Applying for Access

Applying for Access


Reporting Requirements


Policies on Use and Disclosure


Acknowledgments and Disclaimers

The following describes the process for applying for access to use the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository (Repository) in research projects. MCHP acts as a steward for the databases housed in the Repository and specific approvals are required for use. The process for getting approvals follows three broad steps. Once approvals are in place, the project can be initiated.

1. - Research Proposal

2. - Approvals for Research

3. - University of Manitoba (U of M) – MCHP Researcher Agreement

4. - Project Initiation - Analysis / Data Extraction

Expect the process to take 4 months from initial submission of the MCHP Project Feasibility and Data Access Quote Request form to receipt of all necessary approvals and agreements. Should you have questions about the Applying for Access process, please contact


The Research Proposal process includes developing the proposal, completing the MCHP Project Feasibility and Data Access Quote Request Form, submitting the proposal documentation to MCHP, and completing the MCHP Accreditation. The proposal will go through a feasibility review to ensure that the research you are proposing is possible. For private sector / industry sponsored submissions, a non-refundable fee is also required.  See section 1.2 below for more information.

For assistance and consultation prior to the development of your research proposal, please contact Charles Burchill at


Developing a research proposal is the first step towards accessing the data in the Repository. Your proposal should contain the information outlined below. If a proposal has been developed for funding purposes then it will usually be sufficient for submitting with a feasibility review. A list of databases and fields will also be required.

  • Objectives of the Research – this should include a list of the objectives / purpose of the research, and describe what the project is trying to achieve.

  • Methodology Section – at a minimum, please include the following information:

    • Type of study – please describe the type of study you are proposing. For example, identify if the study design is cross-sectional, longitudinal, and if a cohort is required. If the study is longitudinal, changes in data values occurring over time need to be taken into account. Examples of this include residential moves / changes, classification / coding changes (e.g. Hospital Abstract coding change from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CA on April 1, 2004), and family structure changes / alterations. For more information, please read the MCHP Study Design and Methods web page.

    • Type of analyses – please specify the methods that will be used in your project and indicate whether original data fields can be used or whether values must be derived. For example, if you are creating a scale of values, indicate the categories and what range of values fit into each category. Also, indicate whether existing MCHP methods / techniques are to be used, or if new methods need to be developed. The MCHP Concept Dictionary and Glossary contains information on many different methods already developed by MCHP using data in the Repository. Examples include an income quintiles, geographical analysis by health regions, and the Charlson Comorbidity Index. If the methods / analytical techniques are new, please describe them or provide references to available information.

    • Use of Disease / Medications / Procedure / Classification Codes – if you are defining specific diseases / conditions, medications or procedures, please specify the codes you plan to use in your study, if you know them. This may include specific International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes using ICD-9-CM, ICD-10, or ICD-10-CA; Canadian Classification of Health Intervention (CCI) codes; or physician tariff codes for diagnoses, tests, and procedures; or Drug Identification Numbers (DINs) for medications.  The MCHP Concept Dictionary and Glossary contains information on the codes used in MCHP research to define many different diagnoses, conditions and procedures / interventions. NOTE: The use of multiple codes within various time frames (as opposed to a code at one point in time) may require extra programming.

    • Project Location – please specify where your analyses will take place; either at MCHP or through Remote Access. Under the existing data agreements, MCHP cannot provide extracted data subsets outside of MCHP physical space.

  • MCHP Resources – MCHP will provide analytic and data support on a cost-recovery basis, with timelines dependent on the availability of MCHP resources. The type / level of support required from MCHP to complete the project should be identified in the proposal, indicating the role of MCHP and noting where conceptual definitions and / or code already exist for various methodologies.  Typical support needs and considerations include:

    • Data extraction - is it necessary to build and test an analytical dataset?

    • Data processing – will all the data in the project use existing Repository data, or will additional data be required? If there is a new database involved, it will require additional approval from the data source organization and involve extra work (e.g. linkage, transfer, installation, and understanding of the data) in order to access the data.

    • Data analyses (e.g.: programming code development) - are basic descriptive analyses, such as frequencies and means sufficient for completion of analyses, or are more complex analyses like hierarchical linear modelling, exploration of interaction effects necessary? It should be clearly stated what outcomes / dependent variables are being examined.

