New federal policy on sensitive technology research and affiliations of concern

The federal government today launched the new Policy on Sensitive Technology Research and Affiliations of Concern, which will impact researchers making new applications for funding through the federal granting agencies (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) and CFI.

The policy outlines Sensitive Technology Research Areas and Named Research Organizations (NRO). The NRO list is composed of research organizations and institutions that pose the highest risk to Canada’s national security due to their direct, or indirect connections with military, national defence, and state security entities.

Starting in early 2024, research grant and funding applications submitted by a university or affiliated research institution to the federal granting councils and the Canada Foundation for Innovation 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, an NRO.

This policy will be implemented through an attestation by researchers that have a named role (for example, applicants, co-applicants, and collaborators) as part of the grant / funding application process for research projects advancing sensitive technology research areas.

We are awaiting further details from the granting agencies about how these new requirements will be integrated into applications, and will share additional information as it becomes available.

We appreciate that this new federal policy may create uncertainty as well as additional requirements and responsibilities for our research community. UBC continues to enhance support through our research security team, which will provide guidance around definitions and interpretations of the new policy. The team, funded through the federal Research Support Fund, will provide broader information and training around matters relating to research security and developing research relationships and grant applications in alignment with policies, best practices, guidelines and requirements. The team will also monitor risks and guide researchers on evolving threats.

Researchers with any questions are encouraged to connect with Akshay Singh, Director, Research Security, at

UBC remains dedicated to enabling an open and collaborative research environment, while being committed to providing support to its research community to effectively safeguard research and sensitive information

For more information on safeguarding your research and to subscribe to receive updates and information on new training opportunities and resources, visit our Safeguarding your Research page.