Most major research councils require that research data management is considered at the application stage for funding. Depending on the funder this can be a separate plan (such as the BBSRC ‘Data Sharing Plan’) or as a consideration in the in the grant application (as is the case for the EPSRC). 

What do funders want?

Research Councils UK (RCUK) provide a Common Principles on Data Policy, stating 
‘Publicly funded research data are a public good, produced in the public interest, which should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible…’.

Funders have developed individual policies in line with their own strategies. Any research undertaken by a RCUK funder will be required to comply with the funders policy.

Please find below guidance on individual funders as provided from the Digital Curation Centre and direct links to funder statements, where they exist:

FunderDCC GuidanceFunder statement
AHRC DCC AHRC Guide AHRC access to data (statement)
BBSRC DCC BBSRC Guide BBSRC policy (PDF)
CRUK DCC CRUK Guide CRUK data sharing and preservation policy (PDF)
EPSRC DCC EPSRC Guide EPSRC policy framework (link)
ESRC DCC ESRC Guide ESRC research data policy (link)
MRC DCC MRC Guide MRC data sharing policy (PDF)
NERC DCC NERC Guide NERC policies and guidance (link)
STFC DCC STFC Guide STFC scientific data policy (PDF)
Wellcome Trust DCC Wellcome Guide WT policy on data, software and materials management and sharing (link)

Summary of Main funder requirements.

Please see below the relevant data expectations of the main funders who include the RCUK funders. This is only a summary of their requirements and you are expected to consult their individual policies for full details.

 

AHRC

Application Stage: At the application stage you will need to include a Technical Plan (max 4 pages) with your application if you produce any digital outputs.

Cost Recovery: AHRC will cover appropriate costs for “preparation and ingest of digital outputs” within the funding period.

Depositing of Data: The metadata describing your research data will need to be published within 12 months of being generated and for all digital output a DOI must be included. The data must be released no later than the publication of the findings.

Retention of the generated data: AHRC state that this is a minimum of three years after the end of project funding, but in many cases a longer period will be appropriate.

Linking of data and your publications: Research Councils require that all published results should always include information on how to access the supporting data. In order to do this, you will need a statement in your publication either linking to the dataset in a repository or if the data can’t be openly shared you will need to explain why.

Please refer to the UOB guide for AHRC in the table above.

BBSRC

Application stage: A data sharing plan (1 page) is required: BBSRC’s data sharing policy.

Cost recovery: During the application process funding to support the sharing of research data can be requested as a part of the costs of the research project.

Depositing of Data: Data must be released no later than the publication of findings and within three years of project completion.

Retention of the generated data: The data must be available for a minimum of 10yrs after the project ends.

Linking of data and your publications: Research Councils require that all published results should always include information on how to access the supporting data. In order to do this, you will need a statement in your publication either linking to the dataset in a repository or if the data can’t be openly shared you will need to explain why.

Note: The BBSRC Data Sharing Policy is checked by the BBSRC as part of the final report at the close of the project.

Please refer to the BBSRC data sharing policy and UOBs guide in the table above.

CRUK

Application Stage: All CRUK applicants will be required to submit a DMP (referred to as a data sharing plan) as part of their grant proposal. CRUK provide guidance about their data sharing plans as part of their overall guidelines.

Cost recovery: Costs associated with data management can be budgeted in grant proposals, providing that adequate justification can be given.

Depositing of Data: It is a condition of funding that Cancer Research UK funded researchers deposit in the EuropePMC database an electronic copy of the author’s final version of papers accepted for publication

Retention of the generated data: Currently, CRUK does not run its own data centre or prescribe where or how researchers should preserve and share data.

Linking of data and your publications: Once the funding for a project has ceased researchers should preserve all data resulting from that grant to ensure that data can be used for follow-up or new studies. Cancer Research UK expects that data be preserved and available for sharing with the science community for a minimum period of five years following the end of a research grant

Please refer to the UOB guide for CRUK in the table above.

EPSRC

Application Stage: EPSRC does not require a DMP to be submitted during a grant application. It does though, expect policies and plans to be in place. Therefore, as best practice you will need to create a DMP to make sure that you effectively manage your research data.

Cost recovery: During the application process funding to support the sharing of research data can be requested as a part of the costs of the research project.

Depositing of Data: The metadata describing your research data will need to be published within 12 months of being generated and for all digital output a DOI must be included. The data must be released no later than the publication of the findings.

Retention of the generated data: Your research data must be preserved for at least 10yrs after any privileged access period has expired.

Linking of data and your publications: Research Councils require that all published results should always include information on how to access the supporting data. In order to do this, you will need a statement in your publication either linking to the dataset in a repository or if the data can’t be openly shared you will need to explain why.

Note: Since May 2015 ESPRC have embedded compliance checking. No sanctions for non-compliance are currently specified. EPSRC will be monitoring all publications especially those that contain data access statements.

Please refer to the UOB EPSRC guide in the table above plus their policy framework on their website.

Also please refer to the JISC site on how to meet the EPSRC expectations.

