UChicago Agreement with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC)

Since 1947, the University of Chicago and the National Opinion Research Center (“NORC”) have enjoyed a close affiliation and a productive history of collaboration and cooperation, bringing many benefits to both organizations as well as to the community and the nation. In order to strengthen and expand their collaboration, in 2015 the University and NORC established a new agreement with the goal of enabling and encouraging collaborative research between the two institutions, including new research opportunities, with due respect for the interests, policies and practices of each institution. The terms of the agreement are:

  1. Collaborations between NORC and the University may be initiated by either NORC or by members of the University faculty or Other Academic Appointees (“OAAs”). This includes situations where University faculty members are serving as the Principal Investigator on a grant or contract awarded to NORC. University faculty members and OAAs may be engaged in a NORC project either through consulting opportunities issued to the faculty member or OAA or through subcontracts or other contractual arrangements issued to the University. University faculty members or OAAs participating in NORC activities under a consulting agreement with NORC are required to disclose such activities to the University in accordance with the University’s Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment policies.
  2. Short term collaborations with University faculty members or OAAs (i.e. summer appointments for faculty on 9-month appointments or other engagements requiring less than the time available to the University faculty member or OAA under the University’s conflict of commitment policy) will be managed as consulting agreements between NORC and the individual faculty member or OAA in accordance with the University’s policy for conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment in effect at that time.
  3. All other externally-funded collaborations with University faculty members, OAAs and staff will be managed through a subcontract or an official contractual agreement to ensure salary and other cost recovery and to document the faculty member’s or OAA’s time and effort per University policies and federal regulations. The subcontract method is required in every instance where the faculty member or OAA will use University resources (labs or other facilities, technicians, data management, student research assistance, administrative support, etc.). When a faculty member or OAA participates in a collaboration under subcontract from NORC, and when they will direct or supervise graduate students in that collaboration whose academic work they also supervise, those graduate students’ work will also be managed under the subcontract. The University and NORC acknowledge the following principles of these subcontracts:
    1. ​The University and NORC are committed to making the results of their work available to the public through publication and other dissemination means to the maximum extent possible.
    2. The parties acknowledge that most work done at NORC is performed on a “fee for service” basis, and not on traditional sponsored research terms that preserve unfettered rights to publish and ownership of intellectual property rights. This does not preclude involvement by University faculty members and OAAs, but does raise additional considerations for the University that the University must assess.
    3. The parties acknowledge that some of the projects undertaken by NORC are designed to gather sensitive data and due to the sensitive nature of the data collected, NORC is required to restrict publication of that sensitive data. In these situations, NORC will make reasonable efforts to maintain the right to publish on the methods used in the project while protecting the sensitive data from disclosure and, if possible, the right to publish aggregate data to lessen or avoid concerns about disclosure of sensitive data.
    4. With the faculty member’s or OAA’s concurrence, the University may accept data publication restrictions if the right to publish on methods or an aggregated basis is satisfactorily preserved, as determined by the University’s Vice President for Research or Associate Vice President for Research Administration.
    5. If publications are completely restricted on a project, special approval of the University will be required to evaluate the impact such restrictions will have on the individuals involved in the project and on other relevant considerations.
    6. The University will not accept any publication restrictions on projects that the University believes are most appropriately classified as Research. For the purposes of this agreement, “research” is defined as “studies that are for the purpose of gaining new insights or knowledge, discovering new ideas, or increasing knowledge of phenomena.” It does not include the design of data gathering techniques/instruments but may include inquiry and analysis utilizing the data gathered.
    7. For clarity, the sponsor may have up to 60 days to review any proposed publications for the purpose of identifying any inadvertently disclosed sponsor confidential information and to identify potentially patentable intellectual property. This diligence in assuring the proposed publication does not inadvertently reveal information that is important to our sponsors is part of normal business routines and not in any way considered a restriction on being able to publish.
  4. Faculty members’ or OAAs’ work for NORC may at times exceed the allowable consulting days and where no University space or resources are utilized, the work may proceed under an agreements such as an Inter-institutional Personnel Agreement or Salary Reimbursement agreement to reimburse the University for salary and benefits costs consistent with the time commitment being made to NORC. This includes appointments where NORC and the university have agreed to course buyout arrangements. Any such arrangements will be approved and processed through normal sponsored-project procedures and include the University’s off campus indirect cost rate.
  5. The University and NORC acknowledge each other’s respective desire to maintain the maximum ownership, publication rights and intellectual property rights available under a federal government contract. Notwithstanding, the University and NORC acknowledge that Federal funding agencies may include restrictions relating to publication, copyright, rights in data, and intellectual property as conditions of award. The University and NORC will collaborate in the negotiation/acceptance of these terms.
  6. Notwithstanding anything in this agreement, neither the University nor NORC may commit the other partner or any of its personnel, facilities or other resources to the terms of any contract or award.

For University faculty members and OAAs, including those engaged by NORC as summer or intermittent staff, ownership of copyright in scholarly works will, consistent with the University’s copyright policy, reside in the faculty member or OAA author, unless those scholarly works are also deliverables under contract. In the latter case, ownership will be determined in accordance with the University’s copyright policy and/or the terms and conditions of the negotiated agreement between NORC and the University.