Safeguarding Research

Eight Security Cameras Watching

Academic Freedom and Collaboration

Academic freedom and diversity in research collaboration remains the hallmark of Western's scholarly and research activities. Western values opportunities for all members of our research community to participate in research with transparency and zero harassment or coercion tolerance. The principles of safeguarding research are to ensure partnerships are similarly aligned with Western's goals to use and implement research findings.

What is Research Security?

Broadly speaking, research security refers to the measures protecting knowledge, technologies and data that could assist a foreign threat's advancement of geopolitical, economic or security interests to Canada's detriment. Target assets can vary from applications in weapons of mass destruction programs (e.g., chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) to dual-use technologies (e.g., those with both civilian and military applications) such as artificial intelligence, bio and nanotechnologies, quantum computing and the intellectual property and confidential information used for research. 

What is Being Done?

How to Safeguard Your Research

Western researchers are encouraged to take measures towards safeguarding research from undue foreign influence. Managing these risks often requires knowledge in areas unrelated to the research team’s expertise. The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities and Universities Canada in collaboration with the Government of Canada-Universities Working Group have created a guide to many of the issues, including best practices. This resource outlines information to conduct best practices including assessing risk potential and mitigating risks.

If You Are Contacted by CSIS

If you are contacted by a Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) officer as a member of the Western community, we recommend that you contact the office of the Vice-President (Research) to let us know of the request.

Please see below for more detail.

Travel Security

International travel is often necessary for data acquisition, collaboration and the overall pursuit of knowledge. Canadian researchers required to travel internationally should be cognizant they are vulnerable as targets for their research and knowledge. The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities and Universities Canada in collaboration with the Government of Canada - Universities Working Group created a guide addressing what these threats are and actions you can take to mitigate your risk to them. 

Travel Resources

Additional Resources





If you have any questions about research security-related matters, please contact