Fundamental research is defined as research in science, engineering, and mathematics, the results of which ordinarily are published and shared broadly within the scientific community and for which the researchers have not accepted restrictions for proprietary or national security reasons. Fundamental research can be distinguished from proprietary research and from industrial development, design, production, and product utilization, the results of which ordinarily are restricted for proprietary reasons or specific, national security reasons.
Research conducted by scientists and students at a university normally will be fundamental research and therefore exempt from the export control regulations, as long as there are no access, dissemination, participation, or publication restrictions imposed by the sponsor.
However, if the university or the researchers accept restrictions on the publication of scientific and/or technical information resulting from the research activity, then the University based research cannot be considered fundamental research and therefore cannot be exempt from the export control regulations.
The initial transfer of information from a sponsor to university researchers is subject to EAR if the parties have agreed that the sponsor may withhold from publication some or all of the information provided.
Fundamental research conducted outside the U.S. is subject to export controls as are shipments of certain tangible items, software or information outside the U.S.