Application Instructions

2/6/2023 UPDATE: We are currently not accepting new data requests at this time! Please check back May 2023.


Before beginning your application, please be sure to read Important information about COACHE data


What to know:

1) Data are released to researchers’ institutions, not to the researchers themselves.

The formal data use agreement (DUA) that governs data sharing is between Harvard University, acting on behalf of COACHE, and your home institution. Therefore, this agreement must be signed your institution’s authorized representative, usually in the Office of Sponsored Research, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, or similar administrative office. It is your responsibility to identify the appropriate authorized representatives who can sign the agreement on behalf of your institution. The agreement is then acknowledged by signatures from yourself, your PI or advisor (if you are a graduate student), and anyone else on your research team who requires access to the COACHE dataset.

2) Data are released for a specific project and a specific time period.

The DUA that you and COACHE will sign is for a specific research project to be completed within a specific time period, after which you must return or destroy the raw data except to the extent necessary to comply with local laws or for research integrity and replication. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to make any necessary data transformations in a script or syntax file, which will allow you to retrace any changes made to the COACHE dataset for your study.

What to do:

1) Visit to familiarize yourself with our survey data and how COACHE, our affiliates, and other researchers in the field have used it to generate new knowledge about faculty working conditions. The COACHE Statistical Reports, in particular, provide a detailed overview at the construct-level of the kinds of data you may expect in our datasets.


2) Email to request an application form and codebook. In that email, summarize in a short paragraph your proposed research question, how our data will help you answer the question, and let us know the names and affiliations of any co-authors, research staff, doctoral students, or graduate advisors who will be a part of the research team. COACHE staff will generally respond to your request for an application within ten business days.


3) Apply for local IRB review. Although the data we will share with you are de-identified, we require that all requesting researchers demonstrate proof of approval or exemption for their study from their home institutions’ IRB before we release any data. We do this to ensure that applicants have appropriately and thoughtfully considered data security and privacy policies to protect confidentiality and unauthorized use.


4) Describe your research study and data protection plan. Using the provided Data Use Agreement, describe your proposed research study in Exhibit A in no more than 2,000 words. Explain the purpose and contribution of your proposed study and contextualize it within the research literature. Tell us how you propose to employ COACHE data in your study. Be specific—which variables do you anticipate using—by using the codebook provided by COACHE after Step 2.

The fundamental goal of the Data Protection Plan is to prevent persons who are not signatories to the Data Use Agreement from gaining access to COACHE data. The Data Protection Plan applies to both the raw data file received from COACHE as well as any copies made by the research team, and any new data derived solely or in part from the raw data file. It should address how computer output derived from the data will be kept secure. This applies to all computer output, not only direct data listings of the file. COACHE will not release data if the plan is not written with sufficient specificity or if data protections are deemed inadequate by COACHE.COACHE will provide instructions on how to prepare a Data Protection Plan along with the application form.

COACHE generally releases data for a three-year period, but we can make exceptions for compelling circumstances. If, at the end of the governing term, you still need to use the data for the research study or for related research questions, you must submit a request in writing for an amendment to the DUA.


5) Submit a completed Data Use Agreement (DUA), including all relevant appendices and highlighted areas, to It is not necessary at this time to have your authorized signatory sign off on the DUA; the purpose of the first submission is to evaluate and approve the research project. Please note that if your study team includes members from different institutions, each institution must submit a separate DUA, with the same project description, but data protection plans tailored to each institution/researcher.


6) COACHE will respond within 4 weeks with questions and clarifications. Although response times will vary, we will generally respond with clarifying questions, if we have any, or with an approval or denial of your request to use COACHE data for your research. Please note that COACHE reserves the right to deny any request for data for any reason.


7) Submit a complete, signed DUA. Be sure to have the completed DUA signed by all relevant parties, including the authorized signatory and all study team members. Harvard will then countersign the DUA to fully execute the agreement. Once the agreement with each institution has been fully executed, COACHE will deliver instructions for accessing the data from our secure servers.