You are here

Data Sharing and Use Agreements

Many research projects funded by sponsors require that the project data be made available to the public. Data use agreements (DUAs) can be forwarded to ORSP for processing via eResearch Proposal Management's (eRPM's) unfunded agreement (UFA) system.

Data UseWhat is a DUA?

A Data Use Agreement (DUA) may be required when working on a sponsored research project. DUAs include:

  • data sharing agreements;
  • data license agreements;
  • access agreements;
  • business Associate Agreements (BAA).

Because these agreements are not directly related to funding, we refer to them as "unfunded agreements" or UFAs

I am told I need a Data Use Agreement. Where should I start?

If you are working on a project that requires a DUA, first work with the primary research administrator of your unit.

Then, when ready, route your DUA to ORSP using the eResearch Proposal Management (eRPM or eResearch) system for UFAs.

How do I use eRPM for this?

Here are some quick links to eRPM Job Aids to help you. Contact your project representative (PR) for additional questions.

Other guidance for sharing data on a sponsored research project

ORSP supports U-M investigators and research administrators with questions about data sharing. ORSP DUA specialists can provide guidance in:

  • drafting data sharing plans;
  • DUAs;
  • data management plans (particularly for data consortia in which U-M is a member or a coordinating center). 

Incoming, Outgoing or Both?

It is helpful to clarify if the data that needs to be shared is incoming to U-M or outgoing to an outside entity.

Additional activities supported by ORSP

The ORSP Data Research specialists can assist faculty, units and U-M administrators with:

  • monitoring current trends in technology usage, e.g., uses of cloud computing for research data;
  • monitoring federal and state regulatory and policy changes affecting research data sharing;
  • review and advising about data sharing considerations in IRB applications;
  • cross-unit data sharing policies, procedures, and agreements;
  • educating about data sharing;
  • promoting best practices for data sharing, and
  • transfer of data that is non-public or is otherwise subject to restrictions on its use.

 Again, to begin, forward your DUA to ORSP for processing via eRPM's UFA system.

References and Resources

  • University of Michigan ITS Data Security Guidelines
  • PI Sign UFA Reference Guide (ITS Website) This is a job aid created by U-M Information Technology Services (ITS) for use on the eResearch Proposal Management (eRPM) system. Before the final agreement can be executed, the Contact PI must “sign” the UFA and a corresponding Conflict of Interest Statement before routing to ORSP. This process is completed using the Sign UFA activity in the UFA workspace and must be signed by the PI in advance of ORSP review.


For questions about any of these activities or about transferring sensitive data or structuring complex data sharing activities, please contact your Project Representative.