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STFC (Science and Technology Facilities Council)

In this section:


STFC, through the facilities it operates and subscribes to and the grants it funds, is one of the main UK producers of scientific data. These data are one of the major outputs of STFC and a major source of its economic impact. STFC, as a publicly funded organisation, has a responsibility to ensure that this data is carefully managed and optimally exploited, in both the short and the long term.

STFC define data as

  • "raw" scientific data directly arising as a result of experiment, measurement and/or observation,
  • "derived" data that have been subject to some form of standard or automated data reduction procedure,
  • "published" data that are displayed or otherwise referred to in a publication and based on which the scientific conclusions are derived.

Policy


Expectations of particular note

  • Proposals for grant funding for those projects that result in the production or collection of scientific data, should include a data management plan (DMP).
  • STFC-funded research data must be made freely available after project completion.
  • A defined period of exclusive data use is permitted; thereafter data must be made publicly available unless there are specific reasons why this should not happen.
  • Applicants should ensure that raw data remains available for ten years from project completion, while data which is not re-measurable (e.g. earth observations) is retained "in perpetuity".
  • Data underpinning published research outputs should be available within six months of the output’s publication.

Data management plan

  • Typically required at the proposal stage, explaining how the STFC requirements will be met. Your DMP should be submitted as an attachment on Je-S.
  • The DMP should be no longer than two pages.
  • Any reasons for not sharing data should be explained (e.g. legislative, ethical, commercial, privacy and security issues).
  • Should be clear, concise and proportionate – both to the scale and type of the datasets generated – and take into account
    • the value of the data,
    • the likely level of future re-use,
    • the complexity and levels of data,
    • the cost effectiveness of preservation compared to re-creation.

For more details, check the STFC guidance on data management plan. STFC also provide guidance for the peer review of DMPs.

You can write your data management plan by using a template for the STFC 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 STFC 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.
  • STFC will consider costs associated with the data management plan as part of the grant review process.
  • STFC expect data management to make use of existing skills where possible, but allow justification to be made for additional specialist staff or training to enable effective management, preservation, and sharing of data. Justified requests can also be made for resources to cover any computational facilities needed to manage, store and share the data generated by the research.

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


Support

We can help you understand and meet the STFC 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.    


Useful links