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Applying for Restricted Use Data

The application must include the following:

  • Application for Restricted Data Files This includes information about the research project, the principal investigators, and the need for the restricted data. The application must include current CVs of all researchers who will be working on the project.

  • Instructions for Preparing the Data Protection Plan The fundamental goal of this plan is to prevent unauthorized persons from gaining access to the data.

  • Restricted Data Use Agreement This is a contractual agreement between ICPSR and the principal investigators and their organizations specifying the terms of the use of the data.

  • Supplemental Agreement with Research Staff This is signed by every person other than the principal investigators who will have access to the data. New staff added in the course of a project must sign this form before they can gain access to restricted data.

  • Researcher CVs Required for all researchers who will be working on the project.

Who Is Eligible?

Researchers Researchers can gain access to restricted-use data by demonstrating that they require the data for legitimate research purposes and by signing and adhering to the Restricted Data Use Agreement.

Furthermore, access to the restricted use dataset is limited to researchers employed by an organization possessing a current NIH Multiple Project Assurances (MPA) Certification Number (typically research-oriented universities). Access for individuals employed by organizations that do not have an MPA Certification Number may be obtained, however, upon the submission, review, and approval of the Application's Item #10 as well as the documents described in above.


Students may gain access to the restricted data under the supervision of a faculty advisor who will serve as Restricted Data Investigator. The faculty advisor and institution will ensure that the student meets all conditions of the agreement. The student must sign the Supplemental Agreement With Research Staff.

Multiple Institutions A separate Restricted Data Use Agreement must be completed for each institution

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