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Horizon 2020

In this section:

Horizon 2020 are running an Open Research Data Pilot with the aim of making the research data generated by H2020 projects accessible with as few restrictions as possible.

Projects started since January 2017 are part of the Pilot by default. If your project started before January 2017 and is part of one of the following areas, you are also part of the Pilot.

  • Future and Emerging Technologies,
  • Research infrastructures (including e-Infrastructures),
  • Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies – Information and Communication Technologies,
  • Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, and Biotechnology: ‘nanosafety’ and ‘modelling’ topics,
  • Societal Challenge: Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy - selected topics in the calls H2020-SFS-2016/2017, H2020-BG-2016/2017, H2020-RUR-2016/2017 and H2020-BB-2016/2017, as specified in the work programme,
  • Societal Challenge: Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw materials – except raw materials,
  • Societal Challenge: Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective Societies,
  • Science with and for Society,
  • Cross-cutting activities - focus areas – part Smart and Sustainable Cities.

If your project is part of the Pilot you will then be expected to complete a full data management plan (DMP) within the first 6 months of the project and this should be included in your list of deliverables.

Projects are offered the possibility of opting out of the Pilot at any stage. In this case, H2020 expects the reasons for opting out to be specified.


Expectations of particular note

Horizon 2020 expect that data will be deposited in an appropriate research data repository and that researchers take measures to make it possible for third parties to:


  • access,
  • mine,
  • exploit,
  • reproduce and
  • disseminate free of charge for any user

... the data, including associated metadata, needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications as soon as possible; and other data, including associated metadata, as specified and within the deadlines laid down in the DMP.

Essentially, the data produced in Horizon 2020 projects should be FAIR:

  • Findable,
  • Accessible,
  • Interoperable,
  • Reusable.

Furthermore, data should be assessable and intelligible, and usable beyond the original purpose for which they were collected.

Data management plan

  • A DMP should be submitted as a deliverable within the first six months of the start of projects participating in the Open Research Data Pilot. The DMP deliverable must be mentioned in the grant proposal.
  • Data management plans should detail what data the project will generate, whether and how it will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved. As DMPs mature during the project, more developed plans can be included as additional deliverables at mid-term and final project reviews.
  • New DMPs should be created whenever important changes to the project occur (e.g. due to inclusion of new datasets, changes in consortium policies or external factors).

For more details, check the H2020 guidance on data management plans, in particular the summary table on FAIR data management at the end of the document. The H2020 online manual provides additional instructions and templates for writing a data management plan for your project.

You can also write your data management plan by using a template for the H2020 data management 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 management plan, we would appreciate if you could share it with the Research Data Management team as a good example of a H2020 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

  • Costs associated with open access to research data, can be claimed as eligible costs of any Horizon 2020 grant under the conditions defined in the Grant Agreement (Article 6 and Article 6.2.D.3).
  • Costs for research data management should be included and justified in the data management plan.

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 H2020 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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