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Research Data Management

Introduction to roles and resources

According to Science Europe, when developing a data management plan, the sixth topic researchers are required to address is "Data Management Responsibilities and Resources", which broadly encompasses two main questions:

1. Who (e.g. role, position, and institution) will be responsible for data management (i.e. the data steward)?

  • Outline the roles and responsibilities for data management/stewardship activities for example data capture, metadata production, data quality, storage and backup, data archiving, and data sharing. Name responsible individual(s) where possible.
  • For collaborative projects, explain the co-ordination of data management responsibilities across partners.
  • Indicate who is responsible for implementing the DMP, and for ensuring it is reviewed and, if necessary, revised.
  • Consider regular updates of the DMP.

2. What resources (e.g. financial and time) will be dedicated to data management and ensuring that data will be FAIR?

  • Explain how the necessary resources (for example time) to prepare the data for sharing/preservation (data curation) have been costed in. Carefully consider and justify any resources needed to deliver the data. These may include storage costs, hardware, staff time, costs of preparing data for deposit, and repository charges.
  • Indicate whether additional resources will be needed to prepare data for deposit or to meet any charges from data repositories. If yes, explain how much is needed and how such costs will be covered.


As part of your Data Management Plan, you should clearly outline who is responsible for the various aspects of research data management throughout the life of the project and beyond. All members of the research team should be aware of who is responsible for data management, including:

  • Who is responsible for the various aspects of research data management?
  • How often the Data Management Plan will be updated and reviewed, and by who?
  • What resources (financial & time) are needed?

Particular consideration should be given to who is responsible for the the long-term management of the research data, including: 

  • Who will oversee data and file management for long-term preservation e.g. depositing data in a repository?
  • Who will handle requests for access to the data?
  • Who will make decisions regarding  data sharing and if there are any restrictions on data access?
  • Who will have ownership of the data (especially when working with multiple partners)?
  • Who will be responsible for making sure funder requirements are met and outputs are provided?
  • How will data management be handled if you leave your current institution?

RDM Costs

Data Management costs which can be justified should be included in grant proposal budgets. These costs should be considered and anticipated at the beginning of a research project, as grant funds will not be available once the project ends. Therefore any costs associated with research data management must be incurred within the time of the grant and should be included at application stage. RCSI is not responsible for the long-term storage charges associated with data repositories. 

Typical costs associated with research data management include:


  • Support for (part or full-time) dedicated Data Managers or Data Scientists for data collection, analysis etc.
  • Any data or software management training required by staff to deliver the proposed research
Storage and Computation
  • Dedicated hardware or software required for the proposed research, for example encrypted laptops
  • Costs to access supercomputers or shared facilities
  • Cloud storage or domain hosting charges
Data Creation and Reuse
  • Costs to access data, software and materials
  • Anonymisation
  • Obtaining informed consent
Deposition and Preservation
  • Preparation of data for deposit with a data repository (e.g. data cleaning, metadata creation, formatting, copyright etc.)
  • Costs associated with data repositories or archives