      NOTE: MCHP supports SAS software as the analytic platform.

  • Physical / Computer Workspace – please indicate any physical / computer workspace needs.

    Does the project have its own programmer / data analyst that requires the use of MCHP facilities? (e.g. an embedded programmer).  MCHP should be contacted for availability of resources and for the data access fee that will need to be included in the budget.

The MCHP Training Feasibility Research Data may be used by MCHP to take a preliminary look at the suggested data and methodologies to determine the feasibility (e.g. are there sufficient conditions / events / data to support the methods proposed) of your project.


Every proposal must be submitted to MCHP for feasibility review with a completed MCHP Project Feasibility and Data Access Quote Request Form. This form collects required information, including:

  • Project Information – the full title of the project; the name of the Principal Investigator (PI); contact information; the Project Coordinator / PI assistant; indication whether the project is a thesis; the U of M associated investigator (if required); whether the project is related to another MCHP project, the data requirements, and where the project will be located.

  • Funding Information and Timelines – if the funding information (e.g. source, amount) is known at the time of proposal development, please include the information on the form. If funding is being applied for, please indicate this on the form along with the amount expected. Timelines for the project start and end dates should be included on the form if possible.

  • MCHP Accreditation Status – an indicator of the researcher’s current MCHP Accreditation status. NOTE: MCHP accreditation must be completed prior to the start of a research project and must be maintained on an annual basis. For more information, please see the MCHP Accreditation Requirement section below.

The Project Feasibility and Data Access Quote Request form is available on-line at: MCHP Project Feasibility and Data Access Quote Request Form

    NOTE:  This fillable pdf form can be completed and saved / emailed as a pdf file when using Adobe Reader 9 or a newer version. Please see for more information about Adobe. If the form does not open in your browser properly, right click on the FORM link above and download the form to your local system. Use Acrobat Reader to open and complete the form.

    NOTE: A non-fillable, printable MCHP Project Feasibility and Data Access Quote Request Form can be printed, completed and submitted electronically as part of the proposal documentation.

List of Databases Required

In Appendix 1 of the Feasibility Form, please list all of the databases required from the Repository – please specify the database names and years required, and why the data are required. To assist with the development of this list, please see the following MCHP resources describing the Repository data:

  • MCHP Data List – provides a summary list of data available in the Repository, including the years of data available and the data provider / approving agency for each database;
  • MCHP Years of Available Data Chart - this chart provides a graphic illustration of the years of data available for each database; and
  • Repository Data Descriptions – provide detailed descriptions of each database available in the Repository.

Example List of Repository Databases Required for a Project - The link below provides an example list of databases required for a project.

In Appendix 2 of the Feasibility Form, please list all of the databases for the project that do not originate from the Repository and must be brought in to MCHP. Information should include the full title of the project, name of the Principal Investigator, database name, database source (where the data originates / is maintained), contact person at the source, the organization name providing / approving use of the data, a description of the database (e.g.: personal identifying information, specific service / agency related data, start / end dates, etc.), and what type of Data Sharing Agreement is required.

    NOTE: The primary data approval bodies (HIPC and HREB), MCHP and other approval agencies require a list of all the data that will be used in your project. Creating a table with the following information will meet the requirements of HIPC, HREB, MCHP and other approval agencies: the data provider, database name, years of data required, data fields / variables required, and the rationale / explanation of how the requested data relates to the study purpose, question(s), and hypotheses. If the data is not directly related, include an explanation of why the data is required. A table that includes all of the information identified above means you will only need to create one version of the table for your project.

Additional Guidelines

We recommend that an MCHP researcher familiar with use of the Data Repository be included in the project team. Additional guidelines to assist in the development of your research proposal include:

  • If the proposal is a Student Thesis, please review the MCHP Guidelines for Student Use document.  Students are expected to submit their project separately from any ongoing research project.

  • Private Sector / Industry Sponsored Funding – research projects seeking or acquiring private sector or industry sponsored funding have additional rules and guidelines. For more information, please review the following information:

    MCHP will provide academic and analytic support for private sector / industry sponsored research projects. Please contact for more information.

