New Brunswick Social Policy Research Network

Ted McDonald

Dr. Ted McDonald – Director of NB-IRDT, Professor in Economics and Academic Director of the New Brunswick Research Data Centre.

1) Describe your role with the NB-RDC.

I am the academic director of the NB-RDC and am responsible for overseeing the operation of our RDC in Fredericton as well as helping to craft policy for the NB-RDC centre and branches in Moncton and at Memorial University in Newfoundland. I am also the Chair of the CRDCN Academic Council and a member of the CRDCN Inaugural Board, the peak governance body of the CRDCN.

2) Tell us about one or two of your current projects.

I have a few ongoing projects in the RDC that I am overseeing. One is on estimating the costs of occupation-related cancers and another is on the cyclicality of self-employment and whether it is a substitute for wage and salary employment over the business cycle. A third project is a partnership with LivingSJ to provide them with neighborhood level data for North End Saint John on a range of economic, social and health indicators.

3) Can you share an example (success story) of a researcher who has successfully used the NB-RDC data.

Phil Leonard, a member of the department of Economics at UNB, recently published a paper on the impact on youth obesity of banning junk food from being sold in school vending machines in New Brunswick. The story got national attention and featured on the front page of the Toronto Star and National Post as well as on CBC and Global TV, which means it certainly caught the attention of policymakers and educators in Canada’s school system.

4) How do you see your research/work in terms of possibly contributing to evidence-based public policy?

All of my work, whether in the NB-RDC or in our provincial administrative data counterpart the NB-IRDT, is public policy oriented. Through analysis of the large and detailed datasets available I am able to conduct research that I hope directly contributes to policymakers’ understanding of what works and what doesn’t when it comes public policy.

5) Describe in a couple of sentences your involvement with NBSPRN and how your relationship with and how your relationship with the Network has contributed to your research/work and/or to social/economic policy?

I have been interacting with members of NBSPRN in a variety of ways. NBSPRN has been a partner and supporter of the NB-RDC for a number of years now, and we work together to raise awareness of the importance of policy relevant research among academics, students, government and others. We also collaborate with NBSPRN on direct engagement with our provincial government to identify and deliver on their research priorities and training priorities. Finally, I have presented at various NBSPRN organized public events such as GovMaker and their Policy forums.

About the NB-RDC

As a member of the NBSPRN, you have access to data at the NB-RDC.


For researchers: As a member of NBSPRN, the access fee is waived.

For non-academic researchers: As a member of NBSPRN, the access fee is waived.  For more information on the procedures for non-academic researchers, click here.

Short description of the centre

As a provincial and regional resource, the New Brunswick Research Data Centre is part of the national Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN) that provides researchers with secure access to a large range of Statistics Canada survey and Census data and an increasing array of administrative data. The NB-RDC includes a full-time centre at UNB and branches at Université de Moncton as well as Memorial University of Newfoundland and is part of a national RDC network with 30 centres and branches across Canada.

Available datasets

The NB-RDC offers a secure access to detailed microdata from Statistics Canada’s surveys such as the Canadian Community Health Surveys and the Labour Force Surveys, and to Canadian Census microdata for Censuses from 1911 to 2006 plus the 2011 National Household Survey. The RDC network also provides access to  administrative data sets such as the Canadian Cancer Registry, Vital Statistics, and Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics. For a list of all available data sets, click here.

How members can access the data

Application process and guidelines are based on the affiliation of the Principal Investigator and the type of research being conducted at a Research Data Centre. Based on the descriptions of the type of research project below, researchers may draft a proposal as part of their Research Data Centres (RDCs) Application. For more information on the application process, click here.

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A Ginger Design