Bite-sized RDM #3 – data management plans

All funding bodies require applicants to describe what data will be produced in a project, and how it will be managed during the project, and how it will become/remain accessible to the scientific community after the project. The normal method for compliance with these policies is to write a Data Management Plan.  Many funding bodies provide forms or templates for your DMP and ask very specific questions, so your first step should be to find out if your chosen organisation provides such a resource. If not, have a look at Or, if you prefer to write your own from scratch, the key points for inclusion are: 

  • What types of data will be created?
  • How will these data be processed?
  • How will they be stored and backed up?
  • How will they be documented (inc. naming conventions, directory structures etc)? 
  • How will these data be of benefit to the broader scientific community?
  • How will they be archived and will they comply with any data/metadata standards?
  • How will they be made available and discoverable to the broader community?
  • What are the policies for sharing, re-use etc?

 The primary aim is to convince the funding body that you will do good, reproducible work with their funds, and that this good work will be of benefit to the whole community. However, we would also recommend the above approach as a useful organisational tool at the start of any postgraduate or postdoctoral research project.

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