The Wellcome Trust

General Info

Name of policy

Policy on Data Management and Sharing


David Carr,

Policy Specifics

Data Plan

“In cases where the proposed research is likely to generate data outputs that will hold significant value as a resource for the wider research community, applicants will be required to submit a data management and sharing plan to the Wellcome Trust prior to an award bring made.” A set of seven DMP themes is suggested in the guidance on “Developing a data management and sharing plan”.

Data Sharing / Access

Wellcome expect the researchers they fund “to make their research data available with as few restrictions as possible.” This approach is akin to the EC policy of “as open as possible, as closed as necessary.” They note that “For some research, delays or limits on data sharing may be necessary to safeguard research participants or to ensure you can gain intellectual property protection.”

Managed access processes should be described in the data management plan. “Where a managed access process is required - eg where a study involves potentially identifiable data about research participants - the access mechanisms you set up should be proportionate to the risks associated with the data. They must not unduly restrict or delay access […and…] should be consistent and transparent.”

Time Limits for Deposit and Retention

Timings should be addressed within the data management plan. Embargos are permitted to enable “a reasonable (but not unlimited) period of exclusive use for the research data.” No minimum retention period is given, merely that “datasets that have long-term value” should “be preserved and curated beyond the lifetime of the grant.”

Data Centre / Data Archive

Wellcome’s position is that researchers “should deposit data in recognised data repositories for particular data types where they exist, unless there’s a compelling reason not to do so,” and they also point to “general community repositories (eg Dryad, Zenodo and FigShare).” They recommend to help identify long-term homes for data, and also link to, “a curated and searchable portal of data standards, databases, and policies in the life, environmental, and biomedical sciences.”

Wellcome also provides Wellcome Open Research, which they describe as “a new way for Wellcome-funded researchers to rapidly publish any results they think are worth sharing.”


Wellcome encourage applicants to “carefully consider what resources you may need to deliver your plan and outline where dedicated resources are required.” Types of cost mentioned in the policy include salaries, training costs, IT equipment and data storage.” Routine data storage costs should ordinarily be borne by the researcher’s home institution.


The policy does not mention monitoring explicitly, but we know that Wellcome do monitor compliance with their policies.

Additional Guidance

The policy should be read in conjunction with the associated guidance. Other relevant policies include the position on open and unrestricted access to published research, the guidelines on good research practice and the policy on intellectual property and patenting.

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