New Government of Canada Research Security Requirements for Federal Funding

From: Leah Cowen, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives
Joseph Wong, Vice-President, International
Date: January 18, 2024
Re: New Government of Canada Research Security Requirements for Federal Funding

On January 16th 2024, the Minister of Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) announced the Policy on Sensitive Technology Research and Affiliations of Concern (STRAC). The new policy aims to enhance Canada’s research security by ensuring Federal grant applications (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR and CFI) that involve conducting research that may advance 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 a university, research institute or laboratory connected to a military, national defence or state security entities of foreign state actors that pose a risk to Canada’s national security.

The policy includes two lists, both of which will be updated regularly to address evolving threats to Canada’s national security. The policy will come into effect in early 2024.

For faculty/principal investigators whose research is not on the STRA list, no further action is required. 

For researchers whose work is in a Sensitive Technology Research Area, there are new requirements when applying for grant funding from the federal Tri-council agencies and CFI:

  • All researchers listed on an application must provide an attestation that they do not have any affiliation with entities on the Named Research Organization list and they have “read, understood, agree with, and are compliant with this policy. They and their research team(s) will be required to comply with the policy for the duration of the federal grant.”
  • If any of the researchers named on the application are receiving funding or in-kind support from an organization on the NRO list, the application would be ineligible.

U of T has a dedicated Research Security Team within the Division of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation to provide support and information to the research community regarding developments relating to safeguarding research and developing research relationships and grant applications in alignment with best practices, guidelines, and requirements. Further information is available at

Researchers who have questions or concerns are strongly encouraged to contact the Research Security Team That team is available to help the research community understand the application of this new government requirement and other existing government requirements.


  • Is my area of research covered under the STRA?
  • Would I be considered to have an affiliation with an NRO?           
  • How do I provide an attestation?
  • How do I prove that my previous affiliation has ended?

We appreciate that this adds additional requirements and responsibilities for our research community and will share additional information as it becomes available. The University of Toronto continues to work closely with the Government of Canada, the U15, and Universities Canada to ensure that the needs of the research community are reflected in the implementation of this new policy.