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BLS Restricted Data Access
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For an application to be considered, the proposed research project must meet the following criteria:

  • Be exclusively statistical in nature.
  • Have technical merit.
  • Be of significant interest to the BLS.
  • Further the mission of the BLS.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the BLS to determine the availability of data and the feasibility of their project prior to submitting their applications.

The following sections outline the requirements for the two possible types of research applications:

To be considered a Federal application, the application must come from: a) a Federal statistical agency, b) a statistical unit within an otherwise non-statistical Federal agency as determined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), or c) a non-statistical, non-regulatory, and research-oriented unit of a non-statistical Federal agency.

Non-Federal Applicants

Non-Federal research applications must contain the following materials:

  1. Research Proposal. The research proposal should be between 5 and 10 pages in length and include the following information:
    • The hypothesis that will be tested.
    • The data set and variables that will be used in the analysis.
    • The empirical methods that will be used.
    • An abstract summarizing the hypothesis to be tested, the data set involved, relevant variables, the empirical methods to be used, and the data outputs that will result from the project. (The abstract should be no longer than 300 words.)
    • The specific data outputs that will result from the project, including a description of whether the research results will be presented as descriptive statistics or frequencies, or via multivariate analysis such as regression coefficients.
    • A literature review including brief discussion of how the proposed research contributes to the existing body of research.
    • An explanation of why the research requires use of non-public data.
    • An explanation of why the research is of interest to BLS and how it furthers the agency’s mission.
  2. Non-Federal Visiting Researcher Questionnaire (PDF).
  3. CV/Resume. An up-to-date CV should be included for each applicant.

Timeframe

Applications are accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis. It typically takes three to six months after the application is submitted to BLS to receive approval for research proposals.

Once a proposal is approved, a legally-binding data-sharing agreement will be processed between BLS and the researcher’s institution or organization in order to grant the researcher access to confidential BLS data. It can take an additional three months to process and fully execute the legal agreement authorizing data access between BLS and the recipient institution or organization. Researchers should factor these estimates into their timetable for beginning research as well as any possible waiting lists for QCEW, CPI, PPI, and CE data.

All applications should be submitted electronically (in Word or PDF files). Please do not email "zip" files, as these will be automatically rejected by the BLS email screening mechanism. Applications should be sent to RDA_Admin@bls.gov.

Federal Applicants

Federal research applications must contain three materials:

  1. Research Proposal. The research proposal should be between 5 and 10 pages in length and include the following information:
    • The hypothesis that will be tested.
    • The data set and variables that will be used in the analysis.
    • The empirical methods that will be used.
    • An abstract summarizing the hypothesis to be tested, the data set involved, relevant variables, the empirical methods to be used, and the data outputs that will result from the project. (The abstract should be no longer than 300 words.)
    • The specific data outputs that will result from the project, including a description of whether the research results will be presented as descriptive statistics or frequencies, or via multivariate analysis such as regression coefficients.
    • A literature review including brief discussion of how the proposed research contributes to the existing body of research.
    • An explanation of why the research requires use of non-public data.
    • An explanation of why the research is of interest to BLS and how it furthers the agency’s mission.
  2. Federal Visiting Researcher Questionnaire (PDF).
  3. CV/Resume. An up-to-date CV should be included for each applicant.

Timeframe
Applications for Federal projects are accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis.

All applications should be submitted electronically (in Word or PDF files). Please do not email "zip" files, as these will be automatically rejected by the BLS email screening mechanism. Applications should be sent to RDA_Admin@bls.gov.

Last Modified Date: March 17, 2017