University of Saskatchewan

July 22, 2014   

New U of S-StatsCan Centre Boosts Social Science and Health Research

May 26, 2008

Saskatoon, SK – Social sciences and health researchers have just received a powerful new tool in the Saskatchewan Research Data Centre (SKY-RDC), a new facility that offers access to Statistics Canada surveys and census data in a secure environment at the University of Saskatchewan.

“This facility gives researchers access to highly exclusive information—it’s not the kind of data you could find online,” said Carl D’Arcy, the Centre’s acting academic director. “Now researchers won’t have to travel to Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton, or Vancouver to access this kind of data.”

SKY-RDC is part of the federal agency’s Research Data Centres Program, becoming the first of its kind in Saskatchewan and the 15th in Canada. The Centre will be a tool for examining a broad range of social sciences and health issues, including community health, Aboriginal Peoples, and youth. Research at the facility will help strengthen Canada's social and policy research community by creating partnerships among universities, Statistics Canada, and researchers.

“Our mission is to promote social statistics and to prepare the next generation of researchers and policy makers,” said Amélie Gagnon, SKY-RDC’s analyst. “We want to make sure the rich Statistics Canada data are accessible to use.”

To be allowed access to confidential data, researchers must be approved by a joint Statistics Canada-Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) data access committee. Those granted access will be deemed Statistics Canada employees and monitored by their representative while accessing the data.

SKY-RDC is housed in the Murray Library on the U of S campus and has 11 workstations for researchers. Data access takes place in a controlled area to ensure confidentiality is maintained.

The Health Quality Council contributed $25,000 to the Centre’s initial set-up costs, while the U of S contributed the remainder of the $370,500 start-up budget.

The U of S is providing $57,000 per year in operating funding over the next three years through its Strategic Research Funding initiative. The Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation is adding $40,000 a year for operating funding over the same three-year period.

The new facility is open to researchers throughout the province. The University of Regina has already set aside $10,000 to help their faculty members and graduate students use this research resource.

The Centre will hold its first public event – a panel on data from Statistics Canada’s Social and Aboriginal Statistics Division – on Wednesday, May 28th.

Located in the heart of Saskatoon, the U of S is one of the leading medical doctoral universities in Canada. With 58 degrees, diplomas and certificates in over 100 areas of study, the University is uniquely positioned in the areas of human, animal and plant studies. World-class research facilities, renowned faculty and award-winning students make the U of S a leader in post-secondary education.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Dr. Carl D’Arcy
Academic Director
SKY-RDC
Carl.darcy@usask.ca
(306) 966-8769
Fax: (306) 966-9774

Amélie A. Gagnon
SKY-RDC
Analyst
Am.gagnon@usask.ca
(306) 966-8216
Fax: (306) 966-8278

Cameron Zimmer
U of S Research Communications
cam.zimmer@usask.ca
(306) 966-2427

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