Research Trends in Nunavut

Banner Photo: Gita Ljubicic

How can research better serve Nunavummiut? Assessing research trends in Nunavut   

2019 – 2021

Funded by: SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant

The Nunavut Research Institute (NRI) has been responsible for developing, facilitating, and promoting scientific research in Nunavut since 1994.  Anyone wanting to do research in Nunavut needs to apply for a Scientific Research License. This includes research in the natural, physical, health, and social sciences, as well as traditional knowledge research, but does not include wildlife, parks, and archeological research (these require different permits).  Under the Nunavut’s Scientists Act, one of the NRI’s main tasks is reviewing and issuing research licenses to make sure that research does not harm or interfere with the natural or social environment in Nunavut.  

To manage research license applications and reporting, the NRI maintains the longest running digital research database in Nunavut.  This project will undertake the first ever systematic review and analysis of the NRI research licensing database. We want to understand the current state of research in Nunavut, and how research has changed over time.  We will use the research license database to learn about who is doing research, on what issues, and where. We also want to identify which communities or topics are over-researched, or other areas that are overlooked.

The NRI sees this project as an opportunity to improve operations and tools to help manage the research licensing process.  We hope that by making the content of research license applications and reports publicly available, it will also help:

  • Nunavummiut to see what research is going on around their communities, and to have more say in what kinds of research they support, what projects they lead, where and on what issues;
  • Visiting researchers to see what has been done before and where, and to develop new projects that build on long-term efforts or address new community-identified priorities; 
  • Policy- and decision-makers to identify relevant evidence and key people to inform decisions, and the future review of research policy in Nunavut.  

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You can freely download and share all documents posted for non-commercial uses, as long as the authors are credited. Photos cannot be used for any other purposes, without permission from the photographer.


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Polidoro, A. M. [MA thesis, 2022] What is happening where? An evaluation of Social Science Research Trends in Nunavut (2004-2019). (McMaster University).

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