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On the Horizon

Funding agencies and organizations often announce future funding opportunities well in advance to give the research community time to prepare. Some of these opportunities are still under development with no deadlines listed; others have deadlines that are sufficiently far in the future to convene a group with the help of UMII On the Horizon funding. The list below is necessarily incomplete and UMII would appreciate sending us your suggestions for this page. The NSF Budget request is listed first and includes upcoming initiatives. All other opportunities are arranged alphabetically.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) FY 2016 Budget Request
The National Science Foundation (NSF) released its FY 2016 Budget Request of $7.724 billion. The funding request includes cross-foundation investments in the following areas, which all intersect with informatics:

Ongoing NSF-Wide Priorities

  • Clean Energy ($377.22 million)
  • Cyber-enabled Materials, Manufacturing, and Smart Systems (CEMMSS) ($256.95 million)
  • Advanced Manufacturing ($1176.57 million)
  • Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science, Engineering, and Education (CIF21) ($143.06 million)
  • Innovation Corps (I-Corps) ($30.00 million)
  • Research at the Interface of Biological, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences (BioMaPS) ($32.81 million)
  • Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) ($80.50 million)
  • Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) ($124.25 million)
  • Cognitive Science and Neuroscience ($29.0 million)

NSF’s key investments in STEM education include the NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) ($62.01 million). The NRT now includes the IGERT program, which transitioned to NRT in FY 2014. Letter of Intent Deadline: December 22, 2015. Full Proposal Deadline Date: February 22, 2016.

The NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative is a 7-year project that started in FY 13 and has four major areas: (1) Facilitating Broad Use of Data; (2) Analysis Methods & Software; (3) Enhancing Training; and (4) Centers of Excellence. For a brief overview watch the NIH Video on Updates from Agencies and RDA (Ron Margolis; start time: 11:08 to end time: 16:44). Areas (1) and (4) are the focus of FY 13 and 14, and areas (2) and (3) of FY 14 and 15. The initiative is based on the 2012 report of the Working Group on Data and Informatics.

NIH Workshop on Enhancing Training

Current and future competitions are in the following areas:

BRAIN Initiative
Funding Opportunities for the Brain Initiative are available. The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative was launched by President Obama on April 2, 2013. A working group of the Advisory Committee to the Director at the NIH, which includes Dr. Kamil Ugurbil from the University of Minnesota, developed an interim report that identified high priority funding opportunities. The report recognizes the importance of integrating theory, modeling, statistics, and computation with experimentation (priority area #6) to develop new methods of data analysis and interpretation for the new kind of data this research with produce. The NSF Workshop on Mapping and Engineering the Brain in August 2013 that was chaired by Dr. Bin He from the University of Minnesota identified three grand challenges: high spatiotemporal resolution neuroimaging, perturbation-based neuroimaging, and neuroimaging in naturalistic environments. The peer-reviewed workshop report is published in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering (Issue 11, November 2013).

Digital Humanities
The National Endowment for the Humanities provides small grants through the Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants mechanism "to support the planning stages of innovative projects the promise to benefit the humanities." The receipt deadline is September 16, 2015 for projects beginning in May 2016.

NSF: Enriched Doctoral Training in the Mathematical Sciences (EDT)
"The long-range goal of the Enriched Doctoral Training in the Mathematical Sciences (EDT) program is to strengthen the nation's scientific competitiveness by increasing the number of well-prepared U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents who pursue careers in the mathematical sciences and in other professions in which expertise in the mathematical sciences plays an increasingly important role." This program seeks to enhance the doctoral training of PhD students in the mathematical sciences to be well equipped to "recognize opportunities for the development of mathematics and statistics in problems from other disciplines, especially in challenges arising in business, industry, and government." The maximum size for an award is $600,000 for a period of three years. Full proposal deadline: November 5, 2014, July 08, 2015, and second Wednesday in July, annually thereafter.

NSF: Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID)
"The Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases program supports research on the ecological, evolutionary, and socio-ecological principles and processes that influence the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases. The central theme of submitted projects must be quantitative or computational understanding of pathogen transmission dynamics. The intent is discovery of principles of infectious disease transmission and testing mathematical or computational models that elucidate infectious disease systems." Full proposal deadline: third Wednesday in November, annually.

Expeditions in Computing
The NSF Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) created this competition "to provide the CISE research and education community with the opportunity to pursue ambitious, fundamental research agendas that promise to define the future of computing and information. This is the largest single investment currently made by CISE and provides funding up to $2,000,000 per year for five years. The University of Minnesota is the lead institution currently on one such award: Understanding Climate Change: A Data Driven Approach (Lead PI: Dr. Vipin Kumar). Other examples can be found here. In addition to the 2014 competition, there will be another round in 2016 with a deadline for the preliminary proposal due on March 09, 2016.

The Expeditions in Training, Research and Education for Mathematics and Statistics through Quantitative Explorations of Data (EXTREEMS-QED) is a new NSF program "to support efforts to educated the next generation of mathematics and statistics undergraduate students confront new challenges in computational and data-enabled science and engineering." Full proposal deadline is the first Wednesday in November, annually.

Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE)
"Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) is an NSF-wide program that supports international activities across all NSF supported disciplines. The primary goal of PIRE is to support high quality projects in which advances in research and education could not occur without international collaboration. PIRE seeks to catalyze a higher level of international engagement in the U.S. science and engineering community." (From the announcement.) The average award size is expected to be approximately $4 million over 5 years. Deadline: Preliminary proposal due data is October 21, 2014. Full proposal due date is May 15, 2015.

Research Centers for Pharmacogenomics in Precision Medicine (P50)
This FOA solicits proposals for centers "that will conduct cutting-edge research studies designed to push the boundaries for understanding and predicting therapeutic drug responses." Centers are expected to have a tight focus and use "-omics" approaches to predict drug actions and include clinical interactions to shape the future of patient care. However, "the center’s current emphasis should primarily be on making fundamental new discoveries at the forefront for the field." Application due date: September 25, 2015 and 2016.

Sensors and Sensor Systems
From the NSF Synopsis: "The Sensors and Sensing System (SSS) program funds fundamental research on sensors and sensing systems. Such fundamental research includes the discovery and characterization of new sensing modalities, fundamental theories for aggregation and analysis of sensed data, fundamentally new approaches for data transmission, and approaches for addressing uncertain and/or partial sensor data. Innovative research in nonlinear prediction, filtering and estimation in the context of sensing systems is also considered in this program." Full Proposal Window: September 1, 2014 - October 1, 2014; January 15, 2015 - February 15, 2015; January 15 - February 15, annually thereafter.

Stimulating Integrative Research in Computational Cognition
The National Science Foundation supports research across the cognitive and computational communities through a number of existing programs, as outlined in the Dear Colleague Letter on December 16, 2013:

  • Cognitive Neuroscience (Full Proposal target Data: February 25, 2014, annually thereafter)
  • Decision, Risk, and Management Sciences (Full Proposal Target Data: January 18, 2014, annually thereafter, and August 18, 2014, annually thereafter)
  • Developmental and Learning Sciences (Full Proposal Target Data: January 15, 2014, annually thereafter, and July 15, 2014, annually thereafter)
  • Linguistics (Full Proposal Target Data: January 15, 2014, annually thereafter, and July 15, 2014, annually thereafter)
  • Perception, Action & Cognition (Full Research Proposal Window: January 15-February 1, 2014, annually thereafter, and July 15-August 1, 2014, annually thereafter; Full Workshop/Conference Proposal Window: April 1-April 15, 2014, annually thereafter, and June 1-June 16, 2014, annually thereafter)