How to Apply

How to apply for restricted use contract data

Applying for restricted use contract data is a two-step process including a preliminary application and a full application.

Preliminary application - Before beginning work on the full application, researchers should submit the Preliminary Application Form, along with a draft of their structured abstract and a CV for each person who will be included in the application, to CRCFW (c/o [email protected]) in order to get preliminary approval. Make sure to read the full documentation for files of interest prior to submitting your Preliminary Application. 

Full application - For complete instructions on the full application, see Contract Data Agreement below. To be given access to the restricted use contract data, you must submit the following items to CRCFW via email to [email protected]:

  1. A copy of the final structured abstract, which should be a maximum of one single-spaced page and should address the following: research questions, which restricted data files you are requesting, and the justification for why the restricted data are needed for this project.
  2. Written assurance that your institution has an Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Human Subjects which has a Multiple Project Assurance (MPA) or Federalwide Assurance (FWA) from NIH. The MPA or FWA number must be submitted with the application.1
  3. A Data Protection Plan form, with three sections detailing (1) where data will be stored, (2) how data will be accessed, and (3) how results will be disclosed.
  4. Proof of IRB review of the final data protection plan and proposed abstract. Full-board review and approval is not required; expedited or exempt responses are accepted.
  5. An application fee of $800 (payable by check or money order to the CRCFW).
  6. A signed copy of the Contract Data Agreement by you, as the Principal Investigator, and a senior university official who binds the university/institution. This refers to an individual who has the authority to represent your organization in agreements of this sort, such as a Vice President, Dean, Provost, Center Director, or similar official.
  7. A Supplemental Research Agreement with Research Personnel signed by each person who will access the data for the research purposes described in the application (referred to Research Personnel throughout this document).
  8. A curriculum vitae for the Investigator and each Research Personnel who will access the data for the research purposes described in the application.
  9. A copy of the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) certificate of completion for the Investigator and all Research Personnel who will access the data for the research purposes described in the application. The online certification can be completed at If you are a new CITI learner, please register and complete the Social and Behavior - Basic/Refresher course. Evidence of comparable training is also acceptable.

Please see the Contract Data Agreement (updated August 2023) for instructions and necessary paperwork.

If you have any questions about this process, please see the Contract Data FAQ. You may also email [email protected] with remaining questions.

1Researchers affiliated with institutions outside of the U.S. must have written assurance that your IRB is registered or certified by applicable authorities within the jurisdiction in which the institution is located.