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MRC (Medical Research Council)

Medical Research Council logo"MRC’s overarching aim for data sharing is to maximise the life-time value of research data assets for human health and to do so in a timely and responsible manner, with as few restrictions as possible, consistently with the law, regulation and recognised good practice."

MRC's policy on research data sharing does not prescribe when or how you should preserve and share data but requires you to make clear provision for doing so when planning and executing research.

Complete a DMP for MRC

This link will take you through to DMPonline, a tool developed by the DCC (Digital Curation Centre) to help you write DMPs. You will need to create an account and link it to your University credentials if you have not already done so.

Once successfully logged into DMPonline, select Medical Research Council when asked for a funder,   tick the DCC guidance box and click Create Plan to get started.

This quick guide will help you find your way around DMPonline: Getting Started with DMPonline (PDF, 2,278 KB)

Data Management Plan

  • MRC recommend to use a template they provide.
  • You should include your DMP with your application on J-eS.
  • Maximum of 3 pages.
  • A simple DMP could be fewer than 500 words long; however, where rich resources are to be created, the DMP should be between 1,000 and 1,500 words long.
  • Population- or patient-based studies must meet 21 additional requirements as detailed in the MRC Policy and Guidance on Sharing of Research Data from Population and Patient Studies.
  • Established population- or patient-based studies should already have a Policy on Data Sharing which can be referred to in your DMP.
  • If you are proposing new population- or patient-based studies, you should contact you School Research Business Development Manager before submitting your application.
  • Once research is funded, DMPs should be updated annually by a designated member of your study team.


If you are using a DMP for MRC funding, either directly or through DMPonline, you will be required to provide links to four separate policies. These are:

  1. In the Data Management Policy & Procedures box, please use *****
  2. In the Data Security Policy box, please use: *****
  3. In Data Sharing Policy box, please use: *****
  4. In the Institutional Information Policy box, please use *****
If you receive an excellent overall assessment for your Data Management Plan from MRC, we would appreciate if you could share with the Research Data team (email as a good example for an MRC Plan. We will fully acknowledge your permission to share, and access will be restricted to University users

Expectations of particular note

  • The MRC expects valuable data to be made available to the scientific community with as few restrictions as possible so as to maximize the value of the data for research and for eventual patient and public benefit.
  • Such data must be shared in a timely and responsible manner.
  • MRC-funded researchers have a responsibility to ensure that opportunities for data reuse are maximised, within the regulatory requirements of the law.
  • A data support service is in development to facilitate access and sharing of research data.
  • Data must be securely maintained for a minimum of 10 years after completion of the research.
  • Primary research data must also be retained in their original form within the research establishment that generated them for a minimum of 10 years.
  • A limited and defined period of exclusive data use is reasonable.
  • The MRC is willing to cover some of the costs associated with data sharing.
  • Data must be released with the appropriate high-quality metadata.

Where should I deposit my data at the end of the project?

  • ‌You should choose an appropriate discipline-specific data repository to enable sharing of data;
  • otherwise data should be archived in Pure or another external repository.


Help with costs

  • As with all RCUK Research Councils, all costs associated with research data management are eligible expenditure of research grant funds.
  • MRC will provide resources and funding for managing and sharing substantial data resources/collections. This could be for people, equipment, infrastructure and tools to manage, store, analyse and provide access to data. Where the costs of managing and sharing data are substantial, funding proposals should differentiate between the costs of:
    • collecting and "cleaning" new data
    • own research on newly-acquired and legacy data
    • ongoing data curation and preservation
    • providing access and data sharing.

More information on costing Research Data Management can be found here.

Further help

You can book a meeting by emailing the Research Data team at who are happy to help you to formulate an MRC- or project-specific approach to data management and can help you create your MRC Data Management Plan. We also provide some University guides for MRC funding applicants (see the right hand side of this page).

More Information



Research Data team

University of St Andrews Library
North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9TR
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: (01334) 462343