The United States Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern (2014) requires research institutions that receive USG funds for life sciences research and conduct or sponsor research with any of the 15 agents or toxins to provide education and training on DURC for individuals conducting life sciences research with one or more of the agents. The Policy further requires that Principal Investigators ensure that laboratory personnel (i.e., those under the supervision of laboratory leadership, including graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research technicians, laboratory staff, and visiting scientists) conducting life sciences research with one or more of the agents have received education and training on DURC.
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Dual use research refers to scientific activities conducted for legitimate purposes that generate knowledge, information, technologies, and/or products that can be utilized for both benevolent and harmful purposes. Conceivably, much of research could be considered dual use. The effective oversight of dual use research of concern (DURC) is based on identifying potential dual use research and its associated risks, then devising ways to mitigate these risks.