Research Funder Policy Summaries

Common principles

Many research funders in the UK have policies on the management and sharing of research data, including all the RCUK funders. These vary, and information about specific funders is provided below, but in general they are covered by the following three guidelines:

1. Write a data management plan for your funded research

  • This will often (but not always) be required at application stage
  • Consider publishing a standing data management strategy for your department, research group or lab and referring to this from individual project plans

2. Look after your data appropriately during its active use

  • This includes: organising and documenting data and keeping it safe and secure

3. Preserve and share your data as widely as possible

Please note that the information on this page is intended as a summary only and may not be completely up to date. For the latest information, always rely on the funders themselves.

AHRC

Read the AHRC Funding Guide and the section on the Technical Plan

Scope

The AHRC policy applies to research grants, fellowships and follow-on funding. A Technical Plan should be provided for all applications where digital outputs or digital technologies are an essential part to the planned research outcomes.

Data management planning

Data preservation and sharing

  • Make ‘any significant electronic resources or datasets’ publicly accessible via an ‘appropriate repository’ for at least three years after the end of the funded project
  • Deposit data in the institutional repository, ORDA, or a subject-based repository. AHRC does not provide a data repository
  • Where digital outputs are preserved but not immediately accessible, make them freely available on request
  • In the case of archaeological research, consult Archaeology Data Service (ADS) within three months of the start of the proposed research and offer data for deposit within three months of project completion

Data in publications

Costs of data management

  • Costs of preparation and ingest of digital outputs are eligible, if justified in the application
  • All expenditure must occur before the end date of the project
  • ADS apply charges for curating data from AHRC funded projects

Monitoring & reporting

  • Compliance with the curation policy does not appear to be actively monitored, nor are penalties stated for failure to fulfil these requirements

Applying for a research grant

BBSRC

Read the BBSRC Data Sharing Policy

Scope

The BBSRC policy applies to research grants and BBSRC institute core strategic grant. BBSRC-funded research fellows and students are encouraged but not mandated to follow the policy.
Researchers in all areas should consider sharing data where there is strong scientific need. BBSRC considers certain types of research data to have an especially high reuse value:

  • Data arising from high volume experimentation
  • Low throughput data arising from long time series or cumulative approaches
  • Models generated using systems approaches

Data management planning

Data preservation and sharing

  • Maintain your data for ten years after project end in formats suitable for secondary use
  • Make your data available no later than the publication of findings and within three years of project completion. The timescale for release for the data may differ depending on the nature of the data
  • Share your data via an appropriate, established repository. Where suitable repositories do not exist, maintain data so that they are available on request
  • The BBSRC does not run its own data centre but supports a number of resources that are available for the bioscience community to use
  • If your research involves human participants, ensure that consent is obtained to share information. Every effort must be made to protect the identity of participants and data should be anonymised prior to sharing
  • Commercial interests should not “unduly delay or prevent sharing” of data from research funded by BBSRC

Data in publications

Costs of data management

  • Funding to support the management and sharing of research data can be requested as part of the full economic cost of a research project

Monitoring and reporting

  • Compliance with the BBSRC Data Sharing Policy is checked by BBSRC as part of the Final Report Assessment at the close of a project and may be taken into account when assessing future proposals

Applying for a research grant

EPSRC

Read the EPSRC Policy Framework on Research Data (last updated October 2014)

Scope
The EPSRC requirements apply to all research they fund, including PhD studentships. Individual grant holders can use their own judgement about what data should be shared, subject to a minimum of data required to reproduce published conclusions.

Data management planning

Data preservation and sharing

  • Make information describing data freely available on the internet, normally within 12 months of generation of the data
  • Investigators have discretion to decide what data should be preserved; as a minimum this must include data required to reproduce published conclusions
  • Make this preserved data available for scrutiny or reuse by other researchers: this need not be completely open, but openness is strongly encouraged
  • Such data must be preserved for at least 10 years from the date of last access
  • Store non-digital data in a form that facilitates sharing

Data in publications

Costs of data management

  • Identify all resources needed to implement the data management plan - these are eligible costs and will be funded by EPSRC if budgeted and justified
  • Allow time within the project plan to prepare data and deposit, as funds cannot be spent after the project end date

Monitoring and reporting

  • EPSRC will periodically audit at the institutional level; any concerns they raise will be passed onto researchers where necessary

Applying for a research grant

ESRC

Read the ESRC Research Data Policy (last updated March 2015)

