MIDAS announces second round of data science project funding


Note: Some town hall locations listed in this article have changed from earlier versions.

The Michigan Institute for Data Science has announced the second round of competition for MIDAS Challenge Thrust awards, intended to stimulate research in key areas identified at the MIDAS inaugural symposium last fall.

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

Requests for Proposals are available for awards in Data Science for Health Science and Social Science. 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 May 16, and full proposals are due Sept. 12. Awards will be announced on Oct. 10.

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:

• Health Science, 5-7 p.m. March 9, Great Lakes South, Palmer Commons.

• Health Science, 5-7 p.m. March 30, Henderson Room, Michigan League.

• Social Science, 5-7 p.m. March 10, Forum Hall, Palmer Commons.

• Social Science, 5-7 p.m. March 31, Institute for Social Research.

In all, the thrusts focus on four areas: Learning Analytics, Data Science for Transportation, Social Science and Health Science. RFPs for the Learning Analytics and Data Science for Transportation areas were released in fall 2015. Funding awards for those areas will be announced this spring.

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 hiring 35 new faculty over the next four years, new educational opportunities for students pursuing careers in data science, expanding 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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