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UT Austin Federal Statistical Research Data Center

What is the UT Austin RDC?

The University of Texas at Austin Research Data Center (UT Austin RDC) is part of the Federal Statistical Research Data Center program run by the U.S. Census Bureau. The UT Austin RDC is operated as a branch of the Texas Research Data Center based at Texas A&M University. The UT Austin RDC provides qualified researchers the opportunity to perform statistical analysis on non-public microdata from the Census Bureau, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Learn more about what RDCs offer here.

UT Austin-based faculty, postdoctoral, and graduate student researchers as well as  non-affiliated researchers are welcome to apply to use the UT Austin RDC. UT Austin-based researchers can use the UT Austin RDC or the main TXRDC at Texas A&M for free, as fees are covered through generous support from the Office of the Vice President for Research, the College of Liberal Arts, the McCombs School of Business, the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and the Department of Economics. Researchers not affiliated with UT Austin generally cover lab fees with a grant or other institutional funding.

What data can be accessed through the UT Austin RDC?

Microdata from numerous federal statistical agencies is also available through the UT Austin RDC. The full list is available here; examples include:

  • Microdata files from the Census including individual-level demographic and geographic information
  • The National Crime Victimization Survey from the Bureau of Justice Statistics
  • The Current Population Survey and the National Longitudinal Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • The National Health Care Surveys, the National Survey of Family Growth, the National Survey of Children’s Health, as well as morbidity, mortality, Medicare, and Medicaid data from the National Center on Health Statistics

A searchable list of all restricted-access data from the Federal Statistical System, including data available through the RDC, is available at

What is the process for accessing data at the UT Austin RDC?

Step 1: Explore what datasets and variables are available through RDCs. A searchable list of restricted-access data from the Federal Statistical System, including data available through the RDC, is available at Once you navigate to the site, conduct a search and then filter using the Access Modality menu on the left side of the page that appears; click the box next to “FSRDC” to find datasets accessible through our RDC.

Step 2: Contact the UT Austin RDC Administrator for guidance on project feasibility and proposal development. It is important to contact the UT Austin RDC Administrator (contact information is below) early on about your prospective project to help you navigate the process and answer your questions.

Step 3: Submit a proposal to access datasets. To perform research within the Texas FSRDC at Austin requires the development and approval of a proposal. Support for proposal development can be found via the agency managing the applicant’s chosen datasets.  Proposal guidelines for each of the federal statistical agencies housing restricted-access data can be found on their web pages, with links to the proposal process available at

All proposals to access federal restricted micro-data are now submitted via the Standard Application Process portal.  After selecting desired datasets at, applicants must select “Request Access” to create an application account, managed by ICPSR. Applicants should have developed a proposal template with the FSRDC Administrator prior to proposal submission via the SAP portal.

Step 4: Receive Special Sworn Status Clearance to Access Restricted-Use Micro Data in the RDC. All researchers wishing to access the RDC must pass a background check and complete mandatory data-protection training to receive Special Sworn Status (SSS). Upon finalizing the SSS process, researchers complete an in-person orientation to the secure Austin RDC lab computing environment. Foreign nationals are welcome to participate in the FSRDC program but must have lived in the United States for at least three of the previous five years. Details of SSS can be found at:

Additional step for researchers not affiliated with UT Austin: For researchers not affiliated with the University of Texas at Austin or with the TRDC Consortium there is an access fee of $10,000 annually to use the UT Austin RDC. Please contact the Executive Director (contact information below) for more information.

Step 5: Lab Orientation and Project Start .When SSS is obtained and data are ready in the computing environment, the researcher will be contacted to schedule a lab orientation in the UT Austin RDC.  Upon orientation completion, researchers will gain access to a research terminal connecting to the data warehouse, located in Maryland. Data servers are NOT housed at FSRDC sites. Researchers will receive brief training and access to documentation on dataset access via their project space in the lab; however, researchers are responsible for their own analyses of the data. Information about the RDC computing environment is available on the Texas RDC website:

Step 6: Output removal process for working papers or publication. When researchers are ready to remove statistical output from the FSRDC for publication, they must submit a formal request for disclosure avoidance review. All output must undergo the clearance process. Statistical results intended for circulation in working papers and publications are screened by the Census to avoid disclosure of confidential information prior to release from the center. The UT Austin RDC Administrator will guide researchers in the disclosure review process. Approved output receives a disclosure case number that must be cited along with a standard disclaimer provided by the Census and an acknowledgement that data was accessed through the UT Austin RDC.


Elizabeth Gershoff, Executive Director, University of Texas at Austin Research Data Center

Population Research Center
University of Texas at Austin
305 E. 23rd St., Stop G1800
RLP 2.216
Austin, TX 78712-1699
Phone: 512-471-0018

Riannan (Ri) Wade, FSRDC Administrator, US Census Bureau

Texas Federal Statistical Research Data Center – Austin Branch
Population Research Center
University of Texas at Austin
305 E 23rd St. Stop G1800
RLP 2.216
Austin, TX  78712-1699
Phone: 512-232-4839


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