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 CRCW (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 CRCW via email to [email protected]:

  1. A structured abstract describing your project and what you hope to accomplish, and a one-paragraph justification for why you need access to the restricted use contract data rather than public use data (including which files are being requested).
  2. Written assurance by the researcher that his/her 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.
  3. Your university IRB must approve both your final research plan (structured abstract) and your final data protection plan form. You are required to submit proof of IRB approval.
  4. A data protection plan form, detailing how you plan to protect the files while they are being used, on your computer and after they are printed.
  5. An application fee of $500 (payable by check or money order to CRCW).
  6. A signed Contract Data Agreement by the Principal Investigator.
  7. A signed Contract Data Agreement by 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.
  8. A signed Supplemental Research Agreement with Research Personnel for each person who will have access to the data.
  9. A curriculum vitae for each person who will be accessing the information.
  10. A copy of the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) certificate of completion for all research personnel who will access the restricted use contract data. 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 January 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.