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Research Data Management

Funder Requirements

An increasing number of funding bodies request or require that their funding recipients create and follow Data Management Plans (DMP) and implement specific research data management policies.

Generally at the proposal stage a short DMP is required covering:

  • What standards will be used

  • How data will be shared

  • How data will be curated and preserved

During the project, generally 3-6 months post award, a full DMP is required. However, this is not a fixed document and should evolve throughout the lifecycle of the project. In general, Irish funding bodies are increasingly aligning themselves with the Science Europe Core Requirements for Data Management Plans. To help researchers, Science Europe has created an easy to follow DMP Template, which addresses the majority of issues frequently raised by funders.

RCSI recognises research data as a valuable institutional asset, and the role of research data management in underpinning research excellence and integrity. The RCSI Research Data Management Policy applies to all College members engaged in research, including staff and research students, and those who are conducting research on behalf of the College. It applies to all research irrespective of funding. Researchers have the primary responsibility for ensuring research data will be managed in line with funder requirements as well as College policy and other relevant regulations and legislation.


The National Open Research Forum is a collaboration with representatives from research funding agencies, government departments, educational authorities, library sectors and other key stakeholders in the research system, aimed at delivering an Irish agenda on Open Access. The role of NORF is to propose national actions to address the challenges of changing the Irish research system to strengthen, promote or better support open research practices as outlined in the National Framework. NORF prepared Ireland’s National Framework on the Transition to an Open Research Environment, launched by the Government of Ireland in July 2019. The following sections are of relevance to Research Data Management: 

Enabling FAIR Research Data

15. The following research data management principles are confirmed and supported:

i) Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) data contribute to research integrity and reproducibility.

ii) Those involved in each stage of the research process should have the capacity and skills necessary to enable FAIR data.

iii) Prior planning is essential to ensure that research data are managed effectively through all stages of the research cycle, from creation to long-term preservation.

iv) Research data should be interoperable across disciplinary boundaries to enable unrestricted sharing of reusable data between different systems and domains.

v) A robust citation mechanism for referencing data is necessary for research validation and to make data findable and accessible.

16. Data management planning is required as a standard practice from the earliest stage in the research process. Data management plans, required as part of that standard practice, should address the following core requirements: data description and collection or reuse of existing data; documentation and data quality; storage and back-up during the research process; legal and ethical requirements; data sharing and long-term preservation; and data management responsibilities and resources.

17. Datasets should be made easily identifiable through persistent identifiers, accompanied by standardised metadata, including funder names and grant numbers.

i) Where appropriate, datasets should be linked to other datasets and publications through recognised mechanisms.

ii) Additional information should be provided to enable the proper evaluation and reuse of data.

iii) Interoperability standards should be applied to facilitate the reuse of data within and across disciplines and to support automated processes acting across large, heterogeneous datasets.

18. Research data should be ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’:

i) Research will become and remain findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-usable within a secure and trusted environment, through national and international digital infrastructures, including, where appropriate, within the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

ii) Research data may be restricted for justifiable reasons, such as commercial exploitation, confidentiality, security, protection of personal data, the achievement of the project’s aim, and incompatibility with the further exploitation of the research results, or other stated legitimate grounds. Shared metadata are especially important for restricted data and should be made accessible if possible.

iii) Taking into account technological developments (including dynamic [real-time] data), the licensing terms used should not unduly restrict text and data mining of research data resulting from publicly funded research, in accordance with and without prejudice to the applicable copyright legislation.

iv) Any data, know-how, and/or information, whatever its form or nature, which is held by private parties in a joint public/private partnership prior to the research action will not be affected by this policy.

19. Funders and institutions will include, in grant conditions and other support for research, their requirements for data management plans and for data sharing, together with details of their mechanisms for monitoring compliance.

Please see the full National Framework on the Transition to an Open Research Environment for further details. To contact NORF, please contact the National Open Research Coordinator, Dr Daniel Bangert.


For data gathered and generated in whole or in part from HRB-funded research, the following policy should be adhered to with effect from 1st of January 2020:

  • Researchers are expected to maximise the availability of research data, and the software and materials that underpin it, with as few as restrictions as possible. As a minimum, the data underpinning published research should be made available to other researchers at the time of publication, as well as any other resources (e.g. original software) that is required to view datasets or to replicate analyses.
  • Applicants for HRB funding must consider their approach to managing and sharing expected data outputs at the research proposal stage.
  • The HRB requires a data management plan (DMP) supplemental to all approved grant proposals where DMPs requirements are specified within the award call guidance as a first deliverable of all projects.
  • The HRB DMP is aligned with the Science Europe Core Requirements for Data Management Plans. A final updated version of the DMP must be submitted with the final report.
  • The HRB recognises that in some instances data cannot be made openly accessible, however it is required that all metadata underpinning the data must be made openly available in a discoverable and accessible manner. Justification for why data cannot be made openly available must be described in the DMP.
  • Researchers’ approach to data management should be dynamic and DMPs should be updated throughout the life cycle of the project.
  • Researchers must ensure that their research outputs:
  1. are discoverable through quality metadata and use of searchable repository
  2. use recognised community repositories for data and other outputs where these exist
  3. are citeable by means of a persistent identifier (e.g. DoI).

Please see the full HRB Policy on Management and Sharing of Research Data for further details. 

