Create a data management plan

The University and research funders encourage researchers to plan their data management from the outset. This will often mean a formal 'data management plan' but even informally setting out plans and project guidelines will make life much easier. It is essential that the content relates to the project and your future plans of how the research data is going to be used and managed. Decisions you take early on can be binding.

Things to consider:

  • Type of research data being created eg electronic or paper based
  • What existing research data will you re-use?
  • How will the research data be described and documented?
  • How will you ensure legal/ethical/regulatory/professional guidelines are met when deciding how long to preserve the research data?
  • Will any personal data be identifiable?
  • Will any of the research data be sensitive, commercially or security wise?
  • Will any of the research data need to be transferred between UWE Bristol researchers or external collaborators? How will this be achieved whilst meeting legal and security requirements?
  • Length of time the research data needs to be preserved to meet funder requirements.  
  • Which research data will you retain and preserve after your project ends?  
  • If you intend to archive any of the research data, permission needs to be gained from research participants.
  • What is the strategy for long-term storage, use and sustainability for your research data, data derivatives, and other research outputs?
  • What are your plans for data sharing and access? 

This is just a short list of issues that need to be considered when planning your project. Each project will be unique in what is required and advice should be sought from funders, the UWE Bristol project manager and collaborators.

Creating a data management plan

If you are externally funded, know your funder's requirements regarding the submission of a data management plan.

If you've not written a data management plan before, it may be useful to start with a basic UWE Bristol data management plan template and then look at a good example. The University of Bristol has shared examples of data plans submitted to a range of funders. The University of Leeds has shared two examples of examples of ESRC data plans.

The Digital Creation Centre (DCC) has produced an interactive tool, DMP Online, which can be used to create a data management plan according to funder requirements. This is easy to use and has useful prompts and help text to aid completion.

The DCC checklist for a data management plan is a comprehensive list of the details that researchers may be asked to include on data management plans.

UK Data Archive's managing and sharing data guide provides information to assist researchers in sharing data.

Getting help with submitting a grant application

For help with submitting a data management plan as part of a research funding bid, please contact the Research, Business & Professional Development team. 

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