PHRN Online Researcher Training

The Population Health Research Network’s new online course provides participants with the knowledge and skills required to plan cross-jurisdictional linked data projects and successfully navigate the application and approval process.

The free self-paced course takes around an hour to complete.

It covers the types of data that are commonly available for linkage, the benefits and constraints of administrative data for research, a basic understanding of the data linkage process, and guidance on design and feasibility.

It also details the application and approval process for each jurisdiction, using a standardised format and provides guidance for costs and timeframes.

Visit PHRN Online Researcher Training to register.



Course Title: How to plan and apply for linked data

Overview: This self-paced online training program has nine modules and a final test, that will equip researchers with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop a feasible data linkage application.

Target Group: The target group for this training program is researchers new to data linkage, seeking to enhance their capabilities in planning and applying for linked data projects.

Course Objectives: Upon completing the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the various types of data available for linkage.
  • Identify the advantages and constraints of using administrative data for research.
  • Recollect the data linkage process, including different linkage methods used and an understanding of high-level data linkage flow.
  • Describe the steps involved in designing a data linkage project, including cohort and control group selection.
  • Describe techniques to measure linkage accuracy and report on the quality of data linkage.
  • Explain the regulatory framework governing data linkage and understand the essential governance roles and responsibilities researchers must uphold.
  • Understand factors that influence project timeframes and costs, enabling more efficient project planning and resource allocation.

Course Structure: The training program is structured into nine modules, each focusing on a specific aspect of data linkage:

  • Module 1: Introduction to the Population Health Research Network
  • Module 2: Types and Sources of Data
  • Module 3: What is data linkage?
  • Module 4: Data Linkage Process
  • Module 5: Costs and Timeframes
  • Module 6: Design and Feasibility
  • Module 7: Data Governance
  • Module 8: Applying for Linked Data
  • Module 9: Jurisdiction-Based Processes

Assessment: At the conclusion of the course, participants will undertake an online test consisting of 12 questions to evaluate their understanding of the materials covered. Participants who obtain 70% or higher will receive a certificate of completion.


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The PHRN is implemented through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy framework, an initiative of the Australian Government.