• Participants must complete the standard application forms for government service and fulfill the normal requirements for employment at BEA.
  • Participants must sign a sworn statement promising to observe the legal confidentiality requirements for protecting the data.
  • Participants must undergo a background investigation.  At this time, the background check for researchers using  BEA data on-site is a low-risk clearance.  The background check for researchers who wish to access BEA in the FSRDC system is a moderate-risk clearance.  Discussions are underway regarding standardizing the clearance at the moderate-risk level.
  • Participants must sign a waiver of compensation as unpaid special sworn research consultants.
  • Participants must prepare a research proposal, in which they describe a benefit of their research to BEA’s mission.
  • Appointments to the program are for one year but are renewable.  At the end of each year, participants must prepare a progress report and a justification for renewal of their status, if desired.  To date, rejections of renewal requests have been rare but because BEA anticipates excess demand for access to the program once its data are available in the FSRDC system, BEA will be incorporating strict term limits on projects, like those used by the Census Bureau. The typical duration of research projects will be 36 to 48 months, including time for revisions and resubmissions in response to journal editors, for all papers completed under the project.
  • BEA business confidential data cannot be commingled with databases that contain company-specific information if the resulting combined dataset would contain information beyond the scope of the data items collected in BEA surveys.
  • BEA must review and clear, prior to publication or release, all reports or materials derived from BEA's business confidential data, to ensure that the confidentiality of the data is maintained. Work must be conducted at dedicated workstations at BEA headquarters in Suitland, MD, or at a research data center in the FSRDC system.