Award for Research Data Stewardship: Call for Nominations

Data held by companies holds the potential to unlock new scientific insights that can benefit society and expand human knowledge. When responsibly shared with academic researchers, this data can support progress in medicine and public health, education, social science, and many other fields. But access to the data needed is often unavailable due to a range of concerns – including the need to protect individual privacy. If processes for handling and transferring data for research are not properly structured, sensitive personal information may be compromised.

The Future of Privacy Forum Award for Research Data Stewardship recognizes a research partnership between a company that has shared data with an academic institution in privacy protective manner, thereby driving the use of privately held data for academic research. The leadership award will be presented to both the company and its academic partner based on several factors, including the adherence to privacy protection in the sharing process, the quality of the data handling process, and the company’s commitment to supporting academic research. Nominees who clearly demonstrate privacy protective approaches to data protection and ethical data sharing will be judged favorably.

The award was established by the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), a nonprofit organization that serves as a catalyst for privacy leadership and scholarship, advancing principled data practices in support of emerging technologies. FPF launched the Corporate-Academic Data Stewardship Research Alliance, a peer-to-peer network of private companies who share the goal of facilitating privacy-protective data sharing between businesses and academic researchers. The Corporate-Academic Data Stewardship Research Alliance and the award are supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a not-for-profit grantmaking institution that supports high-quality, impartial scientific research and institutions.

Award Criteria:

The award will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • The extent to which the research program incorporates privacy-protective measures
  • The quality of the data handling process based on privacy protections, quality of data, model processes, and novel methods used
  • The use of privacy protective solutions to overcome challenges to sharing particular data sets
  • The extent to which data sharing was conducted in an open, transparent manner, or otherwise advances a culture of sharing between industry and academic institutions
  • Demonstration of the company’s commitment to supporting independent academic research
  • The extent to which the data shared leads to academic research supporting scientific progress or social impact

Review Committee:

Nominations will be reviewed and selected by the Award Committee, comprised of academic and industry thought leaders, including representatives from FPF, leading foundations, academics, and industry leaders.

Nominations:

The public is invited to nominate a successful data-sharing project that has reflected privacy protective approaches to data sharing. We encourage anyone who has knowledge of a corporate-research data sharing partnership that should be evaluated for this award to contact [email protected] so that the corporate and research partners can be contacted for further information sharing. Self-nominations by companies or academics involved with relevant projects and nominations from the public are welcome. Companies and their academic research partners are invited to apply by filling out the corporate and academic nomination forms.

There are no specific time limits or constraints on the research activities recognized. Nominations must be received by Thursday, March 12, 2020 and the award winner will be notified by Monday, March 16, 2020. For any questions or further information, please email Kelsey Finch, FPF Senior Counsel, at [email protected], or Dr. Sara Jordan, FPF Policy Counsel, at [email protected].

Announcement of Award:

The Future of Privacy Forum will present the award at an April 6, 2020 gala in Washington, DC to include privacy leaders from government, industry, non-profit organizations, and academia. The award will be presented to a member of the academic research team and a senior executive at the company that provided the data. The award will be promoted to the media and other stakeholders. FPF will pay for travel and lodging in Washington, DC for the academic winner.

For any questions or further information, please email Kelsey Finch, FPF Senior Counsel, at [email protected].