MIDAS announces competition for data science project funding


The Michigan Institute for Data Science has announced the first competition for MIDAS Challenge Thrust awards, intended to stimulate research in key areas identified at the recent MIDAS inaugural symposium.

They will lay the foundation for future funding from government, private foundations or industry.

Requests for Proposals are available for awards in Learning Analytics and Data Science for Transportation. Up to two projects will be funded at a level of approximately $1.25 million each in both of these Challenge Thrust areas.

White papers describing project goals and teaming arrangements are due Nov. 30, and full proposals are due Jan. 18. Awards will be announced on Feb. 15.

Successful research projects will cut across disciplines, have the potential for disruptive impact in the field, and hold promise for advancing the methodological foundations of data science.

Interested researchers can learn more about the two MIDAS Challenge Thrust areas and connect with potential collaborators at four upcoming town hall meetings:

• Learning Analytics, 5-6:30 p.m. Oct. 21, 1109 François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Building.

• Learning Analytics, 5-6:30 p.m. Nov. 17, Kalamazoo Room, Michigan League.

• Data Science for Transportation, 5-6:30 p.m. Oct. 22, 1311 EECS.

• Data Science for Transportation, 5-6:30 p.m. Nov. 10, Rackham Amphitheater.

In all, the thrusts will focus on four areas: Learning Analytics, Data Science for Transportation, Social Science and Health Science. RFPs for the Social Science and Health Science areas will be released in early 2016.

The MIDAS Challenge Thrusts are part of the university’s $100 million investment in data science announced in September.

Other aspects of the initiative involve the hiring of 35 new faculty over the next four years; new educational opportunities for students pursuing careers in data science; expansion of U-M’s research computing capacity; and strengthening data management, storage, analytics and training resources.

Advanced Research Computing, a unit of the Office of Research, is overseeing the data science initiative. MIDAS will lead the research, data science education and training, and industry engagement efforts.

Advanced Research Computing – Technical Services will accelerate investments in advanced computing resources to support growing demands for data science infrastructure. The Center for Statistical Consultation and Research will expand its scope of consulting services to include data science support for faculty, staff and students across the university.


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