Due to Yolo County’s Shelter-in-Place Order and ongoing travel restrictions, several researchers have asked if is possible for a postdoctoral researcher, graduate student, or the researcher themselves, while located in a foreign country, to continue working on the objectives of sponsored research.
There are three issues that must be addressed prior to commencing work on sponsored research while resident in a foreign country. First, if the research sponsor is a U.S. federal agency, accomplishing award objectives in a foreign country requires prior approval by the sponsor. If this foreign research was not anticipated in the initial proposal, it constitutes new foreign research. While different federal sponsors will have different rules (for example, NIH has its own process for approval of a new “foreign component,” while other sponsors may use terms like “foreign affiliation” or “foreign location,” our current recommendation is for the Principal Investigator to request prior written approval from the sponsor of any new foreign research.
Second, regardless of the sponsor, under UC Davis Policy, any research materials or equipment that are being exported to a foreign country will require export control review by Research Compliance and Integrity (RCI). RCI will review your shipment and determine whether a federal export license is required under Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Regulations, International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or Office of Foreign Assets Control Regulations (OFAC). Please email RCI for guidance on how to request an export control review of shipments.
Finally, although much of the research data and results generated at UC Davis are exempt from export control regulations under the Fundamental Research Exclusion (FRE), this exclusion only applies to the results of research that are ordinarily published and shared within the scientific community, and are free of any publication or access restrictions. However, technical data or research results not intended for publication, or collected under a non-disclosure agreement are not covered by the FRE and may require a license from the federal government before such data or results are provided to a foreign national. Please note that these licensing requirements will apply whether the foreign national is located abroad or in the United States. If you believe that your technical data or research results are not covered by the FRE and you wish to provide this data to a foreign national, please email RCI for a determination of whether the FRE applies to your data, whether your data is controlled under export control regulations, and if a license is required from the federal government before the data is provided to a foreign national.