    NOTE: A non-refundable fee of $2,000.00 will be required for all private sector / industry sponsored applications using the Repository. The fee is for review of the private sector / industry sponsored proposal and contract only, and is not an assurance that a project will receive approval. Additional fees may be applicable from other data providers / organizations (e.g. HREB) involved in private sector / industry sponsored research projects.

    Research projects funded by the public sector (e.g. the Government of Canada, Health Canada, PHAC, Province of Manitoba) are not subject to this fee.


Please send all of the completed proposal-related documentation to the MCHP Repository Access Coordinator at  The documentation should include:

  • the Project Proposal documentation,
  • the completed MCHP Project Feasibility and Data Access Quote Request Form, and
  • any additional supporting documentation developed for the proposal (e.g. funding and timelines for completion of the project, previously developed grant proposal documentation for the project, application for funding support (see below)).

Please allow at least 10 working days for processing. If the project is not feasible or requires clarification, you will be contacted by MCHP to discuss alternative solutions / additional information required. If the project is feasible, you will receive a formal signed reply from the Associate Director of Data Access and Use (ADDAU) confirming that the project is possible, including estimated costs (the quote letter) and a document outlining the next steps for the project.  MCHP will provide templates or information on the process for requesting approvals (see section 2 of this document) for health and non-Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living (MHSAL) data once MCHP is notified that project funding is secured.

Other MCHP Considerations

  • Funding Support for Students using the Repository – Funding is available for graduate students that will be using the Repository through the Evelyn Shapiro Award.


MCHP Accreditation - all principal investigators and analysts must complete the MCHP Accreditation Process prior to the start of their research. This includes signing the U of M PHIA Pledge.  MCHP recommends attending an Accreditation session prior to starting proposal development.


The following approvals must be obtained prior to the start of any research using the Repository:

  • Health information Privacy Committee (HIPC),
  • University of Manitoba, Health Research Ethics Board (HREB), and if necessary
  • Non-Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living (MHSAL) Data Providers.

Obtaining the appropriate approvals from HIPC and HREB (see below for more information on the HIPC and HREB web sites) is the responsibility of the researcher or project coordinator.

MCHP will assist in facilitating approvals from the non-MHSAL data providers and completion of the Researcher Agreement form (see U of M – MCHP Researcher Agreement section below). MCHP will send the necessary templates and requirements after feasibility process is complete – please do not use templates from prior submissions.

For private sector / industry-sponsored research projects being done by MCHP, MCHP will assist in facilitating approvals from HIPC, HREB, non-MHSAL data providers and completion of the Researcher Agreement form. Please contact for assistance.

Copies of all submissions to all organizations, and the subsequent approvals, must be forwarded to MCHP.

The approvals required include:

    1. Health Information Privacy Committee (HIPC)

    • See the HIPC Submission Information web site for current information about the HIPC submission process, a list of Submission Requirements, instructions and guidelines for completing a HIPC application, the HIPC Application form, when the next scheduled HIPC meeting is being held, and where to send the HIPC submission.
    • HIPC Application – [HIPC Form - Annotated Example - pdf] – Note: This example may use an outdated Application form and is for guideline / illustration purposes only.

    2. University of Manitoba, Health Research Ethics Boards (HREB) Requirements

    • HREB approvals are applicable to all U of M employees, students, academic appointments and researchers affiliated with the WRHA. Submission to HREB must come from U of M or WRHA associated researchers.
    • See the Office of Ethics and Compliance - Submission Requirements web page for current information on the HREB submission process, including guidelines, submission deadline dates, common REB submission pitfalls documentation, and a link to the submission form. NOTE: The nature of research using the MCHP Data Repository requires completion of the HREB Submission Form for Retrospective Chart or Records Review.
    • HREB Application – [HREB Form - Annotated Example - pdf] – Note: This example may use an outdated Application form and is for guideline / illustration purposes only.


    • Please check for updates to the HIPC and HREB requirements before submitting your application as they change periodically.
    • HIPC, U of M HREB, and other approval submissions may be submitted at the same time, but processing time may vary depending upon approval committee meeting schedules.
    • Your project may be subject to review by the University of Manitoba Research Quality Management Office.
    • Non-U of M researchers and external researchers may require confirmation from other ethics boards that the proposed research project meets the required ethical standards.

