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Statistical Standards Program

Applying for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

The Memorandum of Understanding is used to provide data to federal agencies or offices, external to IES.

To qualify for and receive a restricted-use data Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), applicants must designate a Principal Project Officer (PPO), Senior Official (SO), and Systems Security Officer (SSO). These persons will sign the required documents for the License.

The PPO is responsible for the day-to-day operations involving the requested data. Academic applicants must have the rank of post-doctoral fellow or above to serve as the PPO. Visiting professors or scholars cannot be a PPO. Applicants in research laboratories or analytic consulting firms must have the rank of research associate or above to serve as a PPO.

Each application must have the support of a SO who has the legal authority to sign the License (contract) on behalf of the institution or organization to bind the organization to the terms of the License. To find out who your SO would be, contact your grant/contract office or sponsored projects office. The PPO cannot serve as the SO.

Each application must have a SSO to oversee the security of the data. The SSO must be a full-time employee of the institution or organization that is applying. Students cannot serve as the SSO. The PPO can serve as the SSO.

IES needs a Security Plan Form or copy of the Certification & Accreditation approval. These approvals will sometimes come as a memo from the Federal Agency Office of the Chief Information Officer. The C&A approval memo should be for the system where the restricted-use data will reside.

You may designate up to seven professional/technical and support staff who will access the restricted-use data. The PPO is counted as one of these seven staff persons. (Note: If you need to designate more than seven staff, you will have to apply for a second License. Notify IES via email ( before you apply for a second License.)

Applicants must read the Restricted-use Data Procedures Manual prior to submitting the application. This manual outlines required procedures and details the security requirements.

To proceed with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the PPO must Submit a Formal Request. Once IES approves the Formal Request, then the PPO submits the following three documents:

To complete your application, please mail:

  • 1. The signed MOU Document,
  • 2. The signed Security Plan, or Certification & Accreditation (C&A) Approval
  • 3. Notarized Affidavit(s) of Nondisclosure

To the IES Data Security Office, at:

IES Data Security, NCES, PCP 4165
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202
Taara Cason (202) 245-6146

If approved, you will receive the following information: