Melbourne Institute Data Lab


A secure, purpose-built data enclave that enables virtual access to micro-level data for curation, analysis, and visualisation

The Melbourne Institute Data Lab (MIDL) provides a unique environment that facilitates the development of collaborative data environments for authorised researchers and analysts, allowing the rigorous and deep study of critical issues important to Australian society. The MIDL has been designed by researchers, specifically for researchers and data custodians. It builds on the existing secure data environment previously developed by the Melbourne Institute for production of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics (HILDA) Survey.

The MIDL environment

The MIDL allows researchers and analysts to remotely access a virtual environment for the purposes of undertaking research with sensitive data. MIDL’s virtual environment houses a wide range of sensitive micro-data that may be inaccessible by other means alongside publicly available data. Data housed in the MIDL will range from administrative data sources from Federal and State Governments, data collected through national surveys and field experiments and data assets from proprietary sources. Researchers also have access to recent versions of statistical and analytical software packages such as Stata, R, Python, SAS and SPSS.

A safe environment for data use

The Melbourne Institute is committed to working with the data providers to create and curate data that are of maximal utility for research while maintaining confidentiality of persons, households and organisations that may be captured in the data. This is achieved by a design which has high security posture and operations and procedures that utilise the principles in the Five Safes Framework. MIDL holds an Infosec Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) compliance for a PROTECTED level environment as defined by the Australian Government’s Protective Security Policy Framework and Information Security Manual. The MIDL team is actively engaging data custodians from Australian Government and industry and other regulatory bodies to ensure best data management and data governance practices are used to enable better data access and sharing.

Shared data environments for focused, faster research

Researchers can also apply to access the MIDL’s collaborative research environments, or Shared Data Environment (SDE). SDE’s are special workspaces, designed to house multiple data sets that support a range of projects that are focussed on the study of singular policy issue or research theme. SDE’s also benefit from the availability of research ready data sets that have been treated further for data quality and ease of research; and access to pre-written programs and scripts.

MIDL Info Pack 1 MIDL Info pack 2

Need more information?

For more information on the MIDL environment and existing Shared Data Environments within the MIDL, please refer the MIDL Information Pack. For more information on how to host your data within the MIDL or to setup a call with the MIDL Platforms Lead, please contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit our FAQs page for general or technical queries, and other information for users.

Contact us

Existing users of MIDL are encouraged to directly contact the MIDL Service Desk using (please note that emails from non-users are automatically filtered out for security reasons). For all other enquiries such as MIDL access and the MIDL costing model, please email the MIDL Services Team on

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MIDL website logo

MIDL is a collaboration between the Melbourne Institute at the University of Melbourne with a mission to inform Australian economic and social policy, and Cyconsol, an Australian-based professional services provider specialising in the design and operation of cybersecurity and ICT capabilities working with Australian Government and industry.