PopData fees and charges

Estimates, quotes and invoicing

The following shows the timeline for communications of costs on a project:

PopData can provide a Feasibility and Cost Estimate letter that researchers can append to their grant applications. PopData recommends that researchers submit a feasibility and cost estimate request for budgeting purposes. This is an estimate of the PopData fees based on the researcher's rough project parameters described in the Feasibility and Cost Estimate Request form.

The Cost Quote, the actual amount to be charged, is only available after the DAR is approved and the details of the project are final. The invoiced amount equals the Cost Quote.

Further details on these various cost communications are provided below.


Feasibility and Cost Estimate Letter (FCE)

Data Access Unit staff are able to provide Researchers with a letter, that may be used for budgeting purposes, indicating the feasibility of data access and/or linkage for their specified research topic, and an estimate of costs. 

  • An FCE is project and grant specific; they should not be re-used for multiple grant applications
  • An FCE does not include costs for data or other services that are not provided by PopData
  • An FCE is not an approval letter; PopData has no ability to influence approvals
  • FCE estimates are broad in order to accommodate possible changes in the project through the grant application process
  • Researchers must include the amount on the FCE in their budget submitted to the granting agency
  • Projects that have not requested an FCE letter will be issued one upon initial work with PopData on the DAR

PopData is usually able to provide an FCE letter within two weeks. > You can request this letter online here

Proceeding with the DAR

Non-student Researchers may not proceed with DAR applications before funding is secured. If grant funding is not yet secured, or grant funding is unsuccessful, Researchers are required to show proof of financial support, in order to proceed with the DAR process. Researchers must still show proof of peer review in order to satisfy DAR requirements.

PopData has made a commitment that charges WILL NOT exceed the amount on the FCE letter, provided the project remains substantially similar.

The Cost Quote

Concrete cost quotations are only available after a Data Access Request (DAR) has been approved. The reason for this delay is because projects may change significantly from time of grant application to time of approval.  Upon receiving notification from the relevant Data Steward(s) that a DAR has been approved, Data Access Unit staff will prepare a Cost Quote. The Researcher must sign the Cost Quote in acceptance of the cost. The Researcher must also sign a Population Data BC - Researcher Services Agreement which formalizes the requested services and costs to be reimbursed to PopData. There may be multiple Cost Quotes for a single project, depending on the anticipated number of amendments, data deliveries or  extensions desired. 


Invoices match the Cost Quotes provided, and include details for payment. These are issued once the service is provided to the Researcher(s). 

Fees for students

For details, go to: Student cost waiver policy.

Third party and associated costs

Some data preparation services may result in related third-party costs. Currently, these include the costs from external data providers, for data that is not housed at Population Data BC. 


DARs/Projects snapshot

Total number of DARs/Projects currently with PopData:


Last revised May 10th, 2024

Tools and resources

We provide a range of tools and resources for researchers for use at different stages of the data access process.

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Need pan-Canadian data?

The Data Access Support Hub (DASH) is a one-stop data access service portal for researchers requiring multi-jurisdictional data in Canada.

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