Apply to do research

What research needs to be licensed?

All research in the Northwest Territories (NWT) must be licensed. This includes work in the physical, social and biological sciences, as well as in traditional knowledge and health. This applies to all researchers, including government agencies. 

Research licensing in the NWT involves authorities at the local, territorial and federal level.

The general objective of the research regulatory processes is to avoid harm to the natural, social and cultural environments of the NWT.

Information about your work is shared with northern residents through the licensing process.

How is the licensing process different in the NWT?

In the NWT, community consultation is included in most regulatory processes. This is different than in most other Canadian jurisdictions.

Many of these processes also include provisions to make sure local communities are well informed of upcoming research projects, and that the knowledge resulting from the studies returns to the local level.

What licences and/or permits do I need?

As a very basic guide to assist in determining what licences and/or permits you need, please consider the following:

  • If your research will involve studies on any species of terrestrial vertebrates, view information for the Wildlife Research Permit.

  • If your research will involve studies in archaeology, view information for Archaeologists Permit.

  • If your research does not fall under the Wildlife or Archaeologist legislation, you will require a Scientific Research Licence.

  • If your research will involve health, contaminants, fisheries or access to private lands, you will need a Scientific Research Licence, and there may be other regulatory requirements.

How long does it take to get a licence?

Submit your licensing and related application(s) at least three months prior to the planned start date of fieldwork.