A new resource for informal international collaborations

January 18, 2023
Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research, 2013–2024 | Ian A. Waitz, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate and Graduate Education |

Dear graduate students,

One of the joys of learning and performing research at an institution like MIT is the opportunity it affords to work with peers from around the world. Scholarship is an endeavor that happily crosses borders.

At the same time, MIT is a U.S. institution, and must adhere to U.S. laws and regulations. These include export control rules, which apply to formal international academic collaborations, such as those governed by international grants or contracts. But even informal, everyday collaborations, like sharing data or co-authoring or consulting on a paper with a peer in another country – where there is no signed agreement or exchange of funds – can have important implications under U.S. export control rules. It’s these informal collaborations that we are writing to you about today.

Export control can be a complicated and often confusing issue, but if you are engaged in or planning an informal collaboration with peers internationally, there is a new resource to help you get the advice you need: MIT’s Informal International Collaborations (IIC) tool. The tool enables you to enter basic information about an informal collaboration, which will then be reviewed by a member of MIT’s research compliance team.

Here’s how to use the new IIC tool:

  • Access the tool at iic.mit.edu/iic. An MIT certificate is required.
  • Use the “+ New Collaboration” button to enter a current or future international collaboration.
  • The research compliance team will review each submitted collaboration and contact you with any questions or concerns.

We hope you’ll find this to be a useful resource and encourage you to use it. If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact research-compliance-help@mit.edu.


Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research
Ian A. Waitz, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate and Graduate Education