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Research Funder Requirements

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The NIH was the first federal agency to impose a data sharing requirement in 2003. The NIH Data Sharing Policy encourages NIH-funded researchers to share their final research data for use by other researchers in a timely way (i.e., no later than the acceptance for publication of the main findings from the final data set). The Policy expects applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in funding from NIH for research for any one year to include a data sharing plan or state why data sharing is not possible. There are several different data sharing policies in effect for the NIH, IC division, and at the program level. This chart provides a summary and link to each of them.

Scientific Data Management 

Information about their overall policy, which applies to all divisions within the NIH, can be found in the NIH Grant Policy Statement (December 2019)Important sections for data sharing requirements:

  • 8.2 Availability of Research Results: Publications, Intellectual Property Rights, and Sharing Research Results.
  • 8.2.3 Sharing Research Resources
  • 8.2.3.1 Data Sharing Policy
  • 8.2.3.2 Sharing Model Organisms

Supplemental guidance documents including the NIH Data Sharing Policy and Implementation Guidance and the FAQs identify what the plans should cover.  They include:

  • whether and how data will be made available to others, including provisions for protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights as appropriate
  • data to be shared (e.g., genomic, clinical, or images), the expected timeline for when the data will be available, data formats, the format of the final data set, any query and/or analytic tools that will be provided, and the mode of data sharing (e.g., through a data archive or enclave or under the researcher’s own auspices by mailing a disk or posting data on an institutional or personal website)
  • procedures to request the data, and any data sharing agreements including the criteria for accessing data and any limitations placed on the use of data. 

More detailed information can be found in the Key Elements to Consider in Preparing a Data Sharing Plan Under NIH Extramural Support document.  The Data Sharing Policies Chart includes information and links to all of the relevant policies.

Several NIH institutes have specific polices:

Many programs have additional requirements as well:

The Genomic Data Sharing Policy (2014) builds upon the basic NIH policy.  Refer to section 8.2.3.3 Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) Policy in the NIH Grant Policy Statement.

NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy 

NIH Genomics and Health 

NIH Genomic Data Sharing FAQs

The NIH is currently drafting a revised data sharing plan. The comment period ended 11/18). The NIH Data Management and Sharing Activities Related to Public Access and Open Science draft was released November 2019. 

Do you have any questions or need assistance understanding the NIH requirements? We can help you with understanding funder requirements, especially for some of the programs which have specific requirements, and drafting and reviewing your data management plan.  Contact us at dmconsult@virginia.edu.