Export Controls In
Research and Teaching Activities


Researchers should be aware that export control restrictions may apply to the following situations:

  • The export (shipment or hand carrying) of physical items, such as scientific equipment, abroad;
  • The exchange of controlled information, including technical data, to persons and entities outside of the United States;
  • The “deemed export” of verbal, written, electronic, or visual disclosures of controlled scientific and technical information related to export controlled items to foreign nationals within the United States;
  • Travel to certain sanctioned or embargoed countries; and
  • Research projects containing publication and foreign national participation restrictions.

In most cases, Rice research falls under the Fundamental Research Exemption (FRE) and therefore may not be subject to export control restrictions. This is usually the case where your research is sponsored by a federal agency such as NSF and NIH and/or the sponsored research agreement does not otherwise have any publication or foreign national participation restrictions.

If the FRE does not apply, (a) the University must apply for and obtain an export control license from the U.S. government and/or (b) the Principal Investigator (PI) and the project’s research staff and participants to agree to a Technology Control Plan (TCP) prior the commencement of the research.

Regardless of the potential applicability of the FRE, contact us to determine whether any export control restrictions apply to your situation.


Both the ITAR and the EAR provide that certain information commonly provided during classroom instruction is not subject to export controls. Such information, even if it relates to items included on the USML or the CCL, does not fall under the application of export controls. These exemptions are:

  • General educational information
    • ITAR: general scientific, mathematical or engineering principles commonly taught in schools, colleges and universities.
    • EAR: publicly available “educational information,” if it is released by instruction in catalogue courses and associated teaching laboratories of academic institutions.
    • Publicly available information
  • ITAR: The ITAR describes such information as information in the public domain. Information in the public domain may be obtained through:
    • sales at newsstands and bookstores;
    • subscription or purchase without restriction to any individual;
    • second class mailing privileges granted by the U.S. Government;
    • at libraries open to the public;
    • patents available at any patent office;
    • unlimited distribution at a conference, meeting, seminar, trade show or exhibition, generally accessible to the public, in the United States;
    • public release in any form after approval of the cognizant U.S. Government agency; or
    • fundamental research in the U.S.
  • EAR: The EAR does not control publicly available technology if it is already published or will be published. Information is published when it becomes generally accessible to the interested public in any form, including:
    • publication in periodicals, books, print, etc., available for general distribution free or at cost;
    • readily available at libraries open to the public or university libraries;
    • patents and open patents applications available at any patent office; or
    • release at an open conference, meeting, seminar, trade show, or other gathering open to the public.