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Conducting research abroad guidelines


There are several issues that commonly arise when conducting business, research or programs overseas. Please use the following guidelines to plan accordingly.

  1. It is often typical for an international organization or government to request a Memo of Understanding (MOU) from Emory when doing business together. Please contact GSI to learn more about Emory’s current agreements with international institutions or governments. Also review guidelines for entering into an MOU. Please contact Emory’s Office of the General Counsel for more specific questions. 

  2. Emory has developed an International Assessment Questionnaire to help think through the various aspects of international projects. Global Services receives completed questionnaires and will gladly review questionnaires for projects still in the planning phase - please just indicate that you are still confirming project details in the space provided in the questionnaire. 
  3. If you will be traveling overseas, please review the Travel Checklist. If you are leading a group abroad, please consult the Group Travel Checklist.

  4. It is important that you, and any employees or volunteers, be covered by the appropriate insurance.  

  5. Are you employing (or planning to employ) local/foreign nationals? If so, please contact Human Resources about employment and benefits and University Payroll Services concerning payroll issues.

  6. Are you renting or purchasing (or planning to rent or purchase) property? If so, please contact Emory’s Office of Real Estate Services.

  7. You may find that you will need to access funds while overseas. Contact the Finance Division to discuss access to funds and/or opening a bank account overseas.  

  8. There are many U.S. laws that address doing business or conducting research in foreign countries or with foreign nationals. Some of these can carry heavy sanctions, including jail time. Please review Emory’s Legal Primer and the Overview of Export Controls Regulations. Contact Emory’s Office of the General Counsel with any questions. 

  9. If you are taking controlled equipment, technology or materials with you, please review these checklists for guidance. Contact Emory’s Office of Compliance with any questions. 

  10. If you are traveling to, performing research in, or doing business with any of the following countries, please contact the Office of the General Counsel and the Office of Compliance. The countries in question include the Balkans, Belarus, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria and Zimbabwe. Please note the countries in question are subject to change, and the U.S. Treasury Department has the most up to date information.   

  11. If you receive NIH funding or if Emory owns the facility in which research is being conducted, please contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.  

  12. If you plan to conduct research overseas, please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs.

  13. Emory must annually report business activities in the following boycotting countries. Please contact the Office of the General Counsel if you plan to conduct business / perform research in Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and the Republic of Yemen. 

  14. Before engaging in dealings with a foreign national or entity, please contact your Office of Compliance area coordinator to determine if any of the people or entities are on a restricted party list.


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