research permit

  • Are you thinking or planning to conduct research project in Sarawak? And you are not sure if you need a research permit. This guide is intended to help you to answer this question according to the Sarawak Biodiversity Regulations, 2016.

    Under the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre Ordinance 1997, the Sarawak Biodiversity Council is given the responsibility to regulate research on biological resources in Sarawak and provisions on the requirement for Prior Informed Consent (PIC) as defined by the Ordinance.

    Answering the following questions may help you find out whether you need a research permit.

    1. What type or kind of research do you intend to do?
      Research and development as declared in the Ordinance refers to any form of study, analysis, evaluation, isolation, testing, experiment, examination or screening of biological resources to determine their potential medicinal, pharmaceutical, therapeutic, nutritional or agriculture properties or qualities or their functional ingredient for any purpose including potential commercial development.

    2. Does your research involve biological resources from Sarawak?
      Biological resources includes genetic resources, organisms or microorganisms or parts thereof, population and any other biotic components of an ecosystem with actual or potential use or value for humanity and derivatives thereform, and information in relation thereto.

    If your research project falls under the terms or definition as mentioned above. Then, yes, you will need to apply for a research permit from Sarawak Biodiversity Centre.
    If still in doubt, you may send in your project proposal and we will let you know if your project requires a permit. You may download the Sarawak Biodiversity Regulations 2016.

  • It will take no more than 66 days starting from the receipt of fully completed application form until the date of approval. The duration does not take into account of obtaining the actual Research Permit. This is because the approval of the Research Permit is subjected to the approval from the Council.

  • Assuming that your research project requires a Research Permit, the research permit can be applied by the local agency (which covers all the researchers involved). The Research Permit has to be applied by the project leader.

  • If your research requires a Research Permit (as defined here), then "Yes" you do need a research permit. The project leader is required to apply for the Research Permit and list out all the researchers who will be involved in the research in the document Research Application Form.

  • Apart from the Research Permits, you may be required to apply for the following permits from Sarawak Forestry Department:

    • Import/Export Permit
    • Permit to enter National Parks
    • Permit to collect
    • Permit to conduct research
    • Permit to collect and conduct research

    During the evaluation of your research proposal, you will be advised on what other relevant permits are required. Thus, a comprehensive research proposal is crucial.
    You may apply for the above permits at the Sarawak Forestry Department. Please refer here for more detail. Or you may contact Sarawak Forestry Department at the following contact details:

    Forest Department Sarawak (HQ)
    Bangunan Wisma Sumber Alam
    Jalan Stadium,
    Petra Jaya 93660,
    Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
    Tel: +6082-442180, +6082-19102, +6082-319103
    Fax: +6082-441210, +6082-441377, +6082-319235

    NOTE: Failing to acquire the necessary permit(s) may prevent you from starting the research works as scheduled.

  • Apart from the comprehensive research proposal, valid travel documents (e.g. passport) are very important. Your passport should be valid at least for one year to avoid any problems in applying for the Professional Pass from Immigration Department (Sarawak) and in seeking security clearance from the Police.

    The applicant from non-Sarawakian and foreigner will need to apply on their own from the Immigration Department. All documents sent to SBC will be forwarded to the State Planning Unit.


Chief Executive Officer
KM20, Jalan Borneo Heights, Semengoh
Locked Bag No.3032, 93990 Kuching,
Sarawak, Malaysia.

Tel: +6 082 610610  |  Fax: +6 082 611535
Email: biosar[at]sbc[dot]org[dot]my

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