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Research

Researchers use RDC microdata to investigate a wide range of social, economic and health-related issues, from child poverty to eldercare, from school success to workplace stress, from Aboriginal well-being to immigrant integration, from family-life balance to mental health. This section informs you about the application procedure for accessing these microdata.

To find out what datasets are available in the RDCs, refer to our data page. For past publications using these data, consult our online bibliography in the publications section.To learn more about the research currently underway throughout the Network, you can browse the list of projects on Statistics Canada's website.

How to access RDC data

Application process and guidelines are based on the affiliation of the Principal Investigator and the type of research being conducted. Click on the appropriate link below to find out more. You may also contact your local RDC for information or assistance with your application or consult the Application process and guidelines.

Note that 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.

Application process for academic researchers:

Faculty research (non-student): For 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.

Master or doctoral students: For 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): For a series of academic projects linked by a common theme; often funded by a large research grant for a program of research.

Academic course: For a course designed to teach graduate level students methodology related to complex survey data analysis.

Unaffiliated academic research: 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:

Federal government: 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.

Provincial or territorial government: 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.

Government funded program of research: A series of 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).

Other types of access:

Fees apply to certain research projects conducted at an RDC. Consult the RDC Project Fees guide to know more.

Additional requirements for international researchers.

Additional requirements for census, NHS and LISA users.

Should I apply for RDC access?

Before submitting an application for access to an RDC, we recommend that you check whether Statistics Canada public use files (PUMFs) through the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) could meet your research needs. More than 75 Canadian universities participate to the DLI. To help you determine whether a PUMF meets your needs or if you need to access the Master File in a RDC, you can use the Master File documentation on the DLI Nesstar website.

You can also consult CANSIM a public and free database updated daily by Statistics Canada and providing a large range of tables on various topics with the latest statistics available in Canada.