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NIH Commits $1M For Big Data Educational Grants

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The National Institutes of Health announced this week that it is seeking applications for new educational grants to fund curriculum design projects and research experiences that will teach the use of "big data" research in the biomedical sciences. 

NIH intends to commit $1 million in the fiscal year 2015 to fund approximately five awards of up to $200,000 in direct costs each year. The project period may not exceed five years. 

Part of NIH's Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) program, the grants will support educational activities with a primary focus on either research experiences for undergraduate students or for faculty at undergraduate institutions to extend their big data knowledge or develop big data curricula and new educational approaches.

BD2K addresses four major aims that, in combination, are meant to enhance the utility of biomedical big data: facilitating broad use of biomedical digital assets; conducting research and developing the methods, software, and tools needed to fully analyze biomedical big data; enhancing training; and enabling a data ecosystem that accelerates both basic and translational discovery.

Applications are open to public, state controlled, and private institutions of higher learning. In addition, applicant institutions bust be domestic baccalaureate-granting colleges or universities that receive less than $7.5 million of NIH research project grant funding annually and must have an award-eligible pool of undergraduate students, at least 25 percent of whom are supported by Pell grants. NIH said that the BD2K program strongly encourages applications from: Hispanic-serving institutions; historically Black colleges and universities; tribally controlled colleges and universities; Alaska native and native Hawaiian serving institutions; and Asian-American, Native American, and Pacific Islander serving institutions.

Applications are open Feb. 19, 2015 and are due March 19, 2015, by 5:00 PM local time.

NIH expects to commit $656 million through 2020 to fund the BD2K program.