Conducting Research in the FSM

*** Updated Research Policy as of 3 January, 2024. Research Application due dates: April 1 and October 1. ***

Welcome to the FSM Office of National Archives, Culture, and Historic Preservation (FSM NACH) and the research information page for conducting research in the Federated States of Micronesia. We appreciate your interest in conducting research in the Federated States of Micronesia. In Micronesia, our people, land, history, culture, and ocean are all connected, thus, the Federated States of Micronesia Research Policy and Application (updated 12 January, 2024) guides research practices for all proposed projects to be carried out in the Federated States of Micronesia and subject to all relevant FSM Code. Thoroughly read both the FSM Research Policy and relevant State Research Policies (only a few have been provided below) prior to initiating the research process with our office since the fee covers one round of feedback only. We highly recommend communicating project(s) with the relevant agency or department prior to submission to FSM NACH.

Every person and/or entity (including NGOs, US government agencies, contractors, etc. as defined in the Compact of Free Association, Article XIV) interested in conducting research (as defined by FSM code and policies) in the FSM must comply and submit their proposal to the FSM Office of National Archives, Culture, and Historic Preservation (FSM NACH). A permit from FSM NACH does not guarantee a permit at the State level, therefore, we strongly recommend communicating with the relevant State office(s) prior to submission to FSM NACH. Projects taking place in the FSM’s EEZ requires a permit. State/agency requests for research need a permit. While local involvement is a requirement, this does not waive the fee for a research proposal review due to the resources it takes for FSM NACH to review the proposal. A reduced fee may be applied to non-grant funded citizens only.

Prior to preparing the application to be submitted, carefully read the the policy and accompanying application documents. To facilitate the review process:

  1. Plan ahead–we have two application deadlines (April 1 and October 1) and the review process takes up to four months (factors reducing this time can include prior communication with relevant agencies with which you intend to work, a thoroughly completed application not missing any parts, a well researched proposal). Regardless of time frames for grantors, personal funds, or other institutions’ timelines, kindly respect FSM’s policy and do not begin a project unless a permit has been issued by NACH.
  2. Establish communication with relevant agencies as part of writing the application research proposal. If an agency is unaware of a project, this delays the review process;
  3. Application fee must be paid at the time of submission; applications without payment will not be considered under review until paid.
  4. The “under review date” is when a completed application is submitted. NACH will inform on this date when an application is completed.
  5. To be allowed the privilege to undertake research in FSM, every application’s team members is required by FSM to undergo the Basic CITI ethics course identified in the application, regardless of discipline;
  6. The template is required for all applications. All required documents are submitted as a single PDF for review and must contain a Table of Contents and related page numbers;
  7. Only digital applications will be accepted; no in person or paper applications will be reviewed;
  8. Only the point of contact for a project application can correspond with NACH–all others will be ignored.
  9. Due to high email volume, emails with questions already answered on our website or in the application template will be ignored. Please, no calls or text messages.

National Research Policy

With respect to the National Research Policy, the following order of events applies to all persons who desire to carry out research (all disciplines) in the Federated States of Micronesia:

  1. As research is a high level scientific and intellectual activity, proposals are expected to be clear in their careful incorporation of the cultural policy’s guidance, contain a thorough research background, and be guided by a culturally appropriate methodology and methods, otherwise, they will be rejected.
  2. Projects previously accepted by an institution’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) must still undergo the FSM’s review process; an institution’s approval of a project does not guarantee FSM’s acceptance. It’s highly recommended that a researcher consider a review by our office first if changes cannot be made to a protocol after IRB review. Projects without an IRB equivalent will undergo review by FSM’s committee.
  3. Projects in partnership must still undergo the FSM’s review process. Invitation to be a local counterpart on a project does not guarantee a permit.
  4. Email in a single PDF document to FSM NACH and Director (a) the receipt of the non-refundable application fee wired to the FSM Treasury and (b) filled out permit application with DSA template.
  5. Due to the volume of research interests, there are two submission deadlines per year (per the policy). Proposals with innovative designs and open access will be prioritized. If a proposal is accepted by FSM NACH, the researcher will be informed with a decision about the proposed project in the form of a letter, and permit as applicable.
  6. Non-United States Citizens Immigration Permit must be obtained for researchers visiting for more than 90 days. For further guidance, please contact FSM Immigration identified in the permit. FSM NACH does not facilitate communication with Immigration.
  7. Applicants and/or proposals that are non-compliant with the guiding legislation and policy will be rejected. Proposals not utilizing the template will be returned and counted as the first review.
  8. Project personnel that start research without the permit document signed by FSM NACH will face penalties per the FSM Code.

Research Policies by State

All proposal applications should be received by FSM NACH (the National Historic Preservation Office), at least 120 days before the proposed research is to begin. Decisions will generally be communicated to applicants approximately 90-120 days from receipt of the proposal but can take up to 180 days for projects taking place for less than a year. Projects intending to take more than a year may take longer.

Kosrae State HPO          Pohnpei State HPO       Chuuk State HPO           Yap State HPO

*Emails with questions already answered here may not receive a response.

Updated 5 January, 2024.