NIH Funding Big Data Knowledge Centers

Up to $24 million per year for four years will be awarded to establish six to eight of them.

The National Institutes of Health will fund as much as $24 million per year for the next four years to establish 6-8 "investigator-initiated Big Data to Knowledge Centers of Excellence," according to the agency, which said these centers will improve researchers' ability to use increasingly large and complex datasets and also will train students and researchers to use and develop data science methods.

"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," its posted release stated.

"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," said Dr. Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D., NIH's acting associate director for data science and director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. "The centers of excellence will provide a key component of the overall initiative."

"This funding opportunity represents a concerted effort to leverage the power of NIH in developing cutting-edge systems to address data science challenges," said NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins, MD, Ph.D. "The goal is to help researchers translate data into knowledge that will advance discoveries and improve health while reducing costs and redundancy."

NIH will present a webinar for prospective applicants Sept. 12 from 3-5 p.m. EDT. Details are availalble at http://bd2k.nih.gov, and applications will be due on Nov. 20.

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