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Step 3: Contracts, offer, and other requirements

Lifelines aims to be here forever. Please help us by using our data responsibly!

Your application is approved! Now, you are one hurdle away from receiving access to your requested Lifelines data and/or biosamples. On this page you will read more about the necessary contracts, the initial offer, and other obligations.


Offer and D(M)TA

Once an application is approved, Lifelines will prepare a Data (and Material) Transfer Agreement and an offer. To prepare this D(M)TA and offer, you will be contacted by your contact person from the Lifelines Research Office.
The D(M)TA has to be signed by the principal investigator and the legal representative of your organization. The offer has to be signed by the principal investigator and the operations manager (financially authorized to sign).

If you would like to receive a concept version of our D(M)TA, please contact the Lifelines Research Office.

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    Other documents and requirements

    Depending on your project, other contracts, documents, and requirements might apply.

    Lifelines UMCG high performance cluster (HPC)
    If your project requires the use of the Lifelines UMCG HPC, each team member that will access the HPC will need to sign a code of conduct (CoC). You will receive the CoC at the same time that you receive the D(M)TA. Please find a concept version below. Furthermore, each HPC user will have to complete our Lifelines UMCG HPC e-learning module.

    Additional studies
    If your project requires the collection of additional data or biosamples, medical-ethical approval may be required for the proposed collection protocol. The principal investigator of the add-on study is responsible for obtaining approval from a medical-ethical committee.
    Learn more about additional studies

    Linkage studies usually require additional applications and contracts. The principal investigator is responsible for obtaining permission from the other data source(s) to be linked to Lifelines data, and to arrange the agreements and payments with the other data source(s) and – if needed – the trusted third party (TTP). Lifelines will arrange any contracts that are directly between Lifelines and the other data source(s) and/or the TTP.
    Learn more about our linkage possibilities

    For shipment of samples outside of the EU, the applicant is expected to arrange the necessary documentation and paperwork.
    Learn more about the biosamples

    Outsourcing your analyses
    If you will formally outsource analyses to a third party that is not scientifically involved in the project, you will receive a sublicence. Please find a concept version below. The sublicense has to be signed by the applicant and the third party that performs the analysis.

    Important obligations for all Lifelines users

    The principal investigator signs the D(M)TA and is as such responsible for the entire research team to remain compliant. Nevertheless, it is important for all members of the research team to be aware of the most important obligations:

    Purpose limitation
    The members of a specific project team have the right to use Lifelines data and biosamples solely for the purposes and with the means defined in that project's approved research proposal (= application form) and any approved amendments.

    No screenshots or manual copies
    Our data protection policy includes the rule that raw personal data (including pseudonyms) may never leave the secure research environment (Workspace or UMCG HPC), for example via screenshots or manual copying (e.g., writing or typing).
    Note that Lifelines enforces a zero-tolerance policy in this respect. If you want to show a data manager something in your dataset, please inform them where to look and they will find it. If a researcher becomes aware of a personal data breach in the context of the research project, (s)he will notify Lifelines of this as soon as possible by sending an email to our Research Office.

    Export guidelines
    Our data protection policy includes the standard export guideline that the minimal participant group size for which results can be exported or published is N ≥ 10. For more information, see our Export page.

    Publication guidelines
      -  At least 14 days before a researcher intends to submit a manuscript, abstract, poster, factsheet, press release or
         similar, (s)he will send it to our Research Office for review. See our Manuscript page for more information.
      -  The manuscript (or similar) has to adhere to the Lifelines export rules.
      -  The manuscript (or similar) has to include the relevant mandatory phrases and (additional) references.

    Secondary data
    Lifelines central aim is to benefit research on healthy ageing. During your project you will most probably create new variables (e.g., concentrations, markers, compositions, counts, calculations, sum scores, risk scores, diagnostic scores) that can be reused by others. The D(M)TA obliges you to return this data to Lifelines before the end of the research project, together with a reasonably detailed written description of their nature. For more information see Secondary data.

    Working with Lifelines in 5 steps