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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

USG Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern

Stakeholder Engagement Workshop Summary

On September 24, 2014, the USG released the United States Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC) [FR Doc No: 2014-22770]. 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 a critical component of a comprehensive oversight system since institutions are the 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 of DURC. This Policy will take effect on September 24, 2015, which is 12 months after its release date. A 12-month time frame will allow institutions and USG funding agencies subject to this Policy to establish the procedures necessary to comply with this Policy.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Institutes of Health co-hosted a public workshop on July 22, 2015, for interested stakeholders to discuss implementation of the U.S. Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern. The purpose of the meeting was to inform and engage stakeholders; collect feedback about resources needed to effectively implement the policy; and discuss stakeholder experiences, challenges, and innovative practices.

The workshop included:

  • An interactive case study that illustrated factors that investigators and institutions consider when determining whether research is subject to the Policy.
  • A series of panels comprised of institutional representatives that shared their respective approaches to identifying research subject to the policy, developing risk mitigation plans, and raising awareness and education about DURC.
  • An open forum for participants who shared their input on issues relating to interpretation and implementation of the policy.

The workshop was well attended by both domestic and international stakeholders, including nearly 200 registered participants in person and on the webcast. The diverse group of participants from all levels of institutional DURC oversight facilitated a broad and thorough discussion of the Institutional DURC policy. The open dialogue between the institutional stakeholders and the USG is expected to continue as the policy is implemented. The USG will continue to solicit feedback on the experience of institutions in implementing the Policy; will evaluate the impact of DURC oversight on the life sciences research enterprise; will assess the advantages and disadvantages of expanding the scope of the Policy to encompass additional agents and toxins and/or categories of experiments; and will update the Policy, as warranted.

Workshop Resources

For Additional Information

Please contact the USG at with any additional questions or input.

  • This page last reviewed: September 11, 2015