Biomedical research is increasingly data-intensive, with researchers routinely generating and using large, diverse datasets. Yet the ability to manage, integrate and analyze such data, and to locate and use data generated by others, is often limited due to a lack of tools, accessibility, and training. In response, NIH launched the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative in December. This initiative supports research, implementation, and training in data science that will enable biomedical scientists to capitalize on the transformative opportunities that large datasets provide. The investigator-initiated BD2K Centre of Excellence funding opportunity is the first of several BD2K funding opportunities to be announced in coming months.
"BD2K aims to enable a quantum leap in the ability of the biomedical research enterprise to maximize the value of the growing volume and complexity of biomedical data", stated Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D., NIH acting associate director for data science and director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. "The Centres of Excellence will provide a key component of the overall initiative."
By encouraging the formation of interdisciplinary teams in a collaborative environment the BD2K Centres of Excellence also seek to increase the involvement of investigators outside of traditional biomedical areas who are experienced with data science.
"This funding opportunity represents a concerted effort to leverage the power of NIH in developing cutting-edge systems to address data science challenges", stated NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "The goal is to help researchers translate data into knowledge that will advance discoveries and improve health, while reducing costs and redundancy."
Applicants responding to the BD2K Centre of Excellence funding opportunity announcement should identify a research topic and propose research in data science. They should develop approaches, methods, software, and tools for data integration, analysis, database development and management, and visualization and modeling to address important research questions. The products from this research and development will be shared and distributed broadly to the research community. The centres are expected to interact as a consortium that cooperatively builds on individual research efforts.
An information webinar for prospective applicants will be held on Thursday, September 12, 2013, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. EDT. More details about this event and the overall BD2K initiative can be found at http://bd2k.nih.gov . Applications will be due on November 20, 2013.