Scope

The ESRC policy applies to all research grants. ESRC-funded research students are encouraged but not mandated to follow the policy

Additional responsibilities apply to holders of large grants, research centres and long-term investments: please contact us at rdm@sheffield.ac.uk to discuss these

Data management planning

Data preservation and sharing

  • Deposit all data created or repurposed during the grant with a responsible data repository for reuse (examples include ORDA and the UK Data Service) - Deadline: 3 months from the end of the grant
  • Follow FAIR data principles (findable, accessible, interoperable, re-usable)
  • Address issues that could limit data sharing from the very start - these should be discussed and clarified with the UK Data Service

Data in publications

Costs of data management

  • Identify all resources needed to implement the data management and sharing plan - these are eligible costs and will be funded by ESRC if budgeted and justified
  • Allow time within the project plan to prepare data and deposit, as funds cannot be spent after the project end date
  • ESRC provide support for research data sharing and archiving through the UK Data Service

Monitoring and reporting

  • Where relevant, report on the on-going implementation of the data management and sharing plan to ESRC, and raise any ad hoc issues with your ESRC Case Officer

Applying for a research grant

MRC

Read the MRC data sharing policy

Scope

The MRC policy applies to all MRC funded research. Valuable data arising from MRC-funded research must be made available to the scientific community with as few restrictions as possible. Population and patient-based studies must meet additional requirements.

Data management planning

Data preservation and sharing

  • Securely maintain data in their original form within the research establishment that generated them for a minimum of ten years after completion of the research
  • Curate data arising from MRC-funded research throughout its life-cycle and release with appropriate high-quality metadata
  • The MRC does not run a data centre. The Principal Investigator and HE institution are responsible for long-term access and preservation
  • Deposit your data in an appropriate discipline-specific data repository to allow sharing
  • For medical research involving personal data, ensure that consent is obtained to share information. Every effort must be made to protect the identity of participants and data should be anonymised prior to sharing
  • A limited and defined period of exclusive data use and for filing of patent applications is permitted

Data in publications

Costs of data management

  • If you are working on a cohort-based study, include the costs of data access, sharing and curation in the funding requested and clarify which costs are associated with which aspect
Monitoring and reporting
  • No statement is given on how compliance with MRC's open access or data sharing policies will be monitored

Applying for a research grant

NERC

Read the NERC Data policy

Scope

NERC requires that all environmental data of long-term value acquired, assembled or created through research, survey and monitoring activities that are either fully or partially funded by NERC must be submitted to NERC for long-term management and dissemination.

Data management planning

Data preservation and sharing

  • Use the NERC Data Value Checklist to determine whether a dataset is likely to have long-term value
  • Submit data of long-term value to a NERC data centre in an agreed format accompanied by all necessary metadata
  • NERC provide a range of data centres - contact the relevant data centre to agree what data you will submit, when and in what format
  • An embargo period to allow work-up and publication is permitted: this is not mandatory and should not usually exceed 2 years

Data in publications

Costs of data management

  • Identify all resources needed to implement the data management plan - these are eligible costs and will be funded by NERC if budgeted and justified
  • Allow time within the project plan to prepare data and deposit, as funds cannot be spent after the project end date

Monitoring & reporting

  • Failure to meet data management requirements could result in withholding of award payments or withdrawal of eligibility for future funding

Applying for a research grant

STFC

Read the STFC Scientific Data Policy

Scope

This policy applies to all scientific data produced as a result of STFC funding, including grants paid to universities, access to beam time at STFC-supported facilities and (through STFC subscriptions) to other organisations such as CERN or ESO. This policy does not apply to software as a form of data in its own right (as distinct from software required to make use of data)

Data management planning

Data preservation and sharing

  • Make data underpinning published papers publicly available within six months of the date of publication
  • Retain original raw data for ten years after the end of the project as a minimum. For data that by their nature cannot be re-measured (e.g. earth observations), effort should be made to retain them ‘in perpetuity’
  • Where raw data cannot be retained (due to size considerations, for example) the processes used to create derived data should be documented in detail. This documentation should then be available alongside derived data
  • Submit data to a repository, such as one operated by a research organisation (such as STFC), the university (ORDA), a laboratory or an independently managed subject specific database.
  • Specify in the data management plan and justify the length of any period of exclusive use

Data in publications

Costs of data management

  • Costs for data curation and sharing are not explicitly mentioned by STFC but may be eligible as directly incurred staff costs and directly allocated facilities costs, for example

Monitoring and reporting

  • STFC will seek to ensure the integrity of any data and related metadata that it manages

Applying for a research grant

WELLCOME TRUST

View the Wellcome Trust policy on data management and sharing

Scope

The policy applies to all researchers in receipt of or applying for funding from the Wellcome Trust’s biomedical sciences and medical humanities funding streams. Research data should be made available to other researchers on publication and, where possible, be deposited in a recognised community repository.

