The National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires a data sharing plan for those proposals requesting more than $500.000, or an indication why sharing data will not possible. The data sharing plan or the explanation should be included as a brief paragraph, following the research plan. The exact content of the data sharing plan will vary depending on what data are to be collected. More information and sample data sharing plans can be found on the webpage of the NIH.


In their application, applicants may request funds for data sharing. If funds are being sought, the applicant should include the requested budget and the budget justification sections. Investigators working with archives can get help with data preparation and cost estimation.

Archiving data

The NIH expects that data will be shared in a timely fashion, but in any case no later than the acceptance for publication of the main findings from the final dataset. Data from large studies can be released in waves as data become available or as they are published. In addition, grantees are required to keep the data for three years following the close-out of a grant or a contract agreement.

Sharing & accessing data

It is NIH policy that the results and accomplishments of the activities that it funds should be made available to the public. PIs and grantee organisations are expected to make the results and accomplishments of their activities available to the research community and to the public at large.

More information

NIH data sharing guidance pages
What to include in an NIH application