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Costing Research Data Management

Costing Research Data Management is useful in developing your project budget.

Costing Research Data Management

When you are applying for funding, costing all activities associated with data management is not only helpful but often necessary.

Most research councils are expecting grant applicants to estimate costs associated with data management and sharing. These costs should be indicated in a Data Management Plan submitted as part of their grant application. Here is key information to anticipate and meet these costs.

Five key questions to estimate costs

  1. What does your funder require you to mention in your Data Management Plan?
  2. What are the likely types, sizes and formats of data that you will create?
  3. Where you will store your data during your project?
  4. How and when will you describe your data?
  5. What is the chosen long-term archiving and sharing plan for your future data and publications?

This UCL case study can give you an idea of costs and time associated with archiving data.

Time and budget-anticipating tools

Although no detailed Research Data Management costing guides can yet be created, you can at least answer the questions above by identifying the activities that are likely to weigh on your project budget. To anticipate these activities you can print the downloadable tool developed by the UK Data Service.

Depending on the scale and nature of your project, having a Data Manager in your project team could be necessary.


The UKRI Common Principles state that "[it] is appropriate to use public funds to support the management and sharing of publicly-funded research data." To check if your research council makes a clear statement on whether these costs will be met as part of the grant, check your funder's expectations on data management.

As a UCL researcher you can also use UCL infrastructure free of charge to meet some of the costs associated with data storage, digitisation, data & publications sharing. UCL can also help you with understanding Open Access publication charges.