Research Licensing Applications

If you plan to conduct field research in Nunavut, you will require a licence, permit or other authorization to do so. Research in the physical/natural, social, and health sciences is licensed by the Nunavut Research Institute (NRI) in accordance with Nunavut's Scientists Act. Before applying for an NRI Scientific Research License, please contact NRI's Manager of Research Liaison, Mosha Cote ( to determine whether your research project meets NRI's requirements for licensing under the Scientists Act, or whether your study can be licensed under other legislation. Other authorizations needed for research in Nunavut may include:

  • Wildlife Research licence (issued under Nunavut's Wildlife Act), for studies of terrestrial and marine mammals and birds and vegetation
  • Archeological Research permit (issued under the Archaeological Sites Regulations of the Nunavut Act)
  • National Parks Research permit (issued under the National Parks Act)
  • Fisheries Research licence (issued under under the Fisheries Act) to collect any aquatic organisms (including aquatic/marine plants, fish, and marine mammals) for scientific purposes
  • Access permit (issued by Environment Canada) to conduct research activities in Nunavut's National Conservation Areas and Bird Sanctuaries
  • Access permit (issued by the appropriate regional Inuit association) to conduct research on Nunavut's Inuit Owned Lands
  • Review and Land Use Conformity Determination by the Nunavut Planning Commission
  • Environmental Impact Screening by the Nunavut Impact Review Board (if deemed necessary by the Nunavut Planning Commission)
  • Special permission to use water or deposit waste without a license (issued by the Nunavut Water Board)

Remember: a single research project may require multiple authorizations depending on the nature, scope, and location of the research activity in Nunavut. You are ultimately responsible for securing all of the necessary authorizations for your planned field research programs. Please contact NRI as early as possible for help in identifying permits/authorizations required for your planned study!

Applying for an NRI Scientific Research Licence


To apply for the NRI Health Research Licence, please first download this MS word document to your computer and fill in the requested information about your project. Next, complete the online Health Research Application and when prompted, upload the completed MS Word document, along with other supporting information.

Health related research is a broad category of research and includes all medical research (collection of physical/biological health information), psychology/psychiatry studies, community wellness, epidemiology, nutrition, mental health, health perceptions, health promotion, etc.



To apply for the Social Science Research Licence, please first download this MS word document to your computer and fill in the requested information about your project. Next, complete the online Social Science Research Application and when prompted upload the completed MS Word document, along with other supporting information.

Social science research includes society and culture, traditional knowledge, economic development, education, politics, art, and language.

To apply for a licence, or for more information on licensing, please refer to the Scientific Research Licence Guidelines.

For more information please contact:

You require a Nunavut scientific research license to conduct physical and natural sciences research anywhere in Nunavut settlement area.  This requirement applies to research on Nunavut’s non-living environment, including any part of Nunavut’s geology, landforms, soils, snow/ice, glaciers, surface waters, oceans, and the atmosphere.  The procedures and timeline for obtaining a physical/natural sciences research license vary depending on whether your project is a new study or has previously been screened by the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB).



If you plan to undertake new land and water based research in Nunavut for a project not previously screened by the (NIRB), you must first submit a project proposal to the Nunavut Planning Commission through the NPC Project Portal at

(Note: the NPC project portal is only compatible with Internet Explorer and Microsoft edge).  For more information on how to submit your project proposal to the NPC please contact the NPC’s senior planner at 867-979-3444 or by e-mail at:

The NPC will review your project to determine conformity with any applicable regional land use plans and to assess any potential cumulative impacts. NPC will complete their review within 45 working days after they receive a complete proposal.  NPC must then refer your research proposal to the Nunavut Impact Review Board, at which time you will be contacted by NIRB and asked to submit a NIRB screening application form.   NIRI will be notified when the NIRB screening decision report for your project has been issued.

**In addition to submitting the NPC project proposal and NIRB screening application, you must also submit a physical and natural sciences license application (Docx) or complete online  Physical / Natural Sciences Research Application

Renewing a multi-year research license OR applying for a new license for a project previously screened by the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB)

If you are applying to renew an existing multi-year NRI licence or for a new license for a project that was previously screened by NIRB, you are not required to submit a project proposal to the NPC portal.  However, you still must complete the application for an NRI physical/natural sciences research at  Be sure to disclose in your application the details of any new project activities that are outside the scope of activities screened by NIRB.  NRI will renew your research license application and determine whether your proposed research remains within the scope of activities considered in the original NIRB screening.

Examples of changes to your research that might constitute a change in project scope and necessitate a proposal to NPC and new NIRB screening include:

  • the inclusion of new field research sites (where the new/additional location may result in impacts to different communities, is in a new planning region, or occurs in an area with a special designation such as park or wildlife area or Inuit Owned Lands).
  • a significant increase (more than 10%) in the number of person days, and/or additional water use or waste generation that will require approval by the Nunavut Water Board.
  • new research activities not previously screened by NIRB and for which NIRB has not recommended terms and conditions to mitigate potential impacts.

The NRI's manager of research liaison, Mosha Cote ( can help you determine whether your research activities fall within the scope of activities previously screened by NIRB. 

Manager-Research Liaison,
Nunavut Research Institute
PO Box 1720
Iqaluit, NU
Tel: (867) 979-7279
Fax: (867) 979-7109