What is Research Security?
Research security means is identifying possible risks to scholarly research practices through unwanted access, interference or theft and the measures that can be taken to minimize these risks and protect research inputs, processes and products.
Who is this for?
- Principals, Deans, Academic Directors, and Chairs
- Professor, Faculty Member
- Research or Financial Administrator
- Anyone in the University of Toronto (U of T) community who engages in external research and innovation partnerships
How does the VPRI support research security?
The Division of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation has a dedicated Research Security Team (RST) who provide advice and support to researchers, academic administrators, staff, and trainees on funding applications, sponsor requirements, and institutional decision-making by assessing risks through the lens of research security, informed by national security, and geopolitical security evidence.
What do I need before I can begin?
No prior information is required to begin.
The federal government has released new requirements related to research security for all new funding applications to the Tri-Agencies and the Canada Foundation for Innovation that involve conducting research aimed at advancing a sensitive technology research area. For further details, see New Requirements for Federal Research Funding – Policy on Sensitive Technology Research and Affiliations of Concern.
List of Topics
To safeguard Canadian research, the Government of Canada has developed requirements and guidelines to address research security concerns. Some provinces, including Ontario, and international jurisdictions, are undertaking similar measures. As part of the Government’s approach, Canadian universities are playing an active role in ensuring the integrity of Canada’s world-class research environment.
The University recognizes that research security is an evolving area. VPRI is committed to supporting our research community in this changing landscape to enable research activities that balance security awareness with open academic collaboration. In this work, the RST centres the University’s principles of transparency, academic freedom, and equity, diversity, and inclusion.
The RST performs the following activities, in addition to others, to support research security.
- Collaborating on research security requirements for funding programs
- Providing advice on institutional international research and innovation agreements
- Providing advice on industry/sponsored research agreements
- In collaboration with other central offices, providing support for international service agreements, international visiting faculty, PhD and post-doctoral fellows
- Participating in discussions with other academic institutions and government stakeholders to support the development and implementation of best practices
- Provide support in conducting research security due diligence and partner vetting
- Provide guidance and support with research risk assessments and attestation forms
- Provide advice on international research / service agreements
- Provide advice on industry/sponsored research agreements
- In collaboration with other central offices, provide advice for international visiting faculty, PhDs, and post-doctoral fellows
- Provide outreach and training on best practices for safeguarding research
- Communicate updates on research security requirements