Prince George, BC – Researchers at the University of Northern British Columbia and around the region now have a secure connection to Statistics Canada population, household survey and administrative microdata through the UNBC Research Data Centre.
“The Research Data Centre is a meaningful addition to UNBC’s research capacity,” says UNBC President Dr. Daniel Weeks. “It will facilitate microdata analysis by UNBC researchers as they seek answers to critical questions facing British Columbians and Canadians.”
Prior to the opening of the UNBC Research Data Centre, researchers from Northern B.C. travelled to larger centres, including Vancouver and Ottawa, to access the secure computers necessary to conduct their work. Approved researchers, which can include faculty members, graduate students and others in the community, will now be able to access that same survey, census and administrative microdata in the data centre located on the first floor of the Geoffrey R. Weller Library at the UNBC Prince George campus.
“Statistics Canada is delighted to mark the launch of the Research Data Centre at the University of Northern British Columbia,” says Anil Arora, Chief Statistician of Canada. “This centre will promote scientific research by making Statistics Canada population and household microdata available to researchers. The work that will be done here will inform public policy and public debate, while maintaining the confidentiality of the data involved.”
The facility at UNBC is a Branch Research Data Centre affiliated with the British Columbia Inter-University Research Data Centre, which is, in turn, a member of the Canadian Research Data Centre Network.
The UNBC Research Data Centre received support from Statistics Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Northern Medical Program and Northern Health.
“We’re proud to support access to secure and sensitive data by researchers in the north. The Research Data Centre is important from a health perspective because we will now have access to information that can help us to better understand the needs of the people we serve in Northern British Columbia” says Fraser Bell, Vice President, Planning, Quality & Information Management, Northern Health.
UNBC is one of 29 University campuses in Canada to host a Research Data Centre.
“Supporting health research that seeks to make a difference in the lives of Northern B.C. residents plays a key role in our program,” says Paul Winwood, Associate Vice President, Northern Medical Program, UNBC, and Regional Associate Dean, Northern BC, UBC Faculty of Medicine. “This new centre will help both our researchers and their colleagues at UNBC, and in the north, to more easily pursue their scientific queries.”