This monthly newsletter has been created to assist FAS researchers across all domains who are looking for funding opportunities related to "Big Data". In response to the need for new conceptual and computational approaches for big data processing and storage, as well as the need for educational opportunities in this area for up and coming researchers, sponsors like NSF, DOD, DOE, NIH and private foundations are offering a growing number of funding opportunities for Big Data research and training programs.

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Funding Opportunities for BIG DATA  
Social Science
 (Computer-) Science and Engineering
Biomedical Science
Education and Training

* Indicates a funding announcement that was added to the newsletter this month.
US Department of Justice (DOJ) National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Developing Improved Means to Collect Digital Evidence
Sponsor Deadline: April 14, 2016 
OSP Deadline: April 7, 2016
Award Information: NIJ anticipates that up to a total of $1,500,000 may become available for several awards under this solicitation in FY 2016. From the total amount, NIJ anticipates that it will make one to three awards. Applicants should base their federal funding request and period of performance on the requirements of the research, and not necessarily on the funding anticipated being available in FY 2016.

The purpose of the NIJ Research, Evaluation, and Development Project Grants program is to encourage and support research, development, and evaluation to improve criminal justice policy and practice in the United States. With this solicitation, NIJ seeks proposals for funding to conduct research and technology development leading to the introduction into practice of new and innovative tools in several areas, including: 

* Processing large-scale computer networks for digital evidence in a forensically sound manner that preserves the probative value of the evidence that the computer network may contain.

Applicants are encouraged to consider the benefit of partnering with criminal justice agencies to provide a fuller understanding of these challenges and the operational context within which these tools would be employed. 

Additional information:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE)
Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies
Sponsor Deadline for LOIs (required): May 9, 2016 for Integration Projects (INT) 
Sponsor Deadline for Full INT Proposals: July 11, 2016  
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Award Information: INT awards are $2,500,000 over 4-5 years

The purpose of the Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies program is to integrate opportunities offered by emerging technologies with advances in what is known about how people learn to advance three interconnected thrusts: Innovation; Advancing understanding of how people learn in technology-rich learning environments; and Promoting broad use and transferability of new genres. Proposals are expected to address all three of the program's thrusts. 

Applications in the following area are encouraged:

What new technology and socio-technical models are needed so that the big data generated by scientists and engineers can be made available and accessible to learners at all levels in ways that will engage them and help them learn? Under what conditions do these approaches work and why? What can be learned about learning processes and influences on learning by examining the effects with and of these new technologies? 

Awards will be made in several research categories, each focusing on a different stage of research and development, including Integration (INT). The program will also continue to participate in NSF's Foundation-Wide programs: EAGER, RAPID, INSPIRE, and CAREER.

Additional information:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorates for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) and Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE)
Dear Colleague Letter: Research on Privacy in Today's Networked World
Sponsor Deadline: Program-dependent, contact program officer Dr. Heng Xu at
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission

The directorates for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) and Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) invite investigators to submit proposals that address the need to develop new and deeper understandings of privacy in today's networked world. Our interest spans both disciplinary and interdisciplinary research in an array of SBE sciences. Proposals for workshops to explore novel and interdisciplinary SBE and SBE/CISE approaches to privacy are also welcome. This is not a special competition or new program. Proposals in response to this Dear Colleague Letter must meet the requirements and deadlines of the program to which they are submitted. Interested investigators are encouraged to contact Program Officer Dr. Heng Xu ( with up to a two-page statement explaining the core idea of their projects. Dr. Xu will assist investigators in identifying the most appropriate program(s) to which to submit their proposals.

Additional information:
National Science Foundation (NSF) 
Dear Colleague Letter: Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE)
Sponsor Deadline for Full Applications: Applications may be submitted in FY16 anytime after October 15, 2015
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Award Information: Up to $1 million for up to 5 years

The Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE) pilot continues to support bold interdisciplinary projects in all NSF-supported areas of science, engineering, and education research in FY16. INSPIRE has no targeted themes and serves as a funding mechanism for proposals that are required both to be interdisciplinary and to exhibit potentially transformative research (IDR and PTR, respectively). Complementing existing NSF efforts, INSPIRE was created to handle proposals whose:
  • Scientific advances lie outside the scope of a single program or discipline, such that substantial funding support from more than one program or discipline is necessary.
  • Lines of research promise transformational advances.
  • Prospective discoveries reside at the interfaces of disciplinary boundaries that may not be recognized through traditional review or co-review.
Prospective PIs must receive approval to submit a proposal from at least two NSF Program Officers, in intellectually distinct programs, whose expertise is most germane to the proposal topics. Consultations with POs prior to submission are required in order to aid in determining the appropriateness of the work for consideration under the INSPIRE mechanism. Only after approval is provided by at least two NSF POs in distinctly different research areas may a proposal be submitted.

Additional information:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE)
Resource Implementations for Data Intensive Research in the Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences (RIDIR)
Sponsor Deadline: February 29, 2016
OSP Deadline: February 22, 2016
Award Information: Subject to the availability of funds. Total maximum amount for all awards per year is $4.5 million and 3-4 awards will be made per year.

