Application Process

Research Proposal

Prior to being granted access to confidential data files through the MiCDA Data Enclave, applicants are required to submit a research proposal containing the following information:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Project Title
  3. Abstract
  4. Sponsoring Institution Approval: Users must provide full personal identification and institutional/organizational affiliation. If the prospective user is a student, a letter from the department chair or advisor stating that the applicant is a student working under the direction of the department must be provided. Student Applicants: Please provide name, title, and contact information of advisor.
  5. IRB approval from sponsoring institution
  6. Current resume or Curriculum Vitae
  7. Dates of proposed tenure at the Data Enclave
  8. Funding source(s) for user project and for Data Enclave cost recovery
  9. A detailed summary of the proposed research including a description of why publicly available data are insufficient to meet research needs, and/or why existing contractual methods for restricted data access are not feasible
  10. A complete list of the MiCDA data files being requested (See Resources)
  11. A description of user supplied data, if any, to be merged with the MiCDA data. This includes documentation, file layout, number of records, and restriction on MiCDA using the data (user-supplied data will not be released to anyone other than the prospective researcher)
  12. A list of software requirements (See Resources)
  13. A description of expected analysis results including (1) a list of data elements to be exported from the Data Enclave and (2) storage format for exported data
  14. A list of special needs requirements (if any). The MiCDA Data Enclave will make appropriate efforts to accommodate special needs.
  15. Two signed copies of Confidentiality Agreement Restricting Disclosure and Use of Data from the Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging Data Enclave
  16. Two signed copies of the Institute for Social Research Pledge to Safeguard Respondent Privacy

Portions of doctoral proposals or grant applications with appropriate modifications may suffice for the research proposal. Users may wish to contact Data Enclave staff while developing their research proposal. The completed proposal should be sent to the Data Enclave Administrator.

User Charges

Researchers using the MiCDA Data Enclave will be charged for space and equipment rental, staff time necessary for user assistance, disclosure limitation review, maintenance of computer facilities (including both hardware and software) and the creation and maintenance of data files required by the researcher.

User Category Daily Charge
Academic $200
Government $200
Student $50
Other $500

The daily charges for each user category are given in the table above. Cost recovery charges reflect equipment purchase and maintenance charges, workspace, staff time for monitoring the Data Enclave, technical assistance, disclosure limitation review, and file management. An additional charge of $500 per day of staff effort will be levied for:

For further information, contact the Data Enclave Administrators.

Proposal Review Process

When the research proposal package is received, it is logged and scheduled for review by the MiCDA Case Review Group (CRG). A Project Number is assigned for use in tracking the proposal as it moves through the review process. If problems are found with the proposal, the CRG will contact the applicant and provide assistance in resolving them. The CRG reviews each proposal to make certain that all items listed on the Application Checklist are present and complete. The CRG also reviews cost recovery details. Once a proposal is complete, it is forwarded to the MiCDA Data Confidentiality Committee (DCC) for final approval or disapproval. The DCC reviews the proposal using the following criteria:

  1. Scientific and technical feasibility of the project (including availability of data files being requested)
  2. Approval (if necessary) by third-party data providers
  3. Availability of resources at the Data Enclave
    • workstation time slots
    • file pre-processing schedule
    • analysis review schedule
  4. Risk of disclosure of restricted information based on the userâs description of expected analysis results
  5. Whether the proposed project is in accordance with the mission of the MiCDA

Users should note that approval of their application does not constitute endorsement by MiCDA of the substantive, methodological, theoretical, or policy relevance or merit of the proposed research. MiCDA approval only constitutes a judgement that this research proposal meets the criteria defined above.

User Agreement

The Confidentiality Agreement Restricting Disclosure and Use of Data from the Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging Data Enclave must be signed by both the researcher and a representative of the MiCDA Data Enclave. Once the agreement has been executed, prospective users should contact the Data Enclave Administrator to schedule their visit. Users should review the agreement and make sure that they are aware of their responsibilities in using the Data Enclave.

User-supplied Data

User-supplied data must be reviewed by Data Enclave staff prior to the beginning of work. User data may be provided in a variety of formats: ASCII (delimited or fixed) SAS, Stata, and SPSS. Complete documentation is required and can be provided in machine-readable or printed form. Note that complex files requiring additional staff work will delay the user in beginning her/his research.

Once any user data file is linked to a restricted file, it becomes restricted itself and can only be removed from the Enclave network after it passes the disclosure review process.

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Last Change: October 3, 2011