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NIH (National Institutes of Health)

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NIH does have a data sharing policy and asks for a data sharing plan to be included as part of the grant application.

Expectations of particular note

  • All data should be considered for sharing.
  • Data should be made as widely and freely available as possible while safeguarding the privacy of participants, and protecting confidential and proprietary data.
  • NIH expects the timely release and sharing of data to be no later than the acceptance for publication of the main findings from the final dataset.
  • Grantees are required to keep data for a minimum of 3 years following closeout of a grant or contract agreement (though contracts may specify different periods).

Data sharing plan

  • is required with any grant application requesting $500,000 or more of direct costs in a single year;
  • may still be requested for applications that are less than $500,000;
  • should still be included where existing datasets are used;
  • should be no more than two pages.

For more details, check the NIH guidance on data sharing plansNIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy and NIH policy on sharing of model organisms for biomedical research.

There is no data sharing plan template for NIH, therefore the advice is to use a generic template. You can write your data sharing plan by using a generic template provided by DMPonline, an online tool that provides generic and funders' templates with 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 NIH 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

  • NIH recognises that preparation of data for sharing requires time and money and that data management is most economical when incorporated into intitial study designs.
  • You can request funds for data sharing and archiving in your grant application. A competitive or administrative supplement can be requested from the NIH Project Officer for data that have already been collected.
  • If you are facing considerable delays in the preparation of the final dataset for sharing, you may request a no-cost extension from your NIH program.

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 NIH requirements on research data, from writing the Data Sharing Plan 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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