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GaP FAQ Archive [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Center for Biotechnology Information (US); 2009-.

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GaP FAQ Archive [Internet].

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Collaborators within PI’s Institution

I am working on the “Collaborators” section of dbGaP data application. What are requirements for collaborators? Can collaborators be from other institutions?

The Signing Official (SO) of PI’s sponsor institution is ultimately responsible for proper data use and data security of downloaded dbGaP data. All requests for dbGaP data therefore are specific for one institution and there is no provision for transfer of individual level data between authorized collaborators. Collaborators listed in PI’s application must be from PI’s institution since the signing official (SO) cannot approve data use by researchers at another institution.

If the persons are trainees, lab staff, or postdocs within the PI’s laboratory or any key collaborators laboratories, they do not need to be explicitly named. The PI agrees through the DUC that all who will work on the data have read and agreed to abide by the policy and the terms and conditions in the DUC. If people come on to the project during the approval period, the PI should assure that this is done for them before they begin working, but the DAR does not need to be added. If the persons are independent investigators, they should be added as another key collaborator and if at another institution, they should have their own separate request routed through his or her institution for an authorized signature.

The information of external collaborators (if any) should also be provided. Here is more information about it.


Collaborators outside PI’s Institution

As an authorized user for individual level data, can I add another investigator who is outside my institute to my data access application so I can share the data with him?

The Signing Official (SO) of PI’s institution is ultimately responsible for proper use and security of downloaded dbGaP data. All data obtained from the dbGaP is allowed to shared only within internal collaborators through a secured computer system within PI’s institution. The data downloaded through PI’s dbGaP account is not meant to be shared with external collaborators.

The external collaborators included in PI’s application should make their own dbGaP data access request independently. The external collaborator information provided in the application form will help the Data Access Committee (DAC) manage the identical or similar data requests from related collaborators from different institutions. The requests from all parties of the collaboration thus may get an expedited review.

When preparing independent dbGaP data application through respective institution, each external collaborator should be the primary PI of the application. The project title of all external collaborators should be the same. The “Research Use Statements” section of each application should mention the respective external collaborators and the fact that this is a joint research project so that the Data Access Committee (DAC) can review the requests together. These are important for an expedited review of separately submitted requests from all external collaborators.

You can revise your application to include such a statement if it hasn’t been included. Please see here for more about how to revise and resubmit a dbGaP project.


Collaborators Who Contract with PI’s Institution

I’m university staff and will collaborate with a company whose contract is with my university. Should the company submit a separate data request form?

The company that has contract with your institution is considered to be an external collaborator. They must submit a separate data access request since each data access request is specific to one institution: Please see here for more about external collaborators.


Add or Remove Collaborators

How can I add or remove collaborators from my dbGaP project?

The collaborators listed in PI’s application must be from PI’s institution. To add or remove collaborators from a dbGaP project, the PI needs to revise and resubmit the project through the dbGaP system. Please see here for more details of how to revise and resubmit dbGaP project. If the collaborator is from a different institution, please see here for the information about external collaborators.



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