Federal agency funding guidelines

The White House Office of Science & Technology Policy mandated in February, 2013 that all federal agencies with an Research and Development budget greater than $100 million must devise a plan for providing access to research publications and data created by grant funding.  Director John Holden’s memorandum provides the details for the policy.

Federal agencies have varying requirements for data management plans, and almost all of them have a data sharing policy.  Many agencies have subdivisions that have additional requirements.  Private funders also are beginning to implement data sharing requirements.  The following list provides links to each agency home page, and to their data management plan requirements and data sharing policies as indicated.  Given our experience working with researchers in many areas, we often have a good sense of what is expected from many agencies and tracks within those agencies.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released their new Data Management and Sharing Policy after a 5 year cycle of community input and revisions. It will take effect on January 25, 2023.

The NSF has released the 2021 version of their PAPPG (NSF 22-1) Proposal and Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PDF) which will be effective October 4, 2021.

The NSF issued a Dear Colleague Letter: Effective Practices for Data, on May 20, 2019. The purpose of this DCL is to describe – and encourage – effective practices for managing research data, including the use of persistent identifiers (IDs) for data and machine-readable data management plans (DMPs).

“Movement towards open science by the research community offers the potential to enhance public benefits of science and engineering research. Open science provides new opportunities for researchers to access research findings and data, which in turn has the potential to advance knowledge in many critical domains. The capacity of science and engineering research to achieve these advances depends on the extent to which researchers are aware of, and use, effective practices for data preparation, curation, and distribution. Through this DCL, NSF encourages researchers to learn about the practices described above, and to implement them in the proposals that they prepare for submission to NSF.”

For more in-depth information on these funders and their requirements (including links), visit our Research Data Management guide. Contact us if you have questions or need guidance as you work through this process.

Federal Agencies