Funder Requirements

If you are funded by RCUK, in line with policy on Open Access to publications, you are required to include a statement in your published paper on how and on what terms any underlying data can be accessed by third parties. If there are considered to be good or compelling reasons to protect access to the data, these should be included in the statement.

Most research funders have issued data policies and the Digital Curation Centre have very useful ‘at a glance’ summaries where are available.

You can also use the detailed summaries below to find out whether or not data management plans are required from your funder, what support is available for costs, where and when you should deposit your data and for how long it should be preserved, and finally whether there are any requirements on data access/sharing. Research, Innovation and Enterprise Services will also be pleased to assist.

Data management plan required at application? Yes.  If digital outputs are planned, a Technical Plan is submitted at the application stage. This must not exceed four pages. Suggested headings are prescribed by AHRC.

Help with costs? AHRC will cover “…appropriate costs of preparation and ingest of digital outputs” that are incurred within the funding period.

Data deposit & timescales? Digital outputs must be made available and accessible via an ‘appropriate repository’ for at least three years after the end of the funded project.

Access/data sharing? The default expectation is that access to these outputs will be free.

Further sources of help

Data management plan required at application? Yes.  All applications seeking research grant funding from BBSRC must submit a statement on data sharing. This should include concise plans for data management and sharing as part of research grant proposal or provide explicit reasons why data sharing is not possible or appropriate. The “statement on data sharing” will be included as an additional page in the case for support.

Help with costs? Funding to support the management and sharing of research data (for example staffing, physical resources such as storage and networking capability) can be requested as part of the full economic cost of a research project.

Data deposit & timescales.  It is expected that data is released at time of publication or at the latest within three years, and that the data will be available for 10 years after project end

Access/sharing. BBSRC expects the data to be shared via an appropriate, established repository – a list of supported repositories is available here

Further Sources of help

Data management plan required at application? No, unlike other funders, the EPSRC does NOT expect a plan to be included as part of a grant application. A Data Management plan is still a required part of your application process and this must be signed-off by RIES before your application can be approved. Here are some guidance examples from the DCC.

Help with costs? If there are potential costs in storing and/or managing your research data, these will need to be highlighted in the costs of your grant.

When and where to deposit data. Research data that underpins publication must be referenced in published papers.  You must include a statement on how and on what terms any underlying data can be accessed by third parties. Publish metadata within 12 months of the data being generated (when depositing data, a repository will enable the publication of the metadata describing your data in an appropriately structured way) describing your research data

Access/sharing. You need to provide details in your research papers of how the supporting research data can be accessed, and the research data must be securely preserved for at least 10 years after any privileged access period expires. If your data is digital data, you should include a DOI. (A DOI or Digital Object Identifier provides the means by which a digital object, for instance a dataset, can be persistently identified. When depositing your data, a repository service should automatically assign a DOI to your data. With regard to research outputs, please be aware that EPSRC funded researchers are also required to enter details of these into the RCUK Research Outcomes System (ROS).

Note that EPSRC research data is not defined as every piece of data produced during a project. EPSRC have indicated that they expect the data which underpins published research outputs to be kept as a priority. You should decide in consultation with RIES and project collaborators what should be kept and what should not.

Further Sources of Help

Data management plan required at application? ESRC applicants who plan to generate data from their research, must submit a data management plan as part of their Je-S application.

Help with costs for data. ESRC will provide appropriate funding for data management where costs of implementation have been included in the data management plan.

When and where to deposit data. Research data created or re-purposed during a project must be made available for re-use or archiving with the ESRC data service providers (e.g. the UK Data Service – UKDS) within three months of the end of the grant.

