Research Data Use Agreements

If you seek data for research from a third party, the Industry Alliances Office (IAO) will assist you by reviewing and executing a Data Use Agreement (DUA).

What is a Research Data Use Agreement?

Research Data Use Agreements govern access to and treatment of data provided by an outside organization to Berkeley for use in Berkeley research. Data may be unstructured or structured, but are not accompanied by a license agreement. Examples include the following:

  • Financial data​
  • Healthcare data, including human patient data governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)​
  • Economic data​
  • Proprietary business information​

What is the process?

  1. You can initiate the process by having your Research Administrator fill out and email us this Data Request Form at After you review and approve it, the record will be automatically routed to the Industry Alliances Office (IAO), which then reviews the record.​
  2. An IAO representative will reach out to you (or you may initiate) to discuss the background, requirements, and any special conditions that must be considered.​
  3. The IAO drafts or reviews the DUA and negotiates it with the data provider.​
  4. The agreement is signed by the data provider and, for Berkeley, by an IAO officer.​
  5. IAO sends copies of the Data Use Agreement to the Principal Investigator (PI) for a “Read and Understood” signature.
  6. IAO then distributes the completed DUA to the PI and the data provider, and stores a copy of the DUA in Phoebe.

How long will this take?

The length of time from when IAO receives a completed Phoebe record from the Berkeley requestor to when we sign a Data Use Agreement (DUA) varies widely depending on the restrictions placed upon the data by the provider. DUAs may pose restrictions on use, intellectual property terms, publication requirements, and duties of confidentiality. Some DUAs contain conditions and restrictions that require negotiation, while others have simple terms needing no changes. The incoming data itself may be subject to certain restrictions, such as privacy terms or export control restrictions. For example, personal financial and health data assembled by a data provider may need to be aggregated, de-identified, or otherwise disguised to obscure the identity of the person initially providing it. Some data also may be subject to statutory limitations in how it is stored, used, and discarded.

The IAO Contract Administrator can update you on the progress of a DUA that you have requested, and involve you in the process if you would like.

Where can I get help?

Contact an Industry Alliances Office Contract Administrator to assist you.


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