Call for Research Proposals: Support for transnational access to official microdata PDF Print
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Support for transnational access to official microdata - call for research proposals under the FP7 EU project “Data without Boundaries” (DwB)


Highly detailed or “confidential” microdata from other countries are often not available for research purposes. Or, if they are available, researchers have to go through diverse national accreditation processes and self-finance their access. To enhance access across borders to official microdata for comparative research, DwB gives you the unique opportunity to work with data from a number of European countries.

What data are available?

The data are those available through specific Research Data Centres (RDCs) from France, Germany , the Netherlands and UK. The data do not include public or scientific use files such as those available from national data archives or Eurostat. Depending upon the RDC, available datasets are business data and household surveys considered to be too detailed, confidential or sensitive to be provided through standard access mechanisms.

Business data can be used to research into areas such as productivity, national and international trade and investment, innovation, manufacturing and industry, retail trade, turnover and earnings.  We particularly welcome applications that aim to explore and understand national differences in productivity, particularly in the current climates of recession.

Household surveys generally provide detailed information about households and household members.  Potential areas for research include household and family structures, living arrangements (incl. non-marital cohabitation), sexual division of labour, low-income households, earnings, poverty and expenditure, including long-term changes.  We particularly welcome applications that aim to explore these areas.

What support is available?

The RDCs/DwB will:

  • provide support and access to microdata via guest stays ranging from one to three weeks or, depending upon the RDC, remote access/execution
  • support researchers with national accreditation processes and, where application forms and information about the data are not in English, will assist with translation.
  • reimburse travel and accommodation expenses (subject to an upper limit) either for visiting the RDC prior to remote access, for onsite access (including any access fees), for any mandatory training, accreditation or enrolment purposes.



Who can apply?

Academic researchers, including PhD students, resident in countries within the European Union or the European Free Trade Association, are eligible. Researchers should apply to RDCs that are not in their country of residence (they may independently use microdata from their own country of residence).

The data will be of interest particularly to researchers in sociology, demography, economics and geography. Comparative research projects requiring access to multiple RDCs are very welcome. Note, however, that it is not possible to pool/combine data from different RDCs.



How to apply

Please first check the availability of the designated datasets and contact the Research Data Centres to check the feasibility of your project with these data. As soon as the Research Data Centre confirms the feasibility of your project, please send an application form before 15th May 2013 to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it describing your research project.  Your application must name specific Research Data Centres and Datasets. You must clearly demonstrate why you need highly detailed data incase public or scientifc use versions of the data are available.

This is a continuous call and there will be additional opportunities to apply - additional deadline dates are 15th October in 2013 and 15th April and 15th October in 2014.

For details of how your application will be evaluated see Application process. A decision will be made not later than six weeks after the deadline. Applicants will also have to go through the national accreditation process for which DwB will provide help.


What are the expected outcomes?

Researchers are expected to publish their results and may be given the opportunity to present them in at least one international conference organized by DwB with travel and accommodation expenses paid for.

A Research Infrastructures: User group questionnaire will need to be completed online.

Queries about the call and the application process should be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Visit the FAQs section before sending any queries.