Dual Use Research of Concern

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The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) has defined dual use research of concern (DURC) as “research that, based on current understanding, can be reasonably anticipated to provide knowledge, products, or technologies that could be directly misapplied by others to pose a threat to public health and safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, or materiel.”

A short video discussing DURC is available on the NIH Office of Biotechnology Activities (OBA) website. All SIUC investigators are encouraged to watch the video for a better understanding of how DURC might impact their research.

On March 29, 2012, the federal government issued a policy[1] for the oversight of DURC in the life sciences that required funding agencies to review funded research for DURC and to establish criteria for the management of any research that is identified as DURC.  The federal agencies subsequently disseminated policies to be followed by institutions receiving federal funding.

PIs must screen their research proposals for external funding against eight questions derived from the federal guidelines and indicate on the internal SIUC Proposal Checklist if any of their research is subject to DURC regulations. Screening at the proposal stage is required to meet federal compliance requirements and will help to avoid unnecessary delays once a grant award is made.

Investigators should complete the questionnaire and, if the answer to any question is “yes,” submit the questionnaire with their internal Proposal Checklist.

[1] A copy of the full policy may be found at https://www.phe.gov/s3/dualuse/Documents/us-policy-durc-032812.pdf.