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About the Canadian Research Data Centre Network

Who are we?

The Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN) is a premier research and training platform for over 2,000 researchers in the quantitative social and health sciences in Canada.

The Network provides unique access to Statistics Canada data on 33 campuses across the country to advance knowledge and inform public policy.

It is funded by SSHRC, CIHR, CFI, the FRQ, Statistics Canada and our 42 primary and affiliated partner universities. CRDCN is recognized as one of Canada’s Major Science Initiatives.

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Our Vision

To be Canada’s national platform for leading edge research and training in the quantitative social and population health sciences, creating social, economic, health and environmental benefits for Canadians

Our Mission

Enable quantitative researchers to address vital questions

Train the next generation of highly qualified personnel in social and population health sciences

Contribute to evidence-based policy and decision-making by facilitating access to relevant, timely and well-documented data supported by state of the art computing facilities

2019 – 2024 Strategic Plan

In 2018, the central staff embarked on a National Engagement Strategy to consult our partners and researchers on their vision for the Network. This cross-country engagement, combined with input from our Board of Directors and our Academic Council, led to a new strategic plan for 2019-2024. The plan focuses on our growth as a physical, community, and institutional network.

The CRDCN strategic plan has four objectives:

Facilitate data access and training

Be an innovative facilitator and leading platform for data access and training in the quantitative social and population health sciences

Connect researchers and end users

Be uniquely positioned nationally to broker relationships among researchers and policy-makers to address issues of major importance to Canadians

Optimize Network performance

Optimize the deployment of the Network’s financial, human resource and operational assets

Heighten the Network's impact and profile

Be the go-to organization for the research community and partner organizations with mechanisms in place to sustain their engagement and to track and enhance the Network’s impact

Download the Strategic Plan (PDF)


In 2000, the first Research Data Centres (RDCs) were set up across the country to facilitate the ability of university researchers to analyse Statistics Canada microdata while ensuring the security of the information.

The Network rapidly grew over the following decade and transformed quantitative social science and health research, positioning Canada as an international leader in the field.

Headquartered at McMaster University since 2010, the Network now comprises 33 Centres and Branches, and provides researchers with unique access to Statistics Canada census and surveys, as well as to a rapidly growing number of survey and administrative data files.

Core funding comes from a SSHRC/CIHR directed grant and from a CFI Major Science Initiatives Award. Substantial cash and in-kind support is also provided by the host universities, Statistics Canada, several provincial governments, and primary software partners.

The Network has secured funding from the CFI Innovation Fund award to create a national high performance computing platform to meet the growing data processing and storage needs of its researchers.

Social Statistics Matter: A History of the Canadian RDC Network (Book)

This book, published in 2015, tells the story of how the Network facilitated a quantum leap forward in quantitative social science and health research capability in Canada. It pays tribute to the men and women who made it happen.

Social Statistics Matter: A History of the Canadian RDC Network book cover