On this page you will find information about data management requirements and expectations from Research Council funders. Click on the link below to go to guidance for your funder. The seven Research Councils have joined with Innovate UK and Research England to form UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). UKRI is a signatory of the Concordat for Open Research Data (PDF) and all of the Research Councils support the Common Principles on Research Data Policy. They also provide guidance on supporting research data management costs through grant funding.
You can also check for data management and open access policy requirements of all funders through the Sherpa Juliet database.
We can provide guidance on writing your Data Management Plan and are happy to review your Data Management Plan before grant submission. Please contact the Research Data Service for more information.
The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has adopted the Research Councils UK Common Principles on Research Data Policy. As such, data arising from AHRC funded projects are 'a public good..which should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible'.
Applications to all funding streams, other than the Research Networking Funding stream, require a Data Management Plan to be submitted. The AHRC provides guidance on the content and criteria for peer review of the Data Management Plan in their Research Funding Guide. Information is provided on the requirement for a Data Management Plan on page and peer review of the Data Management Plan on pages 62.
The AHRC will cover 'costs related to long-term storage...providing these are fully justified and relate to the project'.
In accordance with the Common Principles on Data Policy AHRC expect that results 'should always include information on how to access the supporting data'. Guidance on writing data access statements is available in our 'Archiving and sharing data' guide.
In their grant conditions, AHRC expects that grant holders 'must make any significant electronic resources or datasets created as a result of research funded by the Council available in an accessible and appropriate depository for at least three years after the end of their grant'. In accordance with the Common Principles on Data Policy data should be 'made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner'.
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 'expects research data generated as a result of BBSRC support to be made available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner'. Software and models arising from BBSRC funded grants are covered by their Data Sharing Policy.
The BBSRC requires submission of a Data Management Plan as part of grant applications. They provide guidance on the contents of the Data Management Plan in their Data Sharing Policy (page 7).
The BBSRC recognises that data sharing has time and cost implications. 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 the project.
As the BBSRC supports the RCUK Common Principles on Research Policy, there is a requirement that all publications arising from BBSRC funded projects are accompanied by a data access statement. Guidance on writing data access statements is available in our 'Archiving and sharing data' guide.
Whilst the BBSRC recognises that researchers have a legitimate interest in benefiting from their data, this does not allow for prolonged periods of exclusive use. The BBSRC expects that release of data should be 'generally no later than the release through publication of the main findings and should be in-line with established best practice in the field'. Where best practice does not exist 'release within three years of generation ..is suggested as a guide'. Importantly, the BBSRC states that commercialisation of research 'does not preclude data sharing and should not unduly prevent or delay data sharing'.
In accordance with the BBSRC guidance on good scientific practice it expects that data are 'maintained for a period of 10 years after completion of the research project in suitable accessible formats using established standards where possible such that the data can be made available on request'.
The EPSRC supports the view that 'publicly funded research data should be generally be made as widely and freely available as possible in a timely and responsible manner' and that 'research process should not be damaged by the inappropriate release of data'. The EPSRC's policy framework applies to all EPSRC funded projects and includes digital and non-digital data and software. For compliance, it monitors the availability of data supporting published findings.
The EPSRC does not require a Data Management Plan to be submitted at time of grant application. It does, however recommend that you write a Data Management Plan for your own benefit when submitting an application so that you can accurately budget the time and resources you will need for data management during the project. This is especially important if your needs might exceed the storage that the University currently provides as standard.
Note that the University of Bath Research Data Policy requires that all research projects have a Data Management Plan and, as such, all funded EPRSC projects are required to have a Data Management Plan, but this plan does not need to be submitted to the EPSRC. Data Management Plan templates that can be used for EPSRC projects are:
The EPSRC explicitly allows grant proposals to include research data management costs in their budgets on two conditions:
All publications arising from EPSRC funded work must contain a data access statement. The EPSRC is using compliance with this requirement as a starting point for monitoring compliance with the framework on open data as a whole.
The EPSRC expects all research data (including software and other code) supporting published findings to be made as freely and openly as possible, recognising that there may be legal, ethical or commercial reasons why access may be restricted.
For research data that have been selected for retention but do not support published findings, a record describing the data should be made available online no later than 12 months from the date that the data were generated, or 12 months from the end of the funding.
Data must be securely preserved for a minimum of 10 years from that date that any researcher 'privileged access' period expires, or if others have accessed the data, from the last date on which access to the data was requested by a third party.
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) recognises publicly-funded research data as 'valuable, long-term resources that, where practical, must be made available for secondary scientific research'. All grant holders must offer their data to the UK Data Service ReShare repository, or to an appropriate institutional data archive or repository such as the University of Bath Research Data Archive, within three months of the end of the grant.
ESRC applicants, other than those applying for studentship funding, who plan to generate data from their research must submit a Data Management and Sharing Plan as part of their application. The ESRC does not supply a formal template, but the topics that the plan should cover are summarised in ESRC data management plan and policy and in their Research Data Policy under 'Responsibilities for ESRC grant holders'.
The ESRC will provide appropriate funding for data management where the costs of implementation have been included in the Data Management Plan. However, this cannot include costs for data archiving as the ESRC already funds the UK Data Service.
Principle 3 of the ESRC's Research Data Policy states that 'published results shall always include information on how to access the supporting data and / or the associated metadata'. There is guidance on writing data access statements in our 'Archiving and sharing data' guide.
Similarly, Principle 6 states that 'all users of research data must acknowledge their sources by formally citing the data used'. There is also guidance on citing data in our 'Working with data' guide.
Any data created or repurposed during an ESRC-funded project must be offered to the UK Data Service, or their institutional repository within three months of the end of the grant.
The ESRC recognises that some research data are more sensitive than others and expect researchers to consider issues related to confidentiality, security and copyright before starting their research. Where research data are considered confidential or contain sensitive personal information, ESRC grant holders must seek to secure consent for data sharing. Data should be anonymised where practicable, to aid the process of data sharing. There is guidance on working with sensitive data in our 'Working with data' guide and a Framework for research ethics produced by the ESRC.
The Medical Research Council (MRC) expects data to be shared with the scientific community in order 'to maximise the value of the data for research and eventual public benefit'. This should be done 'with as few restrictions as possible' and 'in a timely and responsible manner'.
The MRC requires that all applicants submitting funding proposals submit a Data Management Plan and they provide guidance and a Data Management Plan template (Word document). Their guidance states that for population and patient studies the 'DMP should indicate how the study meets the requirements of the MRCs detailed guidance on data sharing for population and patient studies (PDF), particularly around access and oversight...and specifically about the use of formal data standards'. For intervention studies involving human participants 'the DMP should indicate how the study meets the requirements of the MRCs policy on Open Research Data: clinical trials and public health interventions'.
The Data Management plan should be written using their template, should be written in a sans-serif typeface (for example Arial) and font size 11pt. The length of the Data Management Plan should be:
The MRC will provide resources and funding for managing and sharing substantial data resources / collections. This could be for people, equipment, infrastructure and tools to manage, store, analyse and provide access to data. Where the costs of managing and sharing data are substantial, funding proposals should differentiate between the costs of:
As the MRC supports the UKRI Common Principles on Research Policy, there is a requirement that all publications arising from MRC funded projects are accompanied by a data access statement. Guidance on writing data access statements is available in our 'Archiving and sharing data' guide.
The MRC expects data to be shared 'with as few restrictions as possible' and 'in a timely and responsible manner'. However, it also recognises that ongoing research must not be compromised by premature or opportunistic sharing. Appropriate regulatory permissions (ethical, legal and institutional) must be in place before the data can be shared.
The MRC allows a limited, defined period of exclusive use of data for primary research. Publication of data can be delayed for a short period to allow for patent applications to be drafted.
Data must be retained for a minimum of 10 years. For population health and clinical studies this retention period is extended to 20 years.
The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) considers the environmental data produced by the activities it funds as a public good and requires that they be made openly available for others to use.
All applications for NERC funding must include a one-page outline Data Management Plan. The aim of this plan is only to identify if the project will produce data and the likely quantity of data, if known. NERC provide a template for the outline Data Management Plan (Word document).
If funding is successful the outline Data Management Plan will be shared with the relevant NERC data centre, who will work with PIs to prepare a detailed data management plan within three months of the start of the grant. NERC provide a full Data Management Plan template.
Applications for NERC funding must identify all resources needed to implement the Data Management Plan.
The NERC Data Policy explicitly requires that 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. Guidance on writing data access statements is available in our 'Archiving and sharing data' guide.
