Protecting Confidentiality of Research Information


While the University of Mississippi (UM) adheres to a principle of free and open publication, there are instances in which confidentiality is necessary and appropriate. UM’s policy, “Information Confidentiality/Security Plan” (ADM.IT.400.030), details the administrative, technical, and physical safeguards required to maintain confidentiality of information.  The Division of Technology Management (DTM) in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs has established this procedure to describe the process used to protect confidential research information by the execution of a Confidential Disclosure Agreement between UM and a 3rd party.


All UM employees who wish to discuss or otherwise exchange written or verbal confidential information related to research with a 3rd party should have such communications under the terms of a Confidential Disclosure Agreement (a “CDA”, also known among other names as a Confidentiality Agreement, a Non-Disclosure Agreement, a NDA, a Secrecy Agreement, a Proprietary Information Agreement or a PIA).  The CDA should be between the 3rd party and UM, not the 3rd party and a UM employee.  UM employees should request initiation, negotiation and execution of a CDA from DTM using a Request to Draft Confidential Disclosure Agreement Form.

The signatory authority for CDAs involving research activities is the Vice Chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs.  The UM employee closest to the project will be asked to sign the CDA as “Acknowledged by” and to notify other UM employees involved in the project of the terms of the CDA.  If a 3rd party sends a draft CDA related to research activities directly to a UM employee, the UM employee should send the agreement to DTM for review/negotiation/execution on behalf of UM.  DTM will work with the 3rd party to finalize a CDA acceptable to both parties and will let the UM employee know when the agreement is ready for his/her acknowledgment signature.  DTM will send the UM employee a copy of the executed agreement for his/her files.