Access/data sharing. The ESRC data service providers are responsible for ensuring long-term access to data which has been placed in their care. It is recognised that some research data will be sensitive and unsuitable for sharing. It is the responsibility of the researcher to consider confidentiality, ethics, security and copyright before beginning any ESRC-funded research. It may be that parts of the data that are sensitive cannot be shared, but the remainder can. See the ESRC Framework for Research Ethics http://www.esrc.ac.uk/funding/guidance-for-applicants/research-ethics/

Further Sources of Help

Data management plan required at application stage? A Data Management Plan as an integral part of the application. Guidance and a template DMP are available.

Help with costs for data. Funding proposals to MRC should differentiate in broad terms between the proposed costs of (i) collecting and cleaning new data and the associated cohort costs; (ii) the study team’s proposed research programme; (iii) ongoing data curation and preservation; and (iv) data-sharing.

When and where to deposit data. Researchers should choose an appropriate discipline-specific data repository to enable sharing of data, and deposit ‘in a timely manner’. The MRC will allow a limited defined period of ‘exclusive’ use by the researcher, according to the nature and value of the data and how they are generated and used.

Access/sharing. Yes, data must be released with high-quality metadata to enable sharing

Further Sources of Help

Data management plan required at application stage? All applications for NERC funding need to include a one-page Outline Data Management Plan (ODMP). A fuller Data Management Plan must be provided to NERC within three months of the project’s starting date. In addition, RIES will need to sign this off before approval can be given for the grant application.

Help with costs? Yes – applications must identify all resources needed to implement the Data Management Plan.

Data deposit & timescales: At the end of a research project NERC requires that all datasets with long-term value should be made available for others to use with as few restrictions as possible, and in a timely manner, usually via one of the NERC Data Centres. Researchers have ‘right of first use’ to their data but this is normally restricted to two years from the end of data collection.

Access/data sharing. All environmental data held by the NERC data centres will be made freely available without any restrictions on use – except for a limited number of data sets where third party rights require NERC to restrict access or to levy charges. As with all of RCUK publications, all research publications arising from NERC funding must include a statement on how the supporting data and any other relevant research materials can be accessed.

Further Sources of Help

Data management plan required at application? Yes, a data management plan is required at the application stage to be submitted alongside the Je-S application. STFC advises that Digital Curation Centre (DCC) guidance is followed. The DCC provides an on-line DMP tool (DMP Online) which provides the ability to create a DMP according to the specific requirements of various funding councils.

Help with costs? The STFC does not state if costs for open access publication or data management and sharing can be included in grant applications.

When & where to deposit data & data preservation: Data underpinning published research outputs should be available within six months of the output’s publication. You should ensure that raw data remains available for ten years from project completion, while data which is not re-measurable is retained ‘in perpetuity’. Data should be deposited in an appropriate repository which should be named by the applicant within their DMP.

Access/data sharing.  STFC-funded research data must be made freely available after project completion via the appropriate repository, whilst allowing for a defined period of exclusive use.

Further Sources of Help

Data management plan required at application? Yes, researchers are required to submit a plan for data management and sharing when they will generate data that will hold significant value as a resource for the wider research community. In other words, the dataset holds clear potential to be re-used for purposes beyond the original research for which it was collected. Plans should address seven questions: what data generated will have value; when will it be shared; where will it be available; how will others access it; any limits to data sharing; preservation plans; and resources required. Guidance is given on how to develop a data management and sharing plan.

Help with costs? Yes, researchers may include costs associated with data management and sharing as part of the proposal.

Data deposit & timescales. The Wellcome Trust expects all data underlying publications to be shared openly and accessible from the time of publication unless there are specific reasons not to do so, e.g. to protect the privacy of the subjects. Where suitable repositories exist, data should also be deposited at the time of publication.  Research institutions are also required to maintain data securely for a minimum of ten years.  See for a list of suitable repositories

Access/data sharing. Researchers should make relevant data available to others on publication of their research, however opportunities for timely and responsible pre-publication sharing of data should also be maximised.

