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Research Data Management: NSF

Help with data management plans

NSF Data Management Plan Requirements

Proposals submitted or due on or after January 18, 2011 must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled “Data Management Plan”. This supplementary document should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results. See Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Chapter II.C.2.j for full policy implementation.

NSF states that, "if a specific program solicitation provides guidance on preparation of data management plans, such guidance must be followed". If guidance specific to the program is not provided, then the requirements established in a Grant Proposal Guide, Chapter II.C.2.j apply.

Please note that if a specific program solicitation provides guidance on preparation of data management plans, such guidance must be followed.

Read more about this policy on NSF's Data Management & Sharing FAQ.

From Grants.gov application Guide,, Jan 18, 2011 (pdf):

Important note to applicants: Each application must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled "Data Management Plan" in the attachment name. This supplement should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results (see AAG Chapter VI.D.4), and may include:

  1. the types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project;
  2. the standards to be used for data and metadata format and content (where existing standards are absent or deemed inadequate, this should be documented along with any proposed solutions or remedies);
  3. policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements;
  4. policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives.

The data management plan should facilitate such sharing, and the plan will be considered as part of the overall merit of the grant.

NSF Data Sharing Policy

See also, the Association for Research Libraries' Guide to the NSF Data Sharing Policy.

Investigators are expected to share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the primary data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials created or gathered in the course of work under NSF grants. Grantees are expected to encourage and facilitate such sharing. See Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter VI.D.4

This requirement is a new implementation of the long-standing NSF Data Sharing Policy. See Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Chapter II.C.2.j for more details. Read more about this policy on NSF's Data Management & Sharing FAQ. Some NSF Directorates, Programs, and Divisions have their own requirements.

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