Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC)

Operating Procedures: Institutional Oversight of Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC)

Life sciences research is essential to the scientific advances that underpin improvements in the health and safety of the public, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, and national security. Despite its value and benefits, some research may provide knowledge, information, products, or technologies that could be misused for harmful purposes. Accordingly, some degree of Federal and institutional oversight is critical to reducing the risks. 

The US Government (USG) has released two policies in March 2012 and September 2014 pertaining to certain high-consequence pathogens and toxins for its potential to be dual use research of concern (DURC). The stated purpose of USG’s policies are to: (a) mitigate risks where appropriate; and (b) collect information needed to inform the development of an updated policy, as needed, for the oversight of DURC. The fundamental aim of this oversight is to preserve the benefits of life sciences research while minimizing the risk of misuse of the knowledge, information, products, or technologies provided by such research.


Policy RA-PO9