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Protected Research Data Network 


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 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; and 
  • 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.
  • Maintain familiarity with and apply current data security principles to existing and proposed academic and research projects, and advise researchers, program staff, 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 protocols. 
  • 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 regulations.



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 processes.
  • A thorough understanding of standard DUA contractual elements and the ability to discuss legal terms with external organizations and Duke faculty and student researchers.
  • 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 building.
  • 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.


Duke University 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 essential job 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.



Work requires a Bachelor's degree in a field related to the specific position. A Master's degree is strongly preferred.

Apply here with Req code: 401551317


For other employment opportunities at Duke, click here.

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


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