FAIR data policy

The grant policy applies to data files and other resources used to conduct the research, such as quantitative and qualitative data sources, the software to use data, and collections of physical resources like biological materials, audio and video recordings, etc.

The FAIR policy

At the end of any project, parties must at the very least deliver the data and metadata on which the project results and publications are based. These must be reusable and accessible to researchers, policymakers, professionals from actual practice, businesses and citizens (possibly subject to specific conditions, such as privacy directives).

Please note: Under the ZonMw Open Access policy all publications must be available online free of charge at all times.

Relevance criteria

In the grant application stage, ZonMw treats and considers FAIR data and data management (as well as the other Open Science pillars) as a relevance criterion. Data (and other research resources) are a valuable deliverable of any project. Making them reusable increases the added value and relevance of a project. Data management is not always a selection criterion for approving or rejecting a grant application. The programme team and/or assessment committee may issue specific instructions with regard to preparations for data management in the grant application.

Grant Conditions

After an application is approved, ZonMw’s Grant Conditions article 20 on Data Files applies. A project leader receiving a grant must (1) establish a data management plan (DMP) and (2) enable data sharing subject to the relevant laws and regulations. ZonMw primarily holds the researchers and their institute responsible for good data management and FAIR data.

Read more about laws and regulations relating to data management and FAIR data

Open data and FAIR data

According to the policy, data files must be ‘as open as possible, as restricted as necessary’ . Open data are not necessarily FAIR data, and FAIR data are not always open. The FAIR principles make it possible to record precisely whether and for whom (or what algorithm) the data are open or closed, which allows researchers to protect privacy-sensitive or confidential data. Metadata, the data descriptions and variables are always open, however.

The future

It is ZonMw’s ambition that all projects will yield FAIR (meta)data in future. For this reason, our policy will be adjusted in the years to come, as more developments and opportunities arise to deliver fully FAIR data.