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Research Data Management Budgeting for data management and sharing


NIH has recognized that researchers may incur additional costs related to data management and sharing (DMS) and, as a result, investigators may request funds to support DMS in the budget, and budget justification sections, of their applications. The overall guidelines from the NIH are detailed below with links. Please note:

  • The plan will not be formally reviewed by the study section, but in practice since they do comment on the budget, then it is safe to assume they will review it.
  • The requests should be realistic in relation to the scope and type of project and can include a partial effort on an FTE (Research Scientist or Associate) or using the typical process for a co-investigator if the personnel is faculty level.
  • If a partial effort is used for research personnel, indicate that how their remaining salary is covered. For example, 80% sample preparation and analysis and 20% data management

How to request and justify DMS costs in NIH Applications

DMS costs should be included in the budgets of NIH grants application and must be labeled as “Data Management and Sharing Costs”:

Include a brief budget justification including type and amount of scientific data to be preserved and shared, the name of the repository to be used, and general cost categories. The justification must be labeled as “Data Management and Sharing Justification” and should be no more than half a page.

All allowable costs submitted in the budget requests must be incurred during the award period, even for scientific data and metadata preserved and shared beyond the award period. Costs submitted in budget requests in NIH grant proposals must be spent during the granting period, not before or after. 

Update 7/31/23: Effective for applications submitted for due dates on or after October 5, 2023, NIH will no longer require the use of the single DMS cost line item. NIH recognizes that DMS costs may be requested in many cost categories. Therefore, in line with our standard budget instructions, DMS costs must be requested in the appropriate cost category, e.g., personnel, equipment, supplies, and other expenses, following the instructions for the R&R Budget Form or PHS 398 Modular Budget Form, as applicable. While the single cost line item is no longer required, NIH will require applicants to specify estimated DMS cost details within the “Budget Justification” attachment of the R&R Budget Form or “Additional Narrative Justification” attachment of the PHS 398 Modular Budget Form, pursuant to the instructions. See NOT-OD-23-161 for more information.

Allowable costs

Allowable costs 

  • 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)

Unallowable costs 

  • Infrastructure costs that are included in institutional overhead

  • 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

Additional resources

Budgeting for Data Management and Sharing – For additional information from NIH on budgeting for the Data Management and Sharing Plans.

NIH NOT-OD-21-015 - For additional information regarding allowable costs for data management and sharing.

NOT-OD-22-198 – For additional information regarding costs for genomic data management and sharing.

Forecasting Costs for Preserving, Archiving, and Promoting Access to Biomedical Data – For additional information developed by The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine on properly budgeting for data management and sharing costs.

How to Apply – Application Guide – For additional information on developing budgets for grant applications.

Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) budget considerations