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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

Data Management Plan (DMP) Assistance for Grants

DMP Guidelines

Guidelines for creating DATA MANAGEMENT PLANS


This document provides ideas and boilerplate to Lehigh researchers relevant to writing a data management plan (DMP) for a grant proposal. You may also want to consult the DMP tool, which provides you with an outline of what is needed in your specific grant proposal. Below gives you specific points and language related to Lehigh resources.

You can consult with the Library & Technology Services (LTS) research data management team for assistance and advice in writing your own DMP!


The attached sample DMPs are made available for the benefit of Lehigh faculty. Please consider emailing your finalized DMP to LTS [] for its use as a source of ideas and phraseology for other researchers at Lehigh who are writing DMPs for their research. Everyone benefits!


To the best of our knowledge, your DMP should contain most, if not all, of the following sections. These are guidelines for items to include in your DMP. Please feel free to contact us if we have missed some sections based on the funding agencies that you are applying to.


Table of Contents



In the introduction, briefly describe what the DMP is addressing for e.g. data storage, preservation and dissemination.

  • If staff support  or services are required, please provide information to the top level  supervisor of the personnel and obtain a letter of support if required. E.g., for GIS support services, please contact the Manager of Digital Scholarship team and the LTS VP.
  • Consult with LTS CC’s for the best storage option available for your research for.e.g. Ceph storage. Consider any budgeting that may be necessary. For example,if using Ceph, please budget storage appropriately (currently $375/TB for 5 years). Keep in mind that H Drive may not be appropriate considering it only provides 5GB space. Additionally, Ceph does not provide backup or archival services. Your LTS CC can provide information regarding backup and archival services.
  • If you plan on using data repositories for archival services, please contact your subject librarian. 

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Provide a rationale for the DMP 


The DMP is developed to ensure that results generated from this research project are independently verifiable and reusable in subsequent research by other scientists and engineers. Information necessary for reproducing and validating our research findings will be made available through published papers, references therein, and online supplemental materials. 


You may want to weave it into the introductory section or have a separate section for the rationale.

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Data types

Provide information about the data types that will be generated, stored and/or disseminated 

E.g. output from software programs, surveys, publicly or privately available original or processed/derived data sets, etc

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Content and format (you might want to merge this section with the Data Types section)

Describe the format of the data types. Please consider specifying whether the data format is open source or closed source. 

If the data format is proprietary, consider specifying the software used  Examples:

  • Statistical data sets that can be read using the STATA/SPSS/SAS.
  • Data will be stored in Excel spreadsheets

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Data dissemination

Describe how your data will be disseminated for public consumption, preferably on a subject data repository. Depending on what the granting agency allows, you may want to stipulate a time frame that will ensure that you have time to publish results based on the data. Consider publishing your data using a DOI and an appropriate license. 

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Data protection and security

Describe how your data will be protected.

  • If your project involves sensitive materials, please contact Information Security ( This step should be considered mandatory if your project involves controlled unclassified information (CUI), ITAR/Export Controls, protected health information (phi) or there are specific security standards (e.g. NIST 800.171, CMMC) required in the proposal call.
  • The Information Security team maintains a data classification table, data policies and a guide for storage options for each data classification type. Please refer to these guides for more details. 
  • Look into Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements if applicable.

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Data Preservation and Period of Retention  

Describe how your data will be preserved for the length of the grant and the extended time frame that your funding agency requires.

  • Contact Research Computing for assistance in selecting an appropriate storage and backup option. 
  • If storing to local drives, using a backup service such as Code42 Crashplan is strongly recommended.
  • Subject Librarians can help you locate freely accessible subject data repositories in which you can store your data.  See the section of this library guide about data repositories for resources..​​

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