For More Information
- U of G Guide for Completing the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships’ Risk Assessment Form - NSERC Alliance
- Government of Canada: National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships
- New National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships - Research Alert
The Government of Canada released the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships on July 12, 2021, resulting in changes to the NSERC Alliance program for grant applications involving one or more private sector partners. The new requirements are to ensure the Canadian research ecosystem is as open as possible and as safeguarded as necessary. The Government of Canada has introduced the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships to integrate national security considerations into the development, evaluation and funding of research partnerships.
All applications currently being prepared in NSERC’s online system, along with all new applications initiated in the system, are now required to complete the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships’ risk assessment form if their grant applications includes one or more private sector partner.
Additionally, applications previously submitted to NSERC but that have not received a decision as of July 12, 2021 will be required to complete the risk assessment form, if they pass the administrative and scientific peer-review and are recommended for funding. In these cases, NSERC will be contacting the lead applicants and their institution to 'return' the application in the system to complete the risk assessment form. Applicants cannot make any other modifications to the application; if this is requested, the applicant will need to withdraw their current application and initiate a new application in the system, which is not recommended.
For applications currently in progress in the system or for applications already submitted to NSERC, applicants will be required to ‘re-invite’ their partner(s), as well as any co-applicants to the applications, so that partner(s) and co-applicants can re-verify their agreement to the updated terms and conditions of applying for applicants, the terms and conditions of applying for partner organizations.
The Office of Research Services (ORS), in consultation with impacted internal stakeholders, will be developing a web-page where applicants can review pertinent information and resources available to help in answering the questions on the risk assessment form, and completing the 'risks identified' and 'risk mitigation plan' components, if applicable. Applicants are encouraged to review the University of Guelph's Safeguarding Research Website, along with the additional internal links provided below, when completing the risk assessment form:
- University of Guelph's Responsible Conduct of Research Policy and Procedures
- University of Guelph's Computing and Communication Services
- University of Guelph's Library Data Management Planning
- University of Guelph's Research Ethics Board Guidance on Long-term Data Shortage and Usage
The NSERC Alliance Resources webpage includes links to the Safeguarding Your Research portal and to all updated terms and conditions for applying and at the award stage. Also, NSERC's Presentation on Preparing an Alliance Application (Slides; Slides with notes) includes information to help applicants submit a complete application that satisfies the requirements of the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships, when applicable. The NSERC Alliance Frequently asked questions webpage provides answers to key questions related to the implementation of National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships to Alliance. Other external resources are as follows:
- Global Affairs Canada: Export and Import Controls
- Natural Resources Canada Critical Mineral's List
- Public Safety Canada's Research Security Information Update
- Public Safety Canada: Critical Infrastructure
- Current Sanctions Imposed by the Government of Canada
- CSIS Far From Home - A Travel Security Guide
Terms and Conditions of Applying - for Applicants & Partner Organizations
The terms and conditions of applying for applicants, the terms and conditions of applying for partner organizations, and the terms and conditions of award have been updated to ask for explicit agreement to terms and conditions related to assessing risks to Canada’s national security.
In the case where an application involves one or more private sector partner, including when they participate alongside other partner organizations from the public and/or not-for-profit sectors, NSERC will review the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships’ risk assessment form that the applicant has provided with their application (including the risk mitigation plan, when applicable). When additional expertise is required, NSERC will seek advice from Canada’s national security departments and agencies, and/or from academic experts.
NSERC has also adjusted their application review times, to account for additional time needed to review the risk assessment form:
(average annual request of $20K-$30k from NSERC)
(average annual request of $30k-$300k from NSERC)
(average annual request of $300k-$1M from NSERC)
|5 to 9 weeks if evaluation is supported by existing NSERC peer review
9 to 18 weeks if no existing NSERC peer review
|9 to 18 weeks||14 to 24 weeks|
How to Apply
The National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships’ risk assessment form is to be completed and uploaded under 'Other Documents' in the NSERC online system, once an Alliance application is initiated.
The updated NSERC Alliance Application Checklist includes the requirements that must be fulfilled with respect to the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships, when applicable, in order for an application to be complete for NSERC to accept it. Failure to provide a completed risk assessment form (including the risk mitigation plan, if applicable) will result in the application being found incomplete and not accepted.