A Trio of Data Science-Related Funding Opportunities

Funding News Edition: April 07, 2021
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Within the fields of immune-mediated and infectious disease research, NIAID recognizes a critical need to better manage increasingly large and complex data sets as a foundation for future breakthroughs. A key aspect of that broad challenge is creating Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) software solutions that are innovative and sustainable.

To address these needs, NIAID recently published three companion funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). These trans-NIAID, investigator-initiated, data-science program initiatives aim to promote research-driven data science/informatics technology, across their development lifecycle, in an effort to address priority needs in immune-mediated or infectious disease research. Projects should demonstrate a clear rationale behind the need for the proposed technology and its benefit to immune-mediated or infectious disease research through user feedback.

The proposed technologies can address basic, translational, and clinical research in infectious diseases, emerging infections, or immune-mediated diseases that include allergy, autoimmunity, or immune responses associated with transplantation.

Specifically, the three initiatives together are expected to:

  • Address current and emerging needs across the immune-mediated, and infectious-disease research continuum
  • Support integration of data-driven hypothesis generation
  • Promote cross-program collaborations
  • Provide flexible and sustainable support that aligns with stage of informatics and data science development

About the FOAs

The three companion FOAs of the trans-NIAID data-science program are:

Exploratory research or proof-of-concept projects may be suitable for the R21. Applicants must provide a clear rationale describing how the proposed method or algorithm is novel and how it will benefit immune-mediated and infectious disease research.

The U01 will support more advanced projects including early-stage tool development from prototyping to hardening and adaptation. These could also include projects involving modification of existing tools for new applications or use cases. Applicants must provide a clear rationale explaining why the proposed technology is needed and how it will benefit a specific NIAID mission domain.

The U24 FOA is intended to support enhancements to advanced projects and/or sustaining operations to improve the user experience and availability of existing, widely adopted data science tools or software and must demonstrate engagement with a targeted research community.

Awardees of the U01 and U24 FOAs will be expected to participate in additional collaborative research activities identified post-award to enhance the utility and/or interoperability of the data science technology being supported through the awards. These expansion activities are intended to further the impact of the technology that is the subject of the award and may include collaborations with other trans-NIAID data science program awardees or with other investigators.

Other Relevant Data Science FOAs and NOSIs

NIAID is committed to advancing data science as a discipline and encouraging data scientists as lead investigators. In addition to the above mentioned FOAs, the Institute recently issued the Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Secondary Analysis of Existing Datasets for Advancing Immune-Mediated and Infectious Disease Research to support secondary analysis to re-use data from others’ projects to address scientific questions or knowledge gaps in basic or clinical research in immune-mediated or infectious diseases.

Further, NIAID is participating in Notice of Special Interest: Support for Existing Data Repositories To Align With FAIR and TRUST Principles and Evaluate Usage, Utility, and Impact to implement best practices at data repositories and Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Administrative Supplements to Support Enhancement of Software Tools for Open Science to bolster software tool enhancement.

In addition, NIAID has partnered with other NIH institutes in various initiatives to better support data repositories and knowledgebases as well as data science training towards achieving the vision of a modern biomedical data ecosystem. NIAID is also part of the National Science Foundation (NSF)-NIH joint initiative on Smart Health and Biomedical Research in the Era of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Data Science and will support projects that align with our mission to better understand, treat, and prevent infectious and immune-mediated diseases. See a full list of NIAID-supported data science initiatives on the Data Science webpage.

Also, consider joining us for the Second Webinar in NIAID Data Science Series on April 16 for a conversation around ethical, legal, and social implications of harnessing big data.

Contact Information

If you have questions about any of the three companion FOAs, reach out to Dr. Steve Tsang, the scientific/research contact. For other inquiries, contact Ishwar Chandramouliswaran or the Office of Data Science and Emerging Technologies at niaidodset@mail.nih.gov.

Contact Us

Email us at deaweb@niaid.nih.gov for help navigating NIAID’s grant and contract policies and procedures.

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