Taking Surveys and Data With You

When you leave Harvard, you will no longer be able to access your surveys or survey data through surveytools.harvard.edu. We recommend that before you leave, you download your data and export your surveys so you can import a copy of them to another Qualtrics account. You can also transfer a survey to another person at Harvard.


If you have already left Harvard and did not export the surveys and data before you left, it is possible to transfer them into another Qualtrics account, either at your new institution or to a free or individual Qualtrics account. The transfer should adhere to Harvard’s policies and requires the following steps to complete. For full details of Harvard’s policies, see the Research Policies and Guidance site: http://vpr.harvard.edu/research-records-and-data-retention.


  1. Review the excerpt below with your Principal Investigator (PI) or faculty member who supervised your research. If they are unavailable, your school’s academic dean may also be consulted. (Excerpted from the Retention and Maintenance of Research Records and Data: Principles and FAQs document.)
    “25. May students and post-doctoral fellows take research data and materials with them when they leave the University?
    Ordinarily, when researchers, including students and postdoctoral fellows, who have been or are involved in sponsored research projects leave Harvard, they may take copies of Research Data and Materials from projects on which they have directly worked, unless the process of copying or division could damage or render unusable the Research Data and Materials or could harm the integrity of an ongoing research project,(4) or unless transfer of copies of the Research Data and Materials is restricted by the University IP policy or by an agreement between Harvard and a third party.

    (4) Schools should be cognizant of and examine on a case-by-case basis the special issues associated with certain research projects conducted in a team setting. For a student or postdoctoral fellow who has worked on or assisted in research projects in such a setting, the Principal Investigators or laboratory directors on whose projects the student or postdoctoral fellow has worked must assess whether allowing that person to remove copies of their own Research Data and Materials would be appropriate, given that those Research Data and Materials might constitute an incomplete record of the entire research. In these situations, Principal Investigators and laboratory directors should use their best judgment as to what copies of Research Records, if any, may be removed. In making these determinations, Principal Investigators and laboratory directors should seek to assist the departing student or postdoctoral fellow, but only insofar as this does not compromise the integrity of the overall research project, their own ability to comply with sponsored research terms or conditions, or the various requirements of this policy and other University regulations.”
  2. Gather answers to the four questions below and review them with your PI, faculty member, or academic dean to help determine if transferring the data is appropriate.
    1. Is there any third party funding for this research (sponsored research, grants)? If yes, please explain.
    2. Are there personally identifiable data in the result sets? If yes, please explain.
    3. Were there any special restrictions on the research by Harvard’s IRB? If yes, explain.
    4. List the specific names of the surveys you’d like transferred out of your account and which account they should be transferred into.
  3. Have your PI, faculty member, or academic dean send an email to ithelp@harvard.edu including:
    1. answers to the 4 questions above
    2. a statement that they approve the transfer of the survey(s) out of your Harvard Qualtrics account into a different account and that doing so adheres to the policies enumerated in the Research and Data Retention Policy.

Once we receive the approval email, we’ll contact Qualtrics to have the survey transferred to your new account. Be aware it may take some time for Qualtrics to complete the transfer.