On September 24, 2014, the United States Government released the United States Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern. The policy addresses institutional oversight of DURC, which includes policies, practices, and procedures to ensure DURC is identified and risk mitigation measures are implemented, where applicable. Institutional oversight of DURC is the critical component of a comprehensive oversight system because institutions are most familiar with the life sciences research conducted in their facilities and are in the best position to promote and strengthen the responsible conduct and communication
This Policy and the March 2012 DURC Policy are complementary and emphasize a culture of responsibility by reminding all involved parties of the shared duty to uphold the integrity of science and prevent its misuse. Like the March 2012 DURC Policy, the scope of this Policy is limited to a well-defined subset of life sciences research that involves 15 agents and toxins and seven categories of experiments. The U.S. Government will solicit feedback on the experience of institutions in implementing the Policy; evaluate the impact of DURC oversight on the life sciences research enterprise; assess the benefits and risks of expanding the scope of the Policy to encompass additional agents and toxins and/or categories of experiments; and update the Policy as warranted.
Research institutions are encouraged to be mindful that research outside of the scope articulated in this Policy may also constitute DURC. Institutions have the discretion to consider other categories of research for DURC potential and may expand their internal oversight to other types of life sciences research as they deem appropriate, but such expansion would not be subject to oversight as articulated in this Policy.
The Federal Register Notice Response to Comments and Notice of Final Action Regarding the United States Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern was published on September 25, 2014.