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Cancer Research UK

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Cancer Research UK is committed to ensuring that the data generated through its funding should be put to maximum use by the cancer research community and, whenever possible, be translated to deliver patient benefit.


Expectations of particular note

  • Data must be shared in a "timely and responsible manner".
  • Data should be released no later than the acceptance for publication of the main findings. A limited period of exclusive use of data for research is reasonable.
  • Data should be preserved and available for sharing for a minimum period of 5 years following the end of a research grant.
  • Data should be considered for sharing and made available as widely as possible whilst safeguarding intellectual property, the privacy of patients and confidential data.
  • Data should be properly curated throughout their lifecycle and released with the appropriate high-quality metadata. This is the responsibility of the data custodians, who are usually those individuals or institutes that received funding to create or collect the data.

Data sharing plan

If you are seeking funding from Cancer Research UK, you will be required to submit a data sharing plan as part of your research grant proposal on their Electronic Grants Management System (eGMS). If data sharing is not appropriate, you must include a clear explanation why.

The data sharing plan will be reviewed as part of the funding decision. Funding Committees will assess the appropriateness and adequacy of the data sharing plan and provide specific feedback to applicants where necessary. Cancer Research UK recognises that data sharing strategies will vary according to the type of data collected and thus does not specify the exact content and format of the data sharing plan. They recommend that data should be shared using established standards and existing resources where possible.

The following should be considered when developing a data sharing plan for Cancer Research UK

  • the volume, type, content and format of the final dataset,
  • the standards that will be utilised for data collection and management,
  • the metadata, documentation or other supporting material that should accompany the data for it to be interpreted correctly,
  • the methods used to share data,
  • the timescale for public release of data,
  • the long-term preservation plan for the dataset,
  • the need for a data sharing agreement,
  • any reasons why there may be restrictions on data sharing, for example:
    • development arrangements through Cancer Research Technology including intellectual property protection and commercialisation,
    • proprietary data - restrictions due to collaborations with for profit organisations,
    • international policies governing the sharing of data collected outside of the UK, confidentiality, ethical or consent issues that may arise with the use of data involving human subjects.

For more details, check the CRUK guidance on data sharing plans.

You can write your data sharing plan by using a template for the CRUK data sharing plan provided by DMPonline, an online tool that provides funders' templates and guidance. We can help you writing your plan or simply review it before submission; please, allow enough time for consultation.

If you receive an excellent overall assessment for your data sharing plan, we would appreciate if you could share it with the Research Data Management team as a good example of a CRUK Plan for use within the University. We will fully acknowledge your permission to share, and access will be restricted to University users.

Research data management costs

Cancer Research UK considers timely and appropriate data management and sharing an integral component of the research process so will not provide funds for data sharing.

More information on costing research data management can be found in the section on costing of research data.


We can help you understand and meet the CRUK requirements on research data, from writing the DMP to sharing your data. Simply contact us at any time, or come and see us during our open office hours, every Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm.    

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