Funding Agency Guidelines

The release of a 2013 Public Access to Federally Funded Research memo from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy directed most grant-funding agencies to develop policy requirements on managing and sharing research data, making the data management plan (DMP) a common funder requirement. At the same time, many agencies have particular guidelines about how to describe and share data that are discipline-specific.

In general, a DMP for a federal grant should include information on

  1. what data will be created,
  2. how the data will be described,
  3. how the data will be stored during the project,
  4. how the data and results will be disseminated, and
  5. how the data will be archived.

The Libraries can help you write and implement your data management plan. For example, we host the Data Repository for the U of M (DRUM), an open data archive that’s available to all U of M researchers to deposit data that may be shared publicly. If you choose to archive your data with DRUM, then you can fulfill steps 4 and 5 above at once.

Selected federal funders' requirements:

  • "NSF Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide
    • "[NSF] expects PIs to share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials created or gathered in the course of the work." Researchers must describe how they will share their data in a written data management plan required in all grant applications since January 2011.

  • NIH Data Sharing Policy, as of 2003, still current
    • For grants over $500,000, a data sharing plan must be included in the grant application and incorporated as a term and condition of the award. Final Research Data "should be made as widely and freely available as possible while safeguarding the privacy of participants, and protecting confidential and proprietary data".

  • CDC Policy on Sharing Data
    • "The purpose of CDC’s data release/sharing policy is to ensure that (1) CDC routinely provides data to its partners for appropriate public health purposes and (2) all data are released and/or shared as soon as feasible without compromising privacy concerns, federal and state confidentiality concerns, proprietary interests, national security interests, or law enforcement activities."

  • DOE Statement on Digital Data Management Statement.
    • Update DOE's Response to the OSTP's Public Access Memo. The DOE began requiring a data management plan with all grant applications in October 2014. The agency notes that "Sharing and preserving data are central to protecting the integrity of science by facilitating validation of results and to advancing science...." However they note that "Not all data need to be shared or preserved. The costs and benefits of doing so should be considered in data management planning."

  • DOD Principles and Operational Parameters of the DoD Scientific and Technical Information Program
    • "It is DoD policy under DoD Directive 3200.12 to establish and maintain a coordinated and comprehensive program to document the results and outcome of DoD-sponsored and/or performed research and engineering (R&E) and studies efforts and provide access to those efforts in an effective manner consistent with the DoD mission."

  • EPA Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated
    • Non-specific to sharing, rather, ensures "a basic standard of quality, including objectivity, utility, and integrity".

  • NASA Earth Science Statement on Data Management
    • Update NASA's response to the OPST's Public Access Memo. "The data collected by NASA represent a significant public investment in research. NASA holds these data in a public trust to promote comprehensive, long-term Earth science research. Consequently, NASA developed policy consistent with existing international policies to maximize access to data and to keep user costs as low as possible. These policies apply to all data archived, maintained, distributed or produced by NASA data systems."
    • See example NASA Mission project data management plans

  • Office of Digital Humanities of NEH Data Management 2014
    • "You'll note that we have aligned our data management requirements with those of the National Science Foundation to enable you to take advantage of data management resources that your institution may have already developed for applying to the NSF.

  • NIST Guidelines, Information Quality Standards, and Administration Mechanism
    • Per NIST, grantees are not subject to the data sharing guidelines listed in the document above unless NIST directly distributes the data.

  • USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Service (CSREES)
    • Update USDA's Response to the OSTP's Public Access Memo CSREES requires all funded research data to be submitted into the public domain without restriction citing that "Pre-publication release of genome sequence data has been of tremendous benefit to the scientific research community and CSREES strives to ensure that such rapid release of sequence data continues.... There should be no restrictions on the use of the genomic sequence data, but the best interests of the community are served when all act responsibly to promote the highest standards of respect for the scientific contributions of others. Investigators are also encouraged to collaborate and make information available via the relevant worldwide web sites".
    • They do make some exceptions to allow for patent applications, but require that the terms of any usage agreements should be stated clearly in the application or revisions prior to funding.

  • Institute of Education Sciences (IES) data sharing policy.
    • "The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) expressed its commitment to advancing education research through the sharing of scientific data collected through its grant-funded research programs. The purpose of this data sharing implementation guide is to describe how this policy will be implemented and to provide guidance to grant applicants".

To locate requirements for agencies not listed here, we recommend searching the web and specifying government websites in addition to your keywords. For example, "site:gov atmospheric radiation". This will help you find funders at local, state and national levels with data management expectations.

Need help?

Contact Us with your questions and we will consult with you or point you to the right person, resource, or service on campus.