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Trusted Research

Trusted Research is a campaign to raise awareness of the kinds of risks that academics can encounter during their research.

The National Protective Security Authority (NPSA) has created Trusted Research Guidance for Academia (2019) to help UK academics and research organisations understand and manage the potential risks to international research collaboration. 

Trusted Research provides information on important subjects such as personal data, research data, export controls, intellectual property and cyber security. This guidance will be developed over time as more relevant legislation and guidance is introduced.

What do I need to do?

Trusted Research is particularly relevant to researchers in STEM subjects, dual-use technologies, emerging technologies and commercially sensitive research areas but we would encourage all of our academic colleagues to familiarise themselves with this information.

WATCH: Trusted Research Guidance

You can watch five short videos explaining Trusted Research in general and in terms of reputational risk, National Security Investment, intellectual property and export controls.

Key messages to consider:

Who’s funding your research?

It is the responsibility of each researcher to check their funding sources:

  • What interests they represent and whether they conflict with their own
  • What controls are in place – who owns the research, what can funders do with the research
How well do you know your research partners? 

Researchers should look into the background and connections of their research partners and be clear on:

  • Whether they have any conflicts of interest with other research
  • Whether and how they represent or are connected with other organisations/countries
How is your research being used?

Research may be applied in different ways that weren’t intended by the researcher.

It is important to think about how research results could be used and consider how to prevent partners or other people with access to research from doing this inappropriately