Export Controls in an Academic Environment

Although export controls are broadly applicable to university activities, exemptions from export controls exist because national policy recognizes that our interests are better served by the free and open exchange of information coming out of federally-funded research conducted at colleges and universities. 

Fundamental Research Exemption

National Security Decision Directive 189 (NSDD-189) defines fundamental research as basic and applied research in science and engineering, the results of which ordinarily are published and shared broadly within the scientific community, as distinguished from proprietary research and from industrial development, design, production, and product utilization, the results of which ordinarily are restricted for proprietary or national security reasons.


Research conducted at UNH will not qualify as fundamental research if either the University or the Investigator accept restrictions on the publication of the research results, or on access and participation in the research based on nationality.  Limited prepublication reviews to prevent inadvertent disclosure of a research sponsor’s proprietary information or to insure that publication will not compromise patent rights are allowable and will not negate the fundamental research exemption.

If an activity doesn’t qualify as fundamental research, Contracts & Export Controls staff will work with the Project Director to assess the compliance burden and determine if the activity can proceed. If the activity can be managed without any actual or “deemed” exports and without disruptive restrictions on the use of facilities by faculty, staff and students, regardless of their nationality, it may be possible to undertake the activity without a license even if it is outside the exclusion.

There are other exemptions available under the export control regulations besides fundamental research, but if none is available as a means of compliance for a particular activity, it may be necessary for the University to secure the research through means of a Technology Control Plan (TCP); or, alternatively, to obtain an export license before the Project can proceed. If a TCP cannot be put into place in the research space in question or an export license cannot be secured within a reasonable time and under reasonable conditions, the activity will need to be revised to bring it back under the fundamental research exemption; or, if not, the activity cannot be undertaken at UNH.

Educational Exemption

The ITAR exempts information concerning general scientific, mathematical, or engineering principles commonly taught in schools, colleges, and universities and the EAR, similarly, exempts information released by instruction in catalog courses and associated teaching laboratories of academic institutions.  Dissertation research must meet the standards for "fundamental research" to be exempt.

View Export Controls Knowledge Base

The Knowledge Base contains forms, instruction and training material, minutes, policies, tools and other resources to support your research efforts by topic area.

Although the results of Fundamental Research are not subject to export controls, and can be shared without a license, physical articles, technology, or software used in the conduct of or generated under Fundamental Research are subject to export controls and may require an export license.