Data management and sharing: NIH policy details and guidelines

Akane Clark

Akane Clark
Program Director (Health Scientist Director),
Neuroscience Division (DN)

Profile photo of Caroline Severazza

Caroline Sfraza
Health Specialist, Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience Branch,
Neuroscience Division (DN)

The authors thank their colleagues, Benferd Williams And the Grayson DonnellyAnd the For their continued collaboration and contributions to this publication.

The Final National Institutes of Health Policy on Data Management and Sharing (DMS Policy) Effective January 25, 2023. This new policy applies to all NIH-supported research that results in the generation of Scientific data. Beneficiaries will be required to develop and share a data management plan (known as a DMS plan).

We previously outlined tips and tricks for pre-planning and sharing data management. Now, with the policy implementation deadline fast approaching, we want to best prepare grant applicants by providing newly available resources and data-sharing expectations. We encourage applicants not only to read the policy but also to review the relevant NIH notices for more information about Expected Elements of a DMS PlanAnd the Allowable costsAnd the Guidelines for choosing a data warehouse.

Data management and resource sharing

The National Institutes of Health recently released a file Scientific data sharing site which contains a tool to answer the question, What policies apply to my research? You can also find Best practices for scientific data managementincluding metadata, naming conventions, data storage format, and file Frequently Asked Questions About DMS Policy.

You will need to customize your DMS plan for your research project, and we suggest looking for specific guidance on the types of data and resources relevant to your work. For example, if you are planning to develop software tools, you may find this Questions and answers regarding sharing software and source code Helper, helper, helpful, benefactor. You can also browse NIA-funded resources and repositories, as well Lists of data repositories supported by the National Institutes of Health. We encourage you to take advantage of your own enterprise resources to help develop a meaningful DMS plan, including librarians, repositories, and data curation services.

Data management and sharing: what to expect

DMS plan must be submitted through eRA Commons As a component of the grant application. If the Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) policy also applies, the DMS Plan It must address the required elements of a GDS policy (For example, you wouldn’t craft a separate plan for sharing genomic data.) However, separate plans should be formulated for any other policies (eg, sharing of organisms, research tools, clinical trial publication) that may apply to your project.

Unless otherwise noted in Section 5 of the FOA you are applying for, the DMS plan will not be evaluated or scored during the peer review process. During the pre-grant phase, NIA program staff will assess how well the DMS plan addresses the required elements of the policy, as well as any FOA-specific expectations. Strong development of a DMS plan will support appropriate processing and prevent delays during the pre-grant phase. If revisions are required, the Program Administrator will contact you directly. Note that the plan must be approved by program staff before the application can be funded.

Once the application is funded, compliance with the approved DMS scheme will become a requirement and condition in the Grant Notice. We will assess compliance during (at least) annual progress reports. Failure to comply may result in the addition of special terms and conditions or termination of the award. It can also affect future financing decisions for you and/or your organization. Therefore, it is critical to craft a plan that adheres to the policy and adheres to your DMS plan if a grant is awarded.

Where do you find more answers?

To learn more about NIA’s guidelines on data sharing, other resources, and DMS plan requirements for your application, contact your NIA Program Administrator or leave a comment below. Stay tuned for future posts in this blog series for tips on coordinating your plan.

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