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
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.
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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.
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.