Research data management

Responsible research data management is an essential component of good research practice. In addition to being safely stored and carefully curated, research data should be made available for reuse as widely and as early as possible. The guiding principle in this respect is 'as open as possible, as closed as necessary.'

NWO therefore expects researchers to:

  • Carefully manage all research data generated as part of NWO funded projects;
  • Preserve these data for at least ten years, unless legal provisions or discipline-specific guidelines dictate otherwise;
  • As a minimum, share the research data that underlie research publications alongside those publications, unless this is prevented for reasons of privacy, public safety, ethical restrictions, property rights or commercial interests;
  • Deposit  research data in a trusted repository in such a way that the data are as findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) as possible.

NWO understands research data as the evidence that underpin the answer to research questions, and can be used to validate findings. 

Software (algorithms, scripts and code developed during the course of a project) that are needed to access and interpret the data should  be, as much as possible, made openly available alongside the data.

  • Data management section

    The data management section is part of the research proposal. Researchers are asked to consider in advance how they will manage the data the project will generate and plan for which data will be preserved and be made publicly available. 

    Data management costs are eligible for funding and can be included in the  project budget. Data management costs fall under the budget module ‘materials costs’.

    It is recommended that researchers seek advice from their institution’s research support office when completing this section. Research support staff will be able to recommend suitable storage facilities and repositories for the data, and to advise on data management costs.

    Tool to estimate RDM costs (Utrecht University)

  • Data management plan (DMP)

    Once a project has been awarded funding, the project leader is required to work elaborate the data management section into a data management plan (DMP). This plan describes:

    • what data will be collected or produced, and what existing data will be re-used,
    • how the data will be safely stored during and managed during and after the project,
    • how the data will be made FAIR: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable.

    The project leader must submit the DMP to NWO no later than 4 months after the project has been awarded. The project can only start once the DMP has been approved by NWO. Data management plans need to be completed in consultation with research data management support staff at the home institution of the grant holder. We  encourage project leaders to complete the data management plan online.


  • Institutional DMP templates

    Project leaders have since January 2020 the option to use a DMP template from their own research institution, as long as that template has been approved by NWO. If your institution is listed below, you have the choice to use your institutional DMP template or the NWO DMP template.





    Erasmus University Rotterdam


    Leiden University 


    Maastricht University


    University of Amsterdam


    Utrecht University


    University of Twente


    TU Delft


    University of Humanistic Studies


    University Medical Centres




    Erasmus MC DMP (EUR intranet)
    Maastricht UMC+ DMP

    University Medical Center Groningen DMP
    University Medical Centre Utrecht DMP-UMCU

    Universities of Applied Sciences




    Hanze University of Applied Sciences


    Hogeschool van Amsterdam



    DMP-Fontys (intranet)

    Other Knowledge Institutions




    Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI)

    DMP-NKI (NKI intranet)


    If your institutional DMP template is not listed here, please email us via or check with your institution’s data management support contact.

  • Contact

    For advice on the completion of a data management section in the proposal, or data management plan (after awarding), you may best approach your institution's RDM support team. You may also contact the  secretary of the funding instrument concerned.

    For questions about NWO's research data management policy please contact:

    Maria Cruz | Phone number: +31 70 3494208 | Email: