Data Management Planning

Writing a Data Management Plan (DMP) is a way to articulate and plan for your research data needs, and will help you address issues and focus on areas that need further thought.

Submitting a DMP is a requirement of many funding agencies, and since 2019 it is a requirement for UCT researchers and postgraduate students (specifically, Masters and Ph.D. students who produce dissertations, mini-dissertations, and theses). To determine whether your funder has a specific template they require you to use, you may want to view the DLS funder guidelines, or the DCC's overview of funder's data policies .

For further assistance with writing your DMP contact us.


UCT DMP  is an online tool provided specifically to help you develop a data management plan.

It provides funder and departmental guidance tailored to specific Data Management Planning (DMP) requirements and allows you to share your plan easily with collaborators, as well as export your document in a variety of formats. UCT's DMP templates contain detailed information on formulating your own research data management plan.

It is important to establish whether your funder has their own DMP requirements so that customised template can be created based on those requirements. Some of these templates are available on UCT DMP .

UCT DMP Data Management Checklist

Before you start your plan, go through our checklist.


The platform allows you to use your UCT credentials to sign in. This can be done by clicking on the ‘Sign In with your UCT credentials’ button on the UCT DMP home page .

If you require further help with your own DMP, please contact your Subject Librarian , departmental data manager, or email us.

Plans currently available on UCT DMP

Funder Specific:

  • European Research Council (ERC) - Full DMP
  • European Union (Horizon 2020) - Full DMP
  • Medical Research Council (MRC) - Full DMP
  • National Environmental Research Council (NERC) - Outline and Full DMP
  • National Science Foundation- Biological Sciences (NSF-Bio) - Full DMP
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Full DMP
  • Wellcome Trust - Full DMP
  • Clinical Research Centre (CRC-UCT)

To add a funder-specific data management plan that is not currently available on UCT DMP, please contact DLS.

Institution/Department Specific:

Certain UCT departments and research units have customised DMP templates for their researchers and students. Currently, the following units have customised templates:

  • University of Cape Town (UCT) - Full DMP (available as default option)
  • Centre for Bioprocess Engineering Research (CeBER)
  • Centre for MINERALS Research
  • Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies (CTDPS)
  • Construction, Economics and management
  • Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED) - Full DMP
  • Faculty of Commerce
    • School of Economics (Full DMP)
  • Faculty of Health Sciences
    • UCT Clinical Research Centre (CRC) - Full DMP
    • Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit (GHJRU) - Full DMP
  • Faculty of Humanities
    • Department of Knowledge and Information Stewardship (DKIS) Full DMP


  • Data Curation Profile

These templates contain specific guidance for their units, drawn from existing departmental and faculty documentation and curatorial practices. If you would are interested in creating a DMP template for your department or unit, please contact DLS.

Sample Data Management Plans

To help guide you in developing your own DMP, various institutions have made example DMPs available on their websites. For example, the Digital Curation Centre has provided a list of sample DMPs, drawing primarily from UK-based funding agencies.

Currently, the majority of DMP examples originate in the UK and involve UK funding agencies. As time passes, more South African sample DMPs will be added for illustrative purposes.

Disciplinary area Sample Data Management Plans
Social Sciences, Humanities and Commerce Generic social sciences - Digital archaeology - English - Theology
Sciences and Engineering Biological Sciences - Entomology - Oceanography - Mechanical design project - Synthetic chemistry

What you need to do?

  • Pre-Award or Pre-Project Stage

    • If required, write a funder-specific Data Management Plan (DMP) using one of the funder templates on UCT DMP


    • Complete the UCT outline DMP (or UCT student outline DMP) on UCT DMP

    The outline DMP should demonstrate initial thinking around your research data management practices. As with research proposals, there is an understanding that your data management practices may change over the course of your research.

    Consider all relevant costs (article processing charges, data storage, digitisation of materials, etc.) in your application. It is good practice to know the requirements for deposit of data and metadata in your designated repository/repositories before you commence your research.

  • Award or Project Stage

    • Update your funder DMP


    • If you are using the UCT DMP template, start working on your full DMP.

    Allocate sufficient time for describing your data and deciding which data will need to be preserved for long-term and short-term access. Periodically cross-check your DMP with any faculty- or department-specific checklists that apply to you. Certain funders will require access to your DMP and research data as part of the conditions of the grant, to monitor your progress and compliance. Having a rigorous DMP in place will help you meet their requirements.

  • Post-Project Stage

    • Deposit (and if appropriate share) your data through mandatory funder repositories or through UCT.
    • Ensure that the deposit of your published outputs and supporting data meets the requirements of your funder and/or UCT guidelines. For example, have you met the requirements for citation (i.e. obtaining DOIs or other types of persistent identifiers), and user access? Do the required repositories have a URL/handle for your published outputs?

    The inclusion of a data statement is a requirement stipulated in a number of leading academic journal publishers such as PLOS One and Nature. Ensure that your statement style complies with the requirements of your funder and publisher.