, including fines and imprisonment. Below you will find helpful information related to specific faculty activities. If you believe your work involves exports of controlled items or information, please contact the University Compliance Office for more information and next steps.
By and large, the vast majority of research performed at UAB will be excluded from export license requirements by virtue of the fundamental research exclusion. Remember, fundamental research is basic or applied research in science and engineering, the results of which ordinarily are published or shared broadly within the scientific community. In addition, federal regulations do allow for delay of publication for a pending patent application.
However, there may be instances in which the fundamental research exclusion criteria are not met. Projects in which UAB agrees to restrict publication of the results or must seek sponsor approval prior to publication (e.g., industry contracts or testing agreements) are not considered fundamental research and may require an export license prior to transferring items or information and/or allowing access to the project to foreign persons. Also, projects that involve "side deals," perhaps through non-disclosure agreements or acceptance of export-controlled information do not qualify as fundamental research. Finally, any project involving the transfer of defense articles or services is not fundamental research and has potential license requirements for working with foreign nationals. For a sample of contract clauses that present export control issues, see Selected Troublesome/Unacceptable Clauses Related to Information Release and Foreign Nationals.
As part of the grant review and application submission process, you will complete the Office of Sponsored Programs' Extramural Support Checklist. In addition, OSP will review and negotiate contract language upon notice of award. This will serve as the primary vehicle for documentation of the review and response to UAB's legal obligations as it relates to export controls and sponsored programs. Where questions arise, your grant or contract officer in the Office of Sponsored Programs can assist with appropriate next steps.
Technology Control Plans
Technology Control Plans are written plans that document the procedures in place to ensure that no transfer of classified defense information or controlled unclassified information occurs in the course of a project unless otherwise authorized with a license, Technical Assistance Agreement, or a Manufacturing License Agreement issued from the federal government. If a project is determined to be subject to export control regulations and is not excluded as fundamental research, a Technology Control Plan may be required. The Export Control Decision Tree can help you to determine whether this is the case. Technology Control Plans are used frequently in science and engineering labs testing export-controlled equipment or housing select agents. UAB's Office of Sponsored Programs or Facilities Security Officer can assist investigators in developing and implementing a Technology Control Plan tailored to the needs of a particular project. For a sample, see Technology Control Plan.
When materials that are subject to export control regulations are either received by UAB (incoming materials transfer) or sent from UAB (outgoing materials transfer), you must conduct and document an export control compliance review. In the case of an incoming materials transfer, you must first determine whether the material itself is a controlled item under ITAR or is categorized as a dual-use item under EAR. If it is, you must then determine whether any foreign person will have access to the material while it is in UAB's possession. If so and if no other exemption or exclusion applies, a license may be required. In the case of an outgoing materials transfer, again, you must first determine whether the material itself is a controlled item under ITAR or is categorized as a dual-use item under EAR. If so, you must then determine whether the material's destination country or ultimate end-user is on a restricted list. If so and if no other exemption or exclusion applies, a license may be required. For more information about materials transfers, please contact Hayes Lowe at (205) 975-0843 in the UAB Research Foundation.
Hiring foreign faculty or graduate assistants
Export control laws and regulations can place restrictions on the types of work that foreign persons may perform. Remember, a transfer of controlled items or information to a foreign person is considered to be a deemed export. In addition, as part of its Export Control Program, UAB requires that all foreign applicants must be screened.
When you seek to hire a non-immigrant holding a temporary visa, you will collaborate with International Recruitment and Retention to process the necessary immigration forms. One of the requirements of the visa application is for UAB to certify that it has conducted the required export control review and will comply with all applicable license requirements. You will be asked to participate in that review and provide the information necessary to determine whether the work to be performed by the applicant is a deemed export requiring an export license. For more on this process, please contact International Student and Scholar Services at (205) 934-3328 or click here for more information.
Working with foreign colleagues/Hosting foreign visitors
As with hiring foreign faculty or graduate students, there may be restrictions placed on sharing items or information with foreign colleagues or allowing access to certain locations to foreign visitors by export control laws and regulations. If you work with export controlled items or information and you are planning to host a foreign visitor, please contact Penny Whiteside, Director of Sponsored International Programs, at (205) 975-2438 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements for the visit.