Vice-President, Research and Innovation Statement on Safeguarding Research: January 19, 2024

The University of Windsor values academic, stakeholder, and industrial partnerships as vital for research advancement, recognizing their impact on the national economy and knowledge development. Global collaborations play a significant role in achieving research excellence. Faculty members and researchers are encouraged to foster collaborations for enhanced research outcomes benefiting the University and the community.

On Jan. 16, 2024, the Government of Canada unveiled its policy on  Sensitive Technologies Research and Affiliations of Concern (STRAC), which was adopted by all Tri-Agency and CFI funding programs. This policy stems from the Feb. 14, 2023, announcement by the federal government that would be adopting enhanced posture regarding national research security to reinforce protection for Canada's research, institutions, and intellectual property.

University of Windsor faculty and researchers are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the new policy. This includes focused understanding of language pertaining to potential risks associated with global collaborations and partnerships, especially those in sensitive technology areas. This heightened awareness will enhance our ability to engage responsibly and knowledgeably in important global collaborative initiatives.

Highlights of the new policy include:

  • Grant applications involving sensitive research areas will not be funded if any researchers are affiliated with entities deemed to pose a risk to national security.
  • Researchers are encouraged to assess affiliations with Named Organizations of Concern, identify potential risks of continued affiliations, and adopt measures to mitigate them.
  • Researchers must understand the due diligence process associated with the provincial and federal research programs. Due-diligence obligations include reviews of partnerships involving dual-use technologies, export controls, high-risk affiliations, and sanctioned entities.
  • Researchers must adhere to guidelines, ensuring that their research not only contributes to scientific advancement but also respects the safety, security, and ethical considerations inherent in modern research practices.
  • Projects perceived to have a security risk must include a research partnership risk assessment form and personal affiliation attestation.

The University of Windsor recognizes that the new federal policy may affect your research. We are committed to cultivating a research environment that is not only innovative and collaborative but also responsible and secure.

We acknowledge the sensitivity of research security and aim to prevent bias and profiling in risk assessment. In support of this commitment, the University provides consultation, resources, and tools to help researchers identify potential geopolitical and economic risks in sensitive projects, offering assistance in mitigation as needed.

The Office of Vice-President, Research and Innovation, has created an integrated plan to support and guide faculty and staff, including the addition of a Research Security Coordinator to actively train, consult, and support our research community, alongside ongoing support from research coordinators during the granting process.

For inquiries and assistance, please contact Rahul Banerjee, University’s Research Security Coordinator, at and/or your research coordinator during the granting

Additional resources and background on safeguarding research include:

The Office of Vice-President, Research and Innovation prioritizes protecting Canadian research while supporting our research community. The University remains dedicated to advancing bold and impactful research, scholarship, and creative activity.

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