Funders’ requirements

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.

Even though most funders’ open access policies regarding publications apply later on 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 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.

Although the submission to REF2021 is now complete, you should continue to meet the requirements of the REF 2021 Open Access Policy for future assessment exercises, until further notice.

  • The policy applies to journal articles and conference proceedings (published with an ISSN).
  • The author’s accepted manuscript needs to be deposited in an open access repository as soon as the paper is accepted for publication, and no later than 90 days from acceptance.
  • Deposited manuscripts must be publicly available within 12 months (REF panel A and B) or 24 months (REF panels C and D).
  • Articles published open access meet the policy requirements.

Read the full guidance on the REF 2021 website (PDF).

Learn more on making your publications open access.

A new UKRI Open Access policy was announced in August 2021. The updated policy requires immediate open access to peer-reviewed research articles submitted for publication from 1 April 2022. It also includes a new open access requirement for monographs, book chapters and edited collections published from 1 January 2024.  Further details on implementation of the new policy will be published on this page.

The current open access policy applies for UKRI-funded research papers submitted before April 2022.

The policy requires you to:

  • Publish the paper open access, making it available immediately at the time of online publication with a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC-BY).

Or, if funds are not available,

  • Deposit the accepted manuscript of the paper in an open access repository, making it publicly available with a maximum embargo of 6 months for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and 12 months for the arts, humanities and social sciences.

You are also expected to

  • Acknowledge the funding that supported the research
  • Include a statement on how the underlying research materials (for example, research data) can be accessed.

Learn more on making your publications open access.

A new policy applies for research articles submitted from 1 January 2021.

Research articles funded by the Wellcome Trust must be:

  • Made freely available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC by the official publication date, and
  • Made available under a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC-BY), unless the funder has agreed to an exception of a  CC BY-ND licence.

The policy requires the accepted manuscript of all peer-reviewed articles to

  • Be available in a repository within six months (STEM) or 12 months (social sciences and humanities) from publication


  • To be published open access.

See the Guidelines to the Rules on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Open Access to Research Data in Horizon 2020 (PDF) for more information.

Open data requirements

Most funding bodies have data policies that 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 management plans (updated as needed)
  • Data access statement in all publications
  • Timely sharing of data, preferably in a data repository 
  • Preservation of data.

For more on how to share your data, please see our making your data more open guidance

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

However, 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 metadata for the data.

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 RDM requirements should be included in your data management plan (DMP). 

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

What to include:

Publication costs: UKRI provides a block fund to Surrey for covering open access costs. You do not need to write the costs into their bids. For other funders, you need to include publication costs in the grant application. These funders include the European Research Council and the Leverhulme Trust (N.B. currently the Trust does not mandate open access, but will support costing of open access during the life of the grant).

Staff costs: consider the staff involved in and responsible for all research data management activities, from day-to-day organisation to the final preparations for sharing and preservation. Activities to consider here include:

  • Managing, formatting and documenting the data
  • Cleaning, validating, de-identifying, transcribing
  • Creating metadata
  • Training
  • Documenting and preparing data for sharing and preservation
  • Uploading and sharing data to data repositories.

It may be necessary to factor in costs of additional staff or a percentage of a staff member’s time to undertake some or all of these functions. 

Equipment costs: any software and/or hardware you will need to undertake your project’s RDM activities, particularly for enabling data to be shared and preserved more easily.

Data storage costs: IT Services provide 500GB of free space for public and charity funded projects. If your project is going to need more you will want to include it in your RDM costings. You can request storage via the File Storage Service. If you have any questions regarding technical requirements please contact the IT Service Desk.

Preservation costs: some repositories charge for hosting data long term. If you intend to use one of these, it important to remember that all funding for RDM must be spent before the end of your grant. That means you will need to account for any preservation costs before your project is finished. Try to include the date you intend to deposit your data in your DMP as soon as you can.

For more information on costing see:

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