Policy Statements

The Government of Canada takes research security very seriously and is committed to establishing strong measures to protect and advance Canadian innovations. Read more to learn about the Government of Canada’s policy statements on safeguarding Canadian research.

Joint CSE and CSIS Statement – May 14, 2020

In spring 2020, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) published a statement raising public awareness of elevated cybersecurity, foreign interference and espionage threats to Canadian health organizations, research centres, and businesses by proactively issuing cyber threat alerts, and providing tailored advice and guidance to Canadian health organizations, government partners, and industry stakeholders. Both CSIS and CSE are working in line with their respective mandates to ensure that Canadian businesses, research entities, and different levels of government are aware of the threat environment and that they have the tools and information they need to protect themselves.

Policy Statement on Research Security and COVID-19 – September 14, 2020

In fall 2020, the Ministers of Innovation, Science and Industry, Public Safety and Health released a statement highlighting the importance that the Government of Canada places on safeguarding Canadian research. This is especially relevant given the increased targeting of COVID-19 related research during the pandemic. The policy statement was accompanied by letters sent to the federal research granting councils and the Canada Foundation for Innovation emphasizing the shared responsibility to protect Canada’s research.

Research Security Policy Statement – March 24, 2021

In spring 2021, a similar statement was published reaffirming the roles that researchers, research organizations and government all have to play in safeguarding Canada’s research ecosystem. The statement also asked members of the Government of Canada-Universities Working Group to develop specific risk guidelines to integrate national security considerations into the research partnerships process. The National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships will better position Canadian researchers, research institutions, and government funders to undertakes due diligence to protect against research security threats.

Statement on Protecting Canada’s Research – February 14, 2023

In February 2023, the Canadian government requested that the Canada Foundation for Innovation and Canada’s federal research granting agencies—the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, as well as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research—adopt a further enhanced posture regarding national security as another key step in securing Canadian research. Specifically, grant applications that involve conducting research in a sensitive research area 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 Canada’s national security.

Statement from Minister Champagne, Minister Holland and Minister LeBlanc on new measures to protect Canada’s research – January 16, 2024

On January 16, 2024, the Government of Canada announced the new Policy on Sensitive Technology Research and Affiliations of Concern to protect Canada’s research. The new requirements will be applicable to grant applications submitted by universities to Canada’s federal research granting councils – the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, as well as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – and the Canada Foundation for Innovation starting in early 2024. For any grant application that aims to advance a sensitive technology research area, research team members involved in the activities supported by the grant must not be affiliated with or in receipt of funding or in-kind support from a university, research institution, or laboratory connected to military, national defence, or security entities that could pose a risk to Canada’s national security. For such applications, applicants will also be required to attest to their compliance with the policy.