Occasionally, in order to conduct research or related activities, confidential information received from third parties is needed to inform the research purpose and understand the full scope and application of the new knowledge or information being created or provided by Brown University. The acceptance of such information is only appropriate where this information is tangential to the Brown program and is not a central component of the Brown University research. Brown’s research results must still be able to be freely shared and disseminated according to University policy, as required, to fulfill our mission to the community, the nation, and the world.


Acceptance of information that is beyond tangential to the Brown program will mean that the related portion of the Brown research results will be unable to be published or freely disseminated. This is a violation of the University’s policy.


In addition, acceptance of Confidential Information at a college or university may have other consequences. One significant impact of accepting confidential information for use in research is that the confidential information will now be subject to export controls and providing such information to a foreign student or post-doc will likely require an export control license or a license exception for such information to be shared, even if this occurs in a campus laboratory.


In such cases, where Confidential Information is appropriate and acceptable, the outside third party may require completion of a Non-Disclosure or Confidentiality Agreement prior to providing such information. These Agreements should be sent to the Brown Technology Ventures Office, Box 1949, for review and signature.


Acceptable confidentiality agreements will require:

  • That the information to be provided have appropriate marking, in writing, and
  • That the period of confidentiality be limited by time period, and
  • That the definition of confidential information does not include information available through the public domain, information arrived at through independent Brown discovery, or information provided without restriction from other sources.


Protection of Confidential Information is the responsibility of the individual(s) receiving such information and appropriate care must be taken and maintained in accord with the confidentiality agreement.


In any event, the results from Brown research programs must remain free from restriction.

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