Global Science Regulation and Governance

Research in this area examines how global policies affect the exchange and use of biological materials and data for research and innovation. Materials and data are increasingly subject to national and international policies. Implemented for good reasons, these policies may also create barriers to the advancement of science by increasing costs, reducing public access, and creating imbalances in the availability of important resources for science production. For example, policies may affect the rapid, time sensitive exchange of health related biological resources – viruses, microbes and other organisms – to prevent the spread of disease. Results from this research provide an empirical basis for national and international policy-making and implementation. This research is funded by NSF, USAID and UN FAO.


Funded through the National Science Foundation's RAPID program in July 2020, this research takes advantage of the unique opportunity window offered by the COVID-19 crisis to understand how and why institutional determinants of data access and sharing evolve over the course of a public healt

Potential and emerging impacts of the changing institutional landscape on the global exchange of genetic resources for food and agriculture (GRFA)

While the problem of the commons is more important to our lives and
thus more central to public policy and management, it remains
unsettled. Challenges continue in the management of ocean fisheries,

The primary aim of DivSeek is “to enable breeders and researchers to mobilize…plant genetic variation to accelerate the rate of crop improvement”.

Barriers and Facilitators to Germplasm Exchange in Developing Countries: Implications for Responses to Climate Change

Developing capacity to effectively implement the ITPGRFA: Research on policy network structure, actor characteristics, and coalitions

Knowledge for Policy: Critical Research for Understanding Potential Impacts of ABS on Eight Sectors of Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Past Publications

Seyoum, A. and Welch, E.W. (2015) Ex-post Use Restriction and Benefit-Sharing provisions on Access to Non-Plant Genetic Materials for public research. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy

Blackburn, H., Plante, Y., Paiva, S. and Welch, E.W. (2014). Impact of Genetic Drift on Access and Benefit Sharing under the Nagoya Protocol: The Case of Meishan Pigs Imported into the US. Journal of Animal Science, 92: 1405-1411.

Welch, E.W., Shin, E.J., and Long, J. (2013). Potential Effects of the Nagoya Protocol on the Exchange of Non-plant Genetic Resources for Scientific Research: Actors, Paths, & Consequences. Ecological Economics

Welch, E.W. (2012). Potential Implications of the Nagoya Protocol for the Livestock Sector. Editorial, Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics.

Welch, E.W., Dedeurwaerdere, T., Louafi, S, & Batur, F. (2012). Global Scientific Research Commons for Biodiversity Based Innovation in Digitally Networked Environments: A Neglected Tool for Implementing the 2010 Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing. In E. Morgera, M. Buck and E. Tsioumani (Eds.), The Nagoya Protocol in Perspective: Implications for International Law and Implementation Challenges, Brill/Martinus Nijhoff.

Jha, Y., and Welch, E.W. (2010). Relational Mechanisms Governing Multifaceted Collaborative Behavior of Academic Scientists in Six Fields of Science and Engineering. Research Policy, 39(9):1174-1184.

Feeney, M.K., & Bozeman, B. (2007). Public Values and Public Failure: Implications of the 2004-2005 Flu Vaccine Case. Public Integrity 9(2): 175-190.

Recent Publications