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Office of Research Compliance

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

The US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers and enforces U.S. economic and trade sanctions programs against targeted foreign governments, individuals, groups, and entities in accordance with national security and foreign policy goals and objectives.


UofSC faculty and staff should be aware of OFAC’s sanctions as these regulations can impact research, education, travel, and other university-based activities.  OFAC sanctions can apply to individuals, entities, or entire countries.  This includes restrictions on sharing information or collaborating with researchers, scientists, colleagues, or students who live or work in sanctioned countries.   Before engaging in research or scholarly activities with an individual in or from a sanctioned country, specific steps are required to determine if the activity can be undertaken.

Currently, five countries, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the Crimean region of Ukraine, are identified as posing the greatest risk.    Many activities associated with academic collaborations, including but not limited to reviewing proposals, conducting surveys, editing papers, etc. are covered by these sanctions.    

Special approval is NOT required to engage with faculty, staff, or students who are nationals of a sanctioned country if they are in the US under a valid visa and the activity supports their approved visa activities.    Individuals from these countries should be involved only in unrestricted fundamental research that is covered by their visa.

As the regulations vary from country to country, please contact the Office of Sponsored Awards Management (SAM) before engaging in activities with government entities, organizations in, or persons who are a resident of or normally reside in one of the sanctioned countries.  SAM will assist with determining if and under what circumstances the activity may be undertaken. 

Office of Research Compliance

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