UG – User Agreements

User Agreements

The US Department of Energy, Office of Science scientific national user facility program provides a number of research facilities that are accessible to all interested researchers. Each facility grants access to users following their agreement to the terms detailed in the facility’s user agreement. Research at DIII-D that is supported through awards made by the Office of Science, Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) program establishes the user agreement through the process of accepting the award. In contrast, an interested researcher looking to gain access to unpublished DIII-D research data must join DIII-D through a participating organization that is already bound by the user agreement and agree to uphold that agreement.

For research that is not funded through an FES award, a user agreement with the leading organization is required. DIII-D offers templates for these agreements, ensuring the protection of both the user and the facility. These agreements cover aspects such as liability, indemnification, intellectual property, data rights, and financial matters, aligning with statutory and administrative requirements. 

Once an organization establishes a user agreement, then they are able to bring in any DIII-D users they deem necessary to complete their defined projects. For example, a commercial entity can establish access through a user agreement, and then bring in users from other organizations as necessary to complete their proposed scope.  

Any organization is able to pursue either a Non-Proprietary User Agreement or a Proprietary User Agreement based on their determination of which approach best serves their research and development interests (details on each type of agreement are provided below). If you wish to establish a User Agreement with DIII-D, are considering becoming a member and are unsure if your institution has an existing User Agreement, or have any additional questions, please reach out through our Contact form. 

Non-Proprietary Research User Agreement

The Non-Proprietary User Agreement pertains to organizations participating in research endeavors and requires publicly sharing the outcomes of research and development projects. All DIII-D research data produced by projects conducted under Non-Proprietary User Agreements are available to the entire DIII-D team. Facility resources that are consumed in support of non-proprietary projects are provided free-of-charge to the participating researchers.  

Since the Non-Proprietary User Agreement provides facility resources free-of-charge, it is the recommended approach for all proposed research activities at DIII-D, even those driven by commercial development objectives. In the vast majority of cases, making DIII-D research data available to the team does not impede an organization’s ability to advance internal design or knowledge related to intellectual property. In scenarios for which maintaining control of DIII-D research data is essential, the Proprietary User Agreement option, as detailed below, is provided. 

Proprietary Research User Agreement

This agreement allows for the confidentiality of DIII-D research data that are produced in the performance of a specific project. The Proprietary User Agreement defines the research data to be protected and provides a cost level for the DIII-D resources that will be provided to support the project. The lead organization is responsible for cost recovery for all DIII-D resources consumed in support of the project. Proprietary User Agreements are custom to each project; no template is available. To inquire about establishing a proprietary project definition through this type of user agreement, please use our Contact form.