Research Compliance - Office of Sponsored Programs - Christopher Newport University

Office of Sponsored Programs

Research Compliance

IRB for the Protection of Human Subjects

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for ensuring that the university complies with federal regulations regarding research with human subjects and for safeguarding the rights and welfare of subjects at risk in research activities conducted through the university.

Institutional Animal Care And Use Committee

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) ensures that the care and use of all live vertebrate animals by the university community is done according to all appropriate state and federal guidelines, in an ethical and humane manner.

Export Controls

The term "export controls" typically refers to regulations overseen by several federal agencies, especially the Departments of State, Commerce and Treasury, that implement federal laws put in place to protect national security, promote foreign policy and, in some cases, to control short supplies.

This website is intended to provide information and support for Christopher Newport University researchers. The links on these pages will take you to practical information and tools for identifying and addressing export control compliance issues germane to research at Christopher Newport University. This content is curated by the Office of Sponsored Programs.

As a useful starting point, we recommend use of Stanford University's Export Controls Decision Tree, which has been widely adopted as a national standard by U.S. academic institutions. We appreciate Stanford's grant of permission to use its content for the benefit of Christopher Newport University.

It is Christopher Newport University’s policy to comply fully and completely with all United States export control laws and regulations, including those implemented by:

  • the Department of Commerce through its Export Administration Regulations
  • the Department of State through its International Traffic in Arms Regulations
  • the Treasury Department through its Office of Foreign Assets Control

Although most typical academic research activities are not subject to export control regulations, there are certain conditions under which the export of a technology (including technical data and know-how) either is prohibited or requires a license.

Most research conducted by CNU falls under the category of Fundamental Research and is therefore excluded from export control laws.

Fundamental research is defined in National Security Division Directive 189 as follows: "Fundamental research means 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."

The fundamental research exclusion is destroyed if:

CNU accepts any contract clause that:

  1. forbids the participation of foreign persons;
  2. gives the sponsor a right to approve publications resulting from the research; or
  3. otherwise operates to restrict participation in research and/or access to and disclosure of research results.

Note that side deals between a PI and sponsor to comply with any of the above-specified clauses, even if not explicitly expressed in the research contract, may obviate the fundamental research exclusion and expose both the PI and CNU to penalties for export control violations.

While the fundamental research exclusion applies broadly to research at CNU not all activities are exempt. For example, export controls may restrict:

  • the ability of foreign students or researchers to participate in research in the United States;
  • the ability to provide services (including training in the use of equipment) to foreign persons;
  • the ability to conduct commercial transactions with entities in certain countries;
  • the ability to send equipment, spare/replacement parts, technology or software to foreign countries; and
  • the ability to collaborate with researchers in foreign countries

Importantly, the fundamental research exclusion applies only to the dissemination of research data and information, not to the transmission of material goods.

Export control issues are treated on a case-by-case basis, and resolution of these issues is dependent on the specific facts of the case. Questions regarding export controls at Christopher Newport University should be addressed to the Vice Provost for Research, Assessment and Graduate Studies or the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Important Information

  1. We will assist you in complying with export control laws, but the primary responsibility rests with the researcher. Do not provide incomplete information in the hope that the university will give sanction to activities that violate export control laws. The ultimate responsibility is yours, and the penalties for breaking the laws can be severe.
  2. Note that the definition of "export" includes disclosing technical information to foreign nationals, whether abroad or in the United States.

Resources provided by Christopher Newport University to aid faculty with export control compliance include:

  • CITI: a subscription service that provides information and certification on mastering information pertaining to compliance including export controls. CITI provides a strong export compliance overview.

  • Stanford University's Decision Tree: We appreciate Stanford University for granting us permission to adapt its content for Christopher Newport University's benefit.
    • NOTE: If utilization of the Stanford Decision Tree leads to a screen saying: "YOU MAY NEED TO OBTAIN AN EXPORT LICENSE", then you need to contact the Vice Provost for Research or the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Questions to ask

  1. Is the item or software to be shipped or hand-carried abroad?
  2. Will the item or software remain under the "effective control" of CNU personnel while the property is abroad?

Note: If the item or software will be shipped or hand-carried for repair, testing, inspection or calibration, do not respond and skip to Question Three.

Note: "Effective control" is defined as retaining physical possession of an item or maintaining it in a secure environment.

  1. Is the item or software to return to the US within 12 months or either consumed or destroyed abroad?

  2. Is the item or software for temporary shipment, transfer or hand-carry to any country OTHER THAN Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea or Sudan?
  3. Will the item or software to be shipped, retransferred or hand-carried be used ONLY either a) as a "tool of the trade" to conduct Christopher Newport University business, or b) for exhibition or demonstration, or c) for inspection, testing, calibration or repair?
  4. If for inspection, testing, calibration or repair, will the item or software be shipped, retransferred or hand-carried to any country OTHER THAN: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cambodia, China, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Libya, Macau, Moldova, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan or Vietnam?
  5. Is the encryption code incorporated in the item or on the software media limited to that available through retail purchase (phone order, mail, internet or over-the-counter transactions)?

Note: If any encryption code is inapplicable to your item or software, you do not need to answer this question.


If the answers to ALL of the questions for which a response was required are "Yes," and if your equipment, components or software: (i) do not contain proprietary/restricted ITAR technical data, (II) are not designed for use in/with/by satellites or spacecraft, and (iii) are otherwise not regulated as a defense article, then your shipment, retransfer or hand-carry is eligible for shipment under License Exception TMP.

If you believe you do not or cannot meet the terms of this exception, please contact the Vice Provost for Research, Assessment and Graduate Studies or the Office of Sponsored Programs to discuss possible alternative export certifications.

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