OVERVIEW OF APPLICATION PROCESS
The PSID has promised anonymity to its respondents and protection of their data to the fullest
extent available by federal and state law. The PSID takes this promise very seriously, and it
is the basis for the contract process.
The materials and process needed to apply for PSID restricted data are described below. Access to
PSID restricted data may be obtained through an enclave supported by the Michigan Center on the
Demography on Aging (MiCDA). As described in detail on the
MiCDA webpage, the MiCDA Enclave
provides a secure computing environment for accessing restricted data files, including both a
secure physical location at the Institute for Social Research in Ann Arbor, as well as secure
remote access through a Virtual Data Enclave. A variety of
are available for use in the enclave.
A contract must be established between the user’s institution and the University of Michigan.
In order to obtain this contract and gain access to the MiCDA Virtual Data Enclave, the user
must submit the following materials (see below for description):
- Curriculum vitae
- Research plan
- Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval
- Data request form
- MiCDA acceptable use policy (AUP)
- VDI-Data security plan
Institute for Social Research Confidentiality pledge
- After approval, a $750 non-refundable administration fee will be collected.
Review of the application is typically completed within two weeks once all materials are received.
Once approval is granted, PSID sends the contract to the applicant for institutional signature.
For the vast majority of contracts, signatures are obtained within several weeks. The time to
complete the contract may be longer if the requesting institution representatives wish to negotiate
contract language with the University of Michigan. We have been successful negotiating contracts in
virtually all situations. Please submit application materials electronically to:
Review the memo
Personnel Requirements for Obtaining PSID Restricted Data
to ensure that you and your staff meet the requirements for obtaining the data. Submit a copy
of your academic resume or curriculum vitae as well as those of all participating research staff.
Applicants for PSID restricted data must provide a short (1-3 page) research proposal that
includes a synopsis (or a full statement, if necessary) of the goals of the research
- the types of variables from the PSID restricted data you intend to use in your research;
- what other data, if any, you plan to merge with the PSID restricted data.
why you believe the unrestricted versions of those variables, if any, are not adequate
for your research purposes. For example, “State of residence” for the respondent is available
on the PSID public-use file, and may meet the needs of some research projects as well as finer
levels of geography that are restricted.
- the names and roles of all individuals involved in the research project and whether they will be accessing the enclave
Individuals who are applying for Census Block and Census Block-Group data must describe the exact
links they plan to make to Census data. This information is described here:
Special Information for Requests for Census Block and Block-Group Data.
Human Subjects Review
You must provide evidence of review by your institution’s Institutional Review Board/Human Subjects Review
Committee/Privacy Board. No exempt or abbreviated review, or lower standards (such as sometimes used for "secondary
data analysis") will be accepted. Please submit your IRB approval with your application materials.
Data Request Form
The Data Request Form
should be submitted with the application materials. Researchers must substantiate in their
Research Plan their use of all Restricted Data File(s) being requested.
Contract for Use of Restricted Data
Upon approval of the application materials by Restricted Data Committee, an
of the Contract(s) for Use of PSID Restricted Data will be sent for institutional signature. The
Investigator(s), Co-Investigator(s), Research Assistants, and the Representative of
the Receiving Institution must sign the contract. The Representative is someone authorized to
enter into contractual agreements on behalf of the Receiving Institution. The Representative
then sends the electronically signed contract back to the PSID at the University of Michigan
where representatives for PSID, MiCDA and the University of Michigan sign the contract.
After University of Michigan representatives electronically sign the contracts, a fully
executed electronic agreement will be sent to the investigator or appropriate parties upon request.
Note: In the event that the Investigator changes institutions, the current contract is no
longer valid and a new contract must be completed that includes a revised VDI-data security plan
reflecting the new work environment and Human Subjects Review by the investigator’s new institution.
A non-refundable administrative fee in the amount of $750 must be submitted with the signed contracts.
The fee covers the expense of creating the data files and documentation, up to four hours of
consultation with the PSID user services staff, and the costs of administering the contract.