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Research Data Management

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Beratung vor dem Projekt

Project planning

Requirements of German and European funding agencies

The way we handle research data has progressed at different speeds and with different degrees of urgency in the various academic disciplines. However, the larger German and European research funding agencies have specific requirements:

German Research Foundation (DFG)Hide

In September 2015, the German Research Foundation (DFG) published its own Guidelines on the Handling of Research Data , and in March 2018 adopted a position paper on the future developnent of scientific informatioin infrastructure in relation to digitalisation, open access transforamation, and research data management. It was followed in August 2019 by the DFG Code of Conduct "Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice", which all German universities have to implement with legal effect by the end of June 2021. This code contains several guidelines relevant to RDM.

  • Planning a project and submitting a proposal:

    While planning your project, you should consider whether any of the resulting research data is relevant to other researchers and their work, and how your data can be made available for future use.

  • Making data available:

    As long as publication does not conflict with the rights of third parties (especially data protection or copyright), the research data resulting from DFG-funded projects should be made available to others as soon as possible.

  • Long-term storage:

    Following good scientific conduct, research data should be archived in your own institution or in a relevant external infrastructure for at least 10 years.

  • Costs:

    Project-specific costs that arise when processing research data for subsequent use will be covered if a request is submitted.

  • Detailed information on how to handle research data provided by the DFG

  • Recommended by the DFG to search for a repository:


    http://risources.dfg.de (filter for repositories)

The Checklist Regarding the Handling of Research Data published in July 2021 also offers a very good orientation aid for relevant information on handling research data in applications to the DFG.

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)Hide

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research expects information on research data management to be included in grant applications, but there are no standard requirements for this. Specific requirements can be mentioned in the individual funding programmes.

The final report of a project approved by the BMBF should list

"Scientific and/or technical prospects of success after the end of the project (with time horizon) - including how the planned findings can be used in other ways (e.g. for public use, databases, networks, transfer and innovation agencies, etc.)."

See the examples of interim reports and final reports for BMBF-funded projects.


Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation does not provide any particular guidelines on research data management, but is a member of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany and a signer of the Principles for Handling Research Data dated 24 June 2010.

German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU)

The final report of a project funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation must contain details regarding publications and possibly uploads to databases:

„3. Publications: (1) The results of funded projects are to be made accessible to the public, preferably via publication in common specialist journals or databases or via suitable events."

(See the DBU's Funding Guidelines dated September 2016.)


In March 2022, the Volkswagen Foundation adopted an Open Science Policy, thereby advocating an open design of the whole research process from the very beginning:

„The leading concept of the Volkswagen Foundation here is that research results generated within funded projects should preferably be published Open Access. Concurrently, the grantees should also derive maximum academic credit for doing so.“

Data should be stored in non-commercial repositories, funding for this can be provided. In some funding lines, a DMP is required. The Foundation provides its own DMP Template for this purpose.

Horizon 2020 and Horizon EuropeHide

Research data from projects funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 - or Horizon Europe programme must be FAIR = Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable.

The pilot programme for research data (Open Research Data Pilot - ORD) stipulates that approved Horizon 2020 projects must provide a data management plan and make their research data publicly accessible by publishing them in a suitable repository.

In the new framework program Horizon Europe (2021 - 2027), the ORD pilot phase has ended. The European Commission's Open Science Policies are now firmly anchored in Horizon Europe. In projects funded by Horizon Europe, a data management plan (DMP) must be created and the research data must be made publicly available in a suitable repository.

Since 2017, award winners of the European Resarch Council have been obliged to participate in the EC Open Research Data Pilot (ORD). Since Horizon Europe they are obliged to meet the Open Science standards of the European Commission.

The guiding principle of the European Commission is always to be "as open as possible, as closed as necessary". For this reason, at any point in the approval it is possible to partially (selected datasets) or completely opt out, in which case good reasons must be provided.

In H2020, ERC award winners could opt-out without giving any reason. This is canceled in Horizon Eruope: ERC award winners, like all other recipients of EC funding, must give reasons why an opt-out is chosen.

Possible reasons are:

  • data are expected to be commercially or industrially exploitable
  • data are relevant in terms of security
  • data are of personal nature
  • other legal reasons (to be entered in a text box).

