Research Security

New Tri-Agency Guidance on Research Security

The federal granting agencies have announced the publication of new Tri-Agency Guidance on Research Security.

This new webpage provides up-to-date guidance for the research community, with regards to the implementation of research security measures by the federal granting agencies. The agencies encourage all members of the research community to familiarize themselves with this guidance, as well as the linked policies, guidelines, and resources provided by the Government of Canada.

Included in this webpage is the Tri-Agency Guidance on the Policy on Sensitive Technology Research and Affiliations of Concern (STRAC Policy), which describes the granting agencies’ harmonized approach to implementing the STRAC Policy.

The policy operates using two lists that must be used in conjunction — a list of Sensitive Technology Research Areas (STRA) and a list of Named Research Organizations (NRO).

Core Statement of the STRAC Policy

Grant applications submitted by a university or affiliated research institution to the federal granting agencies and the CFI involving research that advances a sensitive technology research area will not be funded if any of the researchers involved in activities supported by the grant are affiliated with, or in receipt of funding or in-kind support, from a university, research institute or laboratory connected to military, national defence or state security entities that could pose a risk to Canada’s national security.

The granting agencies are implementing the STRAC Policy in a harmonized manner and on a forward basis, starting with funding opportunities launching as of May 1, 2024.

Responsibilities of Researchers

To comply with this new policy, applicants must undertake a two-step process prior to applying for a grant. Applicants are encouraged to complete the steps below well in advance of the grant application submission.

Step 1: Applicants must determine and indicate in their grant application whether their proposed research grant will aim to advance any of the listed Sensitive Technology Research Areas.

Step 2: For grant applications that will aim to advance any of the listed Sensitive Technology Research Areas, all researchers involved in the activities funded by the sensitive research grant must review the List of Named Research Organizations. At the application stage, researchers with named roles in the grant application are individually required to complete the Attestation Form and submit it as part of the grant application (see relevant FAQ for details on how to submit the form). Attestation forms are not required for grants that will not aim to advance any of the listed Sensitive Technology Research Areas.

Should the grant application be funded, additional requirements will apply for the duration of the grant.

Read more information regarding the responsibilities of researchers.

At this time, the STRAC Policy applies only to funding opportunities that fund research grants to university and university-affiliated institutions. The funding opportunity literature will clearly indicate whether the STRAC policy applies, and, where applicable, any additional information on procedures to be followed. Read for more information.

Safeguarding Your Research

The Government of Canada has developed resources and guidance to support researchers in understanding and mitigating their research security vulnerabilities. All Canadian researchers are encouraged to consult these resources and to exercise due diligence when managing their research and establishing and/or continuing international partnerships and collaborations. UPEI encourages researchers to access the tools available on the Government of Canada’s Safeguarding Your Research portal and to take the publicly available Research Security Training Courses.