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Grants and Funding: Extramural Programs (EP)

NSF-NIH Interagency Initiative: Core Techniques and Technologies for Advancing Big Data Science and Engineering (BIGDATA)



Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have identified Big Data as a program focus. In particular, the present initiative covers the needs for core techniques and technologies for advancing big data science and engineering. Full details on the programmatic goals and application process are described in the NSF Program Solicitation (NSF-12-499).

BIGDATA seeks applications that develop and evaluate core technologies and tools that take advantage of available collections of large data sets to accelerate progress in science, biomedical research, and engineering. All applications must include a description of how the project will build capacity. A project may choose to focus its science and engineering big data project in an area of national priority, but this is optional.

NLM is particularly interested in projects in these areas:

  • Approaches for minimizing human intervention in the organization and management of large biomedical knowledge resources, such as automated annotators and intelligent agents to handle updates and quality control in health knowledge repositories;
  • Approaches for in silico science using published knowledge to generate or test hypotheses;
  • Approaches, technical and cultural, to share and compare data among research groups and patient advocacy groups;
  • Intelligent agents that can read a biomedical article and explain its contents to a layperson;
  • Interactive publications that incorporate access to data/knowledge resources, along with tools and approaches for adding data and reanalyzing findings

Each small project may receive NIH support up to $150,000 in direct funds up to 3 years, while mid-scale projects may receive NIH support ranging from $150,000 to $650,000 in direct funds up to 5 years. In all, participating NIH Institutes have committed up to $2.75M in FY 2012 and/or 2013. It is anticipated that NIH will pay 4 to 6 small projects and 1 to 2 mid-scale projects through the program in fiscal years 2012 and/or 2013, subject to availability of funds.

Application submission is through the National Science Foundation. Application instructions are provided in the NSF Program Solicitation (NSF-12-499). Following a jointly conducted initial peer review of these applications, likely NIH awardees will be asked to reformat their application and resubmit their application for NIH processing.

Detailed information about this program can be obtained on the Internet at //

NLM Contact

Dr. Valerie Florance,


Full Proposal Deadline for Mid-Scale Projects: June 13, 2012
Full Proposal Deadline Small Projects: July 11, 2012

Last Reviewed: August 28, 2014