Data Request Process

Apply for Ethics Approval

Submit a Request to the SPOR Data Platform

Obtain AHS Research Operations Documents

Obtain the Data

Step 1: Apply for ethics approval

Apply for Ethics Approval


Complete TCPS 2: CORE Training

Prior to completing an ethics application, all study participants must complete TCPS 2: CORE (Course on Research Ethics) and be on the ethics protocol that requires the CHI resources. This online training module encompasses the 2nd edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans.

Apply for Ethics Approval through the CHREB

Ethics approval must be obtained from the Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board (CHREB). The CHREB is a Research Ethics Board housed at the University of Calgary that reviews applications from researchers affiliated with the Faculties of Nursing, Medicine and Kinesiology. New applications to the CHREB are created and submitted online using the Institutional Research Information Services Solution (IRISS) online program. There are no paper application forms.

Documents submitted with application:

  1. Study Protocol
  2. Budget Summary
  3. Department Approval
  4. Other forms are required based on your study type and data needed

For more information on CHREB guidelines, eligibility requirements, forms and templates or to submit your IRISS ethics application into the online platform, click below.


Step 2L Submit a request to the SPOR Data Platform

Submit a request to the SPOR data platform.


Click on the button below to open the AbSPORU data request form. Save the document on your own device before completing because changes may be lost if changes are done in the browser window.

Once all sections are completed, email the form to spor@albertainnovates.ca.

An approved ethics application number will be needed for AbSPORU Service Request Form.


Step 3

Obtain Alberta Health Services research operations documents


HSA team will prepare the Data Disclosure Agreement (DDA) and the Provincial Research Administration Study Summary (PRA) 

The approved CHREB ethics submission will be automatically forwarded to Alberta Health Services Health System Access (HSA) team. The HSA team will send a link with a questionnaire to the research team. A Data Disclosure Agreement (DDA) is embedded within the link. This document details the policies and guidelines required to ensure the proper use, storage and disposal of AH data ensuring the utmost security and confidentiality. The researcher should fill out the DDA and the questionnaire and return to the HSA team for review and approval. Based on the questionnaire, a Provincial Research Administration Study Summary (PRA) form will be generated. This document outlines the study summary, personnel involved, and the requested databases needed for the research. If the study has been submitted to the appropriate ethics board, please include the approval or exemption certificate. Additionally, if funding has been provided for the study, include the award letter or letter of support from your institution/department.

The PI is responsible for obtaining and completing the 1) Provincial Research Administration (PRA) Study Summary and 2) Data Disclosure Agreement.

*Note that DDA will be handled differently for Electronic Medical Records (EMR) data. 

If assistance is needed, please send inquiries to katelyn.corkin@ucalgary.ca.


Step 4 : Obtain the data

Obtain the data


Project Details

An analyst will contact the researchers for details such as study population, definitions, time frame, datasets, list of data elements etc.

If the study involves level 4 data requiring CHI resources, AbSPORU and the PI must inform the CHI.

Data Extraction and Linkage

Members of AbSPORU’s Methods Support & Development Platform and Data Linkage platform are housed within CHI. AHS approved projects will be forwarded to AbSPORU through an internally established process. The Data Platform will conduct data linkage as outlined in the study protocol and AHS research operations documents.

PIs are responsible for updating the ethics if additional data not specified in the documents are required. These data cannot be released to researchers without full ethics board approval.

Data Delivery

Once DDA is approved (and Alberta Health approval*), the data will be released to requestors through AHS email account or a secure FTP link.

Physician Claims data

Data release, storage, and computing procedure are different for University of Calgary defined Level 3 and Level 4 data. Specific procedures will be outlined once the data requirements are decided. PIs are responsible for ensuring all requirements are met.