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Research Security Division | Resources


The Research Security Division is here to offer guidance and support to help you safeguard your research. Please see the resources below for additional considerations on how to best protect yourself and your work. Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out at researchsecurity@ucalgary.ca

Quick links: Government of Canada | U15/Universities Canada | UCalgary | International Guidance



Sanctions restrict or prohibit certain economic interactions with a foreign state, individual or entity. Sanctions can include arms embargos, asset freeze, export and import restrictions, financial prohibitions, and technical assistance prohibitions. A list of Canadian sanctions can be found here.

Sanction regimes are international in scope, and researchers should exercise caution when considering the transfer of foreign goods and/or funds to countries, groups, or individuals under another country’s sanction list.

The United States has an extensive sanctions list that includes “secondary sanctions” that require individuals and entities in third-party countries such as Canada to abide by U.S. sanctions.

When to reach out?

If you are planning to transfer foreign goods and/or funds to countries, groups, or individuals as part of your research and are unsure about applicable sanctions, reach out to the Research Security team at researchsecurity@ucalgary.ca. We will provide guidance to ensure that relevant sanctions are adhered to.

Export controls restrict the transfer of goods, technology, and data to foreign entities or individuals due to national security concerns. 

The Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA) establishes the Export Control List (ECL). A permit or license is required to export an item listed on the Export Control List. 

Researchers should be careful to not inadvertently contravene export control laws when transferring materials or data to research partners outside of Canada or when traveling with research data to international conferences.

Researchers working in Canada should also be mindful of other countries’ export control regulations when partnering with individuals, companies, or entities within their borders.

The Commerce Control List (CCL) is the U.S. equivalent of the Canadian Export Control List.

When to reach out?

If you are planning to transfer goods or data to persons outside of the country or travel with goods or data as part of your research, reach out early in the process to the Research Security team at researchsecurity@ucalgary.ca. We can help you identify any relevant export control laws and provide guidance on a case-by-case basis.

The Contract Security Program (CSP) provides security screening of organizations and their personnel when applying for or successfully being awarded a GoC or foreign contract with security requirements. 

Security requirements safeguard sensitive information, assets and worksites and protect national security, as well as the personal information of Canadians. This can include sensitive government information such as military technology or personal information such as financial records or health information. 

There are two types of security screenings that the CSP provides:

  • Organization Screening: This determines of if the organization bidding on or participating in a GoC contract meets the security requirements of the contract. If it does not, steps need to be taken to acquire proper designation.
  • Personnel Security Screening: An employee must submit a clearance application which is used to determine if an employee can be trusted with protected or classified information, assets or work sites. All employees involved in a contract or project must obtain the required clearance level. 

When to reach out?

If you are considering bidding or participating in a contract with the Government of Canada, please reach out early in the process to the Research Security team at researchsecurity@ucalgary.ca

The University of Calgary is registered with the CSP and can assist researchers with the security requirements of a specific bid or contract, including personnel clearances, physical space, and IT requirements.

A Foreign Talent Program is an attempt by a foreign government to recruit researchers in the pursuit of national security objectives. 

Foreign Talent Programs seek to acquire proprietary technology or software, unpublished data and methods, and intellectual property from abroad. Talent programs typically contact researchers directly with an invitation to participate in the program regardless of their citizenship or country of origin. 

Some talent programs are legitimate efforts by governments to attract and retain researchers working in high-priority fields by offering fellowships, grants, and in-kind support. However, there are also malign foreign talent recruitment programs that are organized, managed, or funded, by a government to acquire research or technology unethically and/or unlawfully. 

A talent program may be malign if any of the following apply:

  • You are asked to transfer your knowledge and/or expertise to a foreign country
  • You are offered incentives to relocate to a foreign country 
  • You are asked to sign a contract that would create a conflict of interest and/or a conflict of commitment 
  • You are asked to recruit other talent program members
  • You are asked to not disclose your participation in the talent program

When to reach out?

If you suspect that you have been contacted by a Foreign Talent Program, please reach out to researchsecurity@ucalgary.ca for guidance on how to proceed. The Research Security Division will conduct a risk assessment to help you make an informed decision.   

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Research Security SharePoint

To access additional resources and documents, members of the UCalgary community can log in to the Research Security Sharepoint site. 

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