Microdata access

ODISSEI facilitates access to CBS Microdata and works together with CBS on removing barriers for (potential) users. There are multiple facilities that contribute to this strategic goal. ODISSEI offers financial support to accelerate innovation in the CBS RA environment (user-friendly self-service portal, development of automatic output control) and financial support directed at individual researchers and projects. Those facilities are accessible to ODISSEI Member Organisations.

Microdata Access Grant (MAG)

Microdata Access grant programme runs twice a year with closing dates in early spring and early autumn. Each round offers grants for 6 research projects using the CBS microdata. 

Together with CBS, ODISSEI hosts an Information Event and Q&A Session to clarify the questions regarding the programme. During this meeting, potential applicants can ask questions about conducting research with CBS Microdata (available data, searching for the data, procedures, etc.) and the grant application procedure. ODISSEI and CBS organise the Q&A Session for the MAG 2024-2 on the 17th of September, 13:00-14:00. More information and registration are available via this link. The recording of the previous meeting is available via this link

The next round of the Microdata Call is now open and will close on the 24th of October 2024, 15.00 (CEST).  Subscribe to our social media and newsletter to keep an eye on the call announcements.

Previous rounds
In the earlier rounds of the call, between six and eight projects could be funded. On our website you can find an overview of the projects that were granted in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Free registration of new users for ODISSEI member organisations

In 2024, ODISSEI member organisations can request the free addition of early career researchers to existing CBS microdata projects. Please note this schema only applies to the researchers with no current access to the CBS RA. The added researcher must be an early career researcher (PhD student or postdoctoral researcher) and comply with CBS eligibility requirements. To apply, Project Leaders are requested to fill in a short form on the ODISSEI website stating which early career researcher they would like to have added to which project. If accepted, ODISSEI will then notify CBS of the additional researcher and the researcher will then be added to the specified project without having to pay the authorization cost (monthly charges still apply).

From July 2024, ODISSEI will finance the addition of up to 50 new researchers. Project Leaders will be able to apply at any time, and the positions will be provided on a first-come first-served basis. The programme will be evaluated at the end of 2024.

ODISSEI Storage Facility within the CBS Remote Environment

Projects utilising the microdata sometimes result in large files which are of interest to other projects. This, however, costs researchers a significant fee to store the project, which limits the reuse potential of such files. Using the ODISSEI Storage Facility, researchers at ODISSEI member organisations can store large files for free. Requests can be submitted to the ODISSEI Scientific Manager, Kasia Karpinska (kasia@odissei-data.nl), who will evaluate the scientific justification for the ODISSEI community and consult CBS on the alignment of the request with the CBS rules and regulations (such as (e.g. purpose limitation, data minimalisation). Please note, that datasets to be included in the ODISSEI storage facility should be made up of only CBS-microdata (no uploads from external data).

Upon acceptance, CBS will move the files into ‘storage’. ODISSEI will maintain a list of data files with the metadata stored in the ODISSEI Portal. Researchers at ODISSEI member organisations can then request access to these files in their own RA projects (which is free of charge). Projects intending to use these datasets need to have access to the original CBS-microdata datasets from which the (data set is derived) in their project. If not, access should be requested (the usual fee for accessing the data applies). The capacity of this facility in the first year will be 20 Terabytes. This will be operational from July 2024 and be reviewed at the end of 2024.

Conducting research with CBS microdata

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) collects a wide range of data for its statistical tasks, many of them microdata at the level of individual persons or organisations. Protection of the confidentiality of the data has the highest priority for CBS. Within strict safety conditions however, universities and other authorized research institutes can get Remote Access to such data to perform statistical analyses for their own scientific or statistical purposes. The microdata themselves remain strictly within a secure environment within CBS. Under applicable conditions researcher can also bring in additional dataset to be linked with CBS microdata. Before aggregate statistical results are exported from the secured environment, CBS will check whether these results do not contain any risk for disclosure of information on individual persons or organisations.

Read more about using microdata within the CBS Remote Access Environment.