UN Knowledge Embargo

The UN requires countries to prevent knowledge about producing nuclear weapons and delivery systems (e.g. ballistic missiles) from falling into the hands of North Korea. Anyone wishing to pursue studies or conduct research in certain specialist fields must therefore apply for an exemption.  Without this exemption you will not be able to start your graduation research or scientific research in these subject areas.

The exemption requirement is particularly, but not exclusively, important for MSc students, PhD candidates, PhD students and researchers who:

  • Want to follow education or do research in one of the designated fields of education and research or
  • Want to participate in a designated student project.

However, the scope of the duty of exemption is not limited to this group of students and researchers. The obligation to be exempt applies to everyone to whom 'specialised knowledge' is transferred. This may also be the case in the context of practical work, for example, in a reactor room or during certain extracurricular activities (activities in addition to studies).

For students, PhD students and researchers, this exemption is necessary if they want to graduate or do research in a specific field. Without this exemption, graduation or research cannot be started.

To avoid delays in the graduation process, it is necessary to apply for this exemption in time. Students must apply for this exemption themselves. The processing time from the application to the granting of an exemption can take up to 13 weeks. If no exemption is granted, the choice for another graduation project is necessary. Think about an alternative!


This exemption is currently (08-03-2021) required for the following specialisations and research groups at:

Faculty of Aerospace Engineering

  • Experimental and theoretical research in hypersonic aerodynamics
  • Re-entry technology
  • Control systems for guidance navigation
  • Launching and payload structures

Faculty of Applied Sciences

  • Physics of nuclear reactors
  • Specialised knowledge about the design and operation of the reactor hall of the HOR research reactor

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

  • Microturbine technology
  • Use of materials at extremely high temperatures

Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics & Computer Science

  • Radar-based missile guidance
  • Student projects that involve studying rocket and missile technology, including the DARE – Stratos student project

Always check the website of the Government for the latest status.

More info: contact the proposed graduation professor. Each faculty has established its own process to monitor compliance with the UN knowledge embargo.
More info, including the link towards the application form could be found here.

If you plan to do research in one of these areas as an employee, you must also apply for an exemption. This can involve both a promotion and an appointment as a researcher. Please contact HR via hrservices@tudelft.nl or by telephone on 015 - 27 89000 or take a look here (only internally accessible).