A new Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy was established by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada in 2021. It requires all postsecondary institutions doing research funded by the agencies to publish a research data management (RDM) strategy by March 2023.

A working group was formed in the fall of 2022 to develop and deliver Seneca’s first institutional RDM strategy in consultation with stakeholders involved in research activities. It reflects the current state of RDM and broadly paints an approach to move forward in an environment that supports researchers in their data management planning and activities. 

What is RDM, and why is it important?

RDM refers to the processes applied through the lifecycle of a research project to guide the collection, documentation, storage, sharing and preservation of data.
[Source: Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy - Frequently Asked Questions - What is research data management?]

RDM enables researchers to organize, store, access, reuse and build upon digital research data. RDM is essential to Canadian researchers’ capacity to securely preserve and use their research data throughout their research projects, reuse their data over the course of their careers and, when appropriate, share their data. Furthermore, as an acknowledged component of research excellence, strong RDM practices support researchers in achieving scientific rigour and enable collaboration in their fields.
[Source: Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy - Frequently Asked Questions - Why is RDM important?]

Data management plans

Data management plans (DMPs) will be required for certain tri-agency funded research projects going forward. If required, a DMP must be completed at the application stage and submitted as part of the funding approval process. It outlines the strategies and tools researchers will use to manage data during the research project and beyond.

To create the document, researchers are encouraged to use DMP Assistant, a free online tool developed by the Digital Research Alliance of Canada (the Alliance). It guides researchers through a series of questions such as how data will be collected, documented, formatted, protected and preserved, resulting in the generation of a completed DMP.

DMP requirements will be clearly stated in the tri-agency’s funding announcement. If you have questions, please visit DMP Assistant, or email

Next steps

The implementation of the RDM strategy will be overseen by an advisory committee and reviewed and updated on an annual basis. Seneca Innovation will be accountable for the strategy. Annual reporting on progress will be provided to the Office of the Vice-President Academic and Students.

The following stakeholders will have representation on the RDM strategy advisory committee and share in the responsibility of developing RDM resources and supports: 

  • Associate Vice-President, Academic 
  • C-IDEA
  • Centres of Excellence in Research
  • Centre of Research and Student Mobility
  • External partners (industry/community organizations)
  • Information Technology Solutions 
  • ITS Security and Compliance/Privacy Office
  • Library
  • Reconciliation and Inclusion
  • Research Ethics Board (REB)
  • Researchers/Faculty/Research assistants
  • Seneca Innovation
  • The Teaching & Learning Centre (T&L C)

Strategic goals and accountable partners

Questions or Comments

If you have any questions about RDM or the implementation of Seneca’s strategy, or would like to get involved, please email