Extramural Grantees Submitting Genomic Data

Extramural researchers funded by NCI should follow the step-by-step instructions below to submit genomic data to NIH and NCI repositories.

Submission Workflow

Infographic with step-wise boxes going from left to right: 1. Plan Project & Write Grant Application Work with your program officer to discuss the project data sharing plan, and data certification process. Prepare DSP as early in the pre-award proces as possible and include it in your grant applicaiton. 2. Submit Justin-In-Time Materials: Submit institutional certifcations with just-in-time to the genomic program administrator. If the data sharing plan in the grant application was not adequate, an approved


1. Prepare Data Sharing Documentation

Work with your program officer/director to discuss the project, the Data Sharing Plan (DSP). and data certification process. The DSP should be consistent with NIH Data Sharing Policies and NIH’s Guidance for Investigators in Developing Data Sharing Plan.  NCI expects that DSPs will be collected, reviewed, and approved by the Program Officers prior to funding.

2. Submit Data Sharing Plan

Submit your Data Sharing Plan in the Resource Section of the Funding Application.

3. Submit Institutional Certification

Submit your Institutional Certification with appropriate signatures to the Program Officer or Genomic Program Administrator with Just-in-Time funding material.

For a multi-site project (with samples collected at several institutions), either:

  • Submit a single-site institutional certification from each site contributing samples, or
  • Submit a multi-site certification. NIH understands that the submitting institution may not be the local institution or Institutional Review Board of record for all sites. If the submitting institution chooses to submit a multi-site Institutional Certification, the submitting institution will assure NIH that, based on either its own review or assurance from other institutions, that the expectations and conditions of the Institutional Certifications(s) are met for the entire data set.

If disease-specific data uses or data-use modifiers are required, please contact the NCI Office of Data Sharing for clarification.

The Institutional Certification assures that projects planning to submit genomic data to NIH will meet the expectations of the GDS policy. The certification, provided by the submitting investigator and certified by the institutional Signing Official (SO), must delineate any “data use limitations (DULs)” on the research use of the data, as agreed to in the informed consent documents signed by study participants.

4. Generate and Clean Data

Clean the data according to accepted Genomic Data Sharing practices (for a summary of guidelines review Preparing Genomic Data for Sharing) to ensure your data can be widely shared.

5. Submit Basic Study Information

After cleaning your data set, submit the Basic Study Information form describing the data set to the:

6. Quality Check Data Submission

Perform appropriate quality assurance/quality control checks on the data and metadata.

7. Complete Full Data and Metadata Submission

Upload data and metadata files to the dbGaP Submission Portal following the invitation to the PI assistant/submitter. To obtain a phs accession number, you must include the:

  • Study configuration file
  • Subject/sample mapping file

NIH Repositories Data Set Release Expectations

dbGaP/NCI-approved repositories aim to release the data six months from the date of submission of a full, cleaned, and quality-checked data set or at the time of first publication (whichever comes first). For additional questions about submitting data to NCI and NIH Repositories, please contact the NCI Office of Data Sharing.

NIH/NCI Genomic Data Repositories Help Resources

If you encounter difficulties submitting data to a particular repository, please contact these help resources directly.

Repositories Help Resources
NIH Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP)

dbGaP Contact Form

NCI Genomic Data Commons (GDC)

GDC Help Desk

NCBI Sequence Read Archive (SRA)

SRA Help Desk

Other NCBI Data Repositories

National Library of Medicine Help Desk


For additional questions about data sharing, please contact the NCI Office of Data Sharing.

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