As part of NSF's Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21) activity, the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) seeks to develop user-friendly large-scale next-generation data resources and relevant analytic techniques to advance fundamental research in SBE areas of study. Successful proposals will, within the financial resources provided by the award, construct such databases and/or relevant analytic techniques and produce a finished product that will enable new types of data-intensive research. The databases or techniques should have significant impacts, either across multiple fields or within broad disciplinary areas, by enabling new types of data-intensive research in the SBE sciences.

Additional information:
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Biological Technologies Office 
Biological Technologies
Sponsor Deadline for Abstracts (strongly recommended) and Full Proposals: Rolling through April 28, 2016
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Award Information: Awards will be commensurate with project needs and the availability of funds
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting innovative research proposals of interest to the Biological Technologies Office (BTO). Proposed research should investigate leading edge approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, technologies, or systems at the intersection of biology with engineering and the physical and computer sciences. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of the art. BTO seeks unconventional approaches that are outside the mainstream, challenge assumptions, and have the potential to radically change established practice, lead to extraordinary outcomes, and create entirely new fields.

BTO is interested in receiving applications in the following area: Leveraging new computational techniques from computer science, big data, and biology to enable investigation and generation of knowledge from biological data at scale. 
Additional information:
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Information Innovation Office (I20)
Information Innovation Office (I2O) Office-wide
Sponsor Deadline for Abstracts (strongly encouraged): Rolling through June 10, 2016
Sponsor Deadline for Full Proposals: Rolling through August 2, 2016
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Award Information: Awards will be commensurate with project needs and the availability of funds
I2O develops high-payoff information science and technology to provide a decisive information advantage for the U.S. and its allies. I2O invites research proposals in its thrust areas: 1) Empower the human within the information ecosystem; and 2) Guarantee trustworthy computing and information. I2O may also consider submissions outside these areas if the proposal involves the development of novel software-based capabilities having promise to provide decisive information advantage for the U.S. and its allies.

I2O seeks unconventional approaches that are outside the mainstream, challenge accepted assumptions, and have the potential to radically change established practice. Proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of the art. 
Additional information:
United States Department of Commerce
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Measurement Science and Engineering (MSE) Research Grant Program for the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) 
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Award Information: $10,000 - $500,000
Additional information:
United States Department of Defense (DOD)
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)
Broad Agency Announcement: Research Interests of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research - Science of Information, Computation and Fusion 
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling (current BAA is active until superseded)
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission 

United States Department of Defense (DOD)
Army Research Office (ARO)
Broad Agency Announcement for Basic and Applied Scientific Research for Fiscal Years 2012 through 2017 - Computing Science 
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling (current BAA is active until March 31, 2017 or until superseded)
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission 

United States Department of Defense (DOD)
Army Research Office (ARO)
Broad Agency Announcement for Basic and Applied Scientific Research for Fiscal Years 2012 through 2017 - Mathematical Sciences 
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling (current BAA is active until March 31, 2017 or until superseded)
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission 

Proposals are expected to be for cutting-edge innovative research that could produce discoveries that would have a significant impact on enabling new and improved Army operational capabilities and related technologies. One of ARO's priority research areas is mathematical science, with a particular emphasis on: Probability and Statistics (Statistical Theory and Techniques for Real Time Analysis of Data Stream, and Statistical Analysis of Very Large and Very Small Data Sets); Biomathematics (Multiscale Modeling/Inverse Problems); and Computational Mathematics. 
Additional information:  
United States Department of Defense (DOD)
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC)
Broad Agency Announcement - Geospatial Research Laboratory - Big Spatial Data
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling (current BAA is active until January 31, 2016 or until superseded)
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission 
Additional information:
United States Department of Defense (DOD)
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC)
Broad Agency Announcement - Geospatial Research Laboratory - On Demand Complex Spatio-Temporal Information Delivery
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling (current BAA is active until January 31, 2016 or until superseded) 
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
The GEOSPATIAL RESEARCH LABORATORY's (GRL) mission is to provide the Warfighter with a superior knowledge of the battlefield. GRL's Information Generation and Management Branch invites proposals related to on demand complex spatio-temporal information delivery. With extensive amounts of information available, some spatial, some temporal, some spatial-temporal, some neither, decision makers are surrounded by an unprecedented amount of data inputs when making decisions. When applied to the domain of Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief, information feeds shift even more rapidly. The object of this program is to conduct research and development in the areas of foundational information pre-event, necessary information for decision making during and shortly after an event, and long-term information requirements. Of particular interest is the ability to exploit different decision making paradigms, the relationship of the actors, the physical, social, natural environments, and the event. Additional work to create new spatial-temporal statistics that enhance decision making of social phenomena can be explored. Research is needed in topic areas related to a) spatial-temporal statistics and b) information retrieval for near real-time to real-time decision making; and c) visualization of static and dynamic 3/4/Nth dimension information.

Additional Information:
United States Department of Defense (DOD)
Office of Naval Research (ONR)
Broad Agency Announcement for Navy and Marine Corps Science and Technology - Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance 
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling (current BAA is active until September 30, 2016 or until superseded)
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission 

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is interested in receiving proposals for Long-Range Science and Technology (S&T) Projects which offer potential for advancement and improvement of Navy and Marine Corps operations. ONR's Division of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance invests in areas of science and their applications such as data science, mathematical and computational science, computer and information sciences, quantum information sciences, cyber security, electronics, command and control and combat systems, communications, cyber operations, electronic warfare, sensing and surveillance, and precision timing and navigation. One of this Division's specific thrusts and focused research areas is: Mathematics, Computers and Information Sciences, which sponsors basic and applied research, and advanced technology development efforts in mathematics, computer and information sciences that address Navy and Department of Defense needs in computation, information processing, information operation, information assurance and cybersecurity, decision tools, and command and control with specific focus on enabling rapid, accurate decision making. Specific scientific and technical areas include: a) Applied and computational analysis; b) Command and control; c) Computational methods for decisionmaking; d) Cyber security and complex software systems; e) Machine learning, reasoning, and intelligence; f) Mathematical data science; g) Mathematical optimization and operations research; h) Quantum information sciences.
Additional information:  
United States Department of Energy (DOE)
FY 2016 Continuation of Solicitation for the Office of Science Financial Assistance Program - Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) 
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling (current solicitation is active until September 30, 2016 or until superseded)
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission 

The Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program's mission is to advance applied mathematics and computer science; deliver, in partnership with disciplinary science, the most advanced computational scientific applications; advance computing and networking capabilities; and develop, in partnership with the research community, including U.S. industry, future generations of computing hardware and tools for science. The strategy to accomplish this has two thrusts: developing and maintaining world-class computing and network facilities for science; and advancing research in applied mathematics, computer science and advanced networking.

The priority areas for ASCR include the following:
  1. Develop mathematical models, methods and algorithms to accurately describe and predict the behavior of complex systems involving processes that span vastly different time and/or length scales.
  2. Advance key areas of computer science that enable the design and development of extreme scale computing systems and their effective use in the path to scientific discoveries; and transform extreme scale data from experiments and simulations into scientific insight.
  3. Advance key areas of computational science and discovery that support the missions of the Office of Science through mutually beneficial partnerships.
  4. Develop and deliver forefront computational, networking and collaboration tools and facilities that enable scientists worldwide to work together to extend the frontiers of science.
United States Department of Energy (DOE)
FY 2016 Continuation of Solicitation for the Office of Science Financial Assistance Program - Biological and Environmental Research (BER)  
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling (current solicitation is active until September 30, 2016 or until superseded)
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission 

National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE)
Algorithms in the Field  (AitF)
Sponsor Proposal Window: February 18-March 3, 2016
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Award Information: Applicants may request up to $800,000 for a maximum of 4 years. 15 awards are anticipated.
Algorithms in the Field encourages closer collaboration between two groups of researchers: (i) theoretical computer science researchers, who focus on the design and analysis of provably efficient and provably accurate algorithms for various computational models; and (ii) other computing and information researchers including a combination of systems and domain experts (very broadly construed - including but not limited to researchers in computer architecture, programming languages and systems, computer networks, cyber-physical systems, cyber-human systems, machine learning, artificial intelligence and its applications, database and data analytics, etc.) who focus on the particular design constraints of applications and/or computing devices. Each proposal must have at least one co-PI interested in theoretical computer science and one interested in any of the other areas typically supported by CISE. Proposals are expected to address the dissemination of both the algorithmic contributions and the resulting applications, tools, languages, compilers, libraries, architectures, systems, data, etc.

Additional information:
National Science Foundation (NSF) 
Directorate for Geosciences (GEO)
Climate and Large-Scale Dynamics (CLD)
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
The goals of the Program are to: (i) advance knowledge about the processes that force and regulate the atmosphere's synoptic and planetary circulation, weather and climate, and (ii) sustain the pool of human resources required for excellence in synoptic and global atmospheric dynamics and climate research. Research topics include theoretical, observational and modeling studies of the general circulation of the stratosphere and troposphere; synoptic scale weather phenomena; processes that govern climate; the causes of climate variability and change; methods to predict climate variations; extended weather and climate predictability; development and testing of parameterization of physical processes; numerical methods for use in large-scale weather and climate models; the assembly and analysis of instrumental and/or modeled weather and climate data; data assimilation studies; development and use of climate models to diagnose and simulate climate and its variations and change.

Additional information
National Science Foundation (NSF) 
Critical Techniques, Technologies and Methodologies for Advancing Foundations and Applications of Big Data Sciences and Engineering (BIGDATA)
Sponsor Deadline: February 9, 2016
OSP Deadline: February 2, 2016
Award Information: Projects will typically be funded in the range of $200,000 to a maximum of $500,000 per year, for 3 to 4 years of support. The minimum award size is $400,000 of total funding, reflecting the minimum expected level of effort for BIGDATA projects, which are expected to be multidisciplinary in nature and include significant student involvement.
The BIGDATA program seeks novel approaches in computer science, statistics, computational science, and mathematics, along with innovative applications in domain science, including social and behavioral sciences, geosciences, education, biology, the physical sciences, and engineering that lead towards the further development of the interdisciplinary field of data science. This solicitation invites two types of proposals:"Foundations" (F): those developing or studying fundamental theories, techniques, methodologies, and technologies of broad applicability to big data problems; and "Innovative Applications" (IA): those developing techniques, methodologies, and technologies of key importance to a Big Data problem directly impacting at least one specific application. Projects in this category must be collaborative, involving researchers from domain disciplines and one or more methodological disciplines, e.g., computer science, statistics, mathematics, simulation and modeling, etc. While IA proposals may address critical big data challenges within a specific domain, a high level of innovation is expected in all proposals which should, in general, strive to provide solutions with potential for a broader impact on data science and its applications. IA proposals may focus on novel theoretical analysis and/or on experimental evaluation of techniques and methodologies within a specific domain. Proposals in all areas of sciences and engineering covered by participating directorates at NSF are welcome.
Additional information:
National Science Foundation (NSF) 
Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBB)
Sponsor Deadline: April 4, 2016
OSP Deadline: March 28, 2016
Award Information: The award size for Early Implementation Awards is anticipated to be up to $4,000,000 total per award for up to 5 years. The award size for Pilot Demonstration Awards is anticipated to be up to $500,000 total per award for up to 3 years.
The DIBBs program encourages development of robust and shared data-centric cyberinfrastructure capabilities, to accelerate interdisciplinary and collaborative research in areas of inquiry stimulated by data. DIBBs investments enable new data-focused services, capabilities, and resources to advance scientific discoveries, collaborations, and innovations. The investments are expected to build upon, integrate with, and contribute to existing community cyberinfrastructure, serving as evaluative resources while developments in national-scale access, policy, interoperability and sustainability continue to evolve. Effective solutions will bring together cyberinfrastructure expertise and domain researchers, to ensure that the resulting cyberinfrastructure address researchers' data needs. The activities should address the data challenges arising in a disciplinary or cross-disciplinary context. The projects should stimulate data-driven scientific discoveries and innovations, and address broad community needs.

This solicitation includes two classes of science data pilot awards:
  1. Early Implementations are large "at scale" evaluations, building upon cyberinfrastructure capabilities of existing research communities or recognized community data collections, and extending those data-focused cyberinfrastructure capabilities to additional research communities and domains with broad community engagement.
  2. Pilot Demonstrations address advanced cyberinfrastructure challenges across emerging research communities, building upon recognized community data collections and disciplinary research interests, to address specific challenges in science and engineering research.
Additional information:
National Science Foundation (NSF) and Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC)
Energy-Efficient Computing: from Devices to Architecture (E2CDA)
Sponsor Deadline: March 28, 2016
OSP Deadline: March 21, 2016
Award Information: 2-4 multidisciplinary collaborative (Type I) projects, each ranging from $800,000 to $1,600,000 per year for 3 years, and 2-4 individual or small (Type II) projects, each ranging from $100,000 to $200,000 per year for 1 to 3 years, will be supported.
A comprehensive and collaborative approach is required to maximize the potential for successfully identifying and implementing revolutionary solutions to break through today's bottleneck of energy-constrained computational performance. Programmers, system architects, circuit designers, chip processing engineers, material scientists, and computational chemists must all explore these new paths together to co-design an optimal solution path. NSF and SRC recognize this need, and are embarking on a new collaborative research program to support compelling research that minimizes the energy impacts of processing, storing, and moving data within future computing systems, and will be synergistic with other research activities that address other aspects of this overarching energy-constrained computing performance challenge.

Each project will be jointly funded by NSF and the SRC through separate NSF and SRC funding instruments. For each project, NSF support will be provided via an NSF grant and SRC support will be provided via an SRC contract or grant.

Additional information:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE)
International Research Network Connections (IRNC)
Sponsor Deadline: March 17, 2016
OSP Deadline: March 10, 2016
Award Information: NSF expects to make 1-2 awards at up to $900,000 total per year for a maximum of 4 years

The International Research Network Connections (IRNC) program supports high-performance network connectivity required by international science and engineering research and education collaborations involving the NSF research community. NSF expects to make 1-2 awards to link U.S. research networks with peer networks in Europe and Africa and leverage existing international network connectivity. High-performance network connections funded by this program are intended to support science and engineering research and education applications, and preference will be given to solutions that provide the best economy of scale and demonstrate the ability to support the largest communities of interest with the broadest services. Funded projects will assist the U.S. research and education community by enabling state-of-the-art international network services and access to increased collaboration and data services. Through extended international network connections, additional research and production network services will be enabled, complementing those currently offered or planned by domestic research networks.

Additional information:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE)
Petascale Computing Resource Allocations (PRAC)
Sponsor Deadlines: April 4, 2016; November 9, 2016
OSP Deadlines: March 28, 2016; November 2, 2016
Award Information: Up to $40,000 for each award, with 12-15 awards expected. The maximum award duration is two years.
In 2013, a new NSF-funded petascale computing system, Blue Waters, was deployed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The goal of this project and system is to open up new possibilities in science and engineering by providing computational capability that makes it possible for investigators to tackle much larger and more complex research challenges across a wide spectrum of domains. The purpose of this solicitation is to invite research groups to submit requests for allocations of resources on the Blue Waters system. Proposers must show compelling science or engineering challenges that require petascale computing resources. Proposers must also be prepared to demonstrate that they have science or engineering research problems that require and can effectively exploit the petascale computing capabilities offered by Blue Waters. In particular, proposals are encouraged that broaden the areas of scientific research that are actively being conducted using Blue Waters - see for details.

Successful proposals will receive allocations to access Blue Waters to support the research that they have planned, along with limited travel funds to support technical coordination with the Blue Waters project team and with other research teams with allocations on Blue Waters. Note that this program does not provide funds for the research itself or for the development of models or analysis tools.

Proposals from or including junior researchers are encouraged, as one of the goals of this solicitation is to build a community capable of using petascale computing.
 Additional information:
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Digital Information Technology - Data and Computational Research
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling, requires Letter of Inquiry
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Award Information: Two types of applications, <$125,000 and >$125,000

From the natural sciences to the social sciences to the humanities to the arts, the availability of more data and cheaper computing is transforming research. As costs for sensors, sequencing, and other forms of data collection decline, researchers can generate data at greater and greater scale, relying on parallel increases in computational power to make sense of it all and allowing the investigation of phenomena too large or complex for conventional observation. Grants in the Data and Computational Research sub-program aim to help researchers develop tools, establish norms, and build the institutional and social infrastructure needed to take full advantage of important developments in data-driven, computation-intensive research. Emphasis is placed on projects that encourage access to and sharing of scholarly data, that promote the development of standards and taxonomies necessary for the interoperability of datasets, that enable the replication of computational research, and that investigate models of how researchers might deal with the increasingly central role played by data management and curation.

Grant requests can be made at any time. A brief letter of inquiry is the first step for an applicant.

Additional information:
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Special Emphasis Notice (SEN) Announcing Interest in Innovative Methods Research to Increase the Utility of Systematic Reviews (R03)
Sponsor Deadline: February 16, 2016 
OSP Deadline: February 9, 2016
Award Information: Up to $100,000 in total costs for up to 1 year

This SEN is intended to generate new methods for systematic review that address the opportunities and challenges of the current era of data abundance and that facilitate the integration of systematic reviews into healthcare decisions. Now that there are widely shared standards for how to conduct a high quality systematic review, the next challenge is developing novel or improved methods that optimize the efficiency, comprehensiveness, and predictive value of systematic reviews. Some potential areas of interest are described below:

  • Efficiency. Traditional systematic review approaches may not be sustainable given the ever increasing volume of studies and increasing demand for timely synthesized evidence.  Faster techniques, without sacrificing validity and reliability, are increasingly valuable.  
  • New forms of data. We are on the verge of having access to large data sets - both observational data and individual patient data from randomized controlled trials and patient registries. Tapping directly into this data could greatly enhance the power of systematic reviews and reduce the lag between knowledge generation and implementation.  
  • Predictive value. Systematic review methodology is highly detailed for processes, but much less developed regarding outcomes. Now that a substantial number of systematic reviews have been completed and indexed, it may be possible to empirically examine how accurately different reviews predict future research findings and to use this information to develop more robust methods.  

Innovative applications addressing systematic review methods and issues not mentioned above are also welcomed. Applicants should describe the significance of their proposed research to enhancing the speed, power, predictive value, or otherwise advancing the utility of systematic reviews.

Additional information:
Department of Defense (DOD) United States Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC)
FY16 Broad Agency Announcement for Extramural Medical Research
Sponsor Deadline for Preliminary Proposals (required): Rolling through September 30, 2016 
Sponsor Deadline for Full Proposals (by invitation only): Rolling through September 30, 2016
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Award Information: No budget limits; award duration is up to 5 years

The USAMRMC mission is to provide solutions to medical problems of importance to the American Service member at home and abroad, as well as to the general public at large. Projects must be for scientific study and experimentation directed toward advancing the state of the art or increasing knowledge or understanding rather than focusing on a specific system or hardware solution. Research and development funded through this BAA are intended and expected to benefit and inform both military and civilian medical practice and knowledge. 

Under USAMRMC's Health Informatics and Health Information Technology Portfolio, one of its priority areas is Big Data/Analytics as they relate to Military Healthcare Services. USAMRMC is interested in the development and application of methods for analysis, interpretation, prediction, and modeling of health system and patient-generated data. The objective is to use mathematical and/or intelligent learning/machine learning tools to extract practical information, usable/actionable clinical knowledge, and/or predict disease or adverse events from health system and patient-generated data.
Additional information:
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Development of Innovative Informatics Methods and Algorithms for Cancer Research and Management (R21)
Sponsor LOI Deadline (requested): 30 days prior to deadline 
Sponsor Deadlines for Full Proposals: June 14, 2016; November 21, 2016
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Award Information: Up to $275,000 in direct costs over a 2 year period

The purpose of this FOA is to invite exploratory/developmental research grant (R21) applications for the development of innovative methods and algorithms in biomedical computing, informatics, and data science addressing priority needs across the cancer research continuum, including cancer biology, cancer treatment and diagnosis, cancer prevention, cancer control and epidemiology, and/or cancer health disparities.  As a component of the NCI's Informatics Technology for Cancer Research (ITCR) Initiative, this FOA encourages applications focused on the development of novel computational, mathematical, and statistical algorithms and methods that can considerably improve acquisition, management, analysis, and dissemination of relevant data and/or knowledge. 
Additional information:
Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Data Analysis Center (U24)
Sponsor LOI Deadline (requested): March 15, 2016 
Sponsor Deadlines for Full Proposals: April 15, 2016
OSP Deadline: April 8, 2016
Award Information: Application budgets are limited to $3,000,000 in direct costs for Year 1, $6,250,000 in direct costs for Year 2, and $9,500,000 in direct costs for other project years. The project period may not exceed 7 years.

The purpose of this FOA is to support a Data Analysis Center (DAC) for the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program. The ECHO DAC will provide the data repository and the data analysis functions for all common ECHO activities.

NIH is establishing the new ECHO program to investigate the longitudinal impact of prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal environmental exposures on pediatric health outcomes with high public health impact. To do so, NIH will support multiple synergistic, prospective longitudinal studies using extant cohorts that represent variable environmental exposures (e.g., physical, chemical, biological, behavioral, social). These studies will collaborate on standardization and collection of core data elements to answer research questions of how environmental exposures impact one or more of four key pediatric outcomes. The program will be overseen by a Steering Committee of Investigators and an NIH Program Director, and an External Scientific Board. A separate, but related research effort, will support an IDeA States National Pediatric Clinical Research Network to help address access gaps for rural children by leveraging the infrastructure at existing IDeA state centers.
Additional information:
Sponsor Deadline for Full Proposals: February 11, 2016
OSP Deadline: February 4, 2016
Award Information: Up to $100,000 in direct costs for 1 year 

The purpose of this small research grant FOA is to foster collaboration between bioinformaticians, metabolomics experts, and/or biomedical researchers in efforts to improve the ability to analyze metabolomics data to address biomedical questions. It is also expected that these grants would complement the current efforts of the Common Fund Metabolomics Program and maximize the value of existing metabolomics databases and resources.

Collaborations between computational and biomedical experts for the secondary analysis of existing metabolomics datasets to probe specific biomedical questions or to validate a new analytical approach could include, but are not limited to:
  • Improved methods of processing raw data for compound identification from MS/NMR peaks/features
  • Integration of metabolite data acquired across different metabolomics technological platforms
  • Metabolic modeling of known or unknown pathways with regard to a disease or disorder
  • Novel data visualizations that better uncover relationships between diseases and metabolites.
  • Validation of new methods or statistical analyses to test a specific biomedical question
  • Integration of metabolomics data with other 'omics data to test specific biomedical questions
Additional information:
Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE): 
Computational Analysis of ENCODE Data (U01) (RFA-HG-16-004)
ENCODE Data Coordinating Center (U24) (RFA-HG-16-005)
ENCODE Data Analysis Center (U24) (RFA-HG-16-006)

Sponsor LOI Deadline (requested): February 21, 2016 
Sponsor Deadline for Full Proposals: March 21, 2016
OSP Deadline: March 14, 2016
Award Information: Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. The total project period is four years.

A critical step in moving from genome sequence to understanding the impact of genetic variation on biology, health and disease is the identification of the parts of the genome that contribute to function. To facilitate this understanding, the NHGRI has been supporting the ENCODE Project ( The long-term goals of ENCODE are to identify all of the sequence-based functional elements in the human genome and to share catalogs of these elements freely with the research community in readily accessible and interpretable formats.

The Computational Analysis of ENCODE Data FOA will support the development and application of new computational analysis methods for ENCODE data, with the goal of improving and interpreting the catalogs of candidate functional elements in the human and mouse genomes that the ENCODE Project has produced. Computational analysis activities supported by this FOA could include, for example, developing new methods to improve on analysis and interpretation of ENCODE data, combining ENCODE data with related functional genomic data from other projects to derive new biological insights, using the ENCODE data to improve on the analysis of disease mapping studies to identify causal variants, or developing tools for functional annotation and interpretation of individual genomes in support of personalized genomic medicine efforts.

The ENCODE Data Coordinating Center will house, organize, and share metadata and data; process data from production groups; provide a portal to enable the community to visualize and download data; import data from projects and investigators outside of ENCODE; serve as the coordinating center for the ENCODE Consortium; and provide leadership for outreach to the scientific community. The DCC will work closely with all ENCODE components, and will work in conjunction with the Data Analysis Center (DAC), described in a companion FOA, to function as a single ENCODE Data Coordination and Analysis Center (EDCAC).

The ENCODE Data Analysis Center will provide leadership and computational expertise to analyze data from the ENCODE project, specify and update data processing pipelines and quality metrics for major data types, design and perform integrative analysis of ENCODE data to update and refine the Encyclopedia (a major ENCODE product for the research community) and develop a scientific strategy to characterize the ENCODE sample portfolio both for the short-term goal of prioritization of new data collection, and the longer-term goal to assess the comprehensiveness of the sample space that has been examined.  The DAC will work closely with another ENCODE component, the Data Coordinating Center (DCC), described in the companion FOA, RFA-HG-16-005, to form an integrated ENCODE Data Coordination and Analysis Center (EDCAC). 
Additional information:
Genetics of Alzheimer's Disease Data Storage Site (U24)
Sponsor LOI Deadline (requested): April 25, 2016 
Sponsor Deadline for Full Proposals: May 25, 2016
OSP Deadline: May 18, 2016
Award Information: Direct costs should not exceed $1,000,000 per year for up to 5 years. NIH intends to fund one award in FY 2016.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) invites applications specific to infrastructure that will support storage and analysis of primary and secondary data for the genetics and genomics of Alzheimer's Disease. 

This FOA addresses NIA's vital need for a central database for the storage and exchange of AD genetics and related data. The NIA is committed to facilitating the collection and sharing of data related to research in the area of the genetics of AD. Applications considered for funding should effectively leverage the investments already made related to investigation of the root causes of the disease. The research resource should provide a large database of publicly available sequence and annotation data along with an integrated tool set for examining and comparing the genomes of affected and unaffected individuals, aligning sequence to genomes, and displaying and sharing users' own annotation data. Besides data storage and data processing, the database should provide effective mechanisms for data distribution.
Additional information:
Small Research Grants for Data Analysis and Statistical Methodology Applied to Genome-wide Data (R03)
Sponsor Deadline for Full Proposals: February 16, 2016; June 16, 2016; October 16, 2016
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Award Information: The combined budget for direct costs for the two year project period may not exceed $200,000

The purpose of this FOA is to provide support for meritorious research projects that involve statistical analysis of existing genome-wide data (e.g. genome-wide SNP genotyping; DNA sequencing; transcriptomic, metagenomic, epigenomic, or gene expression data) relevant to human dental, oral, or craniofacial conditions or traits. Development of statistical methodology appropriate for analyzing genome-wide data, relevant to human dental, oral, or craniofacial conditions or traits, may also be proposed.
Additional information:
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Resource Program Grants in Bioinformatics (P41)
Sponsor Deadlines for LOIs (requested): April 25, 2016
Sponsor Deadlines for Full Applications: May 25, 2016
OSP Deadlines: May 20, 2016
Award Information: $500,000-$1,750,000 in direct costs per year for up to 5 years
This FOA announces the Resource Program Grants in Bioinformatics program supporting the continued operation, enhancement, and dissemination of databases or software tools that are unique, and of major importance to research using animal models of embryonic developmental processes. These grants will support ongoing research, maintenance, and enhancement, of the tool or resource, user training and services, provision of community generated data storage and archiving, and wide dissemination of the tool or resource. To qualify for support, bioinformatics resources software, algorithms, or knowledge resources must be of demonstrable value toward advancing research utilizing animal model systems in the biomedical sciences and must also be of particular importance to those seeking to understand the biological basis of human and animal development and the etiology of structural birth defects. The resources must be sufficiently mature to have verifiable support and utility for users within the developmental biology research community.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the Scientific/Research Contact for this program to ensure that the proposed project reflects the objectives of this FOA and the programmatic interests of the NICHD.  

Additional information:
National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Wellcome Trust
The Open Science Prize
Sponsor Deadline: February 29, 2016
OSP Deadline: February 22, 2016
Award Information: Up to 6 international teams will be awarded $80,000 each to develop their ideas into a prototype or to advance an existing early stage prototype. The prototype judged to have the greatest potential to further open science will receive $230,000.
The volume of digital information generated by biomedical research often called "big data" is growing at a rapidly increasing pace. Researchers' ability to derive knowledge from data is hindered by their ability to find, access and use it. The goal of the Open Science Prize is to support the development and prototyping of services, tools and platforms to overcome these hurdles to ensure data can be used to advance discovery and spur innovation. This is a global science competition for new products or services to advance "open science," a movement to make scientific research data broadly accessible to the public. Each international team must include at least one individual or group based in the United States, and at least one individual or group based in another country

The Open Science Prize is made possible through a Memorandum of Understanding between NIH and Wellcome Trust. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, Maryland, is also contributing funds to Wellcome Trust for the effort. The NIH effort is part of the Big Data to Knowledge Initiative. 

Additional information:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences (SBE)
Cognitive Neuroscience (CogNeuro)
Sponsor Deadlines: February 11, 2016 and August 15, 2016
OSP Deadlines: February 4, 2016 and August 8, 2016
Award Information: Award size will be commensurate with the scope of the project 
Cognitive neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field of research dedicated to the understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying human cognition. As this field continues to grow, the National Science Foundation intends for cognitive neuroscience emphases to spur the development of highly novel theories, techniques and models directed toward enabling basic scientific understanding of a broad range of issues involving brain, cognition, and behavior. The emphasis at NSF is on the integration of cognitive, social and economic science in service of insights into healthy functions of brain, cognition, and behavior.  Additionally, NSF highly values the exploration of new methodologies, utilization of the latest analytic approaches, and the convergence of cutting edge techniques for addressing basic questions about human cognition.  

NSF is interested in supporting projects that address the growing amount of data collected across disparate lab environments, which may require new standardization, curation, and sharing solutions. Proposals which describe the application of computational techniques or models for addressing cognitive questions or issues of data analysis are especially welcomed.

Additional information:
American Educational Research Association (AERA) 
Research Grants
Sponsor Deadline: Fall 2016
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Award Information: Awards for Research Grants are up to $20,000 for 1-year projects, or up to $35,000 for 2-year projects
This program seeks to stimulate research on U.S. education issues using data from the large-scale, national and international data sets supported by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), NSF, and other federal agencies, and to increase the number of education researchers using these data sets. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals that:
  • develop or benefit from new quantitative measures or methodological approaches for addressing education issues
  • include interdisciplinary teams with subject matter expertise, especially when studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning
  • analyze TIMSS, PISA, or other international data resources
  • include the integration and analysis of more than one data set
Research projects related to at least one of the strands above and to science and/or mathematics education are especially encouraged. Other topics of interest include policies and practices related to student achievement in STEM, contextual factors in education, educational participation and persistence (kindergarten through graduate school), early childhood education, and postsecondary education.

Additional information:
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
NIH Blueprint Training in Computational Neuroscience: From Biology to Model and Back Again (T90/R90)
Please note that Harvard may only submit one application under this FOA. If you are interested in applying, contact Erin Cromack at by January 29, 2016. 
Sponsor Deadline for LOIs (requested): February 16, 2016
Sponsor Deadline for Full Applications: March 18, 2016
OSP Deadline: March 11, 2o16
Award Information: Direct costs for each application are not to exceed $500,000 per year. An applicant may request a project period of up to five years. The participating Institutes intend to commit an estimated total of $1.5M to support this FOA in FY 2016, and it is anticipated that 4-5 awards will be made.
This FOA is an initiative of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (, a collaborative and coordinated effort across 13 Institutes and Centers that support research, research education, and research training with the goal of accelerating the pace of discovery in neuroscience research. This FOA will support integrated research education and research training programs that provide interdisciplinary training in experimental neuroscience and the theoretical and technological approaches of computational neuroscience at the undergraduate and predoctoral level.

An exciting and difficult challenge in neuroscience is to understand how complex biological systems work, and particularly to understand the computational principles and mechanisms underlying the function of the nervous system in both normal and diseased states. Another challenge lies in interpreting the massive amount and extremely complex experimental data obtained by today's advanced neuroscience research, which traditional analytical approaches are not sophisticated enough to handle. Computational neuroscience provides a theoretical foundation and set of technological approaches to meet these challenges and offers significant opportunities to investigate and integrate information about nervous system function across a range of scales.

Each application:
  • Must include a full-time undergraduate research training component that will combine coursework and hands-on laboratory research experience (R90);
  • Must include a full-time Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) institutional predoctoral training component (T90);
  • May include a full-time non-NRSA institutional predoctoral training component (R90);
  • May include a short-term research education component (e.g., short course or workshop) that may include scientists at any stage of the career continuum as participants (R90).[Optional]
Additional information:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) and Directorate for Education & Human Resources (EHR)
STEM + Computing Partnerships (STEM+C)
Sponsor Deadline: March 28, 2016
OSP Deadline: March 21, 2016
Award Information: For FY2016, NSF expects to make 20-25 awards in Track 1 and 10-12 awards in Track 2. Funding levels and project duration in each Track vary according to Project Type (see full solicitation for more information). NSF anticipates that $47 million will be allocated for new awards in FY2016.
The STEM+Computing Partnerships program seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), and computing by K-12 students and teachers through research on, and development of, courses, curriculum, course materials, pedagogies, instructional strategies, models, or pedagogical environments that innovatively integrate computing into one or more other STEM disciplines, or integrate STEM content into the teaching and learning of computing. In addition, STEM+C seeks to build capacity in K-12 computing education with foundational research and focused teacher preparation. Projects in the STEM+C program should build on research in STEM education and prior research and development efforts that provide theoretical and empirical justification for proposed projects. Pre-service and in-service teachers who participate in STEM+C projects are expected to enhance their understanding and teaching of STEM and computing content, practices, and skills.

STEM+C invites creative and innovative proposals that address emerging challenges in the learning and teaching of STEM and computing. The program offers proposers two tracks: (1) Integration of Computing in STEM Education and (2) Computing Education Knowledge and Capacity Building. The second track is discipline-specific and may be expanded to include additional disciplines in future releases of the solicitation.

Additional information:
Contact Us:
Questions about this announcement or proposal submission may be directed to Jennifer Corby
(, 617-495-1590) or Susan Gomes ( 617-496-9448).


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