Research and Collection Permit System

Due to COVID-19, Parks Canada protected heritage areas (PHAs) and facilities have been closed except for critical services since mid-March. As access restrictions are now being relaxed, it is possible to resume some research and fieldwork activities (including consulting work and research-based work) to some extent, and under special conditions.

The document Requirements Regarding Access to Parks Canada Protected Heritage Areas to Conduct Research and Field Work during the COVID-19 Pandemic outlines requirements to consider, the documentation to submit, and the process to follow during this time.

Welcome to Parks Canada's Research and Collection Permit System

Welcome to the Parks Canada Agency's Research and Collection Permit System. Here you are provided with an orientation to the Parks Canada Agency online system, a summary of what is needed to apply for a research and collection permit, and answers to frequently asked questions. There are several important sections to this document. You can navigate through these by using the links in the navigation bar to the left.

The Parks Canada Agency welcomes your interest in conducting research in one of Canada's national parks, national park reserves, national marine conservation areas, national historic sites, or the Pingo Canadian Landmark. The Agency is responsible for protecting and presenting these heritage areas for present and future generations. These responsibilities are discharged using various legislative and policy instruments as described elsewhere. The Agency’s goals are to maintain or restore ecological integrity, monitor and ensure the commemorative integrity of historic places, protect cultural and natural resources, and provide for appropriate visitor experiences. Achieving these goals requires a full understanding of the natural and cultural elements in Heritage Areas, their inter-relationships, the natural processes, and visitor interests and activities. Long term accumulation and analysis of information derived from scientific research and traditional knowledge are important tools to realize this goal. The Research and Collection Permit System enables the Parks Canada Agency to effectively manage research in Canada’s Heritage Areas to fulfill its mandate.

Scope of Application of the Research and Collection Permit System

This online system applies to all applications for natural, archaeological, and social science research, including collection activities. Where such research affects a species listed in Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act as extirpated, endangered or threatened in any Heritage Area, the RCPS provides for a SARA compliant permit.

This online permit system does not apply to historical research in Parks Canada’s Heritage Areas. To conduct historical research, please contact the appropriate research coordinator for the relevant Heritage Area(s) where research is being proposed.


Parks Canada encourages the use of its Heritage Areas for management oriented and scholarly research that is consistent with its mandate. Parks Canada staff are available to provide assistance to an applicant seeking a permit and to answer any questions. Researchers are encouraged to contact research coordinator for elaboration on the information that follows and for any assistance required.

Research Needs

Each National Park maintains an up-to-date listing of its research priorities to assist researchers in identifying topics that they may wish to pursue. You can simply browse through the listings by parks and make your choice. You will get a brief description of the topic and the name of a contact person. For research priorities in other Heritage Areas please contact the appropriate research coordinator.

Research Underway or Completed

You can learn about research underway or recently completed in the Heritage Area of your interest by contacting the research coordinator. This information is updated annually as new research reports are provided.


This online permit application system is a Parks Canada initiative designed to facilitate your access to the Agency, and to provide a nationally consistent approach to making applications for research and collection permits. It is also intended to provide you with a better understanding of research being conducted in our national Heritage Areas. Parks Canada welcomes and encourages your feedback on the system along with suggestions for improvements. This can be provided by clicking on Contact Us

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