Access with VDI

Nearly all restricted data can be accessed through the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) system that allows users to remotely connect through a secure connection from their own desktop to a secure data enclave maintained by the Michigan Center for the Demography of Aging (MiCDA).

Follow the steps below to apply for access. If you already have access, see the Post Application Activities page for details on modifying or renewing your agreement.

Application Process

Step 1. Submit Application

A complete application includes:

  • A short research proposal (no more than 2-3 pages) that includes:
    • a project title
    • one paragraph abstract
    • the HRS restricted data you are requesting and how it fits into your proposed research
    • information on the study team (i.e., all study investigators and anyone, such as research assistants, who will have access to the restricted data) including:
      • name
      • role on project
      • business address, email, and phone number
      • current curriculum vita

  • HRS Restricted Data Order Form

  • For each member of the study team who will have access to the data:
  • Documentation of IRB review and approval of your research plan from your institution

When all of these documents are complete, e-mail them to

Step 2. HRS Reviews and Approves Application

HRS will review the application and contact you if additional information is needed for approval. Once it is approved, your application will be assigned a restricted data agreement (RDA) number, which you will use in all future correspondence.

Step 3. HRS and Researcher

Once your application is approved, you will be contacted by HRS staff with the details you need to login to the enclave from your computer through the VDI. Note that all results of analysis completed in the enclave will be reviewed by HRS staff to ensure they adhere to requirements that ensure confidentiality. Specifically, you can only export analytic results that meet our criteria for disclosure limitation.