Research that does not fall under Wildlife or Archaeologist legislation requires a Scientific Research Licence under the NWT Scientists Act. For the NWT, this license is obtained through Aurora Research Institute in Inuvik. Researchers can apply for a Scientific Research Licence online.
If your research will involve forestry, health, contaminants, fisheries, or National Parks, you will still need a Scientific Research Licence but there may be additional specific requirements (see http://www.accessnwt.ca/licensing/licensing-summary-tables).
To apply for a Scientific Research Licence
- Ensure that your research location is within the NWT. If your research is to also take place in Nunavut or Yukon, in addition to the NWT, you will have to apply to the research institutes of the appropriate territory (see Additional Research Licences and Permits section in the Guide to Doing Research in the Northwest Territories).
- Determine in which land claim area(s) you will be working in.
- Start your online application by logging into our Portal to Online Licensing Applications for Research (POLAR).
- Submit the $158.00 application processing fee to Aurora Research Institute. Payments must be in Canadian funds. Payment can be made by cheque or credit card. Cheques should be made payable to Aurora Research Institute.
About the Online System
- The application system allows you to register, input your application, make changes, and sign off and back on again when convenient.
- Applications will take between one and three months to process depending upon the region(s) you are working in. This is largely due to the variable response time from the various community organizations as a result of people traveling or being out on the land. It is best to be proactive and apply early.
- Once there is an application on the system, future applications can be created using a previous application as a template.
Online Application Process
- Once you have created an account on the system, you will prompted on how to complete your application.
- If you already have an electronic copy of your application or of documents that you will be using to construct your application, it will be easy for you to copy and paste the relevant pieces into the online form.
- The online form has a section for including attachments such as maps, ethics reviews, community consultation records, or other supporting documents. (Note that maps should be kept smaller than 2 MB).
- Please keep the text sections as relatively brief summaries (approximately 200 words or less) and keep the “objectives” and “methods and activities” sections as plain-language as possible; you can add details as attachments. This keeps the application itself streamlined for an easier review by the communities. For tips on writing in plain language please refer to our Plain Language Resources (http://www.accessnwt.ca/for-communities/plain-language).
- Once submitted the application fields becomes "locked" while the application is reviewed by the Manager, Scientific Services. If there are questions that need answering before it can be accepted, those questions are sent to you and the application goes back into "unlock" mode for you to edit.
- For further instruction, please refer to the Researchers Guide to POLAR.
Communicating with Communities
When your application is complete, it is verified for review by the communities. A distribution list will be established including community contacts who will review your application. For multi-year projects, it helps if you provide a list of the contacts that you have consulted with in previous years.
As the community review forms are received, they are posted on the online licensing site and you can periodically check in for updates. It is beneficial for the researcher to maintain good contact with the communities. Communities are more receptive when researchers take the time to include them in projects at the very least with information updates. Communities also appreciate being kept apprised of the results of research projects (as does ARI).
Some useful resources for aboriginal and Métis contact information can be found at Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations web site:
Reports on Licensed Research
Researchers are required to submit a 200-word, plain-language summary of research work. The report must be submitted to the Aurora Research Institute by June 30 of the following year in which the licence was issued (for example, a summary of 2007 research work is due, at the latest, on June 30, 2008). If you apply for a new licence before this date, your summary is due at the same time as you submit your new application. The submission of a digital copy of your summary is preferred. Please ensure that your licence and file numbers appear at the top of your report.
Aurora Research Institute also requires that researchers submit copies of any final report(s) produced. This may take the form of a published document, thesis report, or technical report. The final report(s) will be stored in the permanent collection at Aurora Research Institute. This collection is accessible to the community and other researchers.
For more information contact:
Manager, Scientific Services
Aurora Research Institute
P.O. Box 1450
Phone: (867) 777-3298, ext. 231
Fax: (867) 777-4264
Please Note: Other licences and permits may also be required in order to conduct your research in addition to the one listed above. Please read through this online guide thoroughly to determine what licences/permits that you will require. There are also tools within our Portal to Online Licensing Applications for Research (POLAR) that will assist you.