NSF Data Management Plans

Effective with the publication of the NSF 11-1 Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF requires a Data Management Plan to be included in proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 18, 2011.

Investigators are expected to share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the primary data … created or gathered in the course of work under NSF grants.  All proposals must describe plans for data management and sharing of the products of research, or assert the absence of the need for such plans. FastLane will not permit submission of a proposal that is missing a Data Management Plan. The Data Management Plan will be reviewed as part of the intellectual merit or broader impacts of the proposal, or both, as appropriate.

Proposals must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled “Data Management Plan”. This supplement should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results …, and may include:

  • The types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project;
  • 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);
  • Policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements;
  • Policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives; and
  • Plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of access to them.

A data management plan is required even if your project is not expected to generate data or samples. It is acceptable to state in your plan that the project is not anticipated to generate data that requires management of sharing. This statement is subject to peer review. If appropriate, the costs of data management may be included in the proposal budget, as long as they are allowable in accordance with university cost principles and necessary to implement the data management plan.