UKRI (former Research Councils UK) funded students

UKRI (all UK Research Councils) Research Council funded students include those fully funded by a UK Research Council student award, a CASE studentship or via a Research Council Centre for Doctoral Training (CDTs), partnership or grant funding.

As a doctoral student funded by a UK Research Council you must abide by:

To assist you we have summarised key UKRI open access and research data management requirements for the three mains outputs from your research award: your thesis, your research publications and your research data.

Your thesis

You should submit the final corrected version of your thesis to Spiral as soon as possible and at the latest 12 months after the awarding of your degree. Any exceptions resulting in a delay greater than 12 months must be formally recorded by Research Degrees, either via your thesis declaration form or later by emailing

Make sure you include a copyright statement at the beginning of your thesis. As doctoral theses do not fall within the scope of UKRI’s open access policy, you may choose any Creative Commons Licence for your thesis (see Selecting a Creative Commons licence).

Acknowledge your funding Research Council as specified in Research Information network’s report Acknowledgement of Funders in Scholarly Journal Articles (pdf).

E.g.  This work was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant number xxxx].

Your publications

Any peer-reviewed journal articles or conference proceedings you publish, that are an output of Research Council funding, must be made open access in accordance with the UKRI Open Access policy.

You can meet this requirement in one of two ways. Firstly you can make a copy of the paper available in a research repository and secondly you can publish in a fully open access journal.

Not all journals offer open access and not all open access options are Research Council compliant. Enter prospective journal titles into SHERPA's Funders & Authors Compliance Tool (SHERPA / FACT) before you submit a paper for publication.

You should only submit your article if:

a) You can archive your article compliantly in an open access repository (self-archiving)


b) You can publish your article compliantly with open access.

You should think about open access when your paper is accepted for publication. Imperial expects researchers to upload the accepted manuscript for all of their peer-reviewed research papers to Spiral. Use the Guide to depositing an accepted paper in Spiral to help you.

Answer ‘yes’ to the question about APC funding if you are publishing in a fully open access journal or SHERPA / FACT directs you to publish your article compliantly with open access.  Do not request funding for other fees such as colour and page charges. Always get funding approval before agreeing to pay a publisher’s open access fee or article processing charge.

The Library manages Imperial’s RCUK Open Access Block Grant. Its purpose is to assist Research Council funded researchers to make their papers open access. As funds are limited, publication fees for fully open access journals are prioritised and researchers publishing in subscription journals are asked to self-archive whenever possible.

If you are funded by the Medical Research Council you must also upload your accepted manuscript to PubMed Central (see Depositing in PubMed Central and Europe PMC) to meet the MRC open access policy. You can chose to upload a copy of your accepted manuscript to a subject repository such as ArXiv if this is normal practice in your subject.

Visit Research funders' open access policies (RCUK tab) for a detailed description of the Research Councils open access requirements. Use the Open access web pages to explore open access more generally.


Data commonly includes: digital images, transcripts of interviews, survey data and fieldwork observations. It is the information from which you build new knowledge and are the facts that someone else can use to validate your research findings.

The Common principles on data policy applies to all data arising from research project funded by a Research Council, both staff and student awards. It is in turn based upon the Concordat on Open Research Data (pdf).

While there is variation within individual Research Council policies, all the policies include the following:

  • Write a data management plan and make sure it meets your Research Council’s requirements and community best practice. As explained in How to complete a data management plan, the DMPonline tool provides an approved template for each Research Council.

  • Include a data access statement in all publications, for example journal articles, conference papers and your thesis.

  • Data that supports published findings and/or may have long term value should be preserved, accessible and usable into the future. Data repositories and archives can help you share, preserve and improve accessibility to your data (see Finding a research data repository).

  • Make your research data available to others as openly as possible and as soon as possible.

  • The Research Councils acknowledge that there may be legal, ethical and commercial constraints that prevent, limit or delay the sharing of research data. You should include the reason for any restrictions to data sharing in your data access statement.

  • You may be entitled to a limited period of privileged access to enable you to publish the results of your research, in recognition of the effort involved in collecting and analysing data (see individual policies).

  • When using someone else’s data always acknowledge the source, act legally, and in line with the terms and conditions under which they were accessed.

  • Make your data discoverable through good and open metadata records. Make sure the record describes your data set accurately and in enough detail for someone else to understand your research and the reuse potential of your data.

  • You may use Research Council funding to support the management and sharing of data, where appropriate and so long as the mechanism is both efficient and cost effective. The costs should be proportionate to the likely benefit.

It is important to read the data management policy of your Research Council as it contains additional information that is specific to the subjects they fund. What does my funder require? Gives a summary of each funder's policy and provides a link to the full policy. They typically state where you should deposit your data, when you must deposit your data by and for how long it should be preserved.

In addition to the Research Council requirements, all Imperial researchers should abide by Imperial’s Data management policy. Researchers may place their data in a publicly available repository of their choice. Shareable research data should available before or at the time of publication of your research findings.

If you have a Symplectic account you should also add information about your datasets to your Symplectic profile. There is a video on the Training and resources page explaining how to deposit information about your dataset in Symplectic.

Use the Research Data Management web pages to improve your research data management skills and / or complete one of the Graduate School’s Digital literacies and research integrity courses on data management and writing research data management plans. Research data management skills are valued by future employers and research funders.