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NERC (Natural Environment Research Council)

In this section:

NERC's data sharing policy is in place to ensure the continuing availability of environmental data of long-term value for research, teaching, and for wider exploitation for the public good, by individuals, government, business and other organisations; and to

  • support the integrity, transparency and openness of the research it supports,
  • help in the formal publication of datasets, as well as enabling the tracking of their usage through citation and data licences,
  • meet relevant legislation and government guidance on the management and distribution of environmental information.


Expectations of particular note

  • All applications for NERC funding must include an outline data management plan.
  • All environmental data of long-term value generated through NERC-funded activities must be submitted to NERC for long-term management and dissemination.
  • You are entitled to a period of 'right of first use' (i.e. exclusive access) to the data you generate, but this period must not be longer than two years from the end of data collection/creation.
  • Information on all data held within its data centres will be made available through the NERC Data Catalogue Service (DCS).
  • All research publications arising from NERC funding must include a statement on how underpinning research datasets can be accessed.
  • NERC will supply the environmental data it holds free of charge, apart from a few special cases.

Please note that NERC makes a distinction between Environmental Data and Information Products. For more details, check the Guidance notes for the NERC Data Policy.

Data management plan

  • Usually a few lines in the 'Outline data Management Plan (DMP)' section is required at the application stage on Je-S. This will form the final page of the Case for Support for all schemes and should address three issues:
    1. Data management procedures to be followed during the lifetime of the grant or fellowship.
    2. Existing datasets to be used by the grant or fellowship (comment on a any restrictions on reuse).
    3. Datasets likely to be created by the grant or fellowship that will be made available to a NERC Environmental Data Centre at the end of the grant.
  • A more comprehensive data management plan (DMP) must be provided to NERC within three months of the project’s starting date.

For more details, check the NERC guidance on data management plans.

You can write your data management plan by using a template for the NERC 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 NERC 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

  • As with all UKRI Research Councils, all costs associated with research data management are eligible expenditure of research grant funds.
  • Applications for NERC funding must identify all resources needed to implement the DMP.

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 NERC 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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