Research Data Storage Policy


The BEAR Research Data Storage Policy is subsidiary to the University's 'Research Data Management Policy'. The policy governs the BEAR facilities provided to enable the University to meets its commitment to manage research data appropriately; to do so in line with legal and regulatory requirements, to meet the demands of funders and the needs of researchers, as well as making valuable data available to collaborators and the public.

The owner of this BEAR Research Data Storage Policy is the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer. 


The Research Computing Management Committee (with representation from each College) will act as the Research Data Storage Management Board (RDSMB), ensuring compliance with this policy and equitable and efficient allocation of resources.

The Research Computing Management Committee reports to the Academic IT Reference Group, chaired by the PVC for Research and Knowledge Transfer.

The Advanced Research Computing (ARC) Section of IT Services is responsible for the technical development and management of the services and the day to day administration of the stores.  ARC reports to the Research Computing Management Committee on all BEAR operations.

Regular funding for the core services and a default provision for all research projects is through the IT Services' Capital Reservation (by application to the Capital Programme Management Group).   Additional funding from both research grants and central University funding will be essential to cater for exceptional projects and the anticipated growth in research data storage demands.


  1. Services will be provided to satisfy the standard requirements of UKRI and other funding bodies. For UKRI's overarching framework, see 'Common Principles on Data policy' (or the links and documents on UKRI's Open Access page if you are seeking information about open data policy.) See also The Digital Curation Centre's summary of the policies of the research councils which is available on their website -
  1. BEAR storage allocations will be structured along project lines to ensure the chain of authority, in line with project Data Management Plans (DMPs).
  1. On request, a default allocation of working data storage will be provided to each Principal Investigator for the duration of 'live' projects.
  1. Long term storage in the University of Birmingham's Institutional Research Archive (UBIRA) is available for data associated with published research papers. This service is operated by the Library and is not a BEAR service though data archived through this process is stored on the BEAR infrastructure.
  1. Long term storage for other valuable data which is not currently in use, including from completed research is provided in the BEAR Archive.
  1. The costs of the default provision for both working and long-term storage are included in the Indirect costs the University levies on all funded research projects.
  1. Projects with exceptional requirements should consider and include the costs of these chargeable needs in funding bids.  Guidance for inclusion in data management plans and the cost of suitable storage and archive services for projects with large requirements is available here.
  1. As well as being responsible for creating the project DMP and protocols for grant applications and research activities, the Principal Investigator (or their successor) is and remains responsible, at all times, for the management of the research data, including its risk assessment and the associated meta-data.
  1. ARC is responsible for both the Research Data Store (RDS) for working data and the BEAR Archive for the long term storage of data not currently in use and advising on their capabilities and limitations.
  1. The architecture of the data stores will be designed to balance the following factors; value for money, capacity, security, responsiveness, resilience and business continuity, disaster recovery, accessibility and risk.
  1. Data will be deposited and managed in compliance with University Regulations and the applicable legal framework and the relevant Regulator's requirements.

Risk Management

The research data storage services and facilities provided by ARC are designed to meet the needs of the broad research community. It is the responsibility of each PI as part of their DMP to assess whether these services meet the needs of the particular project, both short and long-term.


Data in the University's data stores are managed in accordance with University of Birmingham policies, procedures and standards to meet the anticipated confidentiality, integrity and availability requirements of research activity.

Solutions are engineered to ensure the protection of data from unauthorised use, change, disclosure or destruction. Whilst these solutions are expected to meet the needs of the overwhelming majority of research projects, there will be exceptions e.g. where non-anonymised personal data is included or in the case of commercially sensitive content or in cases where the intellectual property value of the data is particularly high. In these cases, a dialogue between the PI and ARC is essential to explore appropriate provision. Where data need to be encrypted this must currently be done at the user's client device.

Services Provided

Research Data Store

The University's Research Data Store (RDS) provides an integrated, fast and secure service, available to researchers from all disciplines for their working data.  See the RDS page for further detail.

BEAR Archive

The BEAR Archive provides a secure and resilient service, available to researchers from all disciplines for the long term storage of valuable data from completed research projects or data where access is not required in the either the short or medium term. The BEAR Archive page gives more information.

Maintenance Outages

Like all IT services, the RDS and BEAR Archive will be subject to disruption for agreed maintenance windows, including the six monthly major IT infrastructure periods. These are essential to keep systems up to date and keep unplanned maintenance to a minimum.