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Required data and data management plan

Required data

Describe the kind, scope, availability and possible cost of the data-sets needed for the project.
In case new data needs to be gathered, describe and justify its necessity, added value and methodology.

Concerning the use of existing data/samples or the collection of new data/samples, proposal submitters should take the following guidelines into account:

  • Whenever possible, the partners should make use of existing (administrative or non-administrative) databases/collections to meet the needs of their research. For this, they must check beforehand whether the data/collections are accessible, at what cost, and how much time it will take to acquire the data. If, after the start of the research, it appears that due to partner negligence or insufficient knowledge of the field, the data files/collections will not be available in time, this may constitute a reason for BELSPO to cancel the contract. It is recommended the submitters line-up alternatives in order to carry out the project in case the foreseen data/samples are not available.
  • If the proposal requires collecting new data/samples (e.g. via a survey), the team must justify with clear and convincing arguments its choice of methodology, referring to the objectives of the study and specifying why this particular form of data/sample collection is required and preferable to other approaches. This means the proposers must provide sound and detailed argumentation in support of the chosen methodology (sampling, etc.) and highlight its added value in comparison to existing databases/collections. In addition, the partners must provide the budget required for this data/sample collection.
  • If the project needs earth observation data, BELSPO’s space research and applications service can provide them on the basis of a justified request (see

Data management plan

Researchers will, upon being awarded their project, be invited to describe their intended data management system into a Data Management Plan (DMP). DMPs are a key element of good data management. BELSPO expects a provisional DMP upon submission of the grant application, and a completed DMP no later than 6 months after the start date of the project, to be submitted to the BELSPO programme administrator.

As the data collected within the framework of the proposed research must be available to other users for other purposes, the proposal must clearly indicate when and in what format the data will be made accessible, specifying which categories of users are likely to benefit from access to the data.
Develop a Data Management Plan (DMP), in which is specified what data will be open, detailing what data the project will generate, whether and how it will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

As part of making research data findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable (FAIR), a DMP should include information on:

  • The handling of research data during & after the end of the project
  • What data will be collected, processed and/or generated
  • Which methodology & standards will be applied
  • Whether data will be shared/made open access and
  • How data will be curated & preserved (including after the end of the project).

At the end of the project, the final version of the DMP has to be added to the final report of the project, to be submitted to the BELSPO programme administrator. This DMP may of course have been updated since its first version. The DMP is an element in the final evaluation of the project by the relevant expert panel. Both the DMP submitted within the first 6 project months and the final DMP may use this template. The same template may be created with the online DMPOnline planning tools hosted by the DMPBelgium consortium ( and its equivalent at KUL (

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