Further Sources of Help

Data management plan required at application stage? YES. The NIH requires a data sharing plan for those proposals requesting more than £500,000; or an explanation of why data sharing is not possible. Data sharing plans or an explanation should be included as a brief paragraph, after the research plan. The precise content of the data sharing plan will vary depending on the data being collected.  Examples of data sharing plans can be seen here.

Help with costs? Applicants can request funds for data sharing and archiving in their grant application.

Data deposit & timescales. The NIH expects data sharing to happen in a timely fashion, no later than the acceptance for publication of the main findings from the final dataset. Data from large studies can be released in waves as data become available or as they are published. In addition, grantees are required to keep the data for 3 years following closeout of a grant or contract agreement.

Access/data sharing. It is NIH policy that the results and accomplishments of the activities that it funds should be made available to the public. PIs and grantee organizations are expected to make the results and accomplishments of their activities available to the research community and to the public at large.

Further Sources of Help

Data management plan required at application stage? Yes – a new element in Horizon 2020 is the use of Data Management Plans (DMPs) detailing what data the project will generate, whether and how it will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved. The use of a Data Management Plan is required for projects participating in the Open Research Data Pilot. Other projects are invited to submit a Data Management Plan if relevant for their planned research. A detailed description and scope of the Open Research Data Pilot requirements is provided on the Participants Portal. Regardless of whether your project is in the pilot, you will have to submit a DMP to RIES as part of the application process.

Help with costs? Yes, costs will be reimbursed to projects participating in the pilot*.

Data deposit & timescales. Data must be deposited in an appropriate repository; useful listings of research data repositories include the Registry of Research Data Repositories (www.re3data.org) and Databib (http://databib.org). In addition, it is expected that the Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe (OpenAIRE) will become an entry point for linking publications to underlying research data.

Access/data sharing. Participating projects must then take measures to enable for third parties to access, mine, exploit, reproduce and disseminate (free of charge for any user) this research data. One straightforward and effective way of doing this is to attach Creative Commons Licence (CC-BY or CC0 tool) to the data deposited.  See

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About Creative Commons

Further Sources of Help

Data management plan required at application? Pending confirmation

The ERC Open Access Working Group is following, and participating in, developments in this area both to arrive at suitable protocols and to identify appropriate repositories for research data in different disciplines and domains.

Help with costs for data. Pending confirmation around data software, infrastructure etc. Publication (and underlying data) open access (sharing) fees are eligible costs that can be charged against ERC grants, provided they have been incurred during the duration of the project. The ERC encourages Host Institutions to cover open access fees of any research publications that are supported in whole, or in part, by ERC funding, which arise in the period up to 24 months after the end of the project.

Deposit and timescales Pending confirmation

Access & data sharing: The European Research Council supports the basic principle of Open Access to research data, and recommends to all its funded researchers that they retain all research data they have used during the course of their work, and that they be prepared to share this data with other researchers whenever it is not bound by copyright restrictions, by confidentiality agreements, or by contractual clauses.  These guidelines are complementary to Special Clause 39 of the FP7 ERC Model Grant Agreement / to the Horizon 2020 ERC Model Grant Agreement, which detail the legal obligations of the beneficiary with regard to open access, where applicable.

Further Sources of Help

Data management plan required at application? All applicants are required to submit a plan.

Help with costs? Yes – costs associated with data management can be budgeted for in grant proposals, provided that adequate justification can be given for these. (Note: this constitutes a change to CRUK policy: until recently, no specific funding was available for data sharing.)

Data deposit and timescales: Cancer Research UK expects data to be released no later than the acceptance for publication of the main findings from the final dataset, and that data be preserved and available for sharing for a minimum period of five years following the end of a research grant.

Access/data sharing: Cancer Research UK outlines accepted methods for sharing data in its guidelines. CRUK’s data policy encompasses all high quality data from funded research that can be shared, regardless of whether they have been used in a publication. 

Further Sources of Help


Creative Commons Graphic
Adapted from the University of Oxford under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licence (CC BY 3.0).  Original content at: http://researchdata.ox.ac.uk/