CSU Policy: Classified Research

Policy Title: Classified Research Category: Research
Owner: Vice President for Research Policy ID#: 7-2001-007
Secure and Global Research
Web: https://www.research.colostate.edu/
Email: vpr_export_control@Mail.Colostate.edu
Phone: 970-491-7194

Also Contact:
Office of General Counsel
Web: http://csusystem.edu/general-counsel
Phone: (970) 491-6270
Last Revision: 2/10/2019
Print Version: Click Here to Print


Classified research means work conducted under a specific designation as classified by the Federal funding sponsor or other U.S. government authority.

Colorado State University follows the requirements of the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM), for both classified research activities and the insider threat program. The Office of the Vice President for Research maintains an Insider Threat Program Plan for Colorado State University.

Colorado State University’s Policy on Classified Research can be located in Section D.7.15 of the Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual - Classified Research Policy.

What follows is a passage directly from the Manual (Section D.7.15):

D.7.15 Policy on Classified Research

In the following statement, classified research means research in which procedures or results derived there from cannot be freely discussed or disseminated without permission of an outside agency. It is the policy of the Board normally not to permit classified research to be conducted as noted in Section D.7.15.2.

D.7.15.1 The University as a Haven for Free Inquiry

The University shall serve as a haven of free inquiry and scholarly investigation unaffected so far as possible by the impediments of industrial classification and governmental security regulations, with due consideration for national welfare and confidences required by professional ethics and by legal statutes.

D.7.15.2 Restrictions on Classified Research

Research will be formulated to avoid classification of facilities, procedures, and results; and all faculty members will strive for research publishable in open literature, except that when circumstances so warrant, faculty members, staff, and students have the prerogative to engage in classified research, provided that:

  1. The entire cost of the classified research, including overhead, stipulated security arrangements, personnel, and termination of contract be borne by supporting agencies.
  2. The work is basically non-classified in nature, but is subjected to classification by incidental circumstances, e.g., the need to use classified apparatus, to review classified publications, or to visit classified facilities.
  3. Students employed under contracts for classified research understand that they will not receive tuition scholarships normally accruing to graduate research assistants or graduate teaching assistants.
  4. Results derived from classified research cannot be used as part of a thesis, dissertation, report, or course obligation in meeting degree requirements unless or until the procedures used, the data, and the analysis can be freely disseminated.
  5. Proposals to engage in classified research be approved by the department head, college dean, and the appropriate vice president.

D.7.15.3 Provision for Exceptional Circumstances

Circumstances in which faculty members and graduate students may engage in other classified research shall be those of national crisis as determined by the Board, upon the advice and counsel of the President. In these circumstances, provisions of subsections c., d., and e. of Section D.7.15.2 are waived. The remaining provisions will still apply.


National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM)

Classified Research Engagement Request Form



Revision approved February 20, 2019 by Lynn Johnson, Vice President for University Operations


Print Version: Click Here to Print

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