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Research Security

What is Research Security?

Research security refers to the efforts to safeguard research and researchers against activities which threaten intellectual property, national security, critical infrastructure and the integrity of the research ecosystem. These activities can include foreign interference, espionage and unwanted knowledge transfer or theft. Safeguarding research protects the integrity of Canada’s research ecosystem by establishing and sharing research practices that include behaving honestly, accountably, openly and fairly in the search for and in the dissemination of knowledge to the mutual and reciprocal benefit of all partners involved.

The research security measures developed by the Government of Canada follow a set of combined guiding principles:

  • Academic freedom
  • Institutional autonomy
  • Freedom of expression
  • Equity, diversity and inclusion
  • Research in the public interest
  • Transparency
  • Integrity
  • Collaboration

Updates & Events

Ontario Tech recognizes the first step to safeguarding Canadian research is building a strong situational awareness of the risks that confront our research ecosystem.

Research Security Workshops

The Safeguarding Science Initiative by Public Safety’s Research Security Centre was created to raise awareness of research security issues, focusing on:

  • Best practices in maintaining a security-conscious research organization
  • Research security guidance and tools to help recognize and mitigate risks to Canadian researchers and institutions
  • Understanding of sensitive technology and how to recognize dual-use technology

Safeguarding Science Initiative

Research Security in Canada

The Government of Canada acknowledges that open and collaborative research is indispensable to pushing the boundaries of science and addressing complex economic and societal challenges. Nonetheless, Canada is raising awareness of potential research security risks and taking the necessary precautions to ensure the work is secure.

Therefore, in collaboration with the Government of Canada–Universities Working Group, the Government of Canada released two new measures to integrate national security considerations into the development, evaluation and funding of Canadian research opportunities.

On January 16, 2024 the Ministers of Innovation, Science and Industry; Health; and Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Governmental Affairs announced the Sensitive Technology Research and Affiliations of Concern (STRAC) policy.

This policy requires the transparent disclosure of:

  1. Research advancing sensitive technology areas, AND
  2. Affiliations with organizations of concern.

Read the STRAC FAQ

The National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships (NSGRP) integrates national security considerations into the development, evaluation and funding of research partnerships. The Guidelines, released in July 2021, are aimed to better position researchers, research organizations and Government funders to undertake consistent, risk-targeted due diligence of potential risks to research security, requiring:

  1. A Risk Assessment Form to assess the research area and partner, and
  2. A risk identification and mitigation plan.

Read the NSGRP FAQ

Research Security in Ontario

Ontario is implementing steps to ensure that national and provincial security within our world-class research ecosystem is of the utmost priority. The Ministry of Colleges and Universities has released the Ministry of Colleges and Universities' Research Security Guidelines for Ontario Research Funding Programs.

The RS Guidelines apply to the Ontario Research Fund Programs and requires:

  1. Disclosure of collaborations with organizations of concern AND involvement with foreign entities
  2. A risk checklist
  3. A risk identification and mitigation plan


Online Research Security Workshops

Two Government of Canada workshops will be available on the Ontario Tech Catalog Canvas platform starting in September 2024.

  1. Introduction to Research Security
  2. Cyber Security for Researchers

Further Reading:

Research Security and Travel

Loaner Laptop Program

The loaner laptop program is an optional program for faculty and staff seeking to further protect their data and privacy while travelling internationally. Ontario Tech IT Services – Equipment Standards will provide the loaner laptop and the fee is $30 for travel less than 1 month in duration. Researchers must pay the fee via their eligible funds.

Requests should be submitted 1 week prior to travel and must include a 15-digit university account number for billing XXXXXX-XXXX-XXXXX.

Submit a request for a loaner device for Travel

IT Technical support can provide guidance to ensure data and loaner devices are optimized for safeguarding research information.

Request technical guidance for Travel


Questions about Research Security at Ontario Tech? 

Interested in a Research Security consultation?