Single Jurisdiction Application Process

Single Jurisdiction Application Process

This section is designed to assist researchers who are applying for linked data from a single jurisdiction as part of a research project. There are eight data linkage units (DLU) within the PHRN and each unit’s application process differs slightly. This is an overview of the common elements in all data application processes.

  • Getting Started

  • I want to lodge an expression of interest

  • Formal application submission

Getting Started

Step 1

Review PHRN website and relevant jurisdictional DLU websites

Review the PHRN website and the websites of the data linkage unit(s) from which you are requesting data for:

  • information about the data collections available

  • any mandatory training

  • details of the application process.

The following sections provide an overview of each jurisdiction-specific process:


Commonwealth (AIHW)









Step 2

Contact client services

Applicants are strongly advised to contact client services via phone or email before applying for data. Be sure to discuss any questions, doubts or concerns you have before you begin your application. Contact details of Client Services are available here.

I want to lodge an expression of interest

Step 1

Submit an expression of interest

Researchers can submit an expression of interest, also sometimes referred to as a draft to their jurisdictional data linkage unit or the data linkage unit who is expected to conduct the linkage. A list of the data linkage units and the jurisdictions they cover is available here.

This 'expression of interest' stage provides client services with the opportunity to advise researchers whether the data requested is appropriate for the purposes of the study, give guidance on issues such as data availability and quality and suggest changes.

SA-NT DataLink and the Tasmania Data Linkage Unit use the PHRN Online Application System for Expression of Interests and applications for data.

All other data linkage units have jurisdictional specific forms to be completed. Visit the website of relevant data linkage units for more information. All data linkage unit websites are available here.

Formal application submission

Step 1

Formal application submission

Depending on requirements of the relevant Data Linkage Unit, submit your application form either direct to the relevant Data Linkage Unit or via the PHRN Online Application System.

Step 2

Review by client services

Once submitted, the application will be reviewed by a client services officer to ensure it is complete and well-conceived prior to forwarding it, on behalf of the researcher, to the relevant data custodians for review.

After feedback has been received from the relevant data custodians, researchers are required to amend their application to incorporate suggested changes. Researchers are required to send the final version of their formal application to client services for review. This helps to ensure that the researcher has addressed all of the feedback provided and incorporated required changes and assists in improving the efficiency in the submission to ethics and subsequent release of data.

At this stage the data custodian will provide in principle support, conditional approval or reject the application. Note that data custodians typically will not provide final approval until the project has received ethics approval.

Researchers will also receive a feasibility letter stating that the linkage is technically feasible and that the data linkage unit is able to do it.

Step 3

Seek HREC approval

In most jurisdictions, researchers are encouraged to apply for ethics approval after they have received conditional approval from each of the data custodians from which they are requesting data and the technical feasibility letter from the relevant data linkage unit(s). The client services officer of the DLU who is linking your data should be able to provide you with guidance on this.

Step 4

Final approval

The data linkage unit will notify you once the project has all its approvals in place, i.e. data custodian, ethics, research governance and any other approvals required.