Data management planning

Data preservation and sharing

  • Research data should be maintained securely for at least ten years
  • Make data underpinning research papers available to other researchers at the time of publication
  • Share your data via recognised subject data repositories, general community repositories or the institutional repository ORDA
  • If your research involves human participants, ensure that consent is obtained to share information. Every effort must be made to protect the identity of participants and data should be anonymised prior to sharing
  • Researchers have the right to a reasonable, limited period of exclusive use of the research data they produce
  • Delays or limits on data sharing, which may be necessary to safeguard participants or gain IP protection should be minimised as far as possible.

Data in publications

Costs of data management

  • Applicants should include costs associated with research data management as part of their proposal. These may include costs of dedicated research support and training, dedicated hardware and software and repository ingest costs, during the lifetime of the grant

Monitoring and reporting

  • All awardees are asked to report back on their approach for disseminating their research as part of their end of grant report

Applying for a research grant

CRUK

View the CRUK data sharing and preservation policy

Scope

The policy applies to all Cancer Research UK-funded research. Data arising from the research that CRUK funds should be managed and made available as widely and freely as possible, in a timely and responsible manner, to maximise public benefit.

Data management planning

Data preservation and sharing

  • Preserve and make available all data resulting from a grant to the science community for a minimum period of five years following the end of the grant
  • Release data no later than the acceptance for publication of the main findings from the final dataset (unless legal restrictions apply)
  • Consider implementing a data sharing agreement that indicates the criteria for data access and conditions for research use
  • If your research involves human participants, ensure that consent is obtained to share information. Every effort must be made to protect the identity of participants and data should be anonymised prior to sharing
  • Share data by deposit in a data repository. Data that cannot be openly shared may be submitted to a data enclave
  • Include with the dataset all the necessary information describing the data, their format, methodology used to collect data, definitions of variables, units of measurement, etc. Where possible, utilise community standards to describe and structure data
  • Investigators may have a reasonable period of private use of the data but not prolonged exclusive use

Data in publications

Costs of data management

  • Include justified costs associated with data management, curation and sharing in your grant proposal

Monitoring and reporting

  • The funding committees monitor data management and sharing plans through the committee's grant review process and the end of grant report

Applying for a research grant

EU (HORIZON 2020)

Read the Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020 (last updated July 2016)

Scope

The Horizon 2020 Open Research Data Pilot will apply by default to all thematic areas from 2017. Projects can opt out of the pilot at any stage, and certain funding instruments are excluded.

The policy refers to: 1. the ‘underlying data’, needed to validate the results presented in publications; and 2. ‘any other data’, e.g. that curated but not directly used in a publication.

Data management planning

Data preservation and sharing

  • Deposit data in a research data repository, such as ORDA or Zenodo
  • ‘Underlying data’ and associated metadata must be shared as soon as possible
  • Other data should be shared according to the individual judgement of the grantee, and as laid out in the data management plan
  • As far as possible, take measures to enable third parties to access, mine, exploit, reproduce and disseminate (free of charge) this research data
  • Use of Creative Commons CC-BY or CC0 licenses are strongly encouraged
  • Information about the tools needed to validate the results (e.g. software code, algorithms & analysis protocols) must be made available, and wherever possible the tools themselves should be provided

Data in publications

Costs of data management

  • Costs related to open access (including access to research data) are eligible as part of the grant

Monitoring and reporting

  • Data management is included in the process for continuous reporting on Horizon 2020 projects

Applying for a research grant

OTHER FUNDERS

If your funder isn’t listed above, look on the Funder RDM and OA policies at a glance webpage. Please let us know if you need more information about your funder requirements (rdm@sheffield.ac.uk) and we’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible.

See Research & Innovation Services guidance: Understanding Funders & Schemes.

Get an up-to-date overview of main UK funder policies, with links to details (Digital Curation Centre).

For further information, please contact rdm@sheffield.ac.uk