Frequently Asked Questions

What are my responsibilities as a Principal Investigator, Researcher, or Faculty Member in complying with export control laws and regulations?

As a Principal Investigator, researcher or faculty member you are responsible for understanding if the research you are performing has intersections with the U.S. export control regulations. This includes -any associated equipment, materials, technology, or software that your group is using, developing, disseminating, or receiving from other parties. There is a brief Export Control Red Flags Video under the training section of this website that walks through key triggers.


If the research is restricted by export controls regulations, you are responsible for the following:
  • To protect the information or technology from export or deemed export, either intentionally or inadvertently. The Office of Export Compliance will assist in the development of a Technology Control Plan or other institutional controls as needed.
  • To inform graduate students, undergraduate students, and administrative staff who are likely to come into contact with this information or technology of the proper protection regulations and procedure. The Office of Export Compliance can provide tailored training to you and your team.
  • To periodically review your research to ascertain if its status relative to export control regulations has changed.
  • To accurately complete the Export Control checklist in the Sponsored Programs Proposal Process. You have the responsibility to inform the Office of Sponsored Programs when the export control status of your research changes.
  • You have the responsibility to report to the Office of Export Compliance any potential violations of export control laws and regulations of which you might become aware.

The Office of Export Compliance is here to assist you in this determination and should be used as a resource.

Do export, import, and sanctions regulations apply to universities?

Yes. Many aspects of the EAR and ITAR impact universities as much as they impact for-profit companies. While there is a carve out for what the government agencies define as "fundamental research," this carve out has a specific definition behind it - and it only ever applies to technical data as it’s exchanged in the U.S. If your research program has any publication restrictions or any access or dissemination controls on the results, the results will not be considered "fundamental research" by the government.
OFAC regulations apply across the board to universities. While there are some educational related carve-outs, it’s important to evaluate each specific endeavor and country of interest.


Where can I get training on Export Controls Compliance?

The Office of Export Compliance website has links to on-demand training material, including presentations and videos. The Office of Export Compliance can also provide tailored training to your department, research group, or project team upon request.


My award has no restriction on foreign nationals working on it and no publication restrictions except the funding agency wants to review a publication prior to distribution. Does this negate my "fundamental research" exemption?

No, this kind of review, even when requested, is considered a courtesy rather than a restriction. If the award required "review and approval" we would consider it a restriction as this language implies the potential of denying approval to publish or requiring changes to the report, presentation or article prior to publication. A publication approval requirement would cancel your fundamental research exclusion. Watch this brief on-demand video on the fundamental research exclusion.


I’m exploring a collaboration with university in Cuba. What kinds of things do I need to consider?

Pause and seek guidance from the Office of Export Compliance as soon as you are aware of the invitation. While the Cuba Sanctions have been eased with recent regulatory changes, the sanctions have been lifted. There are specific situations - some academic and educational - that are now allowed under an OFAC General License. The Office of Export Compliance can ensure that your collaboration falls under the proscribed allowable activities. A video covering the Cuba Sanctions will be available and posted soon.


I’ve been invited to present at a conference in Iran. What kinds of things do I need to consider?

Stop and seek guidance from the Office of Export Compliance as soon as you are aware of the invitation. Only limited aspects of the Iran Sanctions have changed with recent regulatory changes.
There are specific situations - some academic and educational - that are now allowed under an OFAC General License. The Office of Export Compliance can ensure that your collaboration falls under the proscribed allowable activities. A video covering the Iran Sanctions will be available and posted soon.


Do faculty and staff in Humanities, Social Sciences, Theology, and Athletics need to pay attention to Export Compliance?

These requirements impact a variety of University educational activities and programs, independent of the scope of the department. For instance, economic sanctions by the U.S. government against certain countries affect many non-science and non-engineering based departments across the University. OFAC regulations broadly impact travel to, monetary exchange with, and activities in sanctioned countries regardless of the field of study. If the regulations do bring on requirements, Baylor may need to apply for an OFAC license BEFORE any sharing or shipping occurs, or the activity may be completely prohibited.
The specific regulations depend on the country. An on-demand Cuba and Iran Sanctions Training Video will be available soon.

My research group does not work on anything directly related to the military or defense applications. How are Export, Import, and Sanctions regulations related to our research?

The relevant laws and policies apply to tangible items (e.g. equipment, parts, hardware, chemicals), software, technical information, and technical services. When it comes to technical information, technical services, and software, the laws also apply to sharing those things with a foreign national located in the U.S. These are called deemed exports; watch this video to learn more. If the regulations do bring on requirements, Baylor may need to apply for a license BEFORE any sharing or shipping occurs.


If a Researcher has an award with no export control language and his/her funding agency begins providing export controlled documents, etc., what should the Researcher do?

This action is a good indication that the direction of the research or some other factor has changed the project in some way to render the export control regulations applicable to this project and that, more than likely, the Baylor researcher's work will now be export controlled.
He/she should reexamine the research and contact the Office of Export Compliance for assistance in checking the government export control lists to see if the research falls under either of these lists. The Office of Export Compliance will work with the Researcher to determine next steps if any associated aspects are found to be export controlled.
The Researcher should also notify his/her Contract Administrator in the Office of Sponsored Programs that the export control status has changed.
It is a best practice for the Principal Investigator to re-evaluate his/her project's export control determination prior to changes in scope of work or hiring foreign nationals to work on the project, including graduate and undergraduate students; the Office of Export Compliance is here to assist in these activities.


I bring on many graduate students, post-docs, and research staff from abroad for the scientific expertise they bring. What do I need to consider in advance?

Before assigning a foreign national to any research program, the Principle Investigator should ensure he/she has a solid understanding of any export controlled projects or items in the lab - and that proper compliance controls are in place. The export control regulations associated with any project can bring on requirements for the entire lab, even if the foreign national is not directly working on an export controlled project.


I often collaborate with other professors at universities in the U.S. and abroad. What do I need to know before initiating our collaborative efforts?

A Baylor employee should contact and work with the Office of Export Compliance BEFORE agreeing to proceed with the collaborative work. The export, import, and sanctions regulations are independent of any funding or payment, so they equally apply to non-sponsored collaborations. The office will assist you in checking the government controls lists, the parties involved, and the country involved to ascertain if the collaboration will bring on any specific requirements.

What are the practices that I should employ for protecting export controlled information?

If there is export controlled information present in a certain laboratory or facility, a Technology Control Plan (known as a TCP) will be required by the U.S. government. Each TCP is unique to the specific technology and facility in question. The document outlines how the export controlled information will be properly secured (physically and electronically) amongst University personnel and outside visitors. When a TCP is required, the Office of Export Compliance will work with you to develop and implement the plan. The Office of Export Compliance will also provide periodic training to ensure all parties who use the facility understand their responsibility to comply.


I’m purchasing equipment for a University lab. What export control considerations do I need to keep in mind?

Equipment purchases should follow the Baylor University Purchasing Manual. For purchases less than $5,000, the department purchaser, using the Purchasing Card should contact the Office of Export Compliance if the purchase is from a foreign country. The Office of Export Compliance will assist the department purchaser in determining any U.S. Customs import compliance requirements. For purchases over $5,000 the Baylor Office of Export Compliance works with the Baylor Purchasing Department to assure all export and import compliance issues are addressed.