If you wish to apply for access to the COVID-19 Data Research Hub for research purposes, this page will provide you with the information and resources you need. Please note that to apply for access to this data, you must be a registered researcher from a registered institution in Ireland. Read information on the registration process

Researchers will require separate approvals from the Research Data Governance Board (RDGB), a Research Ethics Committee (REC) and the Health Research Consent Declaration Committee (HRCDC) before the Central Statistics Office (CSO) will consider the application.

Application process

Important Note:

It is strongly recommended that applicants contact the CSO Researcher Liaison in advance of preparing and submitting their application to the RDGB Secretariat. This step will be beneficial at the project formation stage to clarify any queries concerning both project feasibility and data requirements and will further facilitate in submitting a refined application for RDGB review.

The CSO has appointed a dedicated Researcher Liaison who can provide provisional advice to researchers on the availability of COVID-19 data flows, data sets, and data variables and on the CSO safeguards and protocols in advance of submitting an RDGB application.

Please contact: Sanela Smith, CSO Statistician email:

Next step:

From there, the application process is managed by the Research Data Governance Board (RDGB) Secretariat in collaboration with the Central Statistics Office (CSO)

Once an application is submitted, it is processed as follows:

  • All eligible applications are triaged and prepared by the RDGB Secretariat, on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • The RDGB Secretariat forwards all eligible applications to the CSO for a preliminary review, to confirm that they are within the CSO scope.
  • The RDGB Secretariat informs the researcher of the outcome of this preliminary CSO review, and, as appropriate, advises the researcher to progress separate applications to the relevant institutional REC for ethics approval and to the HRCDC for a consent exemption. A dedicated HRCDC application form has been developed to facilitate applying for a consent declaration for the purpose of processing RMFs from the COVID-19 Data Research Hub.
  • The RDGB then convenes to consider the application, according to agreed criteria, in order to confirm for the CSO that the application is for a valid health research project that is in-scope as a COVID-19 project. 
  • If the RDGB makes a positive recommendation and the researcher provides the RDGB with evidence of approval from the REC and HRCDC submissions, the application is forwarded to the CSO for final approval using the Research Microdata File (RMF) process.
  • The CSO makes the final decision on access to relevant COVID-19 health data.

Please note that the number of applications reviewed at each meeting may be capped. Applicants will be informed of the RDGB meeting where their application will be reviewed.

For an at-a-glance overview of the application process, you can download the flow chart below outlining each step and the role of each entity. 

Download the application process flow chart in PDF.

Application form

To apply to the RDGB for access to the COVID-19 Data Research Hub, please complete and submit the following application form and CV template, consulting with the guidance notes provided below. 

The RDGB application form and CV template must be completed by the Lead Researcher and submitted by email in dot doc (.doc) format to Section C, the declaration, must be countersigned by the Research Organisation’s RMF contact (proposed RMF contact). 

Application resources

You can find links to additional resources in support of your application below: 

There is also a CSO Researcher Liaison for provisional advice on available COVID-19 data and on CSO safeguards and protocols in advance of application submission. Contact: Sanela Smith, CSO Statistician. Email:

You can find information on upcoming RDGB meetings and decisions in the corresponding section of our website. View details of upcoming RDGB meetings and decisions


A list of frequently asked questions is available in our FAQs for researchers. If you require additional information, you can contact the RDGB Secretariat. View contact details.