Initial Application for DNORS Restricted Data

Researchers interested in using the DNORS Restricted Data must first submit an initial application. This package should include a brief Research Proposal, a detailed Data Protection Plan, and a check to cover the fee for administrative and handling costs.

Research Proposal

Applications for all levels of restricted data begin with a preliminary application and must include a brief Research Proposal - no more than two pages - that includes the following points:

  1. Specific aims of the projects;
  2. Scientific significance of the proposed research;
  3. Types of variables from DNORS that the researcher intends to use for the proposed research;
  4. Justification of the need for the given version of Restricted Data;
  5. An analysis plan;
  6. A proposed start date and end date for the project.
  7. Full details of current federal funding for researchers applying for Restricted Data Version 4 (including agency; grant number; dates of grant or contract; and name, phone number, and email address of the federal program officer with responsibility for the project).
  8. If the researcher applying for the Restricted Data Version 4 does not have a current federally-funded grant but is an associate of a federally-funded research center, the application must include a letter of support for the application from the Center Directory assuring that the center will supervise the use of these data according to the conditions specified in the Restricted Data Use Agreement and the project's Data Protection Plan, if RAND approves the application. The letter must include the description of the federally-funded center grant(s) (including agency; grant number; dates of grant or contract; and name, phone number, and email address of the federal program officer with responsibility for the project). For example, in the case of an NIH-funded population research center, this information must be provided for the R24 grant that provides infrastructure funding for the center.

Data Protection Plan

The Data Protection Plan is an important part of the signed agreement between RAND and the Restricted Data Investigator. If the agreement is executed, all members of the research team with access to the Restricted Data are contractually obligated to follow all aspects of the Data Protection Plan.

The fundamental goal of the protections outlined in this plan is to prevent persons who are not signatories to the Restricted Data Use Agreement or the Supplemental Agreement with Research Staff from accessing the data. RAND will not approve the preliminary application if the plan is not written with sufficient specificity, or if RAND does not deem the data protections to be adequate.

Researchers must provide a concise but detailed Data Protection Plan as part of their application to receive DNORS Restricted Data. To receive Version 4 of the Restricted Data, researchers must submit a detailed description of a secure data enclave in which the data will be stored and used (see below).

The Data Protection Plan applies to the original DNORS Restricted Data files received from RAND (regardless of its format), to any copies made by the research team, and to any new data derived solely or in part from the original DNORS Restricted Data files. The plan also should address how computer output derived from the data (for example, case listings), will be kept secure.

What a Version 1 Data Protection Plan should include What a Version 2 Data Protection Plan should include What a Version 3 Data Protection Plan should include What a Version 4 Data Protection Plan should include

Application Fee

The fee to cover administrative and handling costs is $150 for Version 1, and $650 for Versions 2, 3, and 4. Please note that the fee is non-refundable under any circumstances and that we cannot accept payment by credit card at this time. Checks should be made payable to RAND Corporation and should be mailed, along with the preliminary application, to:

DNORS Database
RAND Corporation
1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138

Initial Application Checklist for Version 1 (pdf) Initial Application Checklist for Version 2 (pdf) Initial Application Checklist for Version 3 (pdf) Initial Application Checklist for Version 4 (pdf)