Fundamental Research Exclusion
While these export laws and regulations may seem onerous, there is one exception that benefits researchers who are conducting research with the intent of publishing and sharing their results with other researchers. It is called the Fundamental Research Exclusion.
The term Fundamental Research is defined as "basic and applied research in science and engineering, the results of which are ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community." The regulations make a distinction between fundamental research and proprietary research or industrial development, design, production, and product utilization, the results of which ordinarily are restricted for proprietary or national security reasons.
Research results generated during the course of fundamental research are excluded from the requirements of export control laws and regulations. No license is needed to share these results, even if they relate to items or technology that is otherwise controlled. Of significance to the University is that this exclusion permits the University to allow foreign nationals on their campus (e.g., students, faculty, and visitors) to participate in research projects on campus in the U.S. without the need for a license.
Because of the fundamental research exclusion, the University is able to conduct research activities that fall under the definition of fundamental research without the constraints of export control laws and without the need of an export license. Research performed on University premises normally will be considered as fundamental research unless the university or its researchers accept sponsor restrictions on publication of scientific and technical information resulting from the project or activity.
Although the researcher may share their research results with foreign nationals, they must remain cognizant that the inputs to the project may remain export controlled. For example, confidential/proprietary information shared by a sponsor of the project may be export controlled and should not be shared with foreign nationals without first conducting an export control review. Similarly, providing export controlled technical data on a piece of laboratory equipment used by foreign nationals during the conduct of the research may require an export license (aka Deemed Export).