As a recipient of an Irish Research Council funded award, you should adhere to the following data management policy:

  • Research data should be deposited whenever this is possible, and linked to associated publications where this is appropriate.
  • It should be made openly accessible, in keeping with best practice for reproducibility of scientific results.
  • European and national data protection rules must be taken into account in relation to research data, as well as concerns regarding trade secrets and intellectual property rights, confidentiality, or national security.
  • At a minimum, metadata describing research data and its location and access rights should be deposited.

This policy is intended to encourage the improvement of discoverability and development of open access to research data over time. Please see the Irish Research Council (IRC) Open Access Policy for further details. The Irish Research Council has also created a DMP Tips and Advice document to help COALESCE and Laureate awardees update their data management plans.

Wellcome Trust expects researchers to manage their research outputs in a way that will achieve the greatest health benefit. As a recipient of a Wellcome Trust funded award, you should adhere to the following data, software and materials management and sharing policy:

  • We expect our researchers to maximise the availability of research data, software and materials with as few restrictions as possible. As a minimum, the data underpinning research papers should be made available to other researchers at the time of publication, as well as any original software that is required to view datasets or to replicate analyses.
  • Where research data relates to public health emergencies, researchers must share quality-assured interim and final data as rapidly and widely as possible, and in advance of journal publication.
  • Anyone applying for Wellcome funding must consider their approach to managing and sharing anticipated outputs at the research proposal stage. In cases where data, software or materials that will hold value as a resource for others in academia or industry will be generated, applicants will need to include an outputs management plan (similar to a DMP) explaining their planned approach. 
  • Plans should reflect established best practice in the respective research field. In particular, researchers should make sure their shared outputs:

  1. are discoverable
  2. use recognised community repositories for data and other outputs where these exist
  3. use persistent identifiers for these outputs wherever possible.
  4. Grantholders should review their outputs management plan throughout the research lifecycle.

  • Wellcome will also consider whether researchers have managed and shared their research outputs in line with our requirements, as a critical part of the end-of-grant reporting process.

This policy is intended to encourage the improvement of discoverability and development of open access to research data over time. Please see the Wellcome Trust data, software and materials management and sharing policy for further details. The Wellcome Trust has also created guidelines to help researchers complete the Outputs Management Plan and a range of other How To Guides related to FAIR data practices. 

Appropriate data management and data sharing are fundamental to all stages of the research process and support high quality, reproducible research. As a recipient of a Science Foundation Ireland funded award, you should adhere to the following data management policy:

  • Access to research data arising in whole or in part from SFI funding should be as open as possible.
  • SFI encourages that research data and software should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable & Reusable (FAIR).
  • All data, original software or materials that underpins SFI-funded publications should be deposited in an open access repository. The associated publication should include information on how to access the related resources.
  • As part of their application to some programme calls, Science Foundation Ireland requests that researchers submit a data management plan. Please refer to the programme call document for information on whether a data management plan is required, and at what stage in the application process. 
  • SFI recommends that when preparing a data management plan, applicants should consider the practical guidance published by Science Europe.

Please see the Science Foundation Ireland Open Access Policy and Research Data Management guide for further details. 

Horizon 2020 supports the FAIR data principles and mandates open access to all research data from July 2017, with the possibility to opt out from this “Open Research Data” pilot. 

  • The Commission's approach is ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’ and the open access requirement only applies to research data related to scientific publications. They define research data to include statistics, results of experiments, measurements, observations resulting from fieldwork, survey results, interview recordings and images.
  • A Data Management Plan (DMP) is required for all projects participating in the Open Research Data pilot. However, projects that opt out are still encouraged to submit a DMP on a voluntary basis.
  • Data management costs are fully eligible for funding under Article 6 and Article 6.2.D.3 of the H2020 Grant Agreement or under other Articles relevant for the cost category chosen.
  • Beneficiaries of ERC grants can opt out of sharing research data without having to give a reason.                                                                               



Further Resources:                                                                                                                                          


Unlike Horizon 2020, there is no option to opt out of “Open Research Data” with Horizon Europe grants. The beneficiaries of a Horizon Europe grant must manage the digital research data generated during the project responsibly in line with the FAIR principles, and deposit the data in a trusted open access repository. The following actions should all be taken as outlined in the Model Grant Agreement:

  • Beneficiaries must submit a DMP as a deliverable in accordance with the Grant Agreement (normally by month 6, a template is available here). An updated DMP deliverable must also be produced mid-project (for projects longer than twelve months) and at the end of the project (where relevant).
  • Beneficiaries must deposit the data in a trusted repository and ensure open access through the repository as soon as possible.
  • Research data made open access must be licensed under the latest version of a Creative Commons Attribution International Public Licence (CC BY), or under a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0) or equivalent.
  • For calls with a condition relating to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC): data must be deposited in trusted repositories that are federated in the EOSC in compliance with the EOSC requirements.
  • Metadata should be in line with the FAIR principles, in particular, it should be machine-actionable and follow a standardised format, in line with community standards. Metadata must also be open access under a CC0 public domain dedication or equivalent.
  • Open access is required as the default for research data under the principle ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’. This means that, as an exception, beneficiaries may or must keep certain data closed for justified reasons; beneficiaries must explain in the DMP the exception(s) under which they choose to or must restrict access to some or all of the research data.
  • In cases where data is closed but there are no compelling reasons that the related metadata should not be findable and accessible, it is recommended that open access be provided to the metadata of the data, with CC0 public domain dedication or equivalent if possible.

Please see the Horizon Europe Model Grant Agreement and DMP Template for further details. The European Commission has also created a Horizon Europe: Open Science infographic to highlight the open science requirements of all Horizon Europe grants.