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Data Policies from Funding Agencies

Funder Policies

Listed below are several funder requirements for data sharing or DMP documentation required for grant proposals.

For a full list, please consult the SPARC web resource on data requirements.

Top funders for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine research

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

  • Since 2003, for proposals requesting >500k, a 2-paragraph "data sharing statement" is required for each proposal.
  • Genomic Data Sharing policy (GDS):
    • For all genomic data (regardless of requested funding amount), a data sharing statement is required for each proposal.
  • The NIH developed a plan describing the definitions of sharing, appropriate methods and repositories for sharing data. This was part of a larger document on public access to NIH-funded research, published in 2015.
  • In 2017, the NIH released a Strategic Plan for Data Science. This plan is in development and revision, and likely will change over time as a result of feedback from researchers, data managers and archivists, and the public.
  • On Oct 29, 2020, the Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing was released.

Relevant links:

National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • Since 2011, a 2-page data management plan (DMP) is required for all new proposals.
  • Proposals lacking a DMP will not be accepted for submission

Relevant links:

Applicants should also check additional guidelines from individual NSF directorates and divisions:

Selected other funding agencies (alphabetical)

U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

  • The AHRQ's Public Access Policy went into effect in October 2015
  • All AHRQ-funded researchers are required to include a DMP for sharing final research data in digital format or state why data sharing is not possible

Related links:

American Heart Association

  • The AHA requires a data sharing plan for each funding proposal
  • Data required for independent verification must be publicly shared within 12 months of publication
  • Rationale must be made for opting out
  • Data must be shared in one of a list of approved repositories

Related links:

CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention)

  • CDC has a data release and sharing policy for use of CDC data
  • A data management plan requirement was released in 2016

Related links:

Department of Agriculture (USDA)

  • The USDA requires a data management plan for researchers seeking National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) funding
  • The USDA is working on requirements for data management plans for other funding

Related links

Department of Defense

  • The Department of Defense encourages data management plans for all funding proposals, but has not yet enacted a requirement for DMPs
  • The DOD provides guidance and definitions of metadata standards, plans for archiving and preserving datasets and conditions for use and re-use of data in its public access plan dated February 2015

Related links:

Department of Energy

  • The DOE requires data management plan for all proposals for research funding
  • The DMP should describe how digital research data will be made publicly available, "machine readable", and how data can be validated at the time of publication; or the DMP should provide a rationale for why data cannot be shared

Related links:

Department of Transportation

  • The DOT Data Release Policy is to "disseminate data...subject only to the limits imposed by resources, technology, authority, regulation and data quality while protecting security, privacy and confidentiality"
  • The DOT plans to require DMPs in all funding proposals

Related links:

Food & Drug Administration

  • The FDA expects all intramural and extramural research proposals to include a DMP which should include types of digital data to be collected, digital metadata used to describe publicly stored data, the researcher's commitment to make digital data supporting published manuscripts freely available upon publication (if appropriate), data structuring, data security and plans for storage and archiving of digital data
  • Intramural DMP requirements were put into action December 29, 2015
  • Extramural DMP requirements were expected to be put into action for proposals submitted in and after October 1 2016

Related links:


  • All grant applications require a DMP
  • Project data should be made accessible through NASA repositories when possible (at minimum, data associated with published manuscripts should be made accessible)
  • NASA has a data sharing web portal, as well as a manuscript portal (PubSpace)

Related links:


  • NOAA has a data sharing requirement: data must be made available no later than publication of a peer-reviewed article based on the data, or two years after the data are collected and verified, or two years after the original end date of the grant
  • DMPs area required for all funding proposals after June 2016
  • NOAA maintains the NCEI data archive to assist researchers in making their data publicly available

Related links: