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NSF Two Page Data Management Plan

[Revised January 2015]

Proposals submitted to NSF and due on or after January 18, 2011, must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled "Data Management Plan" (often referred to as ‘the two page plan’ or 'DMP'). This supplementary document (a supplement to the 15 page proposal) should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results. See the full description in the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Chapter II.C.2.j for full policy implementation (

Investigators working under awards granted by the NSF Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) have additional conditions to which they must adhere, as described in the Division of Ocean Sciences Sample and Data Policy (

If the proposal is being submitted to NSF Geosciences Directorate (GEO) OCE Biological or Chemical Oceanography Sections or Division of Polar Programs (PLR) Antarctic Sciences (ANT) Organisms & Ecosystems Program then the two page plan can state that BCO-DMO staff will work with you to manage the data, and that data or model results generated during the proposed research project will be contributed to the BCO-DMO system.

Data Management Plan Template

Link to DMPTool
BCO-DMO has developed a Data Management Plan template to assist investigators in submission of plans that meet the NSF OCE Sample and Data Policy requirements. The template can be found and completed on the DMPTool website. DMPTool is an online application that helps researchers create data management plans. The DMPTool provides detailed guidance and links to informational resources and walks a researcher through the process of generating a comprehensive plan tailored to specific DMP requirements, in this case, the NSF OCE requirements.

If you are a researcher from one of the DMPTool partner institutions, you can log in using your institutional credentials. By being affiliated with your institution, you may be presented with institution-specific guidance (displayed as section-specific instructions and/or resource web links) to help you complete your plan. If your institution is not a partner, you can create your own account by selecting “Not in List” as your institution upon login.

Once logged-in to DMPTool, select “Create New DMP” from the “My Dashboard” display. Then, choose “Select Template” and select the template titled “BCO-DMO NSF OCE: Biological and Chemical Oceanography”. From there, you will be guided through a series of screens where the content of the DMP can be entered. On each screen, you will see an “Instructions” tab containing the question or a description of information that should be provided to meet the specific requirement. Each question/requirement may also have a “Links” tab, containing links to relevant external websites or guidance material, and an “Example Response” tab, containing an example of a response that would fulfill the OCE Sample and Data Policy requirements. The template may be saved at any point, and can also be shared with collaborators. Once complete, the template can be exported in .rtf format for inclusion in your NSF proposal. We suggest that after exporting to .rtf, you adjust the font and margins to meet NSF proposal formatting requirements. A summary of these instructions, including screenshots, is available as a PDF.

Additional Resources

BCO-DMO has prepared a document (see resources below) that includes recommendations and a suggested outline for the two page plan for an NSF OCE proposal involving a research cruise and data management being done in partnership with BCO-DMO staff. However, these recommendations could be modified for projects that do not involve a cruise (e.g. model or data synthesis projects) or for proposals submitted to NSF Divisions other than NSF Geosciences Directorate (GEO) Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) Biological and Chemical Oceanography Sections or Division of Polar Programs (PLR) Antarctic Sciences (ANT) Organisms & Ecosystems Program.


BCO-DMO suggestions for the two page plan (PDF document)
Slide show on the NSF two page plan (PDF of January 2011 presentation)
NSF OCE Sample and Data Policy (PDF; May 2011 version)
ROSCOP (Report of Observations/Samples collected by Oceanographic Programmes) Cruise Summary Form (.doc; see more information at: