Most funders now require some form of Data Management Plan (DMP) or, at minimum, a statement on how data generated during a research project will be made available.
Irrespective of whether a research project is externally funded or not, it is also UoP Research Data Management Policy that the Data Steward (e.g. PI, Research Lead, First Supervisor depending on the circumstances) ensures that research data management planning takes place.
A DMP is a document that you write which lays out how you intend to manage your research data. It will normally explain how you will organise the creation, processing and preservation of your data during the lifetime of your project and beyond. During the early stages of a project it should be considered a live document. Depending on the funding body, DMPs can range in size (and complexity) from a statement of around 200 words to a 2- or 3-page document (e.g AHRC, ESRC). (Research Data page – DMPs.)
Digital Storage provision – a quick, but important, aside:
An important early part of the planning process is to ensure that your project has adequate digital storage provision. This falls under the remit of your friendly* Service Delivery Manager (SDM). There is now a Research Data Enquiry form that you need to complete at the earliest opportunity during the planning stage (i.e. when you have identified your project needs). The purpose of this form is to ask standard questions and ensure that your SDM is aware of any new project data storage requirement.
(*still friendly, but less so, if they have to sort out storage provision after a project has started rather than before…)
General DMP advice
Funders typically have documented guidance of what they expect to see in a DMP. The DMPonline tool provides templates of DMPs for major funders (RCUK plus a few others) , and the funder guidance is embedded in the template (as well as a default Digital Curation Centre (DCC) guidance).
As a primer there are also some major funder DMP examples available on the DCC website, however, be aware that some of these are a little dated and therefore may not reflect current guidance. The same caution should be applied to any local UoP examples that you may come across.
Can I get 1-to-1 advice on my DMP/the RDM process?
Yes – email email@example.com.
When can I get advice on my DMP?
Any time, the earlier the better, especially during the pre-award stage. Please also feel free to ask if you need advice during a project or post-project (i.e. archiving).
Will/can my DMP be reviewed before submission?
If your application is being reviewed by the Peer Review College (PRC) then your DMP will automatically be reviewed as a part of this process.
If your application is not going through the PRC then please feel free to ask via firstname.lastname@example.org. As well as the DMP I’ll need all your application documentation (Case for Support etc.) so that I can put the DMP in context. You’ll also need to allow sufficient time for review turn-around/remedial action – a minimum of 2 weeks is recommended. Please also be aware that PRC applications will have priority over non-PRC.