DMS Plan Budget Guidance

Please note that all costs for data management and sharing must be incurred during the award, even costs for preservation of the data post-award.

The NIH Frequently Asked Questions on Budget/Costs provide significant details and links to instructions and forms.  Go to this link for the FAQs.  

For further information on allowable direct costs on sponsored projects, see this link.

The NIH’s application guide contains instructions for preparing the R&R Budget Form.  Costs related to data management and sharing should be included in the appropriate budget category(ies).

  • The Budget Justification must include supporting details that describe the costs associated with data management and sharing in a section clearly labeled “Data Management and Sharing Justification.”  The NIH recommends that the section be no more than half a page.  
  • If no cost will be incurred, this should be noted in the Budget Justification.
  • If a modular budget is being proposed, be aware that allowable data management and sharing costs may be included in the $250,000 cap for modular budgets.  If the total direct costs exceed $250,000 in any budget period, a modular budget may not be used. 
  • Applications must use the “Additional Narrative Justification” attachment and include a section clearly labeled “Data Management and Sharing Justification.”  
  • If the proposal includes a subaward(s), only one data management and sharing plan needs to be submitted with each application.  The PDs/PIs and all key personnel should determine how to coordinate data management and sharing responsibilities. 
  • Instructions for including data management and sharing costs incurred by a subrecipient are located at this link.
  • Actual data management and sharing expenditures should be tracked according to institutional policy.     
  • There are no additional financial reporting requirements for data management and sharing.  Financial reporting should be done as outlined in Federal Financial Report instructions. 

What costs can you consider in a DMS budget?

Please note that all costs for data management and sharing must be incurred during the award, even costs for preservation of the data post-award.

Repository data deposit fees

  • It is becoming increasingly common for data repositories to have a data deposit fee that helps cover the long-term sustainability of staffing, infrastructure, and services such as data curation.
  • Reminder! RDS recommends reaching out to your repositories of choice well in advance of your proposal due date to get a cost estimate! Costs can range from a few hundred dollars to multiple thousands.


  • Does the repository assist with data curation and deposit preparation? (e.g. ICPSR, QDR support intensive curation. Dryad provides minimal curation only for reusability.)
  • If doing it yourself, plan for personnel time. Prepare for needing to document your data throughout the active project, leave time for additional quality checks and documentation writing prior to deposit, ensure there is time to convert any file formats and ensure all files and code are executable. 

Specialized services or infrastructure

  • You may be able to include costs of campus services for storage or data support. For example, through ICTR, DoIT, or SSCC, etc. 
  • You may also be able to include services for de-identification, preparation, or other data formatting and curation tasks.
  • Be aware that the service or support must be used to ‘advance this project’. A service, tool, or support that is broadly beneficial to an entire lab or multiple projects cannot be charged as a direct cost.


  • Some PIs choose to include some personnel to specific data management and sharing roles and tasks – though it should be noted that all staff have a part to play in ensuring well managed and described data!