Data Management Sharing Plans: Best Practices, Tools and Budget Considerations

The University of Missouri Libraries provides information and resources for faculty to comply with data management and sharing plan (DMSP) requirements from sponsors of research that results in the generation of scientific data. Sponsored Programs Administration provides information on National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) DMSP requirements in the Sponsored Programs Procedure Guide.

A DMSP describes what you will do with your data during and after your research project. Tips for preparing your DMSP include contacting University of Missouri Division of IT early for your research computing needs, a careful review of the sponsor’s requirements, addressing any questions with your program officer, and locating a repository for your data.

Sponsor requirements for the plan vary. Researchers applying for grants that require a DMSP can use DMPTool, a service of the University of California Curation Center, to help write the plan. The University of Missouri faculty and staff can use this resource. The tool provides templates as well as guidance for federal agencies and foundations, generating a customized DMSP for submission with a grant application. NIH also provides sample plans for investigator’s use.

Sponsors may allow direct costs for the DMSP as part of the project budget. Preparers should refer to agency-specific guidance. NIH grant applicants may include costs to execute the DMSP in the budget as line items. Examples of allowable costs include labor for the data curation, preservation, de-identification, preparation of metadata, and data deposit fees for future preservation and sharing. To prevent errors during submission, follow NIH grant proposal guidelines for budget line entry and written justification.

For more NIH-specific information, visit NIH DMSP FAQ.

As a reminder, Principal Investigators are responsible for ensuring that appropriate data use agreements are in place prior to sharing sensitive data and should contact the Sponsored Programs Administration Research Contracts team to discuss getting one in place.

Agency-Specific Guidance:


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NSF’s new PAPPG (Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide), effective for new or renewal proposals for off-campus or off-site work, submitted January 30, 2023 or later, will require the university to certify that the project being proposed has a plan for creating and maintaining safe and inclusive working environments for off-campus and off-site research for that project. 

The University of Missouri recognizes and supports these collaborative efforts to eliminate sexual and other forms of harassment in science and to build inclusive scientific climates conducive to research, teaching, learning and professional growth. The University of Missouri’s Collected Rules and Regulations, including Standards of Faculty Conduct, are expected to be adhered to in accordance with the University’s mission. These expectations apply to University of Missouri faculty, staff and students and any that might be encountered while conducting off-site research. 

Specific to this NSF requirement, for any offsite or field work on a proposed NSF project, the application includes the attestation of the university that a plan is in place for that proposal. The plan must describe how the following types of behavior will be addressed: 

  1. Abuse of any person, including, but not limited to, harassment, stalking, bullying or hazing of any kind, whether the behavior is carried out verbally, physically, electronically or in written form; or
  2. Conduct that is unwelcome, offensive, indecent, obscene or disorderly; 
  3. Identify steps the proposing principal investigator(s)/project team will take to nurture an inclusive off-campus or off-site working environment;
  4. Consider how communications within the team and to the organization will be handled, minimizing singular points within the communications pathway (e.g., a single person overseeing access to a single satellite phone);
  5.  Address how any special circumstances such as the involvement of multiple organizations or the presence of third parties in the working environment should be taken into account;
  6. Account for the process or method for making incident reports as well as how any reports received will be resolved.

Currently, the PI and project team do not submit the plan to NSF for review in the proposal, but they must retain and have it in place prior to submission. If a specific NSF Directorate requires the inclusion of the plan at proposal submission, this will be indicated in the solicitation or other guidance provided by the Directorate.  

Sponsored Programs provides the following template (PDF | Word) that may be used to assist with the development of the plan.

The following University of Missouri policies should be used to guide development, planning and implementation of the plan.



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