UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) expects research data arising from its funding to be made as open as possible and as restricted as necessary. Good research data management practices should be followed throughout your project.
Good research data sharing and management means that publicly funded research is more:
- transparent and easily scrutinised, helping to increase public trust
- easy to re-use and build upon
- collaborative and efficient
There may be reasons to restrict access to your research data, for example for security, confidentiality or commercial reasons.
UKRI award holders need to follow our research data sharing policies. If you are applying for funding, you may be asked to provide a data management plan, explaining how you will share and manage your research data. Our policies and guidance are provided on this page.
Ownership of the data generated from the research funded by UKRI or our councils resides with the researchers or their institutions. They should maintain and manage copyright and intellectual property ownership of data so that underlying research materials remain as open as possible.
Expectations for research council awards
If your award is from a research council, you will normally need to follow that council’s research data sharing policy and guidance.
When you apply for funding, you may be asked to include a data management plan and costs for research data sharing and management activities.
Our research councils’ research data sharing policies and guidance:
- AHRC research funding guide, including guidance on research data
- BBSRC data sharing policy and BBSRC data management plan guidance
- EPSRC policy framework on research data
- ESRC research data policy, ESRC data citation: what you need to know and submit datasets if you have funding from ESRC
- MRC research data sharing and management policies and guidance
- NERC data policy and guidance notes and NERC data management plan guidance
- STFC scientific data policy and STFC guidance on data management plans
Common principles on research data
To bring these policies together and help you understand our expectations of you, we have also established a set of seven common principles.
They apply to all research funding opportunities.
- Publicly funded research data are a public good and produced in the public interest. They should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner.
- Any organisational and project-specific data management policies and plans you develop should align with wider best practice and standards. For example, data that has acknowledged long-term value should be preserved to remain accessible and usable for future research.
- You should record and make metadata available and discoverable to other researchers in a way that helps them to understand the research and reuse potential of the data. Published results should always include information about how to access the supporting data.
- To comply with all legal, ethical, disciplinary and commercial requirements for the release of research data, you must make sure that the policies and practices of your research organisation consider these constraints at all stages of the research process.
- To make sure you get appropriate recognition, you may be entitled to a limited period of privileged use of the data you have collected and analysed to publish the results of your research. The length of time depends on the research discipline and the research council running the funding opportunity.
- To recognise the intellectual contributions of researchers who generate, preserve and share key research datasets, for any research data you use you should acknowledge the source and follow the terms and conditions under which you accessed the data.
- We believe it is appropriate to use public funds to support the management and sharing of publicly funded research data. To maximise the research benefit, your mechanisms for these activities should be both efficient and cost effective. As such, all costs associated with research data management are eligible under UKRI funding. Certain conditions apply, for example, expenditure must be incurred before the end date of the grant.
Find additional guidance, including eligible costs, in our guidance for best practice in the management of research data.
Expectations for cross council and UKRI funding schemes
If you are applying for, or have been awarded, research funding provided by more than one research council, or a UKRI-wide scheme such as Future Leaders Fellowships, you should follow the following guidance on research data sharing and management.
Check opportunity and award specific guidance
You should check first if any specific research sharing, and management guidance is provided with your funding opportunity or award, for example in the funding finder or the conditions of your award. Guidance may include:
- submitting a data management plan with your application and the format required for this
- ensuring your research data will be managed and shared in line with a specific council’s research data sharing policy or bespoke guidance for the opportunity or both. Some funding opportunities may direct you to the following expectations and guidance
Research data sharing expectations
For Future Leaders Fellowships, the cross research council responsive mode scheme, and other relevant funding opportunities, UKRI expects you to make your research data openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner. This is in line with our common principles on research data.
- determine if, how and where your data should be shared based on good practice for the type, or types, of research data that will be generated
- refer to the research council research data sharing policy and guidance most applicable to the type of research data that will be generated from your research. These policies include best practice and preferred repositories for some types of data. For example, the ESRC-supported UK Data Service and the NERC-supported Environmental Data Service
Our guidance on best practice in the management of research data, also provides general guidance about sharing and managing your research data in line with our common principles.
Ensure you include costs in your funding application
UKRI supports costs associated with research data management and sharing. You should ensure costs for these activities are included in your funding application, including if you intend to use NERC’s Environmental Data Service or the ESRC-supported UK Data Service. If you are considering using the Environmental Data Service, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Some additional information on research data costs is provided in the guidance on best practice in the management of research data. Specific guidance may also be provided for a funding opportunity.
Find more resources to help you to share and manage research data in the open research resources in the UKRI good research resources hub.
UKRI also endorses the Concordat on Open Research Data (PDF, 178KB).
Ask a question about our research data policies
Email: email@example.com or the contact provided your award.