In Canada, research is an incredibly valuable asset which contributes to the Canadian society as a whole and also gives back to the world internationally. At the same time, this research is vulnerable to foreign hostile actors and regimes and there is a real risk that such actors will attempt to access, acquire and misuse research to undermine Canadian national security and critical infrastructure. According to CSIS, Canadian researchers are not alone in facing such risks.
On January 16, 2024, the federal government of Canada responded to these risks with an announcement of the Sensitive Technology Research and Affiliations of Concern Policy. This policy clarifies that 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 a university, research institute or laboratory connected to military, national defence, or state security entities that could pose a risk to Canada’s national security. A list of these Named Research Organizations accompanied the announcement.
Data Storage and File Sharing at Carleton
Research Computing Services is offering a secure, online file sharing platform based on Citrix ShareFile for researchers to store their data and collaborate with Carleton faculty and students, as well as external collaborators. This service is similar to many commercial products like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. The data is stored locally within the secured data centre on Carleton’s campus. RCS ShareFile has been fully assessed by ITS’s information security professionals to be operating within the acceptable risk tolerance as defined in the University’s Risk Management Framework. Based on this, the Carleton Research Ethics Boards deemed it an acceptable platform for research data. For more information, including how to get an account and how to get started, please visit https://carleton.ca/rcs/sharefile/.
What research areas are most at risk?
Please refer to this webpage for a list of sensitive areas of research.
What can I do?
To comply with the federal government’s STRAC policy, applicants must undertake a two-step process prior to applying to grant funding. Details are provided on the federal government’s website here. In addition, researchers can take an active role in protecting their research in the following ways: