Contract Data FAQ

Getting Started

For Current Contract Data Users

Requests for Adding New Contract Data 

Getting Started

What kinds of variables are included in the contract data that are not in the public use data?

The contract data includes a series of add-on files for sensitive data that are not included in the public use data. You can apply for just one file or for multiple files. For details on what is included in each file, please see the What is Available page. Please click on the name of each file you are interested in to see more details and documentation. 

Do most publications from the study use contract data?

No. The public data is suitable for the majority of papers that researchers have published, however we make contract data available for those researchers whose work depends upon some of the more sensitive data.

How do I apply for the contract data?

Applying for contract data is a two-step process including a preliminary application and the 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.

Full application – For instructions on what to include in the full application, visit the How to Apply page.

I am a student. Can I apply for contract data?

Students and postdocs may gain access to the Contract Data for dissertation research, but a faculty advisor must serve as the Investigator and complete the application process for them. The faculty advisor and institution bear full responsibility for ensuring that all conditions of the license are met by the student. The student/postdoc must also sign the “Supplemental Agreement with Research Personnel” form when submitting the full application.

My Co-investigator is from a different institution than I am. Can we still work with the contract data together?

Yes. However if co-investigators are from different institutions, you will need separate contracts for each institution. This means that you and your co-investigator need to submit separate signed Contract Data Agreements (including signatures from institutional officials), as well as the IRB approvals from your and their universities. If the data protection plan will be different for each of you, you would also need to submit those forms separately.  

Is there an application fee?

Yes, there is an application fee of $800.

We are not able to accept credit cards. The fee is payable by check or money order to the Center for Research on Child and Family Wellbeing. We can also send you an invoice/request for the payment if it is needed by your institution to issue a payment for the $800 application fee. Please contact [email protected] if you need an invoice. 

How can I ensure I submit a strong application?

Two things you should do are: 1) demonstrate that you understand what data you will receive, and why it is relevant to your work (Preliminary Application) and 2) ensure all portions of the Data Protection Plan form are filled out completely and accurately (Full Application)

How long does it take to receive the data after applying?

Following the approval of your preliminary application, you are able to submit the full application. Review of the full application takes approximately 2-3 weeks upon receiving the whole application package, including the application fee. 

Can I apply for restricted data from an university/institution located outside of the United States?

Yes. Researchers 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. Learn more on the Restricted Use Contract Data page.

Can I store the contract data on a virtual machine?

Yes, you can if it is included in your approved Data Protection Plan. If you want to use a virtual machine to store the data, please follow the instructions on the “Server” section in the Data Protection Plan form.

For Current Contract Data Users

What do I do if I have a restricted data contract and I switch universities/institutions?

Please write to [email protected] to inform us of your move – prior to the move if possible. We request that you send us an updated abstract, any changes that will be made to the data protection plan, and notice of approval from the IRB at the new institution. The contract will also need to be signed by an official at the new institution. The charge for the contract transferring is $200.

I am adding a new person to my research staff. What do I need to do for them to access the contract data?

To add your new personnel to the contract, please submit an updated "Supplemental Agreement with Research Personnel" form, the CV and CITI certificate of your new staff, and confirm that this addition does not result in any changes to your Data Protection Plan form. The "Supplemental Agreement with Research Personnel" form is available on Page 13 of the Contract Data Agreement. If there will be changes to your Data Protection Plan, please also submit a revised Plan.

How do I add a new file to a contract?

In order to request that new file be added to your contract, please send us an updated version of your extended abstract. Also, please confirm that your data protection plan is still current and there haven't been any changes that would affect the status of your project with the IRB.

What do I do when I am done with my project and/or the time limit runs out?

At the conclusion of your project or two years following the approval of your application (whichever comes first), all your copies of the contract data must be destroyed. If at the end of two years access to the contract data is still desired, you must apply for an extension to the contract.

How do I apply for an extension of the contract?

In order to apply for a one-year extension, please send [email protected] an updated abstract. Also, please confirm that your Data Protection Plan form is still current and there haven't been any changes that would affect the status of your project with the IRB. 

What happens if I do not submit the Request for Extension Form/Data Destruction Form?

Your contract is considered Out-of-Compliance. Contracts that are active and in compliance are eligible to request Restricted Use Contract Data updates. The updated data is provided at no additional charge to these researchers; however no such updates are provided in the event that a contract is out of compliance. Also, failure to submit this documentation before the contract expires could jeopardize a researcher's future request for the Restricted Use Contract Data. Sometimes unavoidable circumstances can cause delays in the submission of the Extension form and FFCWS staff are more than willing to work with institutions to facilitate the process.

What to do if I have already renewed my contract twice?

You need to reapply for the contract data if you would like to continue your project. If your project has concluded, please see “What do I do when I am done with my project and/or the time limit runs out?” To reapply, you can skip the preliminary application, however we request you submit current versions for all of the full application materials. The new contract will be valid for two years and eligible for two one-year extensions upon approval. The reapplication fee is $200. 

Requests for Adding New Contract Data 

What kinds of data can I request to have added through this process?

Examples include: contextual data based on the Census tract, county, or MSA of the mother’s and father’s address from baseline to Year 9 or PCG at Year 15; and school and school district data based on NCES school codes. We are not able to merge data at the individual level (e.g., by name).

How long does this process take?

Timelines may vary based on the complexity of the request and the current queue of other requests. Preliminary applications are reviewed by a committee periodically and you will be contacted as soon as your application is approved. We can provide the estimated time when we receive your complete application.

Do I also need to pay the $800 contract application fee?

Yes, the $800 contract application fee helps us with the administrative costs of reviewing the Restricted Use Contract Data Application, while the service fee for adding new data covers costs related to the merging, cleaning, and documentation of the new data. However, if you are already a contract data user whose contract is not expired, you do not need to pay the contract application fee ($800) again. For more information, see the What is Available page.