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Welcome to the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services

Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services

Requests Related to Research Activities

If you would like to propose a research study that involves data, staff, programs, or providers of DBHIDS, you will need approval from the Research Proposal Committee. The Committee ensures that the Department is an active partner throughout your research process, inclusive of the findings.

If you want to use human subjects for your research, you will also need approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB requirement includes unit approval from the department(s) that you are working with, therefore any research involving DBHIDS will need unit approval from DBHIDS.

To use DBHIDS data and publicize your findings, the City of Philadelphia requires a Data License Agreement (DLA) between your research institution and DBHIDS. The DLA includes a requirement to provide DBHIDS with your final manuscript or presentation for a specified amount of time as notice to publicize your findings. Therefore, you will also need approval from DBHIDS if you plan to publish or present your research findings. DLA requirements can be found here.



DBHIDS has a Centralized System for Requests (CSR) to manage requests from external partners and entities for data and information. Please submit your request to DBHIDScentralizedrequest@phila.gov and include the information indicated below.

  • Research idea/proposal – Attach your research idea or proposal as a Word file. Your document should specify what support you are seeking from DBHIDS, including data, staff participation, provider cooperation, etc. Your proposal should include how the findings can be of use to DBHIDS. Your idea/proposal will be reviewed by the Research Proposal Committee at an upcoming meeting, with a decision communicated to you as soon as possible.
  • Data Request for research – Attach your research proposal as a Word file. Your document should include the purpose of your request, who the data will be shared with, and your intended due date. Turnaround time will vary based on the data being produced and the urgency of the request. Your document should also specify what data/information you are seeking from DBHIDS, including variables or fields (if known), all parameters (e.g. time period) and if you are seeking identified or deidentified data.
  • Unit approval for IRB application – Attach the filled out unit approval form. If you have previously received approval from the Research Proposal Committee, attach the approval communication. Indicate the date that you need the unit approval by in your email.
  • Notice of publication intent – Attach the final manuscript or presentation. Include the reference number of the executed DLA in your email. Turnaround time for DBHIDS review of final manuscript or presentation is indicated in Section 8 of the DLA.

For letter of support requests, please refer to this policy.