Funders of clinical research have a unique role to play in the advancement of the return of individual research results (IRR).
Namely, funders can specify certain criteria that must be met with returning IRR, and they can set the costs associated with returning results as an allowable expense.
Different funders may have different priorities for returning IRR. At the very least, one requirement could be an affirmative statement for participants to know what IRR will be shared. This allows for flexibility from researchers to only share certain data, or none at all, while still providing clarity for participants. Additional requirements could include the sharing of aggregate data with participants, their communities, and the public.
The spirit of these requirement could mirror those that require deidentified data sharing with other researchers. When there is a recognition of the inherent value of research data, it follows that that value should not be restricted to researchers; indeed, that value should also be shared with the participants themselves.