All research in Nunavut must be licensed.  The nature and location of a research project determine which permits and authorizations are required for it to proceed.  Please contact the NRI as early as possible if you require assistance in identifying which permits and authorizations are necessary for your project.

The Nunavut Research Institute (NRI) administers Nunavut's Scientists Act which applies only to research in the social, health, land or physical/natural research disciplines.  The NRI does NOT license wildlife or archeological research. In short, if you plan to conduct research related to Nunavut's air, land, water, and/or people, you will need a license from the NRI.  To learn more, please review the NRI's research license application guidelines.

Other licenses required for research in Nunavut include:

  • Wildlife research permit for studies of terrestrial wildlife (including plants, insects, and animals) and birds, issued by the Nunavut Department of Environment, under the Nunavut Wildlife Act.
  • Fisheries research permit for studies of marine mammals, fish, and fish habitat (including aquatic plants), issued by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, under the Federal Fisheries Act.
  • Archeology and Paleontology research permit issued by Nunavut Department of Culture Elders, Language and Youth under the Archaeological Sites Regulations of the Nunavut Act.
  • National Parks research permit issued by Parks Canada under the National Parks Act.

In addition to the research licenses described above, other regulatory authorizations may also be required for field research activities depending on their nature and where the activities are carried out. Other authorizations may include:

  • review by the Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC) to determine whether a project require screening by NIRB and to assess conformity to regional land use plans (contact the Nunavut Planning Commission);
  • land use permit from AANDC for projects on Federal Crown Lands that exceed a specified number of person days of fieldwork (Contact the AANDC Lands Division);
  • authorization from the Nunavut Water Board to use water and/or deposit wastes in the field during the course of a research project
  • permission from a regional Inuit association to access or use Inuit Owned Lands to conduct research;
  • permits to build or install permanent research infrastructure ;
  • screening by the Nunavut Impact Review Board to assess social and environmental impacts or proposed research activities.

Remember, you will need to complete separate applications for each of the sub-authorizations required for your study.  You are strongly encouraged to start the process of identifying and applying for ALL of the necessary licenses and authorizations at least 6 months prior to your planned start date for fieldwork. If you plan to conduct research in a Nunavut community, you are required to discuss your research plans well in advance with local organizations or potential community partners that may be affected by or have an interest in the proposed study.  Proof that you have conducted prior community consultation is required as part of your research application.

For more information on which agencies to consult and practical ideas on how to engage and communicate effectively with communities in research, please refer to Negotiating Research Relationships with Inuit Communities: A Guide for Researchers.