In an effort to protect national security and intellectual property from foreign threats and bad actors, the Canadian government is setting new guidelines, effective immediately, that work national security considerations into funding criteria for university research.

Research projects must undergo a risk assessment as part of any grant application to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) that involves private-sector partners, according to Canada's Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Communications Security Establishment — the country's cyberspy agency — will play a key role in the risk assessment, Champagne said. If the application is deemed high-risk, it will not be funded.

According to CBC, "Security questions around scientific research have drawn renewed attention after two scientists were escorted from the high-security National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg in July 2019 and then fired in January this year."