Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Data Management For Sponsored Projects

(As of 9/1/2015)

Increasingly, federal agencies and others are requiring Principal Investigators to submit data management plans as part of grant proposals. Requirements vary by agency/entity. Generally speaking, a data management plan is a document that describes what data will be created, how the data will be archived, what policies apply to the data, who will own and have access to the data, what data management practices will be used, what facilities and equipment will be required, and who will be responsible for these activities.

The National Science Foundation’s grant proposal guide reads as follows:

Proposals must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled “Data Management Plan”. This supplement should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results (see AAG Chapter VI.D.4), and may include:

    1. the types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project;
    2. the standards to be used for data and metadata format and content (where existing standards are absent or deemed inadequate, this should be documented along with any proposed solutions or remedies);
    3. policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements;
    4. policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives; and
    5. plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of access to them.

Data management requirements and plans specific to the Directorate, Office, Division, Program, or other NSF unit, relevant to a proposal are available at: If guidance specific to the program is not available, then the requirements established in this section apply.

Questions and answers about the NSF requirements are available at

System-wide policy from the CSU Chancellor’s Office requires Principal Investigators to maintain copies of research data for three years after submission of the final report of research to the sponsor, unless a longer retention period is specified by the sponsor (2 CFR 215.36/Intangible Property and OMB Circular a-110 Subpart C-36).  Thus, the data management plan should provide for the continuing maintenance of digital objects for the lifecycle of the information as defined by the agency/entity or three years, whichever is greater.

A simple web search will provide many resources and tools for supporting the development of a data management plan. At present, CSU East Bay’s institutional repository is limited to documents (as opposed to data and digital objects). Information is available at The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at CSU East Bay, in partnership with the Dean of Libraries at CSU East Bay, the IT Department and interested faculty are exploring ways of increasing support for Principal Investigators related to data management including, but not limited to, University sponsored data storage/hosting options.

For more information, please contact the Interim Associate Vice President for Research, Jeff Seitz, at or (510) 885-4211.


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