Research Resources

Data Usage Agreements, also referred to as DUAs, are agreements or contracts established between researchers at the University (faculty, graduate students, or undergraduate students) and a provider of a dataset.  These contracts provide the parameters and protocols for a given dataset for the researcher to access and use the dataset in their research. 

Many datasets have requirements and penalties in their agreements that the University wants to review and approve of prior to a dataset's acquisition or purchase.  This is to ensure that any liability or penalty if the data is mishandled or misused is known at the beginning of the project and appropriate measures are taken to ensure the protection of the data.

If you are a looking to acquire a piece of data that is not publicly available and without use restrictions, you must submit a proposal to the Office of Sponsored Programs using their DUA portal to ensure that you will not have any issues in using the dataset in your research, while also ensuring that the University will be able to support you in the event of the dataset being mishandled or compromised.

The University has issued specific requirements for travel costs on federal awards. These requirements may also be consistently applied to non-federal and internal funding sources; please work with your sponsored research administrator if you have questions or for interpretation of the policy prior to incurring travel expenses.

Travel on Sponsored Fund
Harvard Travel Services

Please log in with your HarvardKey to review Appendix G: Requirements for Travel Expenses Charged to Federal Awards

Please visit the following site for the University's latest travel policies related to COVID-19.


As a faculty member or student, in order to conduct any research that has to do with human subjects, a proposal must be made to the University's Internal Review Board system.  The system is managed by the Committee on the Use of Human Subjects to ensure all research conducted with human subjects (whether acquired during the proposed study or prior to the proposed study by another collector of human subject data) by the principles established in the Belmont Report

For more information on how to conduct human subjects research, please see the  Harvard University Area Institutional Review Board site.  For information on how to pay for human subject data, please visit our financial office information page.

During your tenure in the department, you may require outside contracting of people or companies to develop tools or conduct research.  Below are links to a standard consulting agreement and the workflow of establishing an agreement with entities external to Harvard.

Model Consulting Agreement of Harvard
Harvard Legal Agreements Workflow, Negotiating Authority and Signing Authority

Visiting Scholars and Fellows (non-stipendiary)


  • The Department welcomes visiting scholars who wish to visit Harvard to pursue independent research in Economics. Visiting Scholars are encouraged to share in the intellectual life of the Department by attending workshops and seminars, auditing courses, and interacting with our faculty and students.
  • An appointment as a Visiting Scholar is designed to permit scholars who have completed a Ph.D. and hold current, tenure-track appointments at other institutions to conduct research at Harvard University. Pre-doctoral or post-doctoral scholars who do not have on-going appointments elsewhere may be eligible for appointment as a Fellow. 
  • All research appointments require faculty sponsorship.

  • Although research appointments carry no financial support of any kind, they do enable a visiting researcher to obtain a Harvard identification card, giving access to Harvard University libraries, museums, discounted gym facilities and an email address. We do not provide office space for visitors, but they are encouraged to search for space at Harvard libraries:

  • The University provides assistance with the visa process for scholars coming from outside the United States. Visitors are entirely responsible for obtaining funding, making their own travel and living arrangements, and obtaining health insurance. 

  • The Department is unable to provide financial support to Visiting Scholars and Fellow appointments. If accepted, visitors must submit proof of sufficient funds to underwrite their living and travel expenses during the duration of the visit. 

  • Research appointments extend for a period of no less than three months and no more than one year.

  • If you are interested in gaining access to the Harvard Libraries and are visiting for a period shorter than one semester, please consult the library’s website or contact Library Privileges at