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Data Management Plan

All applications seeking research grant funding from BBSRC must submit a Data Management Plan. This should include concise plans for data management and sharing as part of the research grant proposal or provide explicit reasons why data sharing is not possible or appropriate.

The Data Management Plan will be included in applications as a separate mandatory attachment.

The page limit for the Data Management Plan is maximum one side of A4.

Applicants must utilise this document to cover the plans for data management and sharing. Use of this space allocation for any other purpose will result in withdrawal of the application. BBSRC reserves the right to withdraw proposals that do not adhere to these guidelines.

What to include

BBSRC recognises that plans for sharing data will vary according to the type of data collected. Data sharing should be driven by scientific benefit and should also be cost effective. Data should be shared using established standards and existing resources where this is possible.

Applicants may wish to include details of:

  • Data areas and data types – the volume, type and content of data that will be generated, e.g. experimental measurements, models, records and images
  • Standards and metadata – the standards and methodologies that will be adopted for data collection and management and why these have been selected
  • Relationship to other data available in public repositories
  • Secondary use – further intended and/or foreseeable research uses for the completed dataset(s)
  • Methods for data sharing – planned mechanisms for making these data available, e.g. through deposition in existing public databases or on request, including access mechanisms where appropriate
  • Proprietary data – any restrictions on data sharing due to the need to protect proprietary or patentable data
  • Timeframes – timescales for public release of data
  • Format of the final dataset

Full and complete guidance on these points can be found in our data sharing policy:

BBSRC data sharing policy (PDF 317KB)

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Assessment of the Data Management Plan

An application’s Data Management Plan will be assessed by reviewers and BBSRC responsive mode Research Committees or assessment Panels. The plan will be considered separately from the scientific excellence of the proposed research; however, an application’s credibility will suffer if peer review agrees the statement is inappropriate. In the case where a highly-rated proposal has an inappropriate Data Management Plan, Research Committees and Panels may choose to offer conditional awards and/or provide specific feedback to the applicants. Appropriate plans are expected to be those where the proposed data sharing activities are in-line with current best practice in the field and both the scientific and cost benefits are considered.