Research Security


What is NSPM-33?

NSPM-33 (National Security Presidential Memorandum-33) was a directive from President Trump that was subsequently endorsed by President Biden. NSPM-33 requires all federal research funding agencies to strengthen and standardize disclosure requirements for federally funded awards. NSPM-33 also mandates the establishment of research security programs at research institutions receiving federal funds. NSPM-33 will also require oversight and enforcement activity in the form of administrative actions as well as civil or criminal penalties.

Why is NSPM-33 required?

There is an increasing need to protect U.S-funded scientific research from undue foreign influence, including exploitation of the open university research environment and intellectual property theft.

What are the goals of NSPM-33?

  • To protect America‚Äôs national security while promoting openness in the research community
  • To make it clear so that well-intentioned researchers can easily and properly comply
  • To ensure that policies do not fuel xenophobia or prejudice

NSPM-33 requires a certification from research organizations awarded more than $50 million per year in total Federal research funding, that they have implemented a research security program that includes the four elements:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Foreign travel security
  • Research security training
  • Export control training

How will NSPM-33 impact UGA?

For qualifying research organizations such as UGA, a research security program should be established as soon as possible, but UGA will have one year from date of issuance of the formal requirement to comply. The Office of Research Security and Export Control anticipates the issuance of formal requirements will take place in late 2022 or early to mid-2023, with any new or modified university process or policy to follow.

Currently, the Accounts Payable Travel Policy requires prior approval of international Travel Authorizations, and the Office of Global Engagement international travel registration is required to be completed prior to international Travel Authorization approval. Additional programmatic aspects of the research security program, such as travel security briefings or loaner electronic devices may be required in the final agency guidance. The university will develop a formal research security training program based on agency guidance and existing export control training requirements will continue and may be modified or expanded as needed.


NSPM-33 Implementation Guidance

Clear Rules for Research Security and Researcher Responsibility