August 2, 2023

Important and Exciting Announcement for Add Health Data Restricted-Use Contract Holders

In collaboration with the UNC Chief Information Officer and the Research Computing Unit at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Add Health is making the UNC Secure Research Workspace (UNC SRW) available for restricted-use contract researchers to analyze Add Health data in UNC’s enterprise secure data enclave free of charge. (Please note that a processing and set-up fee to obtain an Add Health restricted-use contract still applies). This is a major upgrade to the way Add Health is disseminating restricted-use data and we think will be very helpful for users of restricted-use Add Health data all over the world. In a nutshell, this means we will phase out “pushing restricted-use data out” to the user community. Instead, contract users will use Add Health restricted-use data by logging in to the SRW at UNC. This should make using restricted-use Add Health data easier for the user community. Moreover, it will help keep Add Health data more secure in our efforts to maintain the strict confidentiality of our participants.

As new users apply for contracts and as current restricted-use contracts expire, we will help users begin using the UNC SRW. We will make this process as seamless as possible. Looking ahead, Wave VI restricted-use data will be fully disseminated through the UNC SRW when those data are released (ETA 2025).

** Please note that Add Health will continue to produce and disseminate public-use data through ICPSR at the University of Michigan. **

Accessing the SRW:

  • To access the UNC SRW, contract holders will be given a UNC user account to remotely login to the UNC SRW.
  • Add Health staff will assist you in getting your statistical code and documentation into the UNC SRW. Your intermediate data files can be recreated once you login to the UNC SRW.
  • Similar to other restricted data use enclaves, an Add Health staff member will vet/export your output before it leaves the SRW. We will do so with rapid turnaround time, although this process will be limited to business hours (M-F, 8am-5pm).

More details

  • Use of the UNC SRW is free
  • The UNC SRW is comprised of Windows 10/11 desktops in a Virtual Desktop Environment (VDI). Each Virtual Machine VM will consist of 16GB RAM and 4 processors initially but can be increased if needed. Access will require the VMware Horizon View client (also free of charge) to be installed on your local computer. We will help you with this.
  • Software (note: although the goal is to provide access to the most recent version available, it may take time for testing each new release prior to releasing the most recent version into production):
    • SAS: Free
    • Stata: Free (125 concurrent licenses)
    • R: Free
    • MatLab: Free
    • MPlus: Free (10 concurrent licenses)
    • Microsoft Office (e.g., Word, Excel): Free
    • Software not listed above will be considered upon request. If your requested software can be installed in the UNC SRW, the cost of the license will be charged to the researcher as an annual charge. As an example: SPSS academic pricing for researchers at an EDU institution will be charged to researchers (Students: $107.95; Faculty/Staff: $310.95). For researchers not at an EDU institution, the annual price charged as follows (Please note: all SPSS pricing subject to change by vendor):
      • Base: $564
      • Standard: $1,248
      • Professional: $2,50
      • Premium: $3,732
  • Please see our related FAQs for even more details about the UNC SRW.

User Feedback:

Our goal is to make the use of Add Health data for contract researchers as straightforward as possible. Over the last few months, we have slowly begun moving researchers to the UNC SRW. As more researchers are added to the SRW, we will carefully monitor progress and problems in the effort to best serve the user community. Here is just a small sampling of what current non-UNC Add Health researchers who are using the UNC SRW are saying:

“… it has been wonderful to use — easy, intuitive, and reliable. I am so glad you helped us set up this option.”

“Everyone on the team has been very responsive! Add Health staff sent the output very quickly. Very communicative…There has been a level of collegiality that is unparalleled. Everyone on the UNC team has been great. Excited to be part of the SRW!”

Thank you for being an Add Health restricted-use data user. We will continue to put tremendous effort into collecting and disseminating great data for the scientific community. Please contact us at if you have questions or concerns regarding our transition to the UNC SRW.