All research in Nunavut must be licensed!  The licenses and regulatory approvals required for a project to proceed are determined by the nature and location of the research.  Please carefully review our summary of the licenses and regulatory approvals required for research in Nunavut, and contact the NRI's Manager of Research Licensing as early as possible if you require assistance in identifying the licenses and approvals necessary for your project. Remember: you must obtain all of the necessary licenses and authorizations for your project prior to travelling to Nunavut.  You will not be permitted to start your fieldwork and you may be denied access to research facilities and support services until you provide proof that you've obtained all of the licenses and authorizations required for your research. 

The Nunavut Research Institute (NRI) administers Nunavut's Scientists Act which applies only to social, health, land or physical/natural research.  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. Remember: The NRI does not license the following types of research:

  • research on wildlife (including plants, fish, birds, and marine/terrestrial wildlife),
  • archeological research,
  • research in National Parks

If you plan to conduct research in any of the above disciplines or locations you will require a license from a different licensing agency (not the NRI).  For more information, please see our summary of the licenses and regulatory required for research in Nunavut. If your project is a multi-disciplinary you may require more than one research license.  For example if you are conducting a wildlife study and plan to conduct formal interviews with community members as part of your research, you will require a both a Wildlife Research License (issued by the Nunavut Government's Department of Environment) AND a Scientific Research License (issued by the NRI).

Remember, you will need to complete separate applications for each of the licenses and sub-authorizations required for your study.  You are strongly encouraged to start the process of identifying and applying for ALL of your required 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 your study.  Proof that you have conducted prior community consultation is required as part of your research application.  As a researcher working in Nunavut you will be expected to respect community norms, laws, and expectations, and you are expected to conduct yourself in a way that is inclusive, responsible, respectful, and safe. Please read and become familiar with the National Inuit Strategy on Research.

For more information on which agencies to consult and practical ideas on how to plan your community engagement activities, please refer toour guide: Negotiating Research Relationships with Inuit Communities: A Guide for Researchers.