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Become an ICES Student

ICES provides educational opportunities for graduate students in health services research to access a large collection of Ontario administrative and clinical databases to help them meet the thesis, practicum or course requirements of their graduate degree.

At any given time, ICES has close to 200 Master’s and PhD students working on ICES projects across the ICES Ontario network. Many ICES student projects have resulted in high-impact publications that received significant media attention. After completing their graduate program, many of our students have gone on to have accomplished careers in health services research, and a number of ICES students have gone on to become ICES scientists.

ICES students conduct their work within an ICES research program and must have an ICES supervisor who is a full status ICES scientist. Students interested in accessing ICES data as part of their graduate program requirements are encouraged to contact individual full status ICES scientists who share similar research interests. ICES students may be granted direct access to individual-level ICES data through either the ICES Research Analytic Environment (RAE) (on-site or remote access) or the ICES Data Safe Haven (DSH) (remote access). Currently, remote data access through these routes is limited to those who are physically in Ontario.

Individuals interested in becoming an ICES Student are asked to observe the following application timelines:

  • Six months before the estimated ICES project start date: Around the time the student begins writing their proposal, the ICES supervisor is encouraged to reach out to their program lead to discuss whether there may be other ICES projects underway that may be similar or have overlap with the ICES student’s proposed research.
  • Three months before the estimated ICES project start date: The full ICES student application package should be submitted in order to allow sufficient time for orientation, project resourcing and project approval.
  • Please contact the relevant research program manager (for applicants to ICES Central or the Kidney, Dialysis & Transplantation Research Program) or local lead analyst (for applicants to an ICES site) to discuss resourcing your project with ICES staff at least six weeks prior to when resources are required.
  • Please review the ICES student project initiation activities and timelines for additional details.

ICES student applications must include:

  • A completed ICES Student Application form.
  • A one to two-page proposal which outlines their ICES research plans.
  • A completed Conflict of Interest Declaration Form (which requires review of the ICES Conflict of Interest Policy).
  • A completed Project Activation Worksheet (PAW), which can be obtained from the appropriate research program coordinator (for applicants to ICES Central or the Kidney, Dialysis & Transplantation Research Program) or facility administrator (for applicants to an ICES site).
  • A letter from the applicant or applicant’s supervisor confirming the source of funding to cover the ICES staff time to create the project data set(s) and provide support during the student’s project. Funds from a for-profit entity cannot be used to support research using ICES data, regardless of whether the entity’s products/services are involved. However, student salary awards from for-profit entities are acceptable.
  • While not required at the application stage, an ICES Project Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) may also be submitted as part of the ICES student application materials.

Individuals with conflicts of interest that require a management plan that limits their ability to lead or participate in research at ICES, and/or which pose a reputational risk to ICES, as determined by the CEO, will not normally be accepted as an ICES student. Employees of private sector entities with an interest in ICES data who wish to use ICES data for graduate research may do so under the following conditions:

  • The request for ICES data access must be in fulfillment of the academic requirements of a graduate degree
  • If approved, such access will be granted not as an ICES student but rather as a third party researcher through ICES Data and Analytic Services (DAS)
  • Should the request involve direct access to individual-level ICES data, such access will only be provided via the ICES Data and Analytic Services Environment (IDAVE)
  • Funds used to cover the costs of accessing data on IDAVE for student projects must be from a public source
  • Any ICES scientists who are involved in the data request must be made aware of the potential for conflicts of interest to ensure they can meet their obligations as ICES scientists.

For general inquiries, or to submit an application to become an ICES student, please contact the appropriate research program coordinator (for applicants to ICES Central or the Kidney, Dialysis & Transplantation Research Program) or facility administrator (for applicants to an ICES site) below:

Research Program Coordinators

Cancer Program:

Cardiovascular Program:

Chronic Disease and Pharmacotherapy:

Kidney, Dialysis and Transplantation:

Life Stage:

Mental Health and Addictions:

Populations and Public Health:

Primary Care and Health Systems:

Facility Administrators

ICES McMaster:

ICES North: 

ICES Queen's: 

ICES uOttawa:


ICES Western: