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ORCID Open Letter - Funders

Researchers, research institutions, publishers and funding bodies routinely face the problem of accurately linking research publications, data and other research activities to the right researcher. A unique persistent identifier resolves problems of name ambiguity in search and discovery and can ensure that funding, activities and outputs are correctly and unambiguously attributed to the right person. ORCID solves this long-standing problem by providing a persistent digital identifier (ORCID iD) that distinguishes each researcher.

Identifiers are a basis for digital data governance: they enable machine readability, disambiguate and enforce uniqueness, and enable accurate attribution and data integration. Unique digital identifiers allow information to be easily shared across different systems and datasets.

Unlike names, which can change and come in various forms, an ORCID iD is a persistent identifier. An ORCID iD can be connected with systems that contain information about an individual’s research activities, including funding they have received, and outputs created. The connection of an ORCID iD to these activities makes sure they are attributed to the right people and aids the discovery process. Digital identifiers improve data quality and increase trust in the accuracy of the research information in the public domain.

Funding bodies are in a unique position to provide incentives to researchers to adopt ORCID iDs and to deliver system wide benefits. A handful of funding bodies around the world require the submission of ORCID iDs to apply for funding, and others support ORCID in their systems without such a mandate.

We recognize that funding bodies collectively could do more to support the ORCID initiative. This open letter shows a public commitment to ORCID. It supports and complements the ORCID open letter by publishers which was first signed in January 2016.

As funders, ORCID brings us the following benefits:

  • Improves data quality for the management of funds and tracking of research performance
  • Increases efficiency of data collection for application and reporting purposes
  • Enables reuse and exchange of data throughout the entire life cycle of a research grant
  • Lowers administrative costs for both funding bodies and researchers
  • Facilitates analysis across funding mechanisms, funding bodies, and national borders, as funding sources can be more easily tagged to specific researchers and their activities and outputs
  • Can make it easier to connect grants to outputs during the publication process

Implementation guidelines

In consultation with the funder community, ORCID has developed a set of best practice guidelines, which detail what Authenticating, Displaying, ConnectingCollecting, and Synchronizing iDs mean for funding bodies. 


This is a living document for research funding bodies. If your agency is committed to implementing ORCID IDs in at least one workflow in accordance with the best practice guidelines, please use this web form to be added as a signatory.


We, the following funding bodies, commit to implementing ORCID iDs in accordance with their best practice guidelines for funders. We encourage other funders to join us in this initiative. We hope that our action inspires the community, including researchers, scholars, scientists, and research institutions, as well as other funding bodies, to join us in adopting ORCID.

Organization Name Date Signed  Signatory Name
1. Austrian Science Fund (FWF) December 6, 2018

 Klement Tockner


2. National Research Foundation (South Africa)    December 6, 2018  

 Gerhard Moolman

 Manager: Information and Analysis 

3. Howard Hughes Medical Institute December 6, 2018

 Bodo Stern

 Chief Development & Strategy Officer

4. Wellcome Trust December 6, 2018

 Robert Kiley

 Head of Open Research

5. Research Council of Norway December 6, 2018

 John-Arne Røttingen

 Chief Executive

6. CAPES December 6, 2018

 Concepta McManus

 Director of International Affairs

7. The Royal Society December 6, 2018

 Alexander Thomson

 Head of Grants Operations

8. UK Research and Innovation December 6, 2018

 Mark Walport

 Chief Executive

9. Swiss National Science Foundation December 6, 2018

 Michael Hill

 Deputy Head of Strategy Support

10. Guaana December 18, 2018

 Ain Kuuseok

 Co-Founder & Product Lead

11. The Dunhill Medical Trust January 18, 2019

 Sarah Allport

 Director of Grants and Research 

12. Science Foundation Ireland February 13, 2020

 Ciaran Seoighe

  Deputy Director General