Licensing Research

All research in the Northwest Territories must be licensed. This includes work in indigenous knowledge as well as in the physical, social and biological sciences. Research license applications are submitted through the POLAR system. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the relevant permits, licenses and permissions are obtained before research is conducted. Through the licensing process, information about your work is shared with other researchers and northern residents. In addition, research information is added to existing and developing scientific databases.

Communicating with communities is a vital part of the research licensing process in the North, and it is your responsibility to ensure that you’ve communicated with community organizations about your project. Certain research licences or permits will not be issued if appropriate communication with the community has not taken place. The level of involvement, and which community organization(s) you need to contact, will depend on the type, scope, location and potential impacts of your research. For guidance on establishing effective and respectful communication with communities, see our Communicating Research tab. 

For some very basic guidelines to assist in determining what licences and/or permits that you will require please consider the following:

  1. If your research will involve studies on any species of terrestrial vertebrates view information for the Wildlife Research Permit.
  2. If your research will involve studies in archaeology view information for Archaeologists Permit.
  3. Research that does not fall under the Wildlife or Archaeologist legislation requires a Scientific Research Licence which is administered by the Aurora Research Institute (ARI) in Inuvik.
  4. If your research will involve health, contaminants, fisheries or access to private lands you will need a Scientific Research Licence but there may be other regulatory requirements.

For more information contact:

The Scientific Services Office
P.O. Box 1450, Inuvik, NT, X0E 0T0
Phone: (867) 777-3298
Fax: (867) 777-4264
E-mail: licence@nwtresearch.com