NSF Biological Sciences Data Management Plan

The specialized Data Management Plan (DMP) requirements for the NSF Biological Sciences Directorate (updated October 2015) state that each DMP should address the issues below, as appropriate.  An overview of general NSF DMP information might provide some context.

  • Describe the types of data, physical samples or collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project.
  • Describe the standards to be used for all the data types anticipated, including data or file format and metadata.
  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of all parties with respect to the management of the data (including contingency plans for the departure of key personnel from the project).
  • Describe the dissemination methods that will be used to make the data and metadata available to others during the period of the award, and any modifications or additional technical information regarding data access after the grant ends.
  • Describe the PI’s policies for data sharing, public access and re-use, including provisions for protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property rights and other rights.
  • Where relevant, describe plans for archiving data, samples, software, and other research products and for on-going access to these products through their lifecycle of usefulness to research and education.  Consider which data (or research products) will be deposited for long-term access and where.

Biological Sciences Directorate Templates


DMPTool is an online tool to help researchers create data management plans for NSF directorates and divisions, including the Biological Sciences Directorate.  UIUC partnered with several other major research institutions to create this resource.

UIUC DMP Template

The UIUC Biological Sciences Directorate DMP template has been phased out in favor of the DMPTool, which provides DMP templates for many funding agencies.  If you have thoughts or comments about this, please feel free to contact me – Sarah Williams, Life Sciences Data Services Librarian.