Handling Export-Controlled Information

When a sponsored research project is subject to export controls a Technology Control Plan (TCP) must be done. The TCP will outline the procedures to be taken to handle and safeguard the export-controlled information. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI) to develop a written TCP which must be approved and signed by the Director, Office of Grants and Contracts. A copy of the plan will be kept with the award folder. The PI must ensure each person working on the project has read and understands the TCP and the briefing below on the handling of export-controlled information on research projects.


In general, export-controlled information means activities, items, and information related to the design, development, engineering, manufacture, production, assembly, testing, repair, maintenance, operation, modification, demilitarization, destruction, processing, or use of items with a capacity for military application utility. Export-controlled information does not include basic marketing information on function or purpose; general system descriptions; or information concerning general scientific, mathematical, or engineering principles commonly taught in schools, colleges and universities or information in the public domain. It does not matter if the actual intended end use of export-controlled information is military or civil in nature.

Technical information, data, materials, software, or hardware (i.e. technology generated from this project) must be secured from use and observation by unlicensed non-U.S. citizens. Security measures will be appropriate to the classification involved. Examples of security measures are:

  • Project Personnel - Authorized personnel must be clearly identified.
  • Laboratory “work-in-progress” - Project data and/or materials must be physically shielded from observation by unauthorized individuals by operating in secured laboratory spaces, or during secure time blocks when observation by unauthorized persons is prevented.
  • Marking of Export-Controlled Information - Export-controlled information must be clearly identified and marked as export-controlled.
  • Work Products - Both soft and hardcopy data, lab notebooks, reports, and research materials are stored in locked cabinets; located in rooms with key-controlled access.
  • Equipment or internal components - Such tangible items and associated operating manuals and schematic diagrams containing identified “export-controlled” technology are to be physically secured from unauthorized access.
  • Electronic communications and databases - Appropriate measures will be taken to secure controlled electronic information. Such measures may include user ID, password control, SSL or other approved encryption technology. Database access may be managed via a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Only authorized users can access the site and all transmissions of data over the internet will be encrypted using 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or other advanced, federally approved encryption technology.
  • Conversations - Discussions about the project or work products are limited to the identified contributing investigators and are held only in areas where unauthorized personnel are not present. Discussions with third party sub-contractors are only to be conducted under signed agreements that fully respect the non-U.S. citizen limitations for such disclosures.