Application process and guidelines

Application process and guidelines are based on the affiliation of the Principal Investigator and the type of research being conducted at a Research Data Centre.

Based on the descriptions of the type of research project below, researchers may draft a proposal as part of their Research Data Centres (RDCs) Application.

Application process for academic researchers

Application process for academic researchers
Type of research - academic Description
Faculty research (non-student) A research project conducted by a faculty member or staff of a Canadian post-secondary institution. The research is not funded by a federal, provincial or territorial government department.
Masters or doctoral research (students) A research project conducted by a student of a Canadian post-secondary institution. The project forms an integral part of thesis or dissertation work that is not funded by a federal, provincial or territorial government department.
Program of research (academic) A series of academic projects linked by a common theme; often funded by a large research grant for a program of research
Academic course A course designed to teach graduate level students methodology related to complex survey data analysis.
Unaffiliated academic research These steps are designed for academic projects conducted by a researcher who works for an academic institution that is not a member of the Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN).

Application process for government funded researchers

Application process for government funded researchers
Type of research - government funded Description
Government funded research - federal A project based on statistical work involving employees of a federal government agency for the purposes of policy development research. Academic consultants hired on contract are eligible to apply under this mode of access. Researchers working for a non-governmental organization, on a project for which it has received a grant or contribution from the federal government, are not considered to be federally funded.
Government funded research - provincial / territorial A project based on statistical work involving employees of a provincial or territorial government agency for the purposes of policy development research. Academic consultants hired on contract are eligible to apply under this mode of access. Researchers working for a non-governmental organization, on a project for which it has received a grant or contribution from the provincial/territorial government, are not considered to be provincially/territorially funded.
Program of research - federal A series of federal government policy based projects linked by a common theme; often funded by a large research grant for a program of research or related to a Request for Proposal (RFP).
Program of research - provincial / territorial A series of provincial or territorial government policy based projects linked by a common theme; often funded by a large research grant for a program of research or related to a Request for Proposal (RFP).

Application process for all other researcher types

Application process for all other researcher types
Type of research - other Description
All other researchers For researchers wishing to conduct a project in an RDC who are not from an academic institution, nor are receiving funding for the project from any level of government

The policies and procedures governing the RDC program

The RDCs provide a rich source of Statistics Canada microdata for researchers, under secure conditions that govern all aspects of work from data access to publication of analytical output.

Researchers whose projects are approved will be subject to a security check before being sworn in under the Statistics Act as 'deemed employees.' Deemed employees are subject to all the conditions and penalties of regular Statistics Canada employees, including fines and/or imprisonment for breach of confidentiality. In addition, all results to be physically removed from secure areas will be carefully screened for confidential data, whether as direct listings or as possible residual disclosures.

Please note:

Academic applicants:
The personal information that you provide in your application will be shared electronically on an external email system with SSHRC and Statistics Canada staff who require this information. The proposal submitted will be shared electronically with reviewers, SSHRC and Statistics Canada staff. This information will be used for processing your application and to determine your access to data. This information will only be shared with individuals who have a need to know.

All other applicants:
The personal information and proposal that you provide in your application will be shared electronically on an external email system with Statistics Canada staff who require this information. This information will be used for processing your application and to determine your access to data. This information will only be shared with individuals who have a need to know.

If you have any concerns, or for more information on Research Data Centre policies, please contact us at statcan.mad-hoou-dam-ssobc.statcan@canada.ca. You may also request to receive the following documents:

  • Guide for researchers under agreement with Statistics Canada (PDF). This guide describes the legal obligations, procedures and policies that apply to RDC researchers.
  • Orientation session for Research Data Centre Users (PPT). This powerpoint presentation summarizes key elements of the guide for researchers.

Record Linkage with RDC Data

Most of Statistics Canada's micro-data master files contain unique record IDs associated with respondents such as persons, families or households. To protect the confidentiality of survey respondents, RDC researchers are not permitted to attempt any record linkage either between data files (e.g. Census and CCHS) or among cycles of a survey (such as CCHS 2009 and CCHS 2010).

When requesting access to multiple data files in an RDC proposal, researchers should avoid terms such as 'linking' or 'matching' and instead refer to 'complementary' or 'parallel' analysis when describing the possible output from different data files or surveys.

On occasion, Statistics Canada will consider RDC proposals that require formal record linkage. These proposals require separate approval from senior management. Please contact your local RDC for more information on record linkage.

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