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The Johns Hopkins Institutional Review Entity (IRE) assesses proposed life sciences research that may fall under the definition of Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC) as established by the United States Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern.
If a research project is determined to meet the definition of DURC, the IRE will communicate the assessment to the appropriate funding agency and, working with the PI, submit a draft risk mitigation plan for approval by the funding agency. Once a risk mitigation plan is approved, the IRE will provide ongoing compliance oversight through the life of the project.
Certain types of research conducted for legitimate purposes can be utilized for both benevolent and harmful purposes. Such research is called “dual use research.” Dual use research of concern is a subset of dual use research 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.” The United States Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern specifies the practices and procedures required to ensure that dual use research of concern is identified at the institutional level and risk mitigation measures are implemented as necessary.
Institutions and investigators who receive federal funding are required, as a condition of that funding, to comply with the rules established by the US Government for DURC.
Compliance with The United States Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern is in force beginning September 24, 2015.