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Funders’ requirements

Find out about your funders’ requirements on Open Access and research data.

Understanding your funders' expectations

It is essential to know what your funders’ expectations are regarding publications and research data. Non-compliance with funder requirements policies may result in future funding being refused or, in the case of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), with a publication not being eligible for submission.

In the case of the REF, it is essential to continue complying with the Open Access Policy even after the end of the 2021 submission.

Even though most funders’ Open Access policies regarding publications and research data apply later in the project, it is important to be aware of them from the planning stage; especially in cases when you write Open Access costs into the bid.

Open Access requirements

The University’s policy on Open Access to research outputs (PDF) outlines what the University expects of researchers in terms of Open Access to research outputs, including journal publications and monographs. These requirements are aligned to funder policies.

The Open Access requirements of major funders are outlined below. You can look up other funders’ policies at the Sherpa Juliet database.

Aligning University, funder and REF Open Access policies

The University has aligned its OA publishing policies - particularly the way OA funds are used to support OA - with the UKRI policy.

Whether your research is UKRI-funded or not, the guidance below helps you:

  • Act at every stage of the publication process, from manuscript preparation to acceptance (see diagram)
  • Look up your options for each journal (i.e. which journals are supported by OA funds, and for which journals you need to follow the repository route). See the current list of journals here

Open data requirements

Most funder data policies recognise the value of research data in advancing scholarship, enterprise, and the public good. These policies outline expectations about how researchers should manage, share, and preserve the data produced by their funded projects. Similarly, the University of Surrey has its own Research Data Management Policy (PDF)

Be sure to review your funder’s expectations carefully as they do vary. Non-compliance could result in restrictions on further funding.

For an overview of current funder data policies, please see the Data Curation Centre website.

In general, expectations include:

Data sharing

For more on how to share your data, please see REF open data guidance. Some funders specify timelines for data sharing, e.g., at time of publication. Surrey’s policy is for data underpinning publications to be made available within 12 months.

Funders and the University do recognise legitimate constraints on data sharing. It is up to you, the researcher, to make an informed judgement on what can and what cannot be shared based on legal, ethical, and commercial considerations:

  • In line with the University’s Intellectual Property Code (PDF), declare any commercially valuable IP to the Technology Transfer Office
  • Follow the terms of sponsorship and collaboration agreements related to your research
  • Be aware of data protection and ethical considerations affecting when and how your share your data
  • Ensure consent and permission to share
  • Take reasonable steps to make your data more shareable, e.g. de-identification, aggregation, etc.

Any access restrictions must be justified. Full details should be included in your data management plan, the data statement appended to your publications, and in the data documentation.

Including publication and data costs in bids

Funders often indicate the direct costs that should be included in your grant proposal. Some of these include:

  • Publication costs, including colour printing and article processing charges to publish Open Access
  • Data management and data sharing. Details of any resources needed to meet your funder’s research data management requirements and should be included in your data management plan.

The Research Finance team can offer you further help on costing and pricing for your bid.

What to include