Fees and Invoicing

NCHS charges user fees to help pay for administrative functions and operational support of the RDC. In many cases, the RDC does not recover the full cost of RDC services through user fees. RDC researchers are expected to pay user fees.  NCHS data partners and survey sponsors should refer to their inter-agency agreements with NCHS for more information about fees.  In most instances, researchers will be charged a management fee and a usage fee; please see details below.  Also, there are additional fees for researchers who conduct their work at Federal Statistical RDCs (FSRDC); please see below for details.

Management Fee:

The management fee covers the cost of processing the researcher’s proposal, processing required paperwork, setting-up computer accounts, creating/managing the researcher’s analytic data file and disclosure review of output as described in the approved proposal.

The table below provides the management fees you should expect for your project.  Please note that data years are counted per year.  For example, 2006 – 2010 NSFG counts as five (5) years even though it is a single cycle of the NSFG survey. Researchers cannot request a single year of data that is released in a multiple year cycle.

RDC Management Fee Based on Data Years

Table shows that the RDC management fee is calculated based on number of years of data as described in the proposal
Data Years Requested [1] Fee
1 to 6 $3,000
7 to 8 $  3,750
9 to 10 $  4,500
11 to 12 $  5,250
13 to 14 $  6,000
15 to 16 $  6,750
17 to 18 $  7,500
19 to 20 $  8,250

1 Add $750 for every 2 years of survey data over 20 years

After the proposal has been approved, researchers must merge as many of the public-use and external data files together as possible and deliver a complete merged file to the assigned RDC analyst to expedite creation of the analytic data file. The merged file must include only the public-use and external variables that were listed in the data dictionaries that were provided in the approved proposal.

Other Fees:

The RDC also charges fees for proposal amendments, project renewals, and the cost of conducting Special Sworn Status (SSS) checks for researchers who conduct their projects at a FSRDC.  Please see details in the table below.

Other Fees for RDC Services

Table provides a list of other RDC services and their associated fees
Type Description Fee
Amendment Fee All RDC projects are limited to two (2) amendments during the three-year life of the project.  There is a charge for any proposal amendment beyond this limit of two amendments. Proposal amendments can include adding public-use or restricted-use variables to the original data file, revising the requested output as listed in the original proposal or transferring projects between RDC locations.  There is no charge for adding or removing persons from the project team. $750
Renewal Fee For projects that need to continue beyond the three years, an updated proposal is required and a proposal renewal fee is charged. See Application Process for more information. $1,500
Special Sworn Status (SSS) Fee The SSS fee only applies to researchers who will conduct their project at a FSRDC and do not currently have SSS.  The Census Bureau determines the cost of the SSS application fee and passes this fee to NCHS. SSS application fee is independent of and in addition to the overall total project fee. $1,800 per person

Onsite Usage Fees:

There is an onsite usage fee when you come to a NCHS RDC to conduct your research.  To estimate the Usage Fee, consider the amount of time needed to complete your research, your programming skills, and research team work processes.  For example, a programmer responsible for reporting back to a team may want to factor in additional days to address team concerns.  The full Usage Fee is applied for any fraction of a scheduled day.  Usage Fees are invoiced as onsite usage occurs.  FSRDC usage fees vary by location.

Onsite Usage Fees 

Tables list the fees associated with onsite use of the RDC.
Access Location Usage Fee
NCHS RDCs $300 per day
Federal Statistical RDCs Varies by location; please contact FSRDC administrator for details


The table below provides an example of possible fees that a researcher might incur over the course of three years if the project were conducted at a NCHS RDC.

Example of RDC Project Charges
Table shows the typical fees associated with an example RDC project over the course of three years
  RDC Project Charges Management Fee Other Fee Usage Fee Total
Year 1 Management Fee: 1-6 survey years Onsite Usage Fee: 5 days @ $300 per day            $3,000         $0         $1,500    $4,500
Year 2 Onsite Usage Fee: 3 days @ $300 per day             $0         $0        $900    $900
Year 3 Other Fee: 3rd amendment Onsite Usage Fee: 2 days @ $300 per day             $0         $750         $600    $1,350
Total   $3,000         $750          $3,000     $6,750


Payment Options:

 Credit Card and electronic payments:    

The NCHS RDC prefers electronic payment for receipt of fees. This avoids lost checks. Please request electronic payments instructions from your RDC Analyst.

 Checks and money orders:

  • Make checks payable to: DHHS for Statistical Services
  • All checks and money orders must include the invoice number.
  • Organizations must also include their institutional EIN (Tax ID).
  • Payment must be received on or before the project start date.
  • Mail payments to:

Research Data Center
National Center for Health Statistics
3311 Toledo RD, Metro IV Rm 5583
Hyattsville, MD 20782

The RDC is not responsible for checks lost in the mail. The RDC strongly recommends sending checks using a tracking number to help avoid lost payments.

Government Agency Payment Options:  Federal Government Agencies can pay by credit card or check. Discuss this option with your Financial Management Office.

An Interagency Agreement (IAA) must be at least $3,000 and cover all project cost for the period of performance.  All IAAs must be processed before May 31st. For more information, please contact rdca@cdc.gov.

 Refunds: The RDC does not have the financial capabilities to provide refunds.