Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing

To address the need for the research community to share scientific data of NIH-funded research in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing has been implemented. The policy requires researchers to plan ahead for managing and sharing scientific data generated with NIH funds. The Policy establishes requirements of submission of Data Management and Sharing Plans and compliance with NIH Institute, Center, or Office (ICO)-approved Plans. The purpose of the Policy is to implement good data management practices an establishes the expectation for maximizing the appropriate sharing of scientific data generated from NIH-funded or conducted research, with justified limitations or exceptions. The Policy applies to research funded or research conducted by NIH that results in the generation of scientific data.

Scope – Data Management and Sharing Plans

The DMS Policy applies to all research, funded or conducted in whole or in part by NIH, that results in the generation of scientific data. This includes research funded or conducted by extramural grants, contracts, Intramural Research Projects, or other funding agreements regardless of NIH funding level or funding mechanism. The DMS Policy does not apply to research and other activities that do not generate scientific data, including training, infrastructure development, and non-research activities.

Researchers planning to generate scientific data are required to submit a Plan to the funding NIH ICO as part of the Budget Justification section of the application for extramural awards, as part of the technical evaluation for contracts, as determined by the Intramural Research Program for Intramural Research Projects consistent with the objectives of this Policy, or prior to release of funds for other funding agreements. Plans should explain how scientific data generated by research projects will be managed and which of these scientific data and accompanying metadata will be shared. If Plan revisions are necessary (e.g., new scientific direction, a different data repository, or a timeline revision), Plans should be updated by researchers and reviewed by the NIH ICO during regular reporting intervals or sooner. Plans from NIH-funded or conducted research may be made publicly available and should not include proprietary or private information.

Effective Date(s)

The final Policy is effective January 25, 2023 and will replace the 2003 NIH Data Sharing Policy. The following effective dates should also be noted:

  • Competing grant applications that are submitted to NIH for the January 25, 2023 and subsequent receipt dates;
  • Proposals for contracts that are submitted to NIH on or after January 25, 2023;
  • NIH Intramural Research Projects conducted on or after January 25, 2023; and
  • Other funding agreements (e.g., Other Transactions) that are executed on or after January 25, 2023, unless otherwise stipulated by NIH.

The DMS Policy requires:

  • Submission of a Data Management and Sharing Plan outlining how scientific data and any accompanying metadata will be managed and shared, taking into account any potential restrictions or limitations.
  • Compliance with the awardee’s plan as approved by the NIH ICO.

The NIH ICO may request additional or specific information to be included within the Plan in order to meet expectations for data management and data sharing in support of programmatic priorities or to expand the utility of the scientific data generated from the research. Costs associated with data management and data sharing may be allowable under the budget for the proposed project (see Supplemental Information to the NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing: Allowable Costs for Data Management and Sharing).

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