There are substantial financial costs involved in operating a Federal Statistical Research Data Center. The Stanford RDC has limited funding and must be self-supporting through the collection of user fees. For most researchers, the cost of using the RDC will be directly related to the amount of time the researcher needs to complete their project.
Standard Rates for Research Data Center Access
The rates for RDC access are based on an estimate of the real costs incurred by the RDC to support a project. Most projects do not require full-time access and the rate is prorated based on the amount of time needed to conduct the project. Researchers who need to submit a proposal to obtain funding for their project are encouraged to use a $20,000-per-year amount as this is the amount of time typically requested by an average project. There is a minimum fee of $5,000 because even shorter research projects require significant time and effort from RDC staff to help with proposal development, security measures, and required paperwork.
Consistent with fees charged at other RDCs throughout the nation, the Stanford RDC charges these annual fees:
Individual research project based at Stanford $20,000
Individual research project based at another RDC $5,000
Each additional researcher access to a research project $1,000
Fees may be pro-rated on a quarterly basis. Due to the startup time involved in most RDC projects it is unlikely that any part-time research project could be completed in less than three months. Extensions are rarely granted for projects using economic or administrative record data. Thus, it is better to overestimate a bit than to risk running out of time before the research is completed.
Additional fees may be charged to projects that use data sets outside the core or that impose other special costs on CES, the Census Bureau, or the RDC.