BD2K Updates from NIH

BD2K New Announcements:

  • Revised Commons Credits Pilot Opportunity: NIH has partnered with the CMS Alliance to Modernize Healthcare (CAMH), operated by MITRE, to launch the Commons Credits Pilot. This program is designed to yield a more efficient and cost-effective means for extramurally-funded NIH grantees to gain access to cutting-edge computing power, storage, and analysis through vetted commercial cloud vendors with shorter application requirements and review times. Up to $6 million in total credits may be allocated to investigators, however, NIH expects that individual requests will not typically exceed $50,000. Three open submission cycles will occur before summer 2017. The first call for applications is open December 9, 2016 through January 9, 2017. Submit your application via the Commons Credits Portal. Successful applications should complement a procured NIH grant and will be evaluated for content, scientific contribution, and novelty. For additional information, see the attached .pdf flyer.
  • The ENIGMA Center hosted the international workshop “Big Data and the Human Brain,” December 13, at the Skoltech Institute of Science and Technology in Moscow, which presented how Big Data Science can help us better understand our brain. As part of the workshop, the two sides discussed the first ENIGMA Big Data Working Groups to be led from Russia on neurogenetic disorders in children as well as a joint Skoltech-ENIGMA Center to be inaugurated at Skoltech. For additional information, read the Press Release or the Full Proceedings (.pdf) available in English and Russian.

Active BD2K Opportunities:

  • NIH RFI: NOT-OD-17-015 “Strategies for NIH Data Management, Sharing, and Citation” seeks public comments on: 1) what, when, and how data should be managed and shared; and 2) setting standards for citing shared data and software. Complete instructions on how to comment can be found on the NIH OSP Website. Read the “Under the Poliscope” blog post: “The What and How of Data Sharing” by Dr. Carrie D. Wolinetz, NIH Associate Director for Science Policy. The response deadline has been extended to January 19, 2017. For more information, contact: or 301-496-9838.
  • MD2K Training Opportunity: The 2017 mHealth Training Institute at UCLA, August 6-11, 2017, is now accepting applications. This unique transdisciplinary incubator brings together researchers for a week-long, immersive “bootcamp” in all things related to mHealth. In addition to providing the participants with a core educational grounding in transdisciplinary perspectives and methodologies essential to mHealth innovation, the mHTI seeks to instill in participants the intrapersonal and interpersonal skills and connections necessary for cross-cutting research. Applications due January 29, 2017. For more information or to apply, visit:

BD2K Events:

  • Public voting for the Open Science Prize is LIVE! We need your help to determine which of the finalist prototypes are the most novel and impactful. Your vote plays a critical role in determining which three of the six finalist teams will compete for a grand prize of $230,000. The winning prototype will be selected by the National Institutes of Health and the Wellcome Trust and publically announced in March 2017. Click here to review the prototypes. Voting runs from December 1, 2016, through 11:59pm PST on January 6, 2017. For additional information, please see the attached .pdf flyer or email:
  • Women in Data Science Workshop (co-hosted by Women Data Scientists DC, NIH, American Statistical Association, and Capital One), February 3, 2017, 10:30am – 5:30pm ET, at the Capital One McLean Conference Center. You are invited to a gathering of local (Maryland-DC-Virginia) data scientists for a day of technical talks, workshops, and networking. This event is free to attend and will be live streamed. For more information and to register, visit: or see the attached .pdf flyer.
  • The BD2K Training Coordination Center (TCC) invites you to a weekly webinar series, “The BD2