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Are you planning to use one or more of the restricted data products distributed by the Health and Retirement Study? Begin by inspecting the What's Available and Order Form pages to see the list of available restricted data products. Documentation for many of these is available from the HRS Public File Download Area (registration required). You may wish to examine the documentation to see if the restricted data product in question will meet your research needs.

Next, review the following step-by-step flowchart (or text narrative) which outlines procedures for preparing and submitting the Restricted Data Application that must be approved in order for you to obtain these files. For details on merge restrictions, please review the HRS File Merge Reference. There are limitations on the reporting of analysis results produced by using HRS restricted data. A full description of these limitations is contained in Maintaining Respondent Privacy and Anonymity: Guidelines for HRS Restricted Data Users

Your next step is to decide how to access HRS restricted data: the MiCDA Enclave Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) or a traditional licensing agreement. The research plan and data order form are the same for each environment, but the data security and confidentiality requirements are different.

If you choose the VDI (the default), follow the instructions outlined on the HRS - MiCDA Enclave Application Information page.

If you choose traditional licensing (deprecated), prepare your data security plan by referring to Developing a Data Security Plan and the Data Protection Plan Checklist. You will also need to submit the Confidentiality Agreement. The traditional licensing approach will only be approved in special circumstances.

Special procedures must be followed to obtain Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) research data. See the HRS/CMS Research Data page for information on how to apply for (and pay for) these data. Users with content questions related to Parts A and B Claims and Summary Files may wish to review the variable definitions and frequencies for the Standard, Geographic, and Provider Releases.

Flowchart describing the Restricted Data application process. Eligibility           Application Procedures Research Plan Data Security Plan Research Plan VDI Data Security Plan VDI Order Form RDA Agreements RDA Modification Acceptable Use Policy Extension Annual Renewal Audits Termination Order Form ISR Confidentiality Pledge VDI Agreement(s) Traditional CA