Budgeting for Data Management & Sharing

Find out what data sharing related costs may be requested in an application for funding.


Budgeting for Data Sharing

Applicants may request funds for data sharing in the budget and budget justification sections of their applications. Funds may be needed for:

  • Preparing the dataset
  • Preparing the associated documentation
  • Providing support to data users
  • Archival costs
    • Those working with data archives may get help estimating data preparation and storage cost from the archives.
    • Investigators who are concerned about paying for data-sharing costs at the end of their grant can make prior arrangements with archives.

Investigators facing considerable delays in the preparation of the final dataset for sharing should consult with their NIH program officer about how to manage this situation, such as requesting a no-cost extension.

For more information about budgets, check out the How to Apply – Application Guide.

Budgeting for Data Management and Sharing

As outlined in the NIH Guide Notice Supplemental Policy Information: Allowable Costs for Data Management and Sharing, NIH recognizes that making data accessible and reusable for other researchers may incur costs.

For that reason, investigators may request funds toward data management and sharing in the budget and budget justification sections of their applications.

Allowable Costs

Reasonable, allowable costs may be included in NIH budget requests for:

  • Curating data
  • Developing supporting documentation
  • Formatting data according to accepted community standards, or for transmission to and storage at a selected repository for long-term preservation and access
  • De-identifying data
  • Preparing metadata to foster discoverability, interpretation, and reuse
  • Local data management considerations, such as unique and specialized information infrastructure necessary to provide local management and preservation (for example, before deposit into an established repository).
  • Preserving and sharing data through established repositories, such as data deposit fees.
    • If the Data Management & Sharing (DMS) plan proposes deposition to multiple repositories, costs associated with each proposed repository may be included.

Note that all allowable costs submitted in budget requests must be incurred during the performance period, even for scientific data and metadata preserved and shared beyond the award period. 

For instance, if a DMS plan proposes preserving and sharing scientific data for 10 years in an established repository with a deposition fee, the cost for the entire 10-year period must be paid before the end of the period of performance.

Unallowable Costs

  • Budget requests must NOT include:
    • Infrastructure costs that are included in institutional overhead (for instance, Facilities and Administrative costs
    • Costs associated with the routine conduct of research, including costs associated with collecting or gaining access to research data. 
    • Costs that are double charged or inconsistently charged as both direct and indirect costs 

Requesting & Justifying Costs for Data Management and Sharing

Costs to support the activities described in the Data Management and Sharing Plan must be requested in the appropriate cost category(ies), e.g., personnel, equipment, supplies, and other expenses.

Investigators must also include a justification of the activities proposed in the DMS Plan that will incur costs. This justification must be labeled as "Data Management and Sharing Justification" within the budget justification attachment, followed by the estimated dollar amount.

The justification should include a brief summary of type and amount of scientific data to be preserved and shared, and the name of the established repository(ies) to be used. It should also indicate general cost categories (such as curating data and developing supporting documentation, local data management activities, preserving and sharing data through established repositories, etc.); each category should include an amount and a brief explanation.

The recommended length of the justification should be no more than half a page and should be included as follows:

Assessment of Budget

On the proposed budget for data management and sharing, peer reviewers may provide comments on the reasonableness of the budget, but these comments will not impact the score. Peer reviewers will only use the information found in the budget justification to determine whether the requested DMS costs are reasonable and will not be provided with the separate DMS Plan attachment (see NOT-OD-22-189).