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Collaboration and partnerships are a key parts of the research enterprise, but they can also increase risk. Research security refers to the ability to identify possible risks to a researcher’s work through unwanted access, interference or theft and measures that minimize these risks and protect the inputs, processes and products that are part of scientific research and discovery.

The February 14, 2023 ministerial statement on 'protecting Canada's research' continues to echo through the Canadian university system. Institutions are being asked to ramp up their ability to support faculty members in complying with forthcoming guidelines and changes to criteria for new federal grants. At SFU, as with most research institutions, targeted federal funding is being used to develop this capacity as quickly as we can in order to be ready for the expected changes. 

On this page

  1. Research security unit
  2. News and updates
  3. Resources


Research security unit

In response to new federal guidelines SFU is developing a new, integrated unit within Research Operations to manage security issues related to collaborations and partnerships. It will work closely with Information Security Services, as well as SFU's Safety and Risk Services. The new unit will incorporate the following principles:

  • Uphold academic freedom
  • Maximize access to academic talent across the world
  • Uphold the reputation of the university

The tasks of the new unit will develop as the federal security framework matures. At present, its role is to:

  • Review all security applications associated with Tri-Agency funding
  • Review sponsored research agreements involving foreign partners
  • Host workshops and develop training on research security
  • Assist faculty with partnership assessments

News and updates

2023 July 7: SFU research security briefing event from CSIS and public Safety Canada. Event details

2023 April: NSERC FAQ on new measures to enhance research security

2023 March 24: Government of Canada ISED National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships - Update of the Risk Assessment Form

2023 February 14: Government of Canada Statement on protecting Canada's research

2021 March: Government of Canada ISED Research Security Policy Statement

Ongoing: Updates to the community from the Vice-President Research and International


Government of Canada

Universities Canada



Research security training courses

Last updated: November 5, 2023