Conference Presentations Abroad

Presenting abroad increases the risk of interacting with restricted parties (including conference sponsors) and exchanging export-controlled information to non-US persons. Export control violations may include any of the following:

  • Providing information about defense articles at international conferences (always an export control violation)
  • Transmitting non-fundamental research results
  • Providing a service, such as consulting-type advice, during a question-and-answer period or any other forum

Screen conference sponsors

Before registering for or agreeing to speak at a conference, screen sponsors for restricted parties

If your sponsor is identified as a restricted party, contact MIT Export Control. If your conference is sponsored by a restricted party, you may not be able to pay them the conference fee, and accepting invited speakership or awards from them may be a prohibited service. 

Review conference type and location

You can present on any results of fundamental research at any open conference as long as it is not in one of the comprehensively-sanctioned countries. An open conference is one in which registration is open to the generally interested and qualified scientific population. 

If you are participating in a workshop where technology is transferred to non-US persons, you should consult with MIT Export Control

Use caution during follow-up questions

Answering questions or engaging in follow-up discussion is different from giving a presentation at a conference, because the information you provide is not in the public domain. Stay on topic with published or intended-to-be-published fundamental research results, and use caution so that you do not provide a defense service (assisting a non-US person with a defense article). 

Refrain from speaking about defense or dual use technology

Providing any information about the design, development, engineering, manufacture, production, assembly, testing, repair, maintenance, modification, operation, demilitarization, destruction, processing, and use of defense articles is an export control violation

Even if you are not discussing defense-related topics, dual use technology may also be restricted from some countries. It is best to stay within the realm of published material when attending an international conference. Although you may be attending a conference in a less-restricted country, scientists and engineers from more restricted countries may also be in attendance.

Assess and mitigate risk

Review Assessing and Mitigating Risk to understand whether the presentation poses risks to you or your research program.