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Research Data Agreements

The University processes data agreements for funded and unfunded research and other projects that may not meet the federal definition of research.

Note the following:

  • PIs and Department Chairs are not authorized to sign any data agreement regardless of type and risk on behalf of the University except for publicly available data.
  • Research or projects such as Quality Improvement sponsored by the WVU Health System that require data agreements should contact the WVU Health System General Counsel.
  • Data agreements may be required for any research data except for publicly available data and some data that is anonymously collected (responses can't be tied to the participant by anyone on the research team).

Incoming Data

Copies of research data that will be transferred into WVU from an external data source may require a data agreement. Documentation will be requested from the data source stating than an agreement is not required, please obtain this information before completing the Data Protection process.

If external collaborators will be added to WVU systems to share the data, an agreement may be needed depending on the risk category of the data. 

Clinical data from any external source will be treated as high-risk (sensitive data by WVU) regardless of the data agreement requirements unless the data is de-identified by the source (this does not include coded or limited data sets). 

Data from the WVU Health System medical record systems does not require a data agreement, a master agreement exists with WVU to use the data for research.  Other clinical data from other systems may require permission from the Health System before it can be used for research.

Outgoing Data

Copies of research data that will be transferred to an external entity may require a data agreement.  

Federally funded data deposited into a third-party repository at the end of an award or contract will require a WVU data agreement or an agreement by the repository.

If WVU staff will be added as collaborators to external systems to share data, the external entity may require any agreement, if an agreement is not required, WVU may request supporting documentation.

Clinical Trials and Industry-Sponsored Research Agreements

The agreements and contracts typically cover the requirements related to data, the review and approval processes for the agreement will include additional data agreement requirements. While the Data Protection process is required to submit a protocol, a separate data agreement is typically not required.