DOE Research Security Overview
Page Updated: September 21, 2021
Highlighted below are several terms related to research security that DOE may apply to your award. The restrictions that follow can apply to any DOE/NNSA-funded contract, subcontract, or federal flow through contract, including contract modifications, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), and financial assistance agreements (e.g., grants, cooperative agreements). RSP has noticed a prevalence of these terms for DOE awards with a DOE National Laboratory, DOE Idaho Operations Office (aka NEUP awards), DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), DOE Office of Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE), and the DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E).
DOE terms vary based on the issuing administering office. RSP is highlighting these terms during the award set up process. It is important to review the highlighted award Terms in WISER and read your award document to find details.
When submitting a request to set up awards in advance for DOE awards, please be cautious of the possible terms regarding foreign involvement. Employment of foreign nationals, foreign collaborators, and foreign travel may not be permitted. If you are unsure of the potential impact of such terms on your award, please reach out to the RSP DOE manager, Jenny Hackel.
- Requires all or the majority of work under the award to be performed within the United States. Any need to conduct work outside of the United States may require a foreign work waiver from DOE.
- Some DOE solicitations explicitly prohibit foreign travel. DOE Idaho Operations Office administered NEUP awards have a blanket policy that states, “Foreign travel must be listed and approved in the project budget” even if this isn’t specified in the solicitation. Many DOE awards restrict foreign travel to only what was listed in the accepted proposal. For awards with national labs, there may be a prior approval process for foreign travel, even if it is included in the awarded budget.
- If your project involves the conduct of work at a DOE/NNSA site, DOE Order 486.1A introduces the concept of “Other Foreign Government Sponsored or Affiliated Activity”, which may require DOE review of any activities/relationships with foreign entities for those individuals as well. DOE provides FAQs for this order located here. This order may require collection of information from the PI/department and periodic reporting through RSP to DOE.
- This term defines review and approval processes for unclassified foreign national (FN) access to Department of Energy (DOE)/NNSA sites, information, technologies, and equipment. Many awards are noting that we “may be required” to provide information about FNs to DOE if requested. Certain parts of DOE are more rigid in their implementation of these orders. For instance, DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is requiring that no FNs may work on their awards unless prior approved by NETL. This order applies to all students, faculty, staff, and subawards. When the implementation of the order requires FN prior approval, RSP must obtain approval from the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education for a waiver to the UW-Madison Policy on Open Research and Free Interchange of Information. The DOE approval process takes several weeks and involves submission of sensitive data.
- The full text of the associated orders can be found at:
- If you receive a request from DOE or a pass-through entity to submit FN information, please contact the RSP DOE Manager, Jenny Hackel, prior to submission. RSP will coordinate the response to ensure secure exchange of this information.
- If you have an established award with a requirement for FN prior approval and need to request a new approval:
- Send an email to the RSP DOE Manager, Jenny Hackel, with the FN(s) name, email, country of origin, and visa type.
- Jenny will email the FN directly with a list of the FN requirements and instructions, as well as a secure Box link to upload information.
- An example of items needed to complete this process for DOE NETL includes:
- Completed DOE form “Attachment B 142-1-1A.pdf”
- A color copy of Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Card or Visa and all visa documentation (I‐20, DS201‐,I‐797A, B, C, etc.,) for the FN
- A color copy of the FN passport
- Copies of any other documents that allow the FN to be in the United States
- A copy of the FN current CV/Resume
- Completed Excel CV-Timeline form for the FN without any time gaps since the age of 18, identifying all nonwork related travel
- If the FN holds a J-1 or F-1 visa status, they must also provide:
- A copy (pages 1 and 2) of the USCIS Form I-20 A-B/ID (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status - for Academic and Language Students), or Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status).
- DOE review and approval/rejection may take up to 6-8 weeks. The FN is not permitted to work on the project until approval is received.