STAGE 1b of the DATA ACCESS PROCESS: Completing and submitting the Data Access Request (DAR)

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Getting started

Understand from the beginning that this is a formal process and you need to be meticulous. Approach the Data Access Request (DAR) submission process with the same diligence you would apply to submitting a major grant application. It takes time, planning, and close attention to detail. It is the Applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the DAR application is complete, clear and consistent.

To create an online DAR, please login to and select ‘Researcher Tools’ tab, then ‘Data Access Request – DARonline.’ On this page you will be able to generate a new DAR and see a list of the previous DARs you created online. You will also see DARs that others have created if they added you as another DAR editor.

If you do not have a my.popdata account yet, please register for one here:


  • Ensure that all sections of the DAR form are completed according to the instructions
  • Ensure that all supporting documents are included
    • Ethics review application (approval can be pending)
    • Peer Review documents – funding/supervisor letter/CV
    • External Data request (if applicable)
      • Application
      • Data field list
      • Approval (can be provided when available)
    • Consent form (if applicable)
  • An incomplete application package will not be accepted for review by Population Data BC (PopData)


  • Decide on the details of your study prior to completing the forms and submitting your DAR package
  • Fundamental study details such as study population, data linkages and research objectives should not change following submission to PopData as this will restart the review process
  • If questions arise as you prepare your DAR package for submission, work with the Data Access Unit to clarity any uncertainties (e.g. data availability, data linkage processes, etc)


  • A DAR submission involves multiple documents which outline the details of the study. Project information in all documents must be consistent. For example:
    • Project title
    • Research team members
    • Research objectives
    • Data requested
    • Study population
    • Data storage location
    • All dates and date ranges
  • We recommend using the exact wording on all documents (copy and paste is encouraged to reduce minor inconsistencies)
  • Data Stewards are making decisions based on the study specifics in the DAR and supporting documents. If, for example, the DAR and Ethics application have different cohort definitions it is not possible for adjudication to proceed.


DAR submission steps

  1. Submission to PopData
    • Create a new DAR on
    • Once the DAR is complete, please go to ’Section 15: Submission to DAU.’ Here you can check off that your application is indeed complete and correct, as well submit the DAR to the DAU. Make sure to click on one of the save buttons. The status would change to ‘Submitted to DAU – Initial’ and your DAR will no longer be editable.
  2. Initial Review: The DAU will check for completeness of the DAR submission package
    • If incomplete the applicant will be notified. The DAR’s status will be set back to ‘Draft’ so that the research team can make the appropriate changes. To re-submit the DAR go back to ‘Section 15: Submission to DAU.’
    • If complete the DAU will perform a detailed review.
  3. Detailed Review: the DAU will review the DAR submission package for feasibility, clarity and consistency
    • If revisions are required, the DAR status will be set to ‘Draft Revision’ so that the research team can make the appropriate changes. To re-submit the DAR, click on 'Submit Draft Revisions' on the main page of the DAR.
    • DAU will not proceed with further review until all required revisions are received. If the application is complete, the DAU will ask the research team to do a final review.
  4. Final Review: the research team does a review before submission to the Data Steward(s)
    • Final review done by research team is done to make sure everything is correct before sending the application to the Data Stewards.
    • To confirm, the Applicant will select ‘Submit’ in the ‘Final Submissions’ section.
    • If changes are needed, the Applicant will let the DAU know.
  5. Submission to the Data Steward(s)
    • The DAU will submit the application on behalf of the Applicant to the relevant Data Steward(s) online.

Page last revised: July 14, 2020