Sensitive Research Data Support

The Office of Research and Innovation, Research Computing, and Data Security teams at Duke come together to support the computational and data needs of Duke faculty, staff and students using sensitive or regulated data for their research.  The collaborative service offering is under development and will replace the Protected Research Data Network service.

Data classified as sensitive includes many types of identifiable or proprietary data, e.g., health records, internal business records, longitudinal studies, educational records, and data regulated by various laws and standards such as NIST 800-171, GDPR, or Export Controls.

Administrative and regulatory services for projects with sensitive data are provided by the Office of Research & Innovation. We assist researchers across the institution in assessing the need for, and coordinating to obtain, research approvals and documents (including Data Use Agreements (DUAs), Data Management Plans (DMPs), and IRB protocols). We also help verify that Duke can adequately meet the administrative and technical requirements of both the university and data providers.  The first step is to schedule a consultation so we can determine your needs and get you connected with the computing and security teams.

Consider using these services when working with data (primary and/or secondary) that are classified as Sensitive according to the Duke standard (such as data protected by HIPAA,  FERPA, or other regulations, human subjects research data, controlled unclassified information, and data protected under a data use agreement or similar contract). The service is appropriate for both primary and secondary data analysis and storage.

We support students, faculty, and academic program staff from departments, schools, and institutes across Duke. We can support Duke Health staff and students working with third party data that is not from Duke Health.

The costs of network space supporting your project will depend upon your computational needs. Access to the consultations, regulatory, and administrative services are provided free of charge by the university.

Current users of the PRDN can continue using the same processes you've used in the past.  Email requests to

New users can complete the new intake form. Please email if you have additional questions.

No action is needed at this time.  You will continue to be supported as you were previously and will be contacted regarding any anticipated changes.