Contract Data FAQ

Getting Started

For Current Contract Data Users

Getting Started

What kinds of variables are included in the contract data that are not in the public use data?

The contract data includes a series of add-on files for sensitive data that are not included in the public use data. You can apply for just one file or for multiple files. For details on what is included in each file, see below.

What kinds of variables are included in the geographic file?

It includes the focal child's birth city, mother's and father's state of residence at each interview, and stratum and psu. (Note: replicate weights are available on the public file in lieu of these.) For further information, see here.

What kinds of variables are included in the contextual file?

The contextual data is based on the census tract and includes demographics, education, employment, housing conditions, rent, income, and public assistance. For further documentation, see here.

What kinds of variables are included in the medical records file?

Medical records data are for mothers and children from the birth hospitalization record. Please note that this is not the mother’s lifetime medical records nor does it include medical information for the child past baseline. For further documentation, see here.

What kinds of variables are included in the school characteristics file?

This file includes National Center for Educational Statistics data for the focal child's school at the Year 9 follow-up wave. For further documentation, see here.

What kinds of variables are included in the labor market and macroeconomic file?

It includes data on local employment and national consumer confidence at each wave. For further documentation, see here.

What kinds of variables are included in the genetic data appendage?

It contains genetic information on focal children and their biological mothers, collected during the in-home assessments at the Year 9 follow-up wave. For information on the specific SNPs and biomarkers included, see the genetic component documentation here.

Do most publications from the study use contract data?

No. The public data is suitable for the majority of papers that researchers have published, however we make contract data available for those researchers whose work depends upon some of the more sensitive data.

How do I apply for the contract data?

Applying for contract data is a two-step process including a preliminary application and the full application.

Preliminary application - Before beginning work on the full application, researchers should submit the Preliminary Application Form, along with a draft of their extended abstract and a CV for each person who will be included in the application, to CRCW (c/o in order to get preliminary approval.

Full application – For instructions on what to include in the full application, see here. Please note that you must submit two copies of all application materials.

I am a student. Can I apply for contract data?

University students may gain access to the Contract Data for dissertation research, but a faculty advisor must serve as the Investigator and complete the application process for them. The faculty advisor and institution bear full responsibility for ensuring that all conditions of the license are met by the student. The student must also sign the Supplemental Agreement with Research Staff form.

My Co-investigator is from a different institution than I am. Can we still work with the contract data together?

Yes, however if co-investigators are from different institutions, you will need separate Contract Data Licenses for each institution.

Is there an application fee?

Yes, there is an application fee of $500 (payable by check or money order to CRCW).

How can I ensure I submit a strong application?

Two things you should do are to focus on writing a strong data protection plan and demonstrate that you understand what data you will receive and how it is relevant to your work.

How long does it take to receive the data after applying?

Following the approval of your preliminary application, you are able to submit the full application. Review of the full application takes approximately 2-3 weeks.


For Current Contract Data Users


I am adding a new person to my research staff. What do I need to do for them to access the contract data?

Any new research staff members need to submit the Supplemental Agreement with Research Staff form.Such Supplemental Agreements must be submitted before the new Research Staff may have access to the Contract Data.

What do I do when I am done with my project and/or the time limit runs out?

At the conclusion of your project or two years following the approval of your application (whichever comes first), all your copies of the contract data must be destroyed. If at the end of 2 years access to the contract data is still desired, you must apply for an extension to the license.

What do I do if I have a restricted data contract and I switch universities/institutions?

Please write to to inform us of your move – prior to the move if possible. We request that you send us an updated abstract, any changes that will be made to the data protection plan, and notice of approval from the IRB at the new institution.