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Homepage / What funders want

What funders want


Paper checklist

In our last RDM (research data management) post we discussed RCUK funding policy in general, so now we’ll have a quick look at some specific councils that we often work with at Cranfield.

Do you know what your funder requires with regard to research data management (RDM)? It’s understandable if you can’t reel off their expectations, as funders have a wide variety of policies in place and it can be difficult to keep up. So, here’s a brief summary of key elements from funders’ data policies.

  • BBSRC: a DMP should be submitted with a bid; RDM costs may be covered by your funding; data should be “made available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner to the scientific community for subsequent research” (BBSRC data sharing policy (pdf)).
  • EPSRC: a DMP is expected but needn’t be submitted at the bidding stage; publications should be made freely available and include a data access statement; research data must be securely preserved for at least 10 years since it was last accessed; sanctions may be applied if data sharing is obstructed.
  • ESRC: a DMP is required; RDM costs may be covered by your funding; publications should be deposited with the ESRC and data should be deposited with the UK Data Service within three months of project end; final payment may be withheld in the case of non-compliance.
  • NERC: an outline DMP is required with bids and an extended plan during the project; RDM costs may be covered by your funding; data should be deposited in a NERC data centre; compliance is monitored and affects future funding.
  • STFC: a DMP is required; data is normally expected to be preserved in an institutional repository or an STFC subject-based data centre.
  • Horizon 2020: a DMP is a deliverable by month 6 of your project and should be developed throughout; data should be deposited in a repository and made publicly accessible within the deadlines laid out in the DMP.
  • Gates Foundation: data must be accessible and open immediately (the embargo maximum is 12 months).

BBSRC, ESRC, and NERC provide data centres you should ideally use to meet their data preservation/sharing requirements. For other funders, you can use CORD, Cranfield Online Research Data.

Don’t forget that publishers may also have requirements around data sharing in particular. For example, Nature, PLOS one, and the Royal Society require open data; check with the publisher/journal you’re submitting to, or take a look at the Open Access Directory’s journal policy list, though note that this is a work in progress.

For more information, see our guidance on data management plans (DMPs), data access statements, funder data policies, or email


Public domain image from

Written By: Georgina Parsons

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