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Defence Research Collaboration Security Framework

Security framework for collaborative research

More and more Defence research is being undertaken collaboratively.

To ensure that information generated or exchanged as part of a collaborative program is protected in accordance with Defence policy, DST has developed the Defence Research Collaboration Security Framework (DRCSF).

The enhanced security arrangements outlined in the DRCSF underpin Defence's ability to safeguard sensitive research, technologies and capabilities early in the research and innovation cycles.

The DRCSF is aligned with the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework (DSPF), Defence Security Policy Framework (DSPF), and the Defence Industry Security Program (DISP).  The DRCSF ensures that:

  • Research sensitivity, classification and security risks are understood and mitigated to an appropriate level; and,
  • Defence technologies, capabilities and investments are not compromised.

The framework applies to all DST research collaborations and arrangements.

Security requirements for Defence collaborators

Defence research collaborators may be required to put in place the following security arrangements:

  • Membership of the Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) – Collaborators may be required to achieve and maintain a specified level of DISP membership to participate in a proposed research program.  The DISP specifies the security arrangements to be implemented in terms of governance, personnel, physical security and cyber security.
  • Security clearances - Personnel participating in the proposed research program may require a specified level of security clearance.

Overview of process

  1. A collaborative research project is proposed.
  2. Defence assesses the sensitivity, classification and risk of any information likely to be generated or exchanged as part of the proposed collaborative research activity.
  3. Defence develops the proposed DISP and associated security requirements.
  4. Defence draws up a research agreement, incorporating the required security measures.
  5. Defence consults with the collaborator(s) to assess and/or ensure that the collaborator(s) either has security arrangements in place or can meet the requirements of the stipulated arrangements before commencing the research that requires protection.
  6. Defence notifies the Defence Security and Vetting service of the collaboration
  7. The collaborative research project commences subject to the agreed security arrangements being in place or the risk being accepted by Defence.
  8. Security arrangements are monitored throughout the course of the agreement.

Please send any questions regarding Research Collaboration Security to Allan Halsey, Director, Defence Research Collaboration Security.


Further information


Security Clearances



Attached files