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Research Data Management: Data management plans

Tips and best practices for data management across disciplines.

Resources for data management planning examples


What is a Data Management Plan?

Dozens of federal funding agencies, many non-profit granting agencies, and some corporate funders now require grant applicants to submit a "data management plan" document.

The overviews in this guide should help you consider the content of this data management planning document. Data management plans can also serve as good templates for considering the stages your data will go through and what, if any, will need to be archived for long-term storage.

Some data management planning tools will be highlighted on this page. If you have specific questions about data management plans or the data management tool, please contact

About DMPTool

The DMPTool is a collaborative effort among several universities to streamline the data management planning process. UTA is an institutional partner of the DMPTool, so you can choose UTA as your institution and sign in with your NetID and password, eliminating the need for a separate account.

The DMPTool supports the majority of federal and many non-profit and private funding agencies that require data management plans as part of a grant application. If the funder you're applying to isn't listed or you just want to create one as good practice, there is an option for a generic plan.

Read below for more information about current federal funding agencies' data management plan requirements. Some agencies currently requiring a DMP are:

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) 
  • Department of Defense (forthcoming)
  • Department of Energy
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Department of Transportation
  • NASA
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Funder Mandates

National Science Foundation

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.

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.

This resource is intended to be used for preparing College of Engineering ENG proposals. Requirements are based on NSF ENG Documentation.

For guidelines from other NSF directorates relevant to Engineering, please see:

To integrate data management planning into the overall research plan, the DMP requirements will apply to all Office of Science research solicitations and invitations for new, renewal, and some supplemental funding issued on or after October 1, 2014. 

For DoE DMP guidelines, please see:

A supplementary “Data Management Plan” document will become an integral part of all contract or grant proposal packages. This supplement will describe how the proposal will conform to forthcoming DoD policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results. Planned effective date of this requirement is Fall 2016.

For more information on DoD DMP requirements, please see:​

"All proposals or project plans submitted to NASA for scientific research funding will be required to include a Data Management Plan (DMP) that describes whether and how data generated through the course of the proposed research will be shared and preserved (including timeframe), or explains why data sharing and/or preservation are not possible or scientifically appropriate."

For more information on NASA's DMP requirements, please see:

"The NIH policy on data sharing applies: 

  • To the sharing of final research data for research purposes.
  • To basic research, clinical studies, surveys, and other types of research supported by NIH. It applies to research that involves human subjects and laboratory research that does not involve human subjects. It is especially important to share unique data that cannot be readily replicated. 
  • To applicants seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year of the proposed project period through grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts.
  • To research applications submitted beginning October 1, 2003."

"In NIH's view, all data should be considered for data sharing. Data should be made as widely and freely available as possible while safeguarding the privacy of participants, and protecting confidential and proprietary data."

For more information on NIH's DMP requirements, please see:

"All DOT intramural researchers and extramural research awardees will be required to develop a Data Management Plan that will identify whether and how they will provide for the long-term preservation of, and access to, Digital Data Sets associated with their research activities. Data Management Plans will:

  • Describe the data that will be gathered in the course of the research project, including whether the data should be preserved for long-term access;
  • Outline the standards and machine-readable formats that will be used in the course of the research project;
  • Discuss the access policies that will apply to the data, so as to protect the disclosure of identities, confidential business information, national security information, etc. and whether public use files may be generated from the data;
  • Discuss policies for re-use, re-distribution, and derivative projects;
  • Outline plans for archiving and preservation, specifying where research data will be deposited, and specify that data will be deposited at the time of initial publication of any related peer-reviewed journal article.

Specifically, to ensure that the claims presented in peer-reviewed scholarly publications are verifiable and reproducible, Data Management Plans will include explicit requirements for depositing machine-readable data in public repositories, where appropriate and available."

For more information, on DOT's DMP requirements see: