Access Process

The data access process describes all the steps a researcher must go through to get access to the data, from submission of a research project to final approval and completion.

Requests for access and information on the CanPath datasets are received by the CanPath Access Office. Access requests limited to Harmonized (Core) Data, including COVID-19 Questionnaire data, are eligible for an Expedited Access Review. All other requests, including, but not limited to, applications for Biosamples and administrative health linkages, require a Full Access Committee Review. Submission deadlines for Full Access Committee Reviews are listed here.

CanPath Access Application Process

Step 1.
Create an account

Before initiating a request for access, all researchers must create a CanPath Portal User account.


Step 2.
Complete and submit your access request form

Researchers are encouraged to contact the Access Office to understand the requirements involved before submitting an application.

Contact Us

When researchers are ready to submit an access request, they must complete and submit an application form online and attach all of the required documentation by logging into their CanPath Portal User account, and creating a New Access Request.

Data Access

Step 3.
Track your request

Researchers will be able to track the progress and history of their access request online, by logging into their CanPath Portal User account, and checking My Data Access Requests.

Data Access

Required CanPath Access Documentation

All applications for access must include the following:

  • Completed Access Application Form

  • Detailed Research protocol containing one specific research question/aim (having received ethics approval)

    • Protocol should include justification of requested variables, statistical analysis, etc.

  • Proof of scientific review or peer-review of Research protocol, such as a review by a funding agency (if available)

  • Approval letter by a Research Ethics Board for submitted Research protocol

  • Evidence of funding, if applicable

  • 2-Page CV of the principal applicant

Submit an Access Request

Requests for access to CanPath Data and Biosamples are accepted throughout the year. Applications meeting the criteria for an Expedited Review are reviewed on an ongoing basis, while applications requiring a Full Access Committee Review are reviewed quarterly. The requirements for each review process are outlined below.

Access Applications meeting the criteria for an Expedited Review will be completed within approximately 3 weeks (this timeline is contingent on the applicant’s responsiveness throughout the process.)

CanPath Review Processes

Expedited COVID-19 Data Access

National harmonized data from the CanPath COVID-19 Questionnaire are now available to researchers. Given the immediate need for pandemic research, requests for access to the national COVID-19 Questionnaire dataset will be reviewed in as little as 9 business days. Please refer to the Expedited Review Criteria below for eligibility.

  Expedited Review Full Access Committee Review
Request Type Harmonized (Core) Datasets Only Requests for:
  • Non-Harmonized datasets
  • Biosamples
  • Linked administrative data
Review Timeline Accepted on a rolling basis. Reviewed within approx. 3 weeks Quarterly Access Committee Meeting

More information can be found in the CanPath Access Policy section.

Full Access Committee Review Submission Deadline Anticipated Notification of Decision*
July 30, 2021 September 2021
October 29, 2021 December 2021

*Please note that the Anticipated Notification of Decision refers to the approximate time you will be notified about the approval status of your project, and not to the time you will have access to the data.

Access Criteria & Requirements

All access criteria and requirements are outlined in the CanPath Access Policy document.

Access Cost

CanPath has a tiered pricing model suited to the different budgets of trainees, early-career researchers, and established researchers. Applicants are invited to complete a Cost Estimate Form and submit to

Access Committee

The Access Committee reviews and makes approval decisions on research applications submitted for CanPath Data and/or Biosamples. The committee is composed of independent members from across Canada who have expertise in such relevant fields as biostatistics, epidemiology, and genomics.

The Access Committee meets formally 4 times per year to review projects requiring Full Access Committee Review. Please see CanPath Review Processes for submission deadlines.

Need Support?

All CanPath access questions can be directed to Asha Mohamed, Access Officer. Email:

CanPath Policies & Guidelines

We strongly recommend that you consult these prior to submitting an Access Application Form: