NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan Policy

infoNIH requires applicants to submit a Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMSP) with direct costs for applications due on and after January 25, 2023 (NOT-OD-21-013). The DMSP should describe how researchers will manage scientific data generated from NIH-funded or conducted research, with justified limitations or exceptions. 

Resources and Contact Information

GW Resources

General Inquiries: [email protected]
Areas of Expertise Department and Contact Information
  • Development of a DMS Plan
  • Repository information
  • Standards of metadata for repositories

GW Libraries

Email: [email protected] 

Gelman Library NIH DMS Plan Guide

Himmelfarb Library NIH DMS Plan Guide

  • Data Use Agreements (DUAs)

GW Office of Research Integrity

Email: [email protected] 

  • Strategies for sharing data appropriately 
  • High performance computing (HPC) for statistical data analysis
  • Data protection in multi-cloud environments
  • Security by cloud service providers
  • Data storage options

GW IT Research Technology Services

Email: [email protected]

  • NIH DMS Policy and application requirement guidance

GW Office of Sponsored Projects

To contact the Office of Sponsored Projects, complete the OSP Helpdesk query form, and select Pre-Award.

External Resources

*GW users can access this tool with their GW SSO credentials.

NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan Page Limit and Format

Data management and sharing plans are recommended to be two pages or less in length. NIH has provided a draft Data Management and Sharing Plan format page (note: clicking link initiates a Word document download). 

NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan Recommended Elements

NIH Recommended Elements Details to Include



Data Type

Summarize the types and amount of scientific data to be generated and/or used in the research. Descriptions may include the data modality, level of aggregation, and/or the degree of data processing.
Describe which scientific data from the project will be preserved and shared. Researchers should decide which scientific data to preserve and share based on ethical, legal, and technical factors. The plan should provide the reasoning for these decisions.
A brief listing of the metadata, other relevant data, and any associated documentation that will be made accessible to facilitate interpretation of the scientific data.
Related Tools, Software and/or Code Indicate whether specialized tools are needed to access or manipulate shared scientific data to support replication or reuse, and name(s) of the needed tool(s) and software. If applicable, specify how needed tools can be accessed.
Standards Describe what standards, if any, will be applied to the scientific data and associated metadata (i.e., data formats, data dictionaries, data identifiers, definitions, unique identifiers, and other data documentation).


Data Preservation, Access and Associated Timelines

Give plans and timelines for data preservation and access, including:
  • The name of the repository(ies) where scientific data and metadata arising from the project will be archived
  • How the scientific data will be findable and identifiable, i.e., via a persistent unique identifier or other standard indexing tools.
  • When the scientific data will be made available to other users and for how long. Identify any differences in timelines for different subsets of scientific data to be shared.


Access, Distribution, or Reuse Considerations

Describe any applicable factors affecting subsequent access, distribution, or reuse of scientific data related to:
  • Informed consent
  • Privacy and confidentiality protections consistent with applicable federal, Tribal, state, and local laws, regulations, and policies
  • Whether access to scientific data derived from humans will be controlled
  • Any restrictions imposed by federal, Tribal, or state laws, regulations, or policies, or existing or anticipated agreements
  • Any other considerations that may limit the extent of data sharing.
Oversight of Data Management and Sharing Indicate how compliance with the DMS Plan will be monitored and managed.

Direct Costs for NIH Data Management and Sharing Plans

infoNIH recognizes that making data accessible and reusable for other researchers may incur costs, and will now allow Investigators to request direct costs toward data management and sharing in the budget and budget justification sections of their applications.

All requested direct costs to support the activities proposed in the DMS Plan must be indicated as “Data Management and Sharing Costs” as follows (see NOT-OD-22-189). To request direct costs toward the DMS Plan costs, investigators should include details using the budget format applicable to their application for submission:

Detailed Budget

  • R&R Budget Section F. Other Direct Costs: enter costs in the field Data Management and Sharing Costs
  • R&R Budget Section L. Budget Justification: enter a brief summary of the DMS Plan and a description of the requested DMS costs

Modular Budget

  • PHS 398 Modular Budget Form: single line item in section F. Other Direct Costs
    • DMS costs should be included in the requested module amount
  • PHS 398 Modular Budget Form: enter a brief summary of the DMS Plan and description of DMS requested costs in the Additional Narrative Justification


NIH Allowable Costs

Reasonable, allowable costs may be included for:

NIH Unallowable Costs

Budget requests must NOT include:

Formatting data according to accepted community standards, or for transmission to and storage at a selected repository for long-term preservation and access  Infrastructure costs that are included in institutional overhead (for instance, F&A costs known as Facilities and Administrative costs)
Preparing metadata to foster discoverability, interpretation, and reuse Costs associated with the routine conduct of research, including costs associated with collecting or gaining access to research data
Preserving and sharing data through established repositories, such as data deposit fees Costs that are double charged or inconsistently charged as both direct and indirect costs
Curating Data  
Developing supporting documentation  
De-identifying data  
Local data management considerations, such as unique and specialized information infrastructure necessary to provide local management and preservation  
If the Data Management & Sharing (DMS) Plan proposes deposition to multiple repositories, costs associated with each proposed repository should be included  

NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan Evaluation

infoAs you develop your Data Management and Sharing Plans, make sure you do not include hypertext (e.g., hyperlinks and URLs) in the DMS Plan attachment. The NIH hyperlink policy applies to DMS Plans as well, and NIH may withdraw your application from consideration if hypertext is included. 

Program staff at the proposed NIH Institute or Center will assess DMS Plans to ensure the Elements of a DMS Plan have been adequately addressed in addition to reasonableness of responses. Applications selected for funding will only be funded if the DMS Plan is complete and acceptable according to NIH’s review.

Peer reviewers will not be asked to comment on the Data Management and Sharing Plan, and they will not factor it into the overall impact score unless it is integral to the project design and specified in the funding opportunity announcement (see NOT-OD-22-189). 

If data sharing is integral to the project and tied to a scored review criterion in the funding opportunity announcement, program staff will assess adequacy of the Data Management and Sharing Plan per standard procedure. Peer reviewers will also be able to view the DMS Plan attachment and may factor that information into scores as outlined in the evaluation criteria.