VIU Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity

Safeguarding your research

Canada’s move towards open and collaborative research has increasingly meant that our world-class research has become the target of espionage and foreign interference activities which pose threats to research security as well as to national security, economic competitiveness and prosperity. In a Research Security Policy Statement on March 24, 2021, the Government of Canada encouraged all members of the research community to take extra precautions to protect the security of their research.

The work of safeguarding research conducted in Canada requires a coordinated effort by all actors in the research enterprise including government, universities and researchers. On July 12, 2021, Canada released new National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships. These guidelines will integrate national security considerations into the development, evaluation and funding of research partnerships. Universities and researchers must identify and mitigate risks in research partnerships and ensure that security precautions and protocols are in place so that potential threats to research and intellectual property are protected.

According to Public Safety Canada, Research Security is defined as:

“…the measures that protect knowledge, technologies, and data that could assist in the advancement of a foreign threat actor’s geopolitical, economic, and security interests to the detriment of Canada’s. The target assets can vary from applications in weapons of mass destruction programs (i.e., chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear) to dual-use technologies (i.e., technologies with both civilian and military applications), such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and bio- and nanotechnology, to intellectual property and confidential information used for research.”

VIU researchers are advised to become familiar with the resources listed below and to take action to safeguard their research both on and off-campus. An information session will be held in the fall of 2021 to provide researchers with more background on the nature of the threats and supports available at VIU to help them safeguard their research.

Where can I learn more?


In an effort to build awareness and skills in the research community, VIU held a Safeguarding Science Workshop from the National and Cyber Security Branch of Public Safety Canada on December 10, 2021. 


The Government of Canada has developed two courses  to better equip Canadian researchers with the knowledge and resources to protect their research including one on introduction to research security and cyber security for researchers.