Data Management Plan only required for approved projects

Anyone submitting an application for funding to the SNSF previously had to complete a Data Management Plan at the same time. This is no longer the case for all calls starting after 17 April 2023.

Research data should be open and accessible to all – scientists and society at large. The SNSF supports this principle. Since October 2017, submission of a long-term Data Management Plan (DMP) has been mandatory for most funding schemes. This helps researchers to plan the lifecycle of the data from their project. In the DMP, they set out how they will collect, document, publish and archive the data. This may concern, for example, the results from measurements in the lab.

To date, DMPs have had to be submitted to the SNSF along with the grant application. The Administrative Offices then checked their plausibility and compliance with the requirements. However, they were not evaluated scientifically and were not assessed by external reviewers.

Submission later in the process

The SNSF is now changing the process, in line with the introduction of the SNSF Portal, the new online platform for research funding. In future, researchers will not have to submit a DMP along with their application. “Together with the application, we only require information that is necessary for the evaluation. The Data Management Plan is not scientifically evaluated, so it can be submitted later,” explains Executive Management member Thomas Werder. Only when the project has been selected for funding do researchers have to complete the DMP. This reduces their workload for preparing an application. However, they will still need to apply for the cost of access to research data at the application stage.

The change applies to all calls that start after 17 April 2023 as well as for the current Spark call.

Integral part of projects

“Of course, researchers will still have to consider data management when planning their projects and preparing their applications. It remains an integral part of all SNSF projects and is an element of good practice. It is also conceivable that aspects of the DMP will be evaluated in the future,” stresses Thomas Werder. The strategic objectives have not changed: research data must be made freely accessible to researchers and the general public.