Access fees

To be able to maintain the NTR data repository and to create and male accessible datasets for research, the NTR charges the following access fees:

Size of dataset Cost
Small (< 550K valid data points) €1900,- ex. VAT
Medium (550K – 1.1M valid data points) €3800,- ex. VAT
Large (> 1.1M valid data points)* €5700,- ex. VAT

*Any request including omics data or data derived from omics data (e.g. polygenic scores) is considered LARGE.

Internal applicants
In years that the NTR receives structural support for data management from the Vrije Universiteit, all fees for data access by principal applicants employed as researchers by the VU are waived.


In determining the access fees for researchers external to the VU, the NTR repository’s underlying approach seeks to recover only the incremental costs of maintaining data collection, data management, and preparation of datasets in the NTR and the servicing of the data sharing applications.

The rationale for the NTR repository fee structure is a simple three tier heuristic based on the size of the requested datasets. The size is determined by the number of cells with recorded observations, as well as the type of data requested.

This very simple heuristic does not take into account differences in investment for an experimental or a survey data point, but is easier to implement. For genome-wide datasets we don’t discriminate between platform densities (e.g. Illumina 450k vs EPIC) to again provide a simple heuristic.

The above access fees represent a periodic charge, namely for an initial 2-year period starting at the approval date - renewable for further periods by a new data sharing request – is to provide researchers with flexibility, and reflects research practice and also takes into account the request of provision of updated and new data from the NTR.

These new access fees were introduced on 1st September 2022. They do not affect previous approved applications or submissions already under consideration by the data access committee (NTR-DAC). Further announcements and guidance will follow in due course as NTR-DAC learns from experience with these Access Fees. The NTR repository Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) forms and procedures have been updated to reflect the changes in the application processes. Specifically, for external applicants the signature of the authorized representative of the institute now also signals agreement to pay the access fees stipulated in the DSA.

All other underlying arrangements in the DSA remain as before, namely that researchers process the data in accordance with the GDPR and any other applicable data protection laws; and that they only use the data for the research purposes stated in the Data Sharing Request. The provisions governing IP rights are effectively unchanged.

The new DSA was introduced on 1st September 2022. As with the Access Fees, the general principle is that all existing DSA (approved or submitted) will continue to apply.

How do I know the size of my requested dataset?

To obtain a rough estimate of the size of your requested dataset, you can export your requested variables from the data showcase in CSV format. This will give you the sample size for each variable. However, keep in mind that adjustments to the set of variables may be made after application. For example, perhaps you forgot to include certain variables that is essential to include if certain data are used. Also, some standard variables reflecting basic person information and family structure are usually added to the datasets. Therefore, this estimate should be considered a lower bound. The final calculation of dataset size will be made by data management after creating the dataset.

What if I want to request more data after payment?

When an amendment to an existing data request is needed, e.g. because during revision of a paper the journal asked for additional information, small additions to the data can be requested. Additions involving extra participants or extra variables should be covered in an amendment that can refer to the existing request. This brings no additional costs, unless the size of the new dataset increases beyond the original category (e.g. from Medium to Large). In that case, the surplus in access fees will be charged for the new amended dataset. Major changes or extensions of the original research question should be covered in a new data sharing request.