Guidance on access and use of dbGaP data

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) manages a data repository known as the “database of Genotypes and Phenotypes” or “dbGaP.” The function of this data repository is to archive and distribute data developed from studies that investigate relationships between genotypic and phenotypic information in humans.

Process for requesting access to dbGaP datasets

Investigators who are permanent employees of Duke and eligible to serve as a Principal Investigator (PI) at Duke, may request access to dbGaP datasets for research purposes. The following process is in place for Duke investigators interested in requesting access to use dbGap data:

  1. The investigator logs in to the dbGaP Authorized Access System as a “Principal Investigator” using their eRA Commons account.
    • Investigators who do not already have an eRA Commons account should work with the grant managers to initiate account set up.
  2. The investigator creates a project and follows the steps to complete and submit the online application
  3. The application routes to a Duke Institutional Signing Official (Office of Research Support for Campus/Provost Area investigators; Duke Office of Scientific Integrity for School of Medicine and Nursing investigators) to approve the proposal submission. The Duke Institutional Signing Official will coordinate with the investigator on requirements needed, which include:
    • Information Security Office (ISO) review of data storage
    • All internal collaborators completing an LMS training
    • Attestation of compliance with all data terms and conditions
    • IRB approval, if necessary
  4. Once approved by the Duke Institutional Signing Official, the NIH reviews and authorizes approval to access the date. The investigator may then access the dataset through the dbGaP Authorized Access System.


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