Dual Use Research of Concern
According to U.S. Government Policy, "dual use research of concern" (DURC) is
life sciences research that, based on current understanding, can be reasonably anticipated to provide knowledge, information, products, or technologies that could be directly misapplied to pose a significant threat with broad potential consequences to public health and safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, materiel, or national security.
DURC is overseen by Penn State's Internal Review Entity (IRE). The general purpose of the IRE is to preserve the benefits of DURC while minimizing the risks of misuse of the knowledge, information, products, or technologies provided by such research. Before receipt of one or more of the following 15 select agents and toxins, Penn State researchers must have IRE approval. See Policy RP10 - Dual Use Research of Concern for more details.
Avian influenza virus (highly pathogenic)Bacillus anthracisBotulinum neurotoxin of any quantityBurkholderia malleiBurkholderia pseudomalleiEbola virusFoot-and-mouth disease virusFrancisella tularensisMarburg virusReconstructed 1918 Influenza virus 'Rinderpest virusToxin-producing strains of Clostridium botulinumVariola major virus Variola minor virusYersinia pestis
Research involving the select agents or toxins will likely also require additional separate compliance review and approval, such as by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), and/or Penn State Export Compliance.
The Office for Research Protections (ORP) is responsible for coordinating DURC reviews and approvals for all University campuses and colleges except for the College of Medicine. The Office of the Vice Dean for Research is responsible for coordinating DURC reviews and approvals at the College of Medicine.
ORP staff can help you understand what compliance reviews and approvals are needed for your research. For more information on DURC and IRE review, contact us at ORP-Biosafety@psu.edu.
Before research can begin, researchers must ensure that they, and all the personnel involved in the research, have received education and training regarding DURC. The ORP offers DURC training online through the CITI Program, and the ORP is automatically notified when someone has completed the training.