Travel & Transportation

Export Controls, Trade Sanctions, and Foreign Influence in Research

Export controls are the set of laws regulating the shipment or transfer, by whatever means, of controlled items, software, technology, or services out of the U.S. These regulations specifically target strategically important technology or information for reasons of national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives. It is the intent of Carleton College to comply with the law, specifically the Export Controls Reform of 2010 and the Export Controls Act of 2018. These apply to many activities, and are not restricted to federally funded research.

Some activities covered by these restrictions include participating in international research collaborations, traveling internationally, conducting research with proprietary information or technology, making international shipments of advanced scientific equipment or biological materials, conducting research related to outer space, using computer software with encryption features. They may also pertain to information related to cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, augmented virtual reality, gene editing, financial technology, semiconductors, robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology. This list is not meant to be exhaustive.

That said, fundamental research (basic and applied research in science and engineering, the results of which are published and shared broadly within the scientific community), educational information (general scientific, mathematical, or engineering principles commonly taught in schools, colleges, and universities), and public domain information (information which is published and which is generally accessible or available to the public) are not subject to export controls regulations. Proprietary information is not included as fundamental research.

Projects that engage with sanctioned countries or entities may also be subject to restrictions, particularly Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Syria, and Sudan. If you are planning international travel, please refer the US Treasury’s list of sanctions.

If you have any questions, or believe your project may be subject to these and related regulations, please contact the Grants Office.

Carleton College supports our faculty in exploring robust collaboration with a wide range of partners around the world, as is appropriate for their work. It is possible that foreign governments may be interested in supporting US researchers. Much of this is benign, such as paying for a distinguished speaker to fly to their country to give presentations on their work. The US government has taken an increasing interest in these activities, particularly as they pertain to research supported by federal grants. Grantees are now required to inform the government of all such foreign support, both at the time of applying for funding and annually as researchers report on the progress of the grant. Our researchers must report any and all support from foreign sources: foreign employment arrangements, foreign grant support – both monetary and in-kind such as equipment, talent programs, travel awards, and the like. The Grants Office will assist Carleton researchers in reporting all such support to the appropriate federal agencies, which is now mandatory. The existence of such support is likely not an issue, but reporting the support ensures that you have been forthcoming about it. The government’s focus is to protect US trade secrets and to prosecute tax evasion.

Last Revised: March 13, 2019

For: Faculty, Staff, Students

Last Reviewed: August 2, 2021

Maintained by: Corporate and Foundation Relations