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What is the Minnesota Research Data Center (MnRDC)?

The MnRDC is a secure research environment that allows approved researchers with approved research projects to use restricted-use microdata produced by federal statistical agencies in a secure research laboratory located at the University of Minnesota. The MnRDC is a part of the Federal Statistical Research Data Center Network. The MnRDC is a joint project of the University of Minnesota and the U.S. Census Bureau's Center for Economic Studies (CES). The MnRDC is additionally supported by the Minnesota Population Center the Office of the Vice President for Research, and the National Science Foundation. A full-time Census Bureau employee, the RDC administrator, is employed on site to oversee daily operations and the research process.

The lab has eight workstations, a conference room, and an office for the RDC administrator. The MnRDC provides each project with workspace, secure storage for research materials, and thin-clients to remotely access the data. Additionally, a reception area includes storage lockers, computers and workstations for access to the internet, and a small kitchen area.

What computing resources are available?

The servers are accessible via desktop thin clients; these servers are currently running on RedHat Linux. Available software includes SAS, Stata and R, as well as other data analysis, word processing, and spreadsheet programs. Please consult with the RDC Administrator if other software is necessary for your project. During normal business hours, the Administrator is available to provide computing and research support.

What are the costs associated with completing research at the MnRDC?

There are substantial financial costs involved in supporting research at RDCs. To recover those costs, CES or the RDC partner institution may impose user fees. Additional fees may be charged to projects that use data sets outside the core (including NCHS or AHRQ fees) or that impose other special costs on CES, the Census Bureau, or the RDC. Much of the costs associated with the MnRDC have been covered by the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota. However, University of Minnesota and other researchers should contact the RDC Administrator or Director regarding the current policy on fees.

How should manuscripts acknowledge the MnRDC and the RDC network?

ALL papers, books, chapters and monographs written using results obtained using confidential Census Bureau data at Census Research Data Centers must include the following disclaimer:

“The research in this paper [chapter, ...] was conducted while the authors were Special Sworn Status researchers of the U.S. Census Bureau at the [Census Research Data Center]. Research results and conclusions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Census Bureau. This paper has been screened to insure that no confidential data are revealed.” 

Where is the MnRDC located?

The Minnesota Research Data Center is located in Willey Hall (Room 27) at the University of Minnesota. Our mailing address is:

50 Willey Hall
225 19th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55455