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National Violent Death Reporting System

Restricted Access Database (RAD)

Guidelines for RAD proposals

To request NVDRS restricted access, case-level microdata, investigators must contact the NVDRS Science Officer (listed below) for application materials. At this time, there are no costs for accessing the RAD.

The NVDRS RAD application, estimated to be 2 to 5 pages, contains the following:

  1. Cover letter;
  2. Project title;
  3. Abstract: approximately 100-300 words summarizing the project;
  4. Full personal identification, institutional affiliation, and mailing addresses;
  5. The names of all other investigators who will be accessing the RAD files under the requesting investigator's supervision;
  6. Source of funding for the proposed project, if applicable;
  7. Background of study:
    • Key study questions or hypotheses,
  8. Summary of the variables needed for the proposed research.
  9. Explanation of why the data are needed- requestors must provide evidence that a legitimate public health purpose will be served by use of the data;
  10. Methods for the study;
  11. Description of the anticipated products, reports, and publications to be derived from the data analyses;
  12. Description of mechanisms that will be in place to secure the data, preserve confidentiality, and prevent unauthorized access. These mechanisms can include the data storage plan, limitations on access to the data, technical security practices such as password protection, use of stand-alone computers, encryption, and procedures covering networked computers and servers. At a minimum, the requestor must include with the proposal:
    • A completed and signed copy of the NVDRS Data Sharing Agreement (Note: All investigators on the proposal must sign this agreement),
    • Proof of the requesting investigator's/researcher's Ph.D. and research affiliation, and
    • A signed copy of approval from the body of the requestor's home institution that is charged with the ethical review and approval of research projects.
Eligibility to Apply for Restricted Access Database

In order to request the NVDRS RAD, the primary investigator must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have a Ph.D. or M.D.
  • Hold a research position or faculty appointment at his/her institution.
  • Home institution must be a research organization, government agency, or institution of higher education, which can include research foundations or grant-making organizations.
  • Agreement to comply with NVDRS RAD security, confidentiality, and data protection requirements as outlined during the review process.
Review Process

Upon receipt of the request, a committee will review all proposals to ensure they meet the requirements established to protect the confidentiality of the data. The RAD release review committee consists of a panel of scientific and data analysis experts within CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (CDC's Injury Center).

In each application the review committee will look for the following criteria:

  • Scientific and technical feasibility of the study;
  • Qualifications of all people who will have access to the data;
  • Consistency between requested data and study goals;
  • Description of any additional data that will be linked to NVDRS RAD data;
  • Anticipated publications or other dissemination of results;
  • Risk of disclosure of restricted information;
  • Protections in place to maintain confidentiality of the data, should it be provided; and
  • A legitimate public health purpose will be served by use of the data

At a minimum, the committee will review applications every quarter. Incomplete applications will be returned upon receipt. In addition, review of complex projects that require extensive communication between NVDRS staff and the investigators may take longer to complete. When your application is approved, you will be notified by email and then receive the data on a CD via courier.

CDC reserves the right to deny or terminate any project at any time when it deems an investigator's/researcher's actions may compromise confidentiality or ethical standards of behavior in a research environment. Investigators are permitted to conduct only those analyses that have received approval. Failure to comply will result in the cancellation of the research activity and exclusion from future research activities using the RAD.

NVDRS Science Officer Contact Information

For a copy of the NVDRS RAD application or to submit a proposal contact:

NVDRS team

R. Matthew Gladden
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Division of Violence Prevention
Surveillance Branch
4770 Buford Hwy NE, MS:F-63
Atlanta, Georgia 30341

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