MCHP Data Access Process - Step 2 - Research Proposal
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Your Research Plan must contain a Research Proposal and the MCHP Project Feasibility and Data Access Quote Request Form that lists all of the databases you plan on using in your project.  The Research Proposal is described on this page. The Form is described in Step 3 of the MCHP Data Access Process.

The Research Proposal is a detailed description of your research project and is an integral piece of the Research Plan.  It is written by the Primary Investigator / Project Team and should contain the following information:

  • Research Objectives - a list of objectives / purpose of the research and a description of what your research project is trying to achieve;
  • Methodology Section - as a minimum, please include the following information:

    • Type of Study - describe the type of study you are proposing:
      • Identify if the study design is cross-sectional or longitudinal.
      • If a cohort is required, please describe the cohort in as much detail as possible.
      • 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 on the types of studies available, please read the MCHP Study Design and Methods web page.

    • Type of Analyses - describe the analytical methods that you plan on using in your project:
      • 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 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.
      • If possible, 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.

    • Identification of Disease / Conditions / Indicators / Outcomes / Dependent Variables - describe the specific diagnoses / conditions, procedures / interventions, and the indicators and outcomes that will be investigated in your project:
      • 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 and the Canadian Classification of Health Intervention (CCI) codes for diagnoses and procedures/interventions; physician tariff codes for services provided; or Drug Identification Numbers (DINs) for identifying prescriptions.
      • MCHP has developed many specific indicators / measures related to the areas of health, social, education and justice that can be used for different types of analyses. Examples include: premature mortality rate, children in care, high school graduation, and involvement in the justice system.
      • The MCHP Concept Dictionary and Glossary contains information on the codes used in MCHP research to define many different diagnoses, conditions and procedures / interventions, as well as algorithms for defining different types of indicators. This information will assist in identifying the databases you will need to use in your research.

        NOTE: The use of multiple codes within various time frames (as opposed to a code at one point in time) may require extra programming time.

    • Project Location - please specify where your programming / analyses will take place:
      • Indicate if you are planning to work with an MCHP analyst or through remote access. Please see Remote Access for additional information.
      • NOTE: Under the existing data sharing agreements, MCHP cannot provide extracted data subsets outside of MCHP's secure environment.
  • MCHP Resources - please indicate the type and level of support required from MCHP for your research project. MCHP will provide data and analytic support on a cost recovery basis, with timelines dependent on the availability of MCHP resources. The types of support you may require include:

    • Data Extraction - MCHP will extract the necessary data from the Repository for your project and provide you access to it in a secure environment.

    • Programming / Data Analyses Support - if required - do you have your own programmer/data analyst resources or will you require MCHP to provide programming/analytic support for your research project?  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?  MCHP will provide resources for SAS programming code development and data analyses support for your project on a cost recovery basis.

    • Physical / Computer Workspace Setup - If you require physical / computer workspace at MCHP please indicate this in your proposal.
  • Additional Resources - if your research project has additional resource requirements, please describe them. This may include:

    • Using project specific data that is not currently available in the Data Repository. Using project specific data involves additional steps and costs to your project, and requires written approval (e.g. a Data Sharing Agreement) from the organization providing the data. The steps involved in using project specific data in your research project include:
      • creating a Data Sharing Agreement with the organization providing the project specific data
      • data linkage at Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living (MHSAL);
      • a transfer of "linkage / crosswalk" data between MHSAL and MCHP;
      • a transfer of service data between the data provider and MCHP;
      • data installation at MCHP; and
      • time for MCHP to learn more about the project-specific data (if required).

      For more information on using project-specific data in your research project, please read the Data Request Guidelines for Project-Specific Data document and the information in Step 3 of the MCHP Data Access Process.

Recommendations and Additional Guidelines

  • We recommend that an MCHP researcher familiar with the Data Access Process and the use of the Data Repository be included in your research project team.
  • For Students - if the proposal is for a Student Thesis, please review the MCHP Guidelines for Student Use document. Graduate students (PhD and Masters level) are expected to submit their research plan separately from any ongoing research project. In most cases, Resident and Undergraduate (e.g.: BSc Med) research projects must be done as part of an existing, approved research project of an advisor.


The required tasks include:

  • Develop your Research Proposal - the proposal describes the objectives, methods and resource requirements for your research project in as much detail as possible.

    • Currently, there is no template for writing the proposal. However, we do recommend using the general structure described above.
    • Your overall Research Plan must also include a list of the databases you will use in your research project. Please see the next step in the MCHP Data access process for more information on identifying the databases you want to use in your research.

    Additional Tasks For Students:

    • Find an MCHP-affiliated researcher who will sit on your thesis committee. NOTE: There are specific requirements for this type of arrangement. Please review the MCHP Guidelines for Student Use document for more detailed information.
    • Meet with your proposed supervisor and the MCHP Associate Director, Repository, Data Access and Use to discuss the proposed research.

More Information

Next Step

The next step in the MCHP Data Access Process is Step 3 - MCHP Project Feasibility and Data Access Quote Form.

Page Last Updated:  April 13, 2020