Research Priorities

Public policy must be informed by reliable, timely and accessible knowledge that reflects the historical and current human and environmental conditions in the Northwest Territories (NWT).

The NWT is experiencing a period of dynamic changes and challenges. Resource development, climate change, economic change, new technologies, health risks and social change require the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) to adapt its programs and services. The GNWT needs sound and reliable evidence-based information, derived from scientific investigations and research, to make informed policy decisions. Government plays a key role in the development and management of science. It is a central element in ensuring sustainable resource development, health and wellness, education, industrial diversification, cultural retention and economic development of the NWT.

The GNWT has developed a Knowledge Agenda which establishes a strategic framework for science and identifies science priorities, which will guide future research and science integration for the GNWT. This will be a useful tool in directing science practitioners working in the NWT to investigations that will yield information relevant and valuable to NWT residents. It will also refocus science initiatives across the GNWT and influence science funding in the NWT.

The GNWT definition of science includes research, baseline studies, effects monitoring, traditional knowledge studies and community-based monitoring in a range of fields, including social sciences, physical and natural sciences, archaeology, engineering and health sciences. This broad definition incorporates many different methodologies and research approaches used to collect valuable information on the physical, biological and human environments of the NWT.

The Department of Health and Social Services (HSS) has also established their own, specific Research Agenda. For more information on how the GNWT, HSS supports research in the NWT visit their website.