The NERC requires that all environmental data of long-term value generated through NERC-funded activities must be submitted to an appropriate NERC data centre for long-term preservation and dissemination.
NERC will normally allow researchers a maximum of two years from the end of data collection to work exclusively on, and publish the results of, data they have collected.
NERC typically expect finalised data to be submitted to a NERC data centre as soon after the end of data collection as possible. NERC define the end of data collection and the start of the embargo periods as 'the point at which the data becomes available from an instrument or experiment' not the end of the project.
NERC expects that all data an research materials that underpin research publications should be preserved and accessible for a minimum of 10 years after completion of the research. However, for projects of major importance, this may need to be for 20 years or longer.
The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) aims to ensure that scientific data produced as its facilities are carefully managed and optimally exploited, both in the short and long-term.
SFTC's Scientific Data Policy does not apply to software as a form of data in its own right, nor to collections of physical items. It defines data as:
Proposals for STFC-funded projects that result in the production or collection of scientific data should include a Data Management Plan, or an attachment explaining why a Data Management Plan is not needed.
STFC does not provide a Data Management Plan template, but does specify that it should not exceed two pages of A4. It lists a series of topics that it would normally expect a plan to cover, and directs applicants to the guidance on Data Management Plans provided by the Digital Curation Centre.
STFC will consider costs associated with the Data Management Plan as part of the grant review process.
STFC expects applicants to make use of their existing data management skills where possible, but will consider funding additional specialist staff or training to enable effective management, preservation, and sharing of data, provided that sufficient justification can be made. Justified requests can also be made for resources to cover any computational facilities needed to manage, store and share the data generated by the research.
As the STFC supports the UKRI Common Principles on Research Policy, there is a requirement that all publications arising from STFC funded projects are accompanied by a data access statement. Guidance on writing data access statements is available in our 'Archiving and sharing data' guide.
STFC expects published data, displayed or otherwise, referred to in a publication, to be made publicly available to anyone within six months of the date of the relevant publication (unless there is legislative, ethical, privacy or security reasons to prevent this). Limited periods of exclusive use of the data are permitted to enable a first opportunity to exploit the results of research, including intellectual property. Other data should be made available wherever it is appropriate and cost-effective to do so.
STFC expects data to be managed through an established repository, chosen to maximise the scientific value from aggregation of related data. They recognise situations where registrations for access to data may be appropriate. Where possible, STFC expects that the original data, from which other related data can be in principle derived, are retained for a minimum of 10 years from the end of the project. Data tha cannot be re-measured should be retained indefinitely.
The UKRI's Data Policy applies to all of the Research Councils. The expectation is that data generated through publicly funded research is 'made available to the research community in a timely and responsible manner, unless there are exceptional reasons why this cannot happen'.
Please note that the University undertakes a selection process to approve applicants for this UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships. Please do not start to write a Data Management Plan or application unless you have been selected by the University as an applicant. Contact the Research Grant Development Managers for more information.
The UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships funding stream requires that all applicants submitting proposals included a Data Management Plan as an integral part of the application. UKRI provides guidance and a Data Management Plan template (Word document). The Data Management Plan can be up to three pages long, but may be much shorter if the research is not complex.
There is extensive guidance on completion of the Data Management Plan template on the University of Bath UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships wiki (University of Bath login required and access is restricted to approved applicants only).
The UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships funding stream expects that applicants include the costs related to data sharing and preparation for data archiving within the resources section of the application form. This could be for people, equipment, infrastructure and tools to manage, store, analyse and provide access to data. Where the costs of managing and sharing legacy data are substantial the proposal should differentiate between the resources and funding for the following activities:
In accordance with the Common Principles on Data Policy UKRI expect that results 'should always include information on how to access the supporting data. Guidance on writing data access statements is available in our 'Archiving and sharing data' guide.
UKRI expects data to be shared 'generally no later than the publication of the findings' but add that 'sharing should take into access of enhancing the long-term value of the data and the potential value of datasets should not be compromised by premature data sharing and analysis of partially complete information'. UKRI allows a limited, defined period of exclusive use for data for primary research. Publication of data can be delayed by a short period to allow for patent applications to be drafted.
Data underpinning findings in publications must be held for a minimum of 10 years after the study has been completed. Data related to potential future legal liabilities may need to be held for 'substantially longer'.