Data Rights

Under the Rubin LSST In-kind Contribution Program, participating international programs (outside the US and Chile) each earn, for a specified number of Principal Investigators (PIs) and Junior Associates (JAs), the right to access LSST data during its 2-year proprietary period, in return for making a set of in-kind contributions that expand the resources available to the US astronomy and HEP communities. 

  • For more details on the definition of LSST data rights, the distinction between PIs and JAs, and so on, please see the Rubin Data Policy, document RDO-13
  • See the Programs page for the current list of in-kind programs and the contributions they are making.
  • The current list of LSST Data Rights Holders (DRHs) and their PI/JA status is maintained by Rubin and visible on its own page at

DRA Status

Each international in-kind program will hold a formal "data rights agreement" (DRA) with either one or both of the Rubin Managing Organizations, SLAC and AURA (or in the case of France and the UK, DOE). This agreement will capture the terms and conditions of the collaboration between the program and Rubin, and an attached Statement of Work will briefly describe the contributions being made and their PI value.

October 24, 2022: Legal teams from SLAC, AURA and DOE are working together to produce a (as much as possible) mutually consistent set of terms and conditions for their respective agreement templates. When these are complete, Rubin will support the production of the agreement documents. Rubin Observatory now has a template for the AURA agreements, and advanced drafts of the SLAC and DOE templates, all designed to be mutually consistent. Draft agreement documents should be available for analysis and iteration by the program teams during November and December of 2022, but please understand much of the timing is out of Rubin's control. Each data rights agreement will include, as an appendix, a high level "statement of work" that captures the basic deliverables of the contribution and the number of PI slots awarded in exchange. These statements of work are being extracted from the reviewed proposal documents (or in some cases, the previous MOAs). DOE will sign the French and UK agreements (which include contributions that significantly offset Rubin operations costs), and AURA and SLAC will sign the others, with the types of contribution involved determining who signs which. (For example, telescope time to be managed by NOIRLab would be in an AURA agreement, while software development effort contributed to the LSST DESC would be in a SLAC agreement.) A few large programs that contain a variety of contributions (in terms of their category and recipient) may ended up having two data rights agreements.

September 8, 2022: Bob Blum and Phil Marshall from the Rubin Director's Office are working hard on the development of these data rights agreements (DRAs). All three of DOE, AURA, and SLAC now have advanced drafts of their template DRAs, and are close to converging on a common set of terms and conditions. They have the necessary statements of work from the programs' modified proposal documents. Bob and Phil are aiming to make these template agreements available to the Program Leads on request during September, for their legal teams to analyze - but they warn that, on the US side, agency approval of each DRA may take some time. If this raises specific issues with any program's funding, please do reach out to Bob and Phil to work those issues through. They are available to meet during IPC office hours, and can provide letters of support for you as needed. Hopefully, the worst-case scenario, if funding is delayed by the DRA process, is that some of the in-kind contributions have to also be delayed, but we will work with the programs to find ways to make sure that they can still, in the end, contribute enough that they earn the LSST data rights that their communities need.

Financial support for Rubin Observatory comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Agreement No. 1258333, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded Rubin Observatory Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).  The DOE-funded effort to build the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera (LSSTCam) is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.
NSF and DOE will continue to support Rubin Observatory in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.   

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