HRS Data Access Requirement

Application Procedure for Restricted Data

Preliminary Steps. Having reviewed the What’s Available page and selected a dataset of interest (see the Order Form), a researcher who meetseligibility requirements should begin the application process by reviewing the application materials and procedures. If the researcher decides to go forward, s/he should submit an preliminary application package containing a research proposal and data protection plan.

When the application is received by HRS, it is logged and scheduled for review by the HRS Data Confidentiality Committee Working Group (DCC-WG). If problems are found with the application, the DCC-WG will contact the researcher and work with him/her to resolve them. Once the application is complete, the DCC-WG will notify the researcher that s/he may submit the application to his/her local Institutional Review Board and/or Contracting Authority for review. Once the researcher obtains approval from the local IRB s/he should submit the signed originals of the institutional approval documents to the HRS.

Final Review. At this point the application is complete and it is forwarded to the full Data Confidentiality Committee (DCC) for review and approval. If approval is granted by the DCC, the Principal Investigator of the HRS will sign the restricted data agreement, and the restricted data product(s) will be sent to the researcher. Once the researcher acknowledges receipt of the product(s), access codes will be forwarded by HRS staff and work can commence.

Post-application Activities. If the institutional or physical circumstances of the Researcher change, (e.g., new persons added to the project, hardware/software changes, or office moves) s/he should contact the HRS in order to modify the underlying agreement. In addition, researchers should be aware that a yearly recertification of the restricted data agreement is required. Also, researchers who wish to continue with analysis of the data after the expiration of the initial agreement will need to submit a renewal request. Finally, all users of HRS restricted data should be aware that they will be periodically audited by a representative of the HRS in order to ensure that all conditions of the Restricted Data Agreement are being met.


Items Required for the Initial Request

  • A research proposal including a synopsis (or a full statement) of your research that specifies: (1) the types of variables from HRS Restricted Datasets you intend to use in your research; (2) why you believe the unrestricted versions of those variables, if any, are not adequate for your research purposes.
  • A detailed Data Protection Plan

HRSContact and Information, click here.


For more information on requests and examples, click here.