Data Management Plans and Templates

What is a data management plan (DMP)?

A data management plan will help you to properly manage your data for your own use, meet funder requirements, and enable data sharing in the future. A DMP describes the structure and nature of the data as well as the activities and technical requirements to gather, merge, transfer, organize, document, analyze and preserve research data.

Several funding agencies including the National Science Foundation (NSF) have specific requirements for a data management plan. However, there are fundamental data management issues that apply to most disciplines, formats, and projects. While data management plans will be tailored to the specific problem and subject domain, they all have common elements.

Elements of a Data management plan

There are five main elements of a data management plan:

1. Types of data
2. Data and metadata standards
3. Policies for access and sharing
4. Policies for re-use and redistribution
5. Plans for archiving and preservation (if applicable)

Careful consideration and planning for each of these elements will reduce the risk of data loss, and improve the overall efficiency of a project. Learn more about the Resources at UT for managing your data.

Data Management Plan Templates

DMP Tool Logo
We are proud to offer the DMPTool as a resource for the UT research community. Developed by the University of California Curation Center and a group of major research institutions, the DMPTool is designed to help researchers:
  • Create ready-to-use data management plans for specific funding agencies
  • Get step-by-step instructions and guidance for data management plans
  • Learn about resources and services available at their home institution to fulfill the data management requirements of their grants

To access the DMPTool, visit, click on Get Started, and choose the "University of Texas at Austin" from the pull-down menu. From there you can log in with your EID and password.

If you would prefer a print template, or if you'd just like to see all elements of the DMP before starting your online plan, see our print NSF DMP template.

Funding Agency Requirements

NSF LogoNSF Data Management Plan: Proposals submitted to NSF must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled “Data Management Plan” (DMP) .  This supplementary document should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results.  Proposals that do not include a DMP cannot be submitted.



NEH LogoNEH Digital Humanities Implementation Grants: The DHIG program requires that every applicant include both a sustainability plan and a data management plan. You’ll note that we have aligned our data management requirements with those of the National Science Foundation to enable you to take advantage of data management resources that your institution may have already developed for applying to the NSF.


NIH LogoNIH Data Sharing Policy: Scientific research depends on the free flow of information and ideas. To ensure that future research can build on previous efforts and discoveries, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has developed a data sharing policy for applicants seeking NIH funding of $500,000 or more in direct costs in any one year.




The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has added a new data management plan section (Part III) to their Specifications for Projects that Develop Digital Products document. From the introduction to Part III: "IMLS encourages sharing of research data. The purpose of this section is to help IMLS understand a grant applicant's research practices and plans for managment of data that would be generated through a proposed research grant. If the proposed activities will generate datasets with the potential for future re-use or repurposing, answer the following questions."


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is requiring grantees to "share data produced under NOAA grants and cooperative agreements in a timely fashion, except where limited by law, regulation, policy or security requirements. Grantees must address this requirement formally by preparing a Data Sharing Plan as part of their grant project narrative."



The Institute for Education Sciences requires grantees to submit a data sharing plan with their grant application. For the purposes of the IES policy, final research data are "the recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to document and support research findings".

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