Clinical Data Research Networks

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We participate in three clinical data research networks, which aim to advance multi-institutional research by federating data across health care systems and fostering collaborations.

Clinical data research networks (CDRNs) allow data from multiple health care systems to be federated to support clinical research and quality improvement. In a federated data network, data remains at the originating institution but is standardized across all sites to allow for near real time querying of data within the network.

CDRNs include both technical solutions and governance policies to improve researchers' experiences when conducting multi-institutional projects, while still protecting patient privacy. UNC-Chapel Hill is involved in three overlapping networks.

Researchers at UNC can reach out to these organizations for a count of potentially eligible research participants, data requests and to find collaborators at other sites. We encourage UNC investigators to request a consult with a member of the Biomedical Informatics service prior to contacting the networks in order to determine which network would best fit their needs, and to determine that the research idea is feasible using these data sources.

Carolinas Collaborative

The Carolinas Collaborative is a regional CDRN built on a learning health system model. The members of the Carolinas Collaborative are: Health Sciences South Carolina, Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill and Wake Forest Baptist Health. This initiative is managed by Health Sciences South Carolina and is made possible through a generous grant from The Duke Endowment.

The Carolinas Collaborative accepts requests for aggregate counts and patient-level data from member institutions. Researchers can also seek project collaborators within the Carolinas Collaborative. For more information or to make a request, please visit

The 4 CTSAs in North and South Carolina are soliciting proposals involving at least 2 of the Carolina CTSAs that utilize the data available from the Carolinas Collaborative. The 2017 RFA opened on April 24, 2017 and closes June 21, 2017.

Learn more about current Carolinas Collaborative research projects.

Mid-South Clinical Data Research Network

The Mid-South CDRN is a node in PCORnet led by Vanderbilt University. Member organizations include: Vanderbilt Health System, Vanderbilt Healthcare Affiliated Network, Greenway Health, Health Sciences South Carolina, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Duke University. Requests can be made directly to Mid-South at We advise consultation with the TraCS BMI team regarding feasibility, availability of data sources, and development of case definitions.


PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, is led by PCORI, and aims to support research nationally. PCORnet includes 13 CDRNs, one of which is the Mid-South CDRN. Over 70 million patient records are potentially available through the network. PCORnet aims to improve the nation's capacity to conduct patient centered outcomes research and comparative effectiveness research efficiently by developing a large, representative, national clinical data network. Projects that utilize two or more CDRN's can be coordinated through PCORnet and its coordinating center.

Information about making requests to PCORnet will be available soon.

Read about a current project using PCORNet at