Dual Use Research of Concern

NSF Policy regarding technologies or research products that may have malign or benign effects.
Our researchers have a responsibility to identify agents of concern and a plan for risk mitigation.
(from NSF PAPPG)

5. Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC)

a. Applicability

This section applies to all research, for which NSF grant funds may be used, that potentially falls within the scope of the US Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern (http://www.phe.gov/s3/dualuse/Pages/default.aspx) as published in September 2014, hereafter referred to as the “Policy”.

b. NSF Implementation of the Policy

NSF is committed to preserving the benefits of life sciences research while minimizing the risk of misuse of the knowledge, information, products, or technologies provided by such research. The purpose of NSF’s implementation of this Policy is to clarify grantee expectations about NSF-funded research with certain high-consequence pathogens and toxins with potential to be considered dual use research of concern.

Grantees are responsible for monitoring the research progress and for implementation of all appropriate biosafety and biosecurity risk mitigation measures including compliance with all applicable laws and regulations related to that implementation, including the Policy specified above. While the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has lifted the research funding pause on gain of function research as of January 2017 (https://www.phe.gov/s3/dualuse/Pages/GainOfFunction.aspx), NSF will not consider funding research that would lead to a gain of function for agents of concern.