Because good research needs good data

Cancer Research UK (CRUK)

General Info

Name of policy

Data Sharing and Preservation Policy


Paola Quattroni, Research Funding Manager - Data:

Policy Specifics

Data Plan

“We regard it good research practice for all researchers to consider at the research proposal stage how they will manage and share the data they will generate. Therefore, we require that applicants applying for funding provide a data management and sharing plan as part of their application. This plan will be reviewed as part of the funding decision.”

  • Applicants to the Population Research Committee must upload a formally structured template as an appendix to their the electronic grant management system (eGMS) application;
  • Applicants to other committees will be asked to complete a free text data sharing plan when applying through eGMS. Seven suggested themes are given in the Practical Guidance web page, and subject-specific guidance is available for discoveryclinical and population research.

Data Sharing / Access

“Cancer Research UK wishes to ensure that data arising from the research that it funds should be managed and made available as widely and freely as possible to maximise public benefit.” “All data generated as a result of our funding [should] be considered for sharing and made as widely and freely accessible as possible whilst safeguarding intellectual property, the privacy of patients and confidential data.”

“Deposition in an appropriate data repository is encouraged. Alternatively, direct (and transparent) data sharing by the investigator or institution may be appropriate when justified.”

Time Limits for Deposit and Retention

The policy simply states that “Data must be shared in a timely and responsible manner,” but the Guidance document suggests that this should be done “no later than acceptance for publication of the main findings from the final dataset (unless restrictions from third party agreements or IP protection apply), or on a timescale in line with the procedures of the relevant research field.”

Embargoes are permitted: “A limited period, defined in consultation with the lead applicant, of exclusive use of data for primary research is reasonable, according to the nature and value of the data and the way they are generated and used. Ongoing research contributing to the completion of datasets must not be compromised by premature or opportunistic sharing and analysis. Sharing should always take account of enhancing the long-term value of the data.” They note that “it may be necessary on occasion to delay publication or restrict the release of data” due to (e.g.) patent applications.

Data should be retained for at least five years after grant end.

Data Centre / Data Archive

CRUK’s policy does not prescribe where researchers should preserve and share their data, but the Practical Guidance web page points researchers towards the lists of repositories on the CRUK website (categorised into repositories for discovery researchclinical research, and population research). The use of specific disciplinary repositories is encouraged (where they exist); if not they “encourage exploration of generalist repositories such as Figshare and Zenodo if appropriate, or repositories maintained by your institution.”


Costs can be included in applications (see the CRUK Costs Guidance document for details), provided these are well justified and reasonable in the context of your research.

In early 2018, CRUK (together with the Medical Research Council, Wellcome, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) announced that they would cover all costs involved in sharing academic clinical trials data via the Clinical Study Data Request (CSDR) website.


Compliance is monitored via the ResearchFish outputs recording system. See CRUK's ResearchFish policy for detail.

Additional guidance

Related Policies

CRUK has an Open Access policy -