Academic access

Information on accessing the Data Innovation Program as an academic project.

Last updated: February 9th, 2022


  • The Project Main Contact must have a formal academic appointment with a university or college in Canada
  • Project Team Members must be those with a formal academic appointment, faculty members or employees employed by, or graduate students currently enrolled at same university or college as the Project Main Contact
  • The project team should be an exact match to the approved research ethics board application for the project and any discrepancy must be explained on the Data Access Request (DAR)
  • Projects must be:
    • In the public interest
    • For the time-limited purpose of addressing a specific set of research questions that require access to more than one data set
    • Publicly funded and provide proof of available funding
    • Approved and certified by a recognized research ethics board, as defined by the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans
    • Successfully peer reviewed
  • The Project Main Contact must complete an institutional confirmation form, signed by a representative of their institution. The Institutional Representative is someone who has the authority to acknowledge that the institution is aware of and supports the project’s application to the Data Innovation Program, confirms that funding is available and that the institution agrees to pay all invoices related to the project and provides the contact information for invoicing. Depending on the specific institution's organizational structure, this may be one or more individuals. Additionally, if a project is funded by more than one institution the institutional confirmation form is required from each funding institution

Team roles and responsibilities


Project Main Contact

  • Takes legal and ethical responsibility for the project and bears the overall responsibility for the conduct of the project, including the activities of Project Team Members  
  • Submits the Data Access Request (DAR); Project Team Members may support content creation for the DAR
  • Fulfills the activities as listed on the approved DAR, engagement agreement, and oath of secrecy 
  • Acts as a point of contact for all communication between the Data Innovation Program and the project
  • Submits output checking requests, Project Team Members may also submit
  • Submits of any DAR amendments
  • Submits pre-publication review requests
  • Adheres to the communications and pre-publication requirements
  • Fulfills the activities, accountabilities, and responsibilities listed on the approved DAR, engagement agreement, and oath of secrecy
  • Adheres to the communications and pre-publication requirements
  • Submits output checking requests
  • Has the authority to acknowledge that the institution is aware of and supports the project’s application
  • Confirms that funding is available and that the institution agrees to pay all invoices related to the project and provides the contact information for invoicing
  • Can be more than one individual where a project funded by more than one institution (a separate institutional confirmation form is required from each funding institution)


Project stages

The following identifies the project stages and key considerations in the Data Innovation Program. While the Data Innovation Program does its best to meet its target timeline of six to eight weeks to approve data provision, sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances or project specific needs that delay access. The Project Main Contact will be notified as soon as possible of any changes to projected timelines.



Projects can prepare for a smooth approval and access process by ensuring: 

  • The project is discussed at a high level with the Data Innovation Program before beginning the DAR
  • Applicants thoroughly read the information on the DAR online page and using the “help” guides when answering questions on the DAR
  • Project fees have been estimated and funding is secured. To estimate the project's cost, see the services list below
    • If a letter is required to support the funding application, contact the Data Innovation Program
  • The institutional confirmation form is completed
  • The project has a completed peer review and has an ethics certificate. The project team should be an exact match to the approved research ethics board application for the project and any discrepancy must be explained on the DAR
  • Every individual listed on the DAR or the ethics certificate completes a declaration of research independence 


Ensure that the DAR is fully completed prior to submission. After the DAR is submitted, the Project Main Contact and Project Team Members assigned the ability to edit the DAR can:

  • Monitor online where the DAR is in the approval process
  • Respond to comments or make any edits to the DAR, as required
  • Request updates on timelines for project approval and data provisioning

Review and approvals

  • Some datasets require an additional level of approval (ICBC, Perinatal and Pharmanet). Projects using these data sets will be notified during pre-review of the extension to the approvals timeline
  • Final project approval is provided by the Director of Statistics

Data access

Once a project receives approval, the project team will receive an onboarding package within three days of project approval. To access the data, the project team must:

  • Complete all access requirements
  • Attend an onboarding session

Making changes to an approved project

When changes occur after a project approval, the project team must complete a request to amend the DAR. Changes include:

  • Adding, removing, or replacing Project Team Members
  • Changing the Project Main Contact
  • Changing or revising research questions or methodology
  • Extending the project timeline
  • Requesting additional data

Once submitted, the DAR amendment is pre-reviewed and forwarded for final approvals.

Changes to an approved project may incur fees, for more details see the services list.


Output checking

Before removing research results from the secure analytics environment, all projects are required to have their outputs checked. Output checking is in place to ensure that any results removed from the secure analytics environment or discussed outside of the project team adhere to the Statistics Act.

Output guidelines will be provided during the project onboarding.

Pre-publication review

Projects are required to submit any materials that will be used or discussed in any external communications for review to ensure there has been no gross misuse of data, the terms of the engagement agreement have been complied with, and the data is appropriately referenced and cited.

Learn more about the Data Innovation Program communications and publication requirements.


Project closure

When a project is nearing its end date, the project team must complete the closure checklist provided by the Data Innovation Program. Following the checklist ensures projects are archived according to the program requirements. Upon closure, the entire project team loses access to the contents of the project folder in the SAE.


 Services and fees

The Data Innovation Program recovers fees associated with processing applications, provisioning data and supporting projects. Depending on the needs of the project, the fees may vary. The table below provides the fees for each type of service. 


Services and fees table




Cost per unit
Plus 5% GST
Base project fee All projects are subject to the base project fee which includes the following services:
  • Two years of access, start date begins when data is released to the project folder
  • Access for three users, including Project Main Contact
  • Output checking and pre-publication request processing for duration of project
  • Project archiving for up to seven years
Adding an additional year of access Continuation of data access and extension of project end date for one additional year beyond the initial two. $3,200.00
Adding a Project Team Member Add one team member to a project (additional members beyond the initial three). $325.00
Replacing a Project Team Member Removing a team member and adding a team member in the same transaction after the project has been approved. Results in the same number of team members. $225.00
Adding data Request to add data not identified in the initial data access request. $1,700.00
Changing study design, research questions or methodology Revise the project's study design, research or methodology, after project has been approved initially. $200.00
Refreshing project data Per project, includes all available refreshes for data sets, per year/refresh. $1,525.00


To contact the Data Innovation Program team, please open a ticket here.