Conducting Research in the FSM

Welcome to our research information page. This information may be used until December 31, 2023 afterwhich an updated policy will be in effect starting January 1, 2024. We appreciate your interest in conducting research related to our history, culture, and natural environment here in the Federated States of Micronesia. In Micronesia, our people, land, history, culture, and ocean are all connected, thus, Title 26 of the FSM Code (President’s signature may be required) and the Federated States of Micronesia Cultural Research Policy (updated 30 May, 2018) guides research practices for all proposed projects in the Federated States of Micronesia. Thoroughly read both our National Cultural Research Policy and relevant State Research Policy along with the guidance on this page prior to initiating the research process with our office since the fee covers one round of feedback only. 

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 (also known as FSM NACH or National HPO). 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.

National Cultural Research Policy

With respect to the National Cultural 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 acceptance 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. Acceptance to be a local counterpart on a project does not guarantee a permit.
  4. Email to FSM NACH and Director (a) the receipt of the non-refundable application fee wired to the FSM Treasury, (b) filled out permit application with Data Sharing Agreement (DSA), (3) research project proposal, and (4) evidence of CITI Training in ethical research (social sciences and biological) (this 4th requirement will be implemented starting January 1, 2024). Note: The fee covers the administrative costs necessary to review and provide feedback for each protocol but does not indicate a research permit will be granted. The proposal will be reviewed by the FSM Office of NACH (who will then contact relevant State/agencies) and will provide feedback on the proposal one time to the applicant. Be sure there is only one person corresponding about the proposal.
  5. After the second review of a proposal 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 not following 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

Updated 20 September, 2023.