General inforamtion from the European Commission on Open Science

General information for ERC applicants

The Open Access Guidelines from H2020 are still valid in Horizon Europe.

Article 29.3 of the H2020 Model Grant Agreement

Article 17 and specific rules on page 276 of the Horizon Europe Draft Annotated Model Grant Agreement (AGA)


No detailed data management plan is required when submitting the proposal, but you should explain the following (e.g. in the 'Methodology' section):

  • What data will be collected
  • Where it will be saved
  • How it will be made available for reuse and verification
  • What the scientific consortium submitting the proposal agreed in terms of research data management


  • Why publication of the data is not possible

During the course of the project:


Costs that arise in the course of research data management will be reimbursed in accordance with the H2020 Grant Agreement (Article 6 and Article 6.2.D.3) and the Horizon Europe Draft Annotated Model Grant Agreement (Article 4 – Other Goods, Works and Services, pages 90-92).

International funding agenciesHide

Information on research data management requirements of international funding agencies.

Guidelines for handling research data in the various disciplinesHide

The way we handle research data has progressed at different speeds in the different academic disciplines. In many disciplines, concrete guidelines on research data management are available, see the Subject-Specific Recommendations for the Handling of Research Data.

Presentation of your data management

Research projects with research data demand a data management that displays how responsibility, completeness, authenticity, integrity, confidentiality, and access to the data are organized and ensured. Data management is generally expressed in writing in a so-called data management plan (DMP).

A data management plan contains information on all research data, how they were generated, processed, and stored in a research project as well as on the object of the research itself. It documents the entire life cycle of the research data, beginning with the context in which the research data were collected to handling them to archiving them, i.e. permanent storage of your research findings.

Requirements of the funding agencies aside, data management plans are of value to the researchers themselves as they offer an opportunity to interpret, understand, and reuse research findings in later years. A data management plan is a dynamic document and should be updated regularly in the course of the project.

What are the DMP requirements of the various funding agencies?Hide

Funding organizations



Form of submission


DMP not (yet) required, but advantage.

Follow Guidelines for Handling Research Data.

Information about the handling of research data.


DMP required depending on programme.

Depending on programme.

If DMP required, submission with application or at time of project start, depending on program.

EU - Horizon 2020


Contents follow the Guidelines on FAIR Data Management of the European Commission (Horizon 2020 Guidelines), these also apply to Horizon Europe.

DMP required within first 6 months of project and to be updated regularly.

EU – ERC Grants


Contents follow the Guidelines on FAIR Data Management of the European Commission (Horizon 2020 Guidelines), these also apply to Horizon Europe.

DMP required within first 6 months and to be updated regularly, see ERC Guidelines zum Open Access.

What should be included in the DMP?Hide

A data management plan should include the following points:

  • Type of data, type of samples, collections, surveys, software, pictures, material, etc.
  • Data standards, formats of data and metadata (if no standards are available in the field, mention this and suggest a solution if possible)
  • Plan for accessibility of the data: When will the data be accessible? Who can access the data and under what conditions? (Consider legal and ethical questions of data protection, confidentiality, and security)
  • Plan for the future use of the data: When can the data be reused? Who can reuse the data and under what conditions? What possible derivatives are there? (Consider legal and ethical questions of data protection, confidentiality, and security)
  • Plan for archiving the data and for long-term storage. Which repositories would be suitable? How is access to the data organized?
  • Costs for implementing the data management plan.
What tools are available for creating a DMP?Hide

Members of the University of Bayreuth have the opportunity to access a local branch of the Research Data Management Organiser (RDMO) called RDMO@UBT.

If you are interessted in using RDMO you can find further inforamtion and a tutorial in our 'Services' section under RDMO@UBT.

Two further data management tools can be recommended that address the requirements of international funding providers:

DMPonline is provided by Digital Curation Centre and covers questions regarding Horizon2020 projects. This tool is also recommended by the EC.

The DMPTool was developed by the University of California and may be of interest to European scholars cooperating with American applicants.

Our advice in the project planning phase

FDM@UBT, a cooperation of the Office of Research Support, the University Library, and the IT Service Centre, is pleased to offer:

  • advice on the requirements of national and international funding providers regarding research data management
  • advice on creating a data management plan
  • a tool (RDMO) to create a data management plan and advice on how to use this.

Webmaster: Dr. Ursula Higgins

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