Research Agreements Manager

Duke University
Office of Research Units - OVPR
Closing date
Oct 22, 2021

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Job Details

Duke University:

Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America’s leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.


The mission of the Duke Research Data Security team is to support Duke researchers and

academic program staff in their work with Sensitive and Restricted data. We serve researchers

at all levels across Duke University and the Duke Health and all levels of scholarship (faculty,

undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students, and staff). We assist with IRB protocol

documents, data use agreements (DUAs), data security plans, academic capstone projects, and

other projects that involve questions about acquiring data and data security. We also provide

computation and storage in our secure enclave and assist with planning technical workflows in

that enclave.

Occupational Summary

This position plays a key role in acquiring Sensitive and Restricted data sets for researchers and

serves as a research and academic contracts legal assistant for the Research Data Security team.

The position combines general knowledge in the legal, research, and data security fields and

works in conjunction with faculty, students, and staff to:

• Review and track Data Use Agreements (DUAs), Data Security Plans (DSPs), IRB

proposals, and other research project documentation to ensure that security

requirements will be met, and legal contracts will comply with Duke’s current stance on

issues such as copyright and intellectual property rights;

• Assist researchers and academic program staff through all stages of executing and

maintaining IRB protocols and agreements with external organizations, including

government agencies, university-affiliated research centers, non-profit and for-profit

data collection centers, and other organizations that require the execution of contracts;


• Assist with the development and implementation of operational processes for ensuring

compliance with terms of DUAs and other project-related contracts. Additionally, this

position will be expected to provide professional insight in the formation of policy and

process recommendations for research data security at Duke.

Work Performed:

• Assist in drafting and reviewing complex legal agreements to acquire or renew access to

datasets for specific research or academic use. Write, review, and edit DUAs and Data

Management Plans (as required by external data providers). Explain and demonstrate

effective data applications. Maintain up-to-date knowledge of current data provider and

Duke requirements.

• Assist Duke researchers with drafting and submitting Requests for Protocol Approval to

the campus and medical IRBs. Assist with amendments to existing or proposed protocols

as needed. Ensure timely submission of renewals and amendments. Provide

guidance/assist with restricted data applications with public and private data providers.

• Serve as a key facilitator with other parties (including data providers, Duke

Procurement, departmental computing groups, the Office of Research Support, the

University IT Security Office, OIT, University Counsel, Duke Medicine organizational units

(e.g. DOCR, ISO, OCRC) and others) in leading the effort to bridge researchers’ and

academics’ needs for access to secure environments for data and computation. (20%)

• Maintain familiarity with and apply current data security principles to existing and

proposed academic research projects and advise researchers and administrators on

mitigating any risks involved.

• Maintain familiarity with relevant international, federal, state, and University

regulations and policies applicable to academic research and human subject protection,

and advise researchers as to their applicability to proposed or approved research


• Maintains up-to-date records of all agreement negotiations through timely and accurate

entries in project database. In conjunction with the Associate Director of Research Data

Security and RDS team, provide input to the developers to improve the team’s tools for

tracking and complying with agreements.


Work requires a bachelor's degree in a field related to the specific position. A Master’s Degree

is strongly preferred. Work requires communication, analytical and organizational skills

sufficient to analyze, understand and interpret complex university policies and federal



Work requires five years of experience in research administration, law, or related work. Legal

experience preferred. A related professional or graduate degree may offset required years of

experience on a 1:1 basis, e.g., a two-year master's degree in lieu of two years of experience, or

an equivalent combination of relevant education and/or experience.


• A minimum of two years of experience in an administrative or regulatory environment.

Experience in a legal, human research protections, academic research, or IT security

program preferred.

• Technical or legal writing proficiency, especially writing and executing Data Use

Agreements and IRB protocol documents in an academic setting.

• Excellent organizational skills; familiarity and knowledge of academic research


• A thorough understanding of standard DUA contractual elements and the ability to

discuss legal terms with external organizations and Duke faculty and student


• Detail-oriented with high degree of computer literacy and competency in the use of

office applications.

• Knowledge of data security, privacy, and human subject protections issues and

applicable laws and policies.

• Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated abilities in collaboration and consensus


• Initiative, resourcefulness and the ability to self-direct, problem-solve, and follow

processes to completion. A collaborative problem solver who can take initiative and set

priorities while being flexible.

Application Process

All applicants must apply through the Duke Human Resources system at

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


Read our Diversity Profile History

Duke University was created in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. The Dukes, a Durham family that built a worldwide financial empire in the manufacture of tobacco products and developed electricity production in the Carolinas, long had been interested in Trinity College. Trinity traced its roots to 1838 in nearby Randolph County when local Methodist and Quaker communities opened Union Institute. The school, then named Trinity College, moved to Durham in 1892, where Benjamin Newton Duke served as a primary benefactor and link with the Duke family until his death in 1929. In December 1924, the provisions of indenture by Benjamin’s brother, James B. Duke, created the family philanthropic foundation, The Duke Endowment, which provided for the expansion of Trinity College into Duke University.Duke Campus

As a result of the Duke gift, Trinity underwent both physical and academic expansion. The original Durham campus became known as East Campus when it was rebuilt in stately Georgian architecture. West Campus, Gothic in style and dominated by the soaring 210-foot tower of Duke Chapel, opened in 1930. East Campus served as home of the Woman's College of Duke University until 1972, when the men's and women's undergraduate colleges merged. Both men and women undergraduates now enroll in either the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences or the Pratt School of Engineering. In 1995, East Campus became the home for all first-year students.

Duke maintains a historic affiliation with the United Methodist Church.

Home of the Blue Devils, Duke University has about 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students and a world-class faculty helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge. The university has a strong commitment to applying knowledge in service to society, both near its North Carolina campus and around the world.

Mission Statement

Duke Science"James B. Duke's founding Indenture of Duke University directed the members of the University to 'provide real leadership in the educational world' by choosing individuals of 'outstanding character, ability, and vision' to serve as its officers, trustees and faculty; by carefully selecting students of 'character, determination and application;' and by pursuing those areas of teaching and scholarship that would 'most help to develop our resources, increase our wisdom, and promote human happiness.'

“To these ends, the mission of Duke University is to provide a superior liberal education to undergraduate students, attending not only to their intellectual growth but also to their development as adults committed to high ethical standards and full participation as leaders in their communities; to prepare future members of the learned professions for lives of skilled and ethical service by providing excellent graduate and professional education; to advance the frontiers of knowledge and contribute boldly to the international community of scholarship; to promote an intellectual environment built on a commitment to free and open inquiry; to help those who suffer, cure disease, and promote health, through sophisticated medical research and thoughtful patient care; to provide wide ranging educational opportunities, on and beyond our campuses, for traditional students, active professionals and life-long learners using the power of information technologies; and to promote a deep appreciation for the range of human difference and potential, a sense of the obligations and rewards of citizenship, and a commitment to learning, freedom and truth.Duke Meeting

 “By pursuing these objectives with vision and integrity, Duke University seeks to engage the mind, elevate the spirit, and stimulate the best effort of all who are associated with the University; to contribute in diverse ways to the local community, the state, the nation and the world; and to attain and maintain a place of real leadership in all that we do.”

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