Part of accessing an FSRDC is identifying, developing, submitting, and getting approval of a project that uses restricted-use data. Prior to developing a proposal, researchers should consult with the KCFSRDC Census Administrator ( to make initial contact and discuss preliminary proposal ideas. The proposal review process is lengthy and rigorous, below is the average timeline of initial contact to first stepping into the lab:

Proposal Development StepEstimated Time
1. Contact RDC Administrator to discuss project ideas and identify project. ~1-2 months
2. Read the RDC Research Proposal Guidelines and develop a 2-3 page proposal. (Submit through ResearchDataGov and e-mail to your Administrator. 2-3 weeks
3. Apply comments and go through iterations of edits for proposal with Administrator until a final proposal is complete. ~1-2 months
4. Submit the proposal for Census Review, where a few internal Census employees will read and provide feedback on whether to approve the proposal. ~3 months
4a. If denied, apply comments and prepare to resubmit the proposal. Proposal will go back for Census review. ~1-2 months
4b. If using FTI or other IRS data, the proposal will go through IRS review after approved by Census (can apply for Special Sworn Status during this review time).* ~2-3 months
5. Once project is approved, apply for Special Sworn Status (detailed below) and complete all necessary pre-RDC trainings. ~2-3 months
6. Gain access to the RDC, complete RDC-specific trainings, and begin working on your project. ~2 weeks
**The Administrator will discuss with you whether or not your project requires this round of review and the additional steps necessary.

Writing a Proposal for NCHS, AHRQ, BLS, or BEA

For more information on NCHS, AHRS, BLS, and BEA proposals, please see the following links:

  • NCHS
  • AHRQ
  • BLS
  • BEA