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:

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



Land and water based research includes all studies of the non-living environment, including geology, hydrology, water quality, oceanography, geology/geomorphology, glaciology, air quality, etc.

Instructions for researchers applying for licences for NEW land and water based research projects

The Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act (NUPPAA) has established the Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC) as the first entry point for all new land and water based research in Nunavut. New projects are those that have not been previously screened by the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB). If you plan to undertake a new land and water based research project in Nunavut, you must first submit a project proposal to the Nunavut Planning Commission, via the NPC Project Portal (Note: portal is compatible with Internet Explorer and Microsoft edge).The NPC will review the project proposal and will, within 45 working days, refer your research proposal to the Nunavut Impact Review Board, at which time you will be notified to submit a NIRB screening application. NRI will be notified when the NIRB screening decision report for your project has been issued, and NRI will then be able to issue your research licence. NRI may require additional information to complete your research licence, but you will not be required to submit a separate NRI application form for a new land and water based research project.

Instructions for multi-year research licence holders

If you are applying to renew a multi-year NRI licence for a project that was previously screened by NIRB, you are not required to submit a project proposal to the NPC portal. However, you must complete the application for an NRI land and water based research licence, and include details of any changes to your project activities. NRI will renew your research licence 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 warrant a new NIRB screening include:

  • a change in the project objectives.
  • the inclusion of new field research sites (where the new/additional location affects 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).
  • an increase in the scope of activities (e.g. additional person days, additional water use or waste generation) that will require new or higher level regulatory authorizations.
  • new activities not previously screened by NIRB and for which NIRB has not recommended terms and conditions to mitigate potential impacts.

Please contact NRI's manager of research liaison, Mosha Cote ( or NRI's manager of research design, Jamal Shirley ( should you need to clarify these requirements.