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Research security

The University of Victoria benefits greatly from research partnerships of all types. These partnerships allow our faculty members and researchers to advance their research and help solve worldwide issues through collaboration and innovation. Some research partnerships may have risks associated with them, and it is important for faculty members and researchers to understand and mitigate these potential risks. UVic is country-agnostic and will uphold principles of research security to ensure and maintain academic freedom and access to global talent. 

Research Security Unit (RSU)

We have established a Research Security Unit (RSU) at UVic that serves to protect our intellectual property and infrastructure, promote awareness of and provide education in research security, and help foster domestic and international partnerships. The RSU can help with:

  • Review of all security applications associated with Tri-Council funding
  • Review of Sponsored Research Agreements involving foreign partners
  • Host workshops and provide training on research security
  • Provide assistance in partnership assessments for faculty
  • Provide research security travel tips

Latest news

On February 14, 2023, the Federal Government issued a statement which indicated that CFI, SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR will be implementing new measures to ensure that grant applications proposing to conduct research in sensitive areas will not be funded if any of the researchers working on the project are affiliated with a university, research institute or laboratory connected to military, national defence or state security entities of foreign state actors that pose a risk to our national security.

Read more: February 14, 2023 - Statement from Minister Champagne, Minister Duclos and Minister Mendicino on protecting Canada's research

This site will be updated regularly with new information and resources for UVic's research community. 


What: 2023 Research Security Conference: Mitigating Risk in a Changing World

When: October 26-27, 2023

Where: MacEwan Hall, University of Calgary Main Campus

Hosts: University of Calgary & University of Alberta

Event Registration

What: Overview of the Research Security Centre

When: June 27th at 10:00AM PST

Where: Engineering & Computer Science (ECS) Room 660

Speaker: Public Safety Canada

RSVP by June 23rd to 

What: National Security Threats & Digital Technologies

When: June 13th at 10:30AM PST

Speaker: Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)

Zoom registration

Know your partner

It is important to build research partnerships with known and trusted partner organizations in order to help mitigate risks. The published Open Source Due Diligence Guide and the Risk Assessment Form are great tools for conducting due diligence on potential research partners. For example, one may search for corporate records to check for foreign ownership, or search for IP ownership and transfers. Some sources that can be valuable include free databases, subscription databases, corporate websites, news releases, court records, SEC filings, and social media posts. 

Some helpful databases include:


This announcement will impact the researcher's ability to access future federal research funding for projects that relate to sensitive research areas. Additionally, it will also impact researcher's ability to participate in future research projects led by researchers at UVic and/or other institutions in Canada.

Sensitive research areas are themes of research that could generate results and/or technologies of dual-use (i.e., used for civilian and military applications). The current list of sensitive research areas is being used when completing the Risk Assessment Form in conjunction with NSERC Alliance funding proposals. This list is expected to be updated this summer/fall. Please watch out for the next version of the list of sensitive research areas.

The Government of Canada will make an announcement about the formal definition of affiliation this summer/fall. Such definition is expected to go hand in hand with the announcement of the updated list of sensitive research areas and the list of entities of concern when pursuing research partnerships. Please watch out for these announcements.


Researchers will benefit from attending workshops, webinars and conferences about research security. From time to time, the RSU will share information on these kinds of events to the research community on campus. Additionally, researchers are encouraged to take the Research Security Training Courses available online. Completing these self-paced courses could also serve as one of the risk mitigation strategies that can be cited in the Risk Assessment Form when submitting for an NSERC Alliance funding proposal.

Researchers are encouraged to do their own due diligence on potential partner organizations before pursuing any research partnership opportunity. The guidance from the Government of Canada on conducting open source due diligence is useful in this regard. The Risk Assessment Form designed for the NSERC Alliance program is a great tool for due diligence analysis. The RSU can also support researchers in conducting due diligence especially when it is required in federal research funding applications.

 FAQ: National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships

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