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Genomic Data Access

The database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP) was developed to archive and distribute the results of studies that have investigated the interaction of genotypes and phenotypes.

Minimum Qualifications to Apply to Access Controlled-access Data in dbGaP

Minimum qualifications are required to submit a Data Access Request (DAR) for controlled-access data. Investigators must be permanent employees of their institution at a level equivalent to a tenure-track professor or senior scientist with responsibilities that most likely include laboratory or research program administration and oversight. Laboratory staff and trainees such as graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are not permitted to submit DARs for controlled-access data through dbGaP. 

Investigators submitting DARs must have a registered eRA Commons* account to apply for controlled-access data in NIH supported repositories. NIH staff who want to apply for access must first submit an access permission form. Eligibility requirements are outlined in the access form, including required signature approvals. Once the form is submitted, the requesting staff member will be notified via email that access to the dbGaP system has been granted.

Note: Those who do not have a pre-existing eRA Commons account can request one on the eRA Commons website.

Submitting a Controlled-access Data Request

Investigators seeking controlled-access tier data will submit a data access request (DAR) by logging into the dbGaP Authorized Access system. Investigators will describe their proposed research in accordance with the allowed data uses specified for each dataset requested. The investigator and their institutional signing official will review and agree to the terms in the DAR. 

For an overview, view the dbGaP Data Access Process for:

The NCI Data Access Committee (DAC) will review and return decisions all DARs within 14 days following the institutional signing official's certification of the DAR. The committee evaluates whether the request conforms to data use limitations set by the submitting institution.
For additional information, investigators should review Supplementary Instructions for Principal Investigators Requesting Authorized Access to dbGaP Datasets.

Data Access Resources