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 a 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 acknowledgment from their Dean of Graduate Studies.

How to apply

Applications for data access are submitted through the Microdata Access Portal (MAP).

Microdata Access Portal application process

Contact the RDC Academic Director, Berenica Vejvoda, at with basic questions on qualifications or on completing your application.

An analyst at the UWO RDC at Western can review your application before it is submitted to make sure it meets all requirements: Tina Luu Ly or Victoria Gaudin at .


Streamlined 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 (.pdf):

  • 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

The Research Data Centres program (RDC) is part of an initiative by Statistics Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and university consortia to help strengthen Canada's social research capacity and to support the policy research community. RDCs provide researchers with access, in a secure university setting, to microdata from population and household surveys.

The centres are staffed by Statistics Canada employees. They are operated under the provisions of the Statistics Act in accordance with all the confidentiality rules and are accessible only to researchers with approved projects who have been sworn in under the Statistics Act as "deemed employees".

RDCs are located throughout the country


The RDC is wheelchair accessible. One accessible workstation with a height adjustable work surface is available. An accessible washroom is located in the basement of the Leddy Library.

Visitors and guests

Only persons with security clearance are allowed entry into the RDC. Researchers may not escort individuals who do not have security clearance into the centre. The physical security of the equipment and the data is the legal responsibility of each researcher as a 'deemed employee' of Statistics Canada.

Laptops and cell phones

In order to maintain confidentiality of the Statistics Canada microdata, personal electronic devices such as laptop computers and cell phones are not allowed to be used in the Windsor RDC.

Statistical Assistant

A Statistical Assistant is present during operating hours to assist researchers with using the RDC. Because it is a branch operation, there is no RDC analyst on site, which means that research output and computer programs are not vetted locally. In the host RDC (Western), the RDC analyst will vet the output before releasing the information to the researchers.

The Analysts in the host RDC co-ordinate the administration of the research contracts in the branch (in collaboration with the Statistical Assistant) and also provide remote assistance on questions related to survey content.