Students listening to a lecture in class

The City University of New York is committed to the free exchange of knowledge through education and research publications, while contributing to the public interest. The University believes that it can best fulfill these commitments within an open intellectual environment that allows for free exchange of information.


Although federal classified research serves public interest, it is not permissive of an open exchange of information within the academic environment, as it places restrictions on access to data, facilities and research results. Therefore, CUNY does not accept federal grants or contracts for classified research.

In rare circumstances, the Vice Chancellor for Research may make an exception and approve CUNY’s involvement in classified research. A faculty member considering becoming involved in classified research must submit a request for approval to the Vice Chancellor for Research. The request should include the following:

  1. An unclassified description of the project
  2. Requirements for classified facilities
  3. Any potential impact of the project on student thesis
  4. Academic merit of the project
  5. Restrictions on the dissemination of research results

Student involvement in a classified project will be considered on a case-by-case basis at the same time as the proposed work is being considered for approval by the Vice Chancellor for Research. In general, student participation in such work should not impede progress toward a student’s degree, and the student’s thesis or dissertation should not be classified.


CUNY does not accept any publication restrictions, which afford censorship authority to the extramural sponsor of a grant or contract. Sponsors have the authority to review proposed publications, provide comments or suggestions to the author, and/or ensure that their proprietary data is not inadvertently disclosed. The author shall consider sponsor’s feedback; however, the author shall make the final decision as to the content of the publication. In order not to delay publications, such reviews must be completed within 60 days. Any delays due to consideration of patentable ideas must comply with CUNY’s Technology Commercialization Office policies and procedures.

In rare circumstances, the Vice Chancellor for Research may make an exception and accept publication restrictions. The Research Foundation of The City University of New York shall require approval from the Vice Chancellor for Research prior to accepting any publication restrictions on behalf of CUNY.

When exceptions are granted, students and postdocs may not participate in research involving publication restrictions unless each of the following conditions are met:

  1. Complete details regarding the terms of the publication restriction are provided to the students and/or postdocs, and the students/postdocs are given an opportunity to meet with the College Research Integrity Officer to discuss the publication restriction.
  2. The College must provide students with alternate projects that may result in a publishable thesis.

Any publication restrictions accepted by CUNY prior to December 1, 2012 are considered grandfathered for the current term of the contract, grant or agreement. Renewal of contracts, grants or agreements that include a publication restriction will require prior approval from the Vice Chancellor for Research.