Introducing the FDP NIH Data Management and Sharing Pilot

Are you working on a Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Plan for your NIH grant application under the 2023 NIH DMS policy (NOT-OD-21-013) and curious about the evaluation metric? Check out NIH’s ongoing pilot with DMS Plan templates Alpha and Bravo. The Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) NIH DMS Pilot, launched on March 1, 2023, is a collaborative effort between FDP and NIH, engaging NIH ICOs, Office of Extramural Research Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), Office of Science Policy (OSP), and Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)/Compliance, aiming to:

  • Phase 1 (NIH DMS Plan Template Pilot): Increase consistency in DMS Plan requirements across NIH ICs and reduce the administrative burden for researchers in DMS Plan development and implementation.
  • Phase 2 (Cost Policies): Establish common cost principles, identify types of costs required, and determine how to address additional/unforeseen costs that may be required to meet the data sharing policy.

The DMS Plan pilot templates, Alpha and Bravo, were developed by NIH colleagues to minimize last-minute revisions at the Just-In-Time (JIT) phase and offer insight into NIH ICs’ expectations. Details of each phase are as follows:

The FDP NIH DMS Pilot Phase 1 (DMS Plan Template)

  • Overview: The FDP NIH DMS pilot team invites institutions to formally participate by signing the agreement. This involves submitting the Institutional Quarterly Tracker and having PIs complete a Qualtrics survey to provide feedback on using the pilot template. Phase 1 began with 20 participating institutions and accepts new enrollments quarterly. The templates are publicly available on the FDP NIH DMS home page and DMPTool, encouraging all PIs to use them for grant submissions and provide feedback by submitting a survey, regardless of formal participation in the pilot. While WashU is not officially participating in the pilot, PIs are encouraged to test the templates and submit a survey.
  • Templates:
    • Alpha Template: A prescriptive fillable PDF to limit free text entry, requires Adobe for download.
    • Bravo TemplateA Word file with detailed prompts and options for free text responses.
    • You can download the templates from the FDP NIH DMS Pilot home page or use them in DMPTool.
DMPTool NIH Templates

The FDP NIH DMS Pilot Phase 2 (Cost Policies)

  • Expected to start officially in December 2023, the phase aims to refine common cost principles, identify types of costs required, and determine how to address additional/unforeseen costs that may be required to meet the data sharing policy.
  • As an initial measure, NIH responded to community feedback on the single line budget item for DMS costs by releasing guide notice NOT-OD-23-161 (NIH Application Instruction Updates – Data Management and Sharing Costs) on 7/31/023. This notice eliminates the single line budget item for DMS costs. Starting from applications due on or after October 5, 2023, DMS costs should be requested under the appropriate cost category, with estimated details included in the “Budget Justification” attachment.

For more information, visit the FDP NIH DMS Pilot home page and review the two Town Hall sessions. The first session on May 31, 2023 (Video, Transcript, Slide Deck), showcased the two pilot templates available in DMPTool. The second session on July 17, 2023 (Video, Transcript, Slide Deck) discussed the new guide notice on the DMS budget (NOT-OD-23-161), phase 1 status update and feedback received, DMPTool update, acceptance of new participants in Q3 of the pilot, and potential future Town Hall sessions with NIH Program Officers for sharing experiences and community discussions.

FDP NIH DMS Pilot Townhall on July 17, 2023

Although WashU isn’t officially participating in the FDP NIH DMS pilot, PIs should still test the templates, understand NIH’s DMS Plan expectations, and provide feedback to influence the future DMS format.  I will hold an information session for WUSM investigators on September 12, 2023, 11 am – 12 pm. Stay tuned for the research news announcement and Becker DMS newsletter in August for more details.

For any questions or to join the FDP NIH DMS Pilot, contact me at