|Dual Use Research||
Dual Use Research
Dual use refers to biomedical research that can be used to both good and bad ends and specifically to the risk that:
1) Dangerous agents being studied could be stolen or diverted for malevolent purposes, or
2) Results, knowledge, or techniques developed in the course of the research that could be used to develop new toxins or pathogens.
For example, research on bacterial resistance could be used to develop new antibiotics or to make a
biological weapon. Human genetics research could be used to develop treatments for people with
genetic diseases or to discriminate against people, based on their genotypes.
Scientists often have little control over how their research is applied, used, or interpreted by others but
they can regulate the use of shared reagents/data/specimens through Material Transfer Agreements
(MTAs) or Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs).
It is anticipated that research that can be classified as dual use will be very rare; however, the issue of
social responsibility with regards to one’s research applies to everyone.
NIH Dual Use Committee
The NIH Dual Use Committee provides advice to investigators on such research. A questionnaire (PDF) has been developed to help you determine if a planned research project might fall into this category. You can also e-mail the committee at any time at email@example.com
All CCR authors who are submitting a manuscript for publication should ask themselves this question:
“Is there the potential that my research findings, work product(s), processes, or results could be readily
be misused to cause potential harm?”
If the answer is “Yes”, then you must submit a copy of the manuscript for review to your Scientific
Director (Dr. Wiltrout or Dr. Helman) and to the NIH Dual Use Committee ( firstname.lastname@example.org ),
along with the NIH Publication Clearance form, which has been revised to reflect NIH policy on this issue
(see “Dual Use Research” section). An affirmative answer will not delay the progress of research,
but indicates the further review and consideration may be warranted as the research advances.
Additional information can be found on the NIH Research Ethics Training Web site at http://www1.od.nih.gov/oir/sourcebook/ResEthicsCases/cases-toc.htm
Specifically, Theme 9 – Science and Social Responsibility: Dual Use Research provides case studies relating to this topic as well as links to additional resources.
Dual use research is an important and timely issue that every NIH investigator must take responsibility for in planning, conducting, and publishing his/her research.