' How do we know if our work involves “fundamental research?” | JHURA

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How do we know if our work involves “fundamental research?”

Fundamental research is considered to be any basic or applied research in science and engineering with results that are ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community (see National Security Decision Directive 189).  For those who need definitions of basic research and applied research, we offer the following (taken from an OMB guidance document)

  • Basic Research: Systematic study directed toward fuller knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications towards processes or products in mind.
  • Applied Research: Systematic study to gain knowledge or understanding necessary to determine the means by which a recognized and specific need may be met.

The application of knowledge acquired through basic or applied research to meet specific requirements, such as for the production of useful materials or the deployment of certain systems or methods is not considered fundamental research.

Additionally, in order to qualify as fundamental research, the activity must be conducted free of certain kinds of publication (or other types of dissemination) or access restrictions.

If you are still uncertain whether your activity is fundamental research, please contact the Export Control Office.


Johns Hopkins University
Research Administration

1101 E. 33rd Street, C310
Baltimore, MD 21218

(443) 927-3073
Email: jhura@jhu.eduSend an email to jhura@jhu.edu

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