Since 2011, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has required that proposals submitted to it include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labelled data management plan (DMP).  The DMP should describe how the proposal complies with NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results.  Proposals that do not include a DMP will not be approved.

Please note that if a specific program solicitation provides guidance on preparation of data management plans, such guidance must be followed. You can find the specific programs here: https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmp.jsp

The general requirements are described as follows:

  1. Data that will be collected, and the data and metadata formats and standards that will be used
  2. What physical and/or online resources and facilities (including third party resources) will be used to store and preserve the data after the activities covered by the grant have concluded
  3. What media and dissemination methods will be used to make the data and metadata available to others after the grant ends
  4. The policies for data sharing and public access (including provisions for the protection of privacy, confidentiality, security and intellectual property rights and any applicable other rights)
  5. The roles and responsibilities of all parties with respect to the management of the data (including contingency plans for the departure of key personnel from the project) after the grant ends.

As long as the costs are allowable in accordance with the applicable budgetary and accounting principles, and are required in order for the data management plan to be implemented, they may be included in the proposed budget, and justified in the budget justification section.

Archiving data

The NSF website states the following questions and answers on archiving data:

Am I required to deposit my data in a public database?
What constitutes reasonable data management and access will be determined by the community of interest through the process of peer review and program management. In many cases, these standards already exist, but are likely to evolve as new technologies and resources become available.

There is no public database for my type of data. What can I do to provide data access?
Contact the cognisant NSF Program Officer for assistance in this situation.

How long should data be archived and made accessible?
What constitute reasonable procedures will be determined by the community of interest through the process of peer review and program management.

Sharing & accessing data

Not stated clearly. More information can be found in the Data Management & Sharing Frequently Asked Questions of NSF.

More information

See the following document for general information on data management.