    3. Non-MHSAL Data Providers (if applicable)

    • If your project requires access to data from non-MHSAL data providers (e.g. WRHA, DSM, Education, Family Services, Justice) you must submit additional requests for use of the data and receive approvals from these agencies.   The approval agencies will be identified in the letter from the Associate Director of Research Access and Use.  The MCHP Repository Access Coordinator will provide the necessary templates or processes for requesting these approvals.

PLEASE NOTE: amendments to your proposal and the original approvals will not be accepted by MCHP during the initial proposal and approval process. Submitting an amendment prior to final approval being in place may lead to delays in project commencement. Please submit amendments after all aspects of the initial proposal and approval process have been completed.


Once HIPC's final approval / all of the necessary approvals are obtained, MCHP will provide a current template of the U of M - MCHP Researcher Agreement, or Student Agreement, along with guidelines for completion. The most current template of the Researcher Agreement must be used, or your proposal may be delayed/rejected!

Please complete the Agreement and send all of the following documentation to the MCHP Repository Access Coordinator at Please allow 3 weeks for processing.

  • the completed Researcher Agreement;
  • the complete HIPC submission, including a copy of your proposal and proof of funding;
  • the HIPC letter of approval to proceed with study;
  • the HREB letter of approval to proceed with study;
  • any non-MHSAL data provider approvals; and
  • any additional approvals (e.g. Data Sharing Agreements) and data requirements that are not managed through MCHP.


Once all of the approvals are in place, MCHP will identify an analyst, allocate system space and setup access as required from the proposal. This process may include the following actions:

  • MCHP will setup a time to meet with the research team to confirm the data and analytic requirements before starting any processing.
  • MCHP will complete the required analysis or extract the data as required.
  • If a member of the research team requires access to the MCHP analytic systems, an account will need to be setup and configured. A Computer Application / Access form will need to be completed and sent to the MCHP Data Access Coordinator.
  • The MCHP Finance team will contact you for billing information (e.g. U of M FOAP or payment information for externally funded projects).

Projects that have a set system access fee, either through remote access or as a private sector / industry sponsored contract, will be invoiced at the start of the project. Work requested of MCHP staff will be invoiced once every month for the hours spent during the prior month. The hourly rate is the current rate as identified in the current accreditation material - see Costs - Hourly Rate on page 14 for the current hourly rate. The number of hours estimated, and used, for a project can be queried from either the analyst working on the project or Charles Burchill at any time.

Some remote access sites or users pay a static annual system access fee for use and access of the MCHP analytic systems. This is invoiced once/year and is based on a system use agreement. This annual fee covers the back-end support required to maintain the Data Repository, computer systems, and network security. Sites or users without a predefined access fee are invoiced a system access fee for each project.

If an invoice remains outstanding for more than a month, a reminder will be sent to the research team. After two months, if the invoice is not paid, the project will be closed at MCHP and no more work from MCHP staff will be completed. If three months or more has passed, the project will be archived and an invoice will be sent to the dean or unit director of the researcher. If the archived project is the only project associated with a researcher or analyst on our system then the userid will be locked. Projects may continue to have active approvals so the researcher can continue to write and publish manuscripts or complete presentations, but access to MCHP systems and analysis will be limited.


MCHP currently works with several government / education related organizations to provide remote access to the MCHP Data Repository and analysis system. Remote access to the Repository data for specific approved research projects follow the same process that is described above. Remote access was originally setup in 2009 through the support of a Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Leading Edge Fund to Patricia Martens and the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy.

For more information on remote access, please contact Charles Burchill at

Should you have questions about the Applying for Access process, please contact

Last updated: October 3, 2018

        Contact Information:

        All correspondence relating to Repository Access should be sent to:

        This is a shared mailbox that is accessed by the MCHP Repository Access Team which includes: Charles Burchill, Kara Dyck, Emily Jones and Farzana Quddus.

        MCHP Project Feasibility and Data Access Quote Request Form

        The following standard statement should be used on all publications using data from the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository:

        The authors acknowledge the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy for use of data contained in the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository under project # (HIPC#). The results and conclusions are those of the authors and no official ednorsement by the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, Manitoba Health, Seniors & Active Living, or other data providers is intended or should be inferred.