A Data Use Agreement (DUA) is a contractual document used for the transfer of data that has been developed by nonprofit, government or private industry, where the data is nonpublic or is otherwise subject to some restrictions on its use. Often this data is a necessary component of a research project and it may or may not be human subject data from a clinical trial, or limited data set information as defined in HIPAA. Universities will want to ensure that DUA terms protect confidentiality when necessary, but permit appropriate publication and sharing of research results in accordance with institution policies, applicable laws and regulations, and federal requirements. DUAs are similar to confidentiality agreements, and, in some cases, a CDA format may be used to transfer data.
The University of Pittsburgh (“University”) is a state-related entity that receives a high proportion of its research funding from the U.S. federal government. In order to ensure that DUAs meet University policies as well as the requirements of funding agencies, the University’s Office of Research will review and institutionally endorse DUAs to ensure compliance with appropriate policies and regulations. DUAs should not be signed by University faculty or staff members in the absence of institutional approval from the Office of Research.
Sometimes, a transfer of data from one entity to another is addressed in the context of a larger agreement between the parties, such as a subaward agreement or a contracted services agreement. Data transfer as part of such a collaborative research project is often addressed in the study protocol or in the funding agreement terms and conditions. In those cases, a separate DUA is generally not necessary. However, for a data transfer that takes place in the absence of a funding agreement (grant, contract, subaward, contracted services agreement, etc) between the provider and the recipient, you should first review and fill out the DUA Submission Form (under development) that appears on this website.
The DUA Submission Form has two columns: The left side should be used when a University investigator is receiving data; the right side should be used when a University investigator is providing data to another party. If there is a mutual exchange of data, please complete both sides of the DUA Submission Form. The completed, signed form should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 412-624-7414 along with any applicable compliance documentation.
If the University investigator is receiving data and the providing party has sent a form of agreement, make sure to include the agreement when sending your submission materials to the Office of Research. If you have received the agreement electronically, sending it to the Office of Research via email will greatly help expedite the review process.
If the University investigator is providing data, Office of Research staff members will offer the recipient the appropriate DUA according to the information provided on the Data Use Submission Form. Since data transfers take place in many different circumstances, there is not a single template agreement that the University uses for outgoing transfers of data.