Conducting Research

To access the RDC, your project must be approved by the Census Bureau. Once approved, you will receive special sworn status. The links on this page will give you important information about the application process. If you are planning to submit a project proposal please contact the RDC administrator early in the process.

Datasets available at the RDC are created from censuses, surveys, and administrative data. Demographic and economic data are provided by the Census Bureau, while the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) provide health-related data. You can view more information on what public- and restricted-use data sets are available through the RDC.

Available Census Datasets

Available NCHS Datasets

Available AHRQ Datasets

Introduction to Research Using the RDC
Learn what is needed to become an investigator qualified to conduct research at the RDC. Review the necessary policies and procedures to help get your proposal accepted. Learn about properly accessing the RDC facilities and conducting approved research. Once a research proposal is accepted, researchers have access to secure data for their approved projects.

How to Apply for Access
Get your project started. Learn about research requirements and steps for conducting research with the RDC.

Research Handbook [PDF]
A detailed guide through each stage of conducting research with the RDC.

Writing the Benefit Statement [PDF]
All projects using Census data must provide a statement of the benefits of the project to the Census Bureau.

Applying for Special Sworn Status
After your project is accepted you must receive Special Sworn Status before you can access the data. The RDC administrator will provide the instructions for SSS after your project is approved.

Computing and Software
To access restricted data, researchers must conduct analyses on location in the RDC. Learn about the computing environment and download computing tutorials.

Policies & Procedures
Review details about using Penn State’s RDC. There is also information on publishing results, fees, and funding.

Geographic Information Analysis Programming
GIA assists researchers in collecting, organizing, and processing geospatial data.