ESRC

Application Stage: During the application stage any ESRC applicant who plan to generate data from their research must submit a DMP as part of their Je-S application.

Cost recovery: Funding for data management will be provided by ESRC as long as the costs have been included in the DMP.

Depositing of Data: Any research data created or re-purposed for the project must be made available for archiving and re-use with the relevant ESRC data service providers within 3 months of the end of the grant. One such data service provider is the UK data service (UKDS).

Retention of the generated data: ESRC do not specify how long the data needs to be kept for. Any data submitted to UKDS will be kept for a long time.

Linking of data and your publications: Research Councils require that all published results should always include information on how to access the supporting data. In order to do this, you will need a statement in your publication either linking to the dataset in a repository or if the data can’t be openly shared you will need to explain why.

Please refer to the UOB guide for ESRC in the table above.

MRC

Application Stage: A DMP is an integral part of the application process and further guidance and a template are available to  Download . DMP’s for MRC vary between a fewer than 500 words or in cases where rich resources are being created the DMP should be between 1000 words and 1500 words long. If the study is population or patient based, then you must also meet twenty-one additional requirements.

Cost recovery: Any proposal to MRC should break down the proposed costs to show the difference between, collecting and cleaning new data and any associated costs. The costs of the study team’s proposed research programme. On-going data curation and preservation and finally the costs of sharing the data.

Depositing of Data: All researchers should choose the appropriate data repository for their discipline to enable the sharing of data

Retention of the generated data: Any research data must be preserved for at least 10years after the end of your project. Some data though might need to be kept for longer depending on the type of your study.

Linking of data and your publications: Research Councils require that all published results should always include information on how to access the supporting data. In order to do this, you will need a statement in your publication either linking to the dataset in a repository or if the data can’t be openly shared you will need to explain why.

Please refer to the UOB guide for MRC in the table above.

NERC

Application Stage: Any applications for NERC funding must include a one-page outline DMP followed by a full DMP during the first 3 months of any project.

Cost recovery: All applications to NERC must show and identify all the resources and the costs involved to implement the project in any DMP.

Depositing of Data: Once the research project has finished NERC require that all datasets with any long-term value are made available for others with as little restrictions as possible. Ideally the datasets should be made available on one of the NERC Data Centres. All researchers are allowed to have first use of their data but NERC normally restrict this to 2yrs from the end of the collection of the data.

Retention of the generated data: Your research data must be stored on the NERC data centres and will be held there for the long term.

Linking of data and your publications: Research Councils require that all published results should always include information on how to access the supporting data. In order to do this, you will need a statement in your publication either linking to the dataset in a repository or if the data can’t be openly shared you will need to explain why.

Please refer to the UOB guide for NERC in the table above.

STFC

 

Application Stage: During the application stage any STFC applicant who plan to generate data from their research must submit a DMP along with their Je-S application. STFC have advised that the DCC guidance are followed plus further guidance on the STFC website

Cost recovery: STFC will no longer provide funding in research grants for any publication costs associated with peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers. Although STFC will consider costs associated with the data management plan as part of the grant review process. STFC expect data management to make use of existing skills where possible, but allow justification to be made for additional specialist staff or training to enable effective management, preservation, and sharing of data. 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.

Depositing of Data: STFC expects that all published data which are displayed or referred to in a publication to be made publically available within 6 months of the publication date, unless there are any legislative, ethical, privacy or security reason preventing the publication of the data.

Retention of the generated data: All data needs to be retained for a minimum of 10 years from the end of the project through an established repository.

Linking of data and your publications: Research Councils require that all published results should always include information on how to access the supporting data. In order to do this, you will need a statement in your publication either linking to the dataset in a repository or if the data can’t be openly shared you will need to explain why.

Please refer to the UOB guide for STFC in the table above.

Wellcome Trust

Application Stage: Any applicants to the biomedical sciences or medical humanities who will be generating any data must submit a DMP and a sharing plan as a part of the application process.

Cost Recovery: The Wellcome Trust will review any costs associated with delivering the DMP and sharing plan when making the funding decision. All of these costs must be outlined in the DMP and sharing plan. The Wellcome trust will also consider costs to cover additional staff or training needed to enable management, preservation and the sharing of data.

Depositing of Data: The Wellcome trust permits that the data generators has a period of exclusive use of the research data that they produce.

Retention of the generated data: The Wellcome trust expects data to be kept for a minimum of 10 years. Although any data based on clinical samples or involving public health will need to be kept for longer to allow for long term follow up.

Linking of data and your publications: Grant holders must ensure that any data underpinning the research papers are made available to other researchers on publication, in accordance with any ethics approvals, consent or intellectual property rights.

Please refer to the Wellcome Trust data sharing policy and UOBs guide in the table above.

Wellcome Trust DMP and Sharing policy FAQs

DMP and Sharing policy guidance

Other Funding bodies

For any other funding bodies, please visit their website for further information on their requirements. If you need any further guidance then please do send an email to researchdata@rvc.ac.uk and we will do our best to find the relevant information for you.

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