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Getting Access

Who can access RDC data

Only researchers with an approved project can access RDC data. Legally, only approved government employees are allowed access to the files, a requirement that is dealt with by swearing in researchers under the Statistics Act as lifetime 'deemed employees' of Statistics Canada.

Applications can be made by individual researchers or by research teams led by a principal applicant. The principal applicant is responsible for submitting application forms on behalf of the team. Masters and doctoral students as well as undergraduates doing honours thesis work must apply as a co-applicant, with the faculty member who is supervising or advising them as the primary applicant.

International Researchers: International researchers must have a co-investigator who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. The co-investigator must be affiliated with a Canadian university and cannot be a Statistics Canada employee. The international researcher will be required to provide a reference letter. International researchers who are students will also be required to provide a letter of acknowledgement from their Dean of Graduate Studies. more details

How to apply

Full details of the application procedure, together with forms and sample copies of supporting documentation, are available on the Statistics Canada web site. In brief, application is made by writing up a project proposal (no more than 5 pages long), and submitting it along with researcher CVs and supporting documentation via the SSHRC web site.

Review of project proposals should take no more than 8 weeks. If the application is accepted, the applicant will next need to pass a  security background check.

Contact the RDC Academic Director, Dan Edelstein, at  with basic questions on qualifications or on completing your application. The analyst at the University of Western Ontario can review your application before it is submitted to make sure it meets all requirements.

Steamlined application for Graduate level courses

The RDC offers the opportunity for Faculty to provide Graduate level students with experience in complex data analysis through a course connected to the RDC. There are four types of courses:

  • Full semester course with student research papers
  • Full semester course with student assignments
  • Short term training course
  • Course exists outside the RDC but students are using the RDC