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Research Data Management

RDM in bids and proposals

Overview of RDM requirements for bids

All projects must follow both Cranfield University’s Management of Research Data policy (pdf) and any/all funders’ data management policies. An outline of obligations for the four main types of project can be found below. Research data policies, whether from universities, funders, publishers, journals, etc, all cover three fundamental points:

  1. Writing and following a data management plan (DMP) for your project. See DMP advice.
  2. Long-term data preservation in an appropriate repository, whether data can be publicly shared or not.
  3. Including a data access statement in all published papers, whether data is public or not. See data statement advice.

What do I need to include in a bid?

In a bid submission, public funders generally as for a data management plan (DMP) while other bodies ask for a statement about data management and sharing. Read the Data management plans section for guidance and funder templates for DMPs, and get in touch for support writing a DMP or reviewing a draft.

A statement on data management should demonstrate your commitment to best practice, and may be built up from this example:

Research data will be managed throughout this project in line with Cranfield University’s Management of Research Data Policy (pdf), and [any funder-specific requirements]. We acknowledge the importance of research data and will create a data management plan at project start, to use throughout the project. Data will be kept on secure institutional storage during the project, and preserved long-term on our institutional CORD repository after the project. Any potential barriers to sharing will be reviewed early on to try to overcome these, so that the CORD data may be open access. All publications will include a data access statement to provide access to related data.

What about the costs of RDM?

Funders do accept that good data management, notably preparing data for sharing, can incur costs, ​and will review these costs in grants. However, we must cost consistently and at Cranfield we include RDM costs (namely data storage and preservation) in the fixed indirect overheads for UKRI projects, which avoids the high administrative burden of individual invoicing and costing.>

If you wish to identify areas that could potentially create extra costs, in order to plan your processes to minimise such costs, you might find the UK Data Service online costing tool and checklist useful.

Obligations for specific contexts

In summary, UKRI councils each have data management/sharing policies covering three areas:

  1. They expect a data management plan (DMP) to be written early on and used/updated during the project. This outlines how you'll look after data throughout the project and how/when you'll share it at project end. Whilst EPSRC don't require the initial DMP to be submitted with the proposal, they do expect one to be in place and used.
  2. They expect research data to be shared as openly as possible at project end, and preserved long-term (e.g EPSRC require data to be preserved for 10 years since it was last accessed). You need to be prepared for this and if any data cannot be shared, the reasons should be clearly justified in your DMP and in any articles you publish. This is particularly important to consider early on if you are working on a project jointly funded by a UKRI council and an industry partner.
  3. Any peer-reviewed publication must include a data access statement, telling readers how the underlying data can be accessed, and on what terms. EPSRC are checking compliance and other councils are likely to follow suit. Ideally your statement will link to the dataset in the funder's data repository or our data repository (CORD), where the data can be open or restricted access.

More specifically, all UKRI projects must adhere to the Common Principles on Data policy and Concordat on Open Research Data (pdf). Additionally, individual councils' policies are as follows:

Do also note that articles published from UKRI projects must be open access and the Library can help with this, often covering the cost of publication (For more information, visit our Making your research Open Access site on the University intranet).

Following a successful trial period, the Open Research Data Pilot was extended to cover all Horizon 2020 projects from 2017 (see the EC information on Open Access and Data). This means you will need to:

  1. Write a data management plan (DMP) and use/update this throughout the project. This outlines how you'll look after data throughout the project and how/when you'll share it at project end. The first DMP is due within six months of project start so ensure your proposal includes an initial DMP as a deliverable at month 6 at the latest. The DMP should be regularly reviewed and updated (as a deliverable) as required during the project, e.g. if new data sets are being collected.
  2. Preserve and share your data at project end. Ideally data should be fully open access, but it may be restricted for commercial/legal/ethical reasons; such reasons need to be laid out in your DMP with reasonable attempts made to overcome them.

For more information, see the Guidelines on Data Management in Horizon 2020 (pdf) and Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020 (pdf).​

You can opt out of the scheme if, for example, your project will not be collecting any new data, or you have an industry partner providing sensitive data and you know none will be sharable.​

Research council funded studentships are subject to the research council terms and conditions and policy on open access.

  • This requires that papers acknowledge both the funding and how the underlying research materials/data can be accessed. It does not require that the data must be made open, but data is expected to be shared unless there are compelling reasons not to. These reasons may cover commercial confidentiality or sensitive personal data and should be outlined in the data access statement.
  • Additionally, all councils expect a data management plan to be written in early stages of the project and used throughout.

For any new project, you should check whether the funder has a policy on data management and sharing. If you are only working with a commercial partner, it is likely that data cannot be shared and there are no mandated requirements around research data management - no further action is required.

However, some charitable bodies will expect data sharing, and Cranfield University's Management of Research Data Policy (pdf) outlines our own expectations. Our policy and external policies cover certain fundamental points:

  1. Data management plans (DMPs). All projects should use one, to ensure that data management is considered from the outset, especially regarding how you can preserve and share data long-term. Early planning ensures that any potential delays or barriers to good data management are highlighted in time to be overcome.
  2. Long-term data preservation. Data is valuable for re-use and should often either be preserved securely for our re-use in research, or shared openly to enable further external developments and collaboration. Cranfield's CORD repository can be used for open or restricted access data.
  3. Data access statements. All published articles and conference papers should include a statement telling readers how they can access the underlying data (or why they can’t), ideally linking directly to the data on CORD. (See our 2min43 video demo on data statements.)