Research Data Management Protocols & Plans; templates & examples

Data Management Protocols and Plans help to critically think about how research data will be handled, and to establish good research practices on the Chair group and project level respectively.

What is a Data Management Protocol?

A Data Management Protocol is a document, on the level of the research group, in which a general outline of data management practices agreed upon within the research group (and in line with the WUR data policy) are outlined. A Data Management Protocol aims and focuses on good practices and consistency across the chair group. Topics that should be covered in a Data Management Protocol are:

  • Roles and responsiblities
  • Data ownership, sharing and accessibility
  • Safe and shareable storage during research
  • Data archiving and registration after research
  • Data documentation and metadata
  • Data Management Plans for PhD candidates/research projects

WUR provides a Data Management Protocol template, which can be used and adapted/extended.

What is a Data Management Plan?
A Data Management Plan is a document, written before the start of a research project, in which various aspects of data management during and after the project are outlined. These aspects are in more detail compared to a Data Management Protocol and should be in line with the WUR data policy. It makes you think carefully about the processes of collecting, storing, describing and preserving your research data. A Data Management Plan helps you to

  • reduce data loss;
  • keep track of your research progress more efficiently;
  • prepare your research data for future use (e.g. data publication, verification purposes or reuse of your data by others);
  • comply with ethical guidelines and institutional, funder and journal requirements
  • and to save a lot of time during and when finishing your project.

WUR provides a Data Management Plan format that you can use as PhD candidate. To give you an impression of a completed Data Management Plan go to the following examples: individual DMP 1individual DMP 2.  

Requirements of Wageningen University & Research

The WUR data policy requires all Chair Groups to have a Data Management Protocol and all PhD candidates to have a Data Management Plan.  

Requirements of the Wageningen Graduate Schools

The exact requirements for a PhD candidate on how to submit a Data Management Plan differs between the Wageningen Graduate Schools. Once PhD candidates have created their Data Management Plan, it becomes an appendix to their research proposal and may be reviewed by the Wageningen Graduate Schools.

Requirements from funders

More and more funders require for researchers to write a data management section in their research proposals. When a proposal has been awarded funding, this section has to be developed into a Data Management Plan.

How to get started: DMPonline

DMPonline, an online tool for researchers to create, edit and share a Data Management Plan, offers a range of funder Data Management Plan templates (e.g. from NWO, ERC, European Commission (Horizon Europe) and ZonMw). Additionally, you can find the WUR Data Management Plan template in DMPonline.

DMPonline is available to WUR researchers and enables you to easily:

  • write your plan and update it throughout the lifecycle of your project,
  • share your plan with internal and external collaborators,
  • share your plan with the Data Desk to request feedback with a single click on the button
  • and download your plan in a variety of formats.

Go to, create an account and log in with your WUR credentials. For tutorials, please see here.  


For PhD candidates and postdocs, the Graduate Schools offer a RDM course which is organised by WUR Library and given four times a year. This course covers various aspects data management that are covered in a Data Management Plan.

If you have questions or if you would like to get feedback on your Data Management Protocol or Plan, contact the Data Desk.