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Science & Research

Application to Conduct Research

Thank you for considering conducting research within Ontario's system of provincial parks and conservation reserves.

Please be aware that some projects may require additional evaluation time than others. If the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks requires additional time to review the proposed project, a ministry representative will be in contact with you.

Under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, written authorization is required for any investigation, assessment, inventory, monitoring or studies of natural, cultural, archaeological, social, recreational, economic, management and/or other features and characteristics of provincial parks and conservation reserves that involve fieldwork, specimen collection and/or have the potential to disturb resources, visitors or staff. Ontario's policy on conducting research in provincial parks and conservation reserves can be found here.

Completing and submitting this form is how you seek authorization to conduct research under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act. This approval does not represent approval under any other legislation or regulations that may apply. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all other permissions, approvals, and authorizations are acquired before proceeding with their research activities. Examples include Licence to Collect Fish under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, permits under the Endangered Species Act, etc.

Personal information submitted on this form is collected under the authority of the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act and will be used for administrative purposes. Data and reports provided to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks will not be published. The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks reserves the right to use data and reports resulting from the research project for internal inventory, monitoring and resource management purposes. If you have questions about the collection of personal information, data, or questions about doing research in provincial parks or conservation reserves before applying for authorization, please complete this contact form.

Please complete all sections of this application form with enough detail to allow for a complete review of your proposed project. A period of two months is generally required for review and approval of your application; if we need to request additional information, authorization for your proposed research activities may be delayed.

Check to see a list of standard conditions applied to approved research authorizations. Additional conditions may be applied through the application review process as a result of site-specific considerations. Ontario Parks reserves the right to restrict the scope of the project and limit access within provincial parks and conservation reserves.

Section 1 : Applicant Information

Principal Investigator

Note: For student researchers, this field is for the name of the academic professor or supervisor of the project. The lead student’s name and contact information is to be included in the Student Researcher fields.

Student Researcher

Note: In the case of student researchers this is the name of the lead student of the project. All assisting students are to be listed in the “Additional Researchers” field.

Additional Researchers

Note: This includes all field assistants, volunteers, additional students, etc.

Section 2 : Project Information

Title of Project

Research Categories

* Select all subject matter categories that apply to the research.

Project Area(s)

* List the provincial parks and conservation reserves your are applying to conduct research in. Select "none in project" if either Provincial Parks or Conservation Reserves do not apply.

* Project Dates

Will this proposed project occur in a single calendar year (December 31), or over multiple years?

Note: Initial authorizations may be issued for up to a maximum of three years. Authorizations may also be eligible for two extensions, each extension at a maximum of two years.

Typically, applications require 60 days for review.

Reporting Requirements

Note: All data, reports and publications from previous research must be submitted before applications for new research will be approved. This includes applications for new graduate students/assistants working under the applicant.

Reporting requirements are outlined in the Research Authorization Policy for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves. Generally, at minimum:

Researchers are required to submit an annual report following each field season. The annual report is to be submitted by December 31st of each year of the research authorization and must include

  • A copy of all field data collected
  • A report on the activities conducted
  • A maximum one-page plain language summary of the results
  • Any methodological changes (if applicable)
  • The expected field schedule for the coming field season (if applicable)

Researchers are required to submit copies of any final reports or publications arising from the research by the date stated in the authorization letter. March 31 of the year following the final year of authorization is the standard deadline for final reports. If you are unable to provide the final report by March 31 of the year following completion of the research, please provide an explanation.

If circumstances change during the research project that prevent submission of the report by the date indicated on the authorization letter, please contact the Protected Areas Science Administrator.

If you or your supervisor were previously issued authorization to conduct research in provincial parks and/or conservation reserves, a condition of that authorization was to submit all raw data and final reports resulting from the research. Were these reporting requirements fulfilled?

General Description

In simple terms, please describe the main goals and objectives of this project. What do you expect to accomplish through the research?



Provide a detailed outline of your proposed field methods, timing and equipment that will be used in the provincial park(s) or conservation reserve(s). Provide enough detail to allow for a complete review of potential ground disturbance or other impacts to natural and cultural resources. If the box below does not provide enough space, refer to section 5.



Describe any relevant training (e.g. health and safety, procedural, etc.) that the researchers under this application will receive or have received before beginning field activities.


Potential Adverse Affects

Describe any potential for intentional or unintentional disturbance and adverse effects to the site, including soils, bedrock, aquatic / terrestrial vegetation, (e.g. removal or damage), water, spread of invasive species, fish and wildlife (e.g. injury, risk of disease transmission through handling or equipment), cultural values or visitors. Include any mitigating measures you will use to minimize these effects.


Visitor Involvement

Visitor Involvement *

If yes, describe why and to what extent.

Assistance Requested from Ontario Parks

Assistance Requested *

If yes, describe what support you require. Be advised that this is at the discretion of the Park Superintendents and may not be provided.

Rationale for Location

Describe the benefits of conducting the research within the requested provincial parks and/or conservation reserves.


Communications to the Scientific Community and the Public

Provide an abstract or title of what will be communicated or published and describe where it will be shared.


Provide the names and affiliations of any contributors to the project (i.e. through grants, advice, scholarships, equipment, and supplies)

Section 3 – Access within Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves

Note: Motorized travel in provincial parks and conservation reserves may be restricted or limited, and in some cases may not be permitted at all. Consult the management direction for the provincial park or conservation reserve, or contact the Park Superintendent for more information and to obtain any necessary access permits (e.g. aircraft landing permit, vehicle permit, etc.)

Proposed Access (by land and/or water)

Note: For projects that require access to many provincial parks and/or conservation reserves, additional information may be provided to the administrator through section 5.

Describe known roads, trails and waterbodies within the provincial park(s) or conservation reserve(s) that you propose to use to conduct your research.

What is your proposed mode of transportation (e.g. on-foot, truck, ATV, canoe, motor boat, helicopter, etc.)

Note: Permissible methods of transportation vary between each provincial park or conservation reserve. Refer to for more information.

Section 4 - Collections, Other Permits or Licenses

Note: All specimens, artifacts, materials and information collected remain property of her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario as represented by the provincial park or conservation reserve in which they are collected (unless assigned to an appropriate repository) and are subject to the requirements under federal and provincial legislation.


Are collections a component of this research? This includes the collection of whole organisms (plants or animals), parts of organisms (e.g., feathers, tissue samples), rocks, fossils or other natural or cultural objects found in the park. If so, please ensure that the rationale is demonstrated in section 2, including amount to be collected. Some types of collections must have additional authorizations or licences from other agencies.

Collections *

Other Permits, Licenses, or Protocols

Does your project require additional authorizations outside of the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act (e.g. Wildlife Scientific Collectors Application, Licence to Collect Fish, Endangered Species Act permit, Animal Care Protocol, etc.)?

Additional Authorizations *

If yes, have you applied for these additional permits? *

Provide details regarding any other permits, licenses, or protocols you require, have applied for, or have been granted. Indicate status of the permits, licences, or protocols (e.g. Wildlife Scientific Collectors Application, Licence to Collect Fish, Endangered Species Act permit, Animal Care Protocol, etc.).

Section 5 - Supporting Documents and Promotion

Do you have specific supporting documents (e.g. Animal Care Protocol, survey protocols, etc.) or additional information that you need to provide to us? If so, we will contact you.

Specific Supporting Documents *

Social Media Highlight *
Would you be interested in having your research highlighted by Ontario Parks social media?

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We respect your privacy. Your personal information is collected under the authority of the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006. Personally identifiable information will not be sold or otherwise transferred to unaffiliated third parties.

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