Tips for a successful application

  1. Review the website of the data linkage unit(s) from which you are requesting data for: information about the data collections available; any mandatory training; and details of the application process.  Ensure that you also visit the PHRN website if you are planning on conducting a cross jurisdictional project.
  2. Applicants are strongly advised to contact the client services team via phone or email before applying for data. Be sure to discuss any questions, doubts or concerns you have before you begin your application.
  3. Ensure your application is complete. Answering all questions and including all documents at the start will minimise confusion and time-wasting.
  4. Administrative data is not collected for research purposes and consequently has its limitations when used for research. Make sure that the available data is capable of answering your research question and you are familiar with the data collections and any limitations. To do this: a) check the meta data available; b) speak to client services; and c) in some cases client services may direct you to speak directly with data custodians.
  5. Request ONLY the data sets and variables that are necessary to answer your research question, but do your best to request all that you need in your application to avoid amendments. Make sure that the study population definition answers your research question.
  6. Make sure that the information in your application for data form is identical to the information you provide for your ethics application.
  7. Each project will be assigned a project number. Use the project number you receive from the data linkage unit in all correspondence.
  8. Carefully review, record and respond promptly to letters/emails/phone calls from the data custodian(s)and client services staff, and keep copies for your records.
  9. Before your ethics approval expires, renew it. Send the approval letter to client services staff. If your approval expires your access to data will be terminated.
  10. Request renewal of data retention date if necessary via client services, prior to the expiration of your agreement.
  11. Inform client services staff of any changes to your contact information.

Source: Adapted with permission from Popdata BC 2014 https://www.popdata.bc.ca/