Data Management Plan

What is it?

A Data Management Plan (DMP) is a document that describes the types of data that will be produced as part of a research project and how those data will be securely stored, documented, shared, and preserved both during and after the project is completed. Federal grant agencies, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) require DMPs (or data sharing plans) to be submitted when applying for certain grants (all grants in the case of NSF).

What do funders expect?

The specific requirements vary by granting agency and directorate.

  • National Science Foundation (NSF): NSF requires all grant applications to include a Data Management Plan that describes the data that will be produced and plans to document, share, and preserve that data. See the specific guidelines for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate.
  • National Institute of Health (NIH): As of January 2023, NIH requires a Data Management and Sharing Plan for all grants. 
  • National Institute of Justice (NIJ): For most applications, NIJ requires a Data Archiving Plan that describes how the data will be documented and prepared for archival. The NIJ also requires a Privacy Certificate describing plans for protecting identifiable data.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): Office of Digital Humanities requires a Data Management Plan with grant applications. See the specific NEH requirements.

What should I include?

Specific requirements will vary by agency, but in general a DMP requires you to describe the specific data that will be produced, how you will document the data, how the data will be stored and protected during the research, and how you plan to share and preserve your data after the research is completed. See the Library's Data Management Plan page for templates and more details.

Example Data Management Plans:

Who can help?

Both Research Support in LATIS and the University Libraries can help you write and review your Data Management Plans. Contact us to get started!

Other resources

ICPSR’s Guide for Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving

UK Data Archive’s Managing and Sharing Data document