Dual Use Research of Concern

Dual use research (DUR) is research conducted for legitimate purposes that generates knowledge, information, technologies, and or products that can be utilized both for benevolent and harmful purposes. A limited subset of this research is termed Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC), defined as:

“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”.

Research using one or more of the agents or toxins listed below may be subject to the United States Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern.

Agents and toxins relevant to the policy*:

  1. Avian influenza virus (highly pathogenic)
  2. Bacillus anthracis
  3. Botulinum neurotoxin (in any quantity)
  4. Burkholderia mallei
  5. Burkholderia pseudomallei
  6. Ebola virus
  7. Foot-and-mouth disease virus
  8. Francisella tularensis
  9. Marburg virus
  10. Reconstructed 1918 Influenza virus
  11. Rinderpest virus
  12. Toxin-producing strains of Clostridium botulinum
  13. Variola major virus
  14. Variola minor virus
  15. Yersinia pestis

*Attenuated strains of these agents that are specifically excluded from Select Agent Regulations and inactive forms of botulinum neurotoxin are not subject to the policy.

Specific types of experiments with these agents must be carefully evaluated by the institution to determine if the work constitutes DURC. At UF, the institutional review entity (IRE) assigned this responsibility is the Dual Use Research of Concern Committee (DURC Committee).

University of Florida Policy on Dual Use Research of Concern

UF Principal Investigators must identify and register research involving any of the listed agents or toxins with the Biological Safety Office. Click here for an assessment form.  The project registration will be forwarded to the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) and DURC Committee for their review and assessment. In the event a DURC determination is made, the DURC committee will work with the PI to create the federally-required mitigation plan and submit the plan to the federal agency sponsoring the project. In instances where the work is not federally funded, a copy of the mitigation plan is provided to the NIH.

Education and training on DURC is required for all individuals conducting life sciences research with one or more of the 15 agents subject to the policy. All individuals with access to select agents are provided with information related to DURC as part of the introductory training for select agents.

For more information on Dual Use Research of Concern contact the IBC chair at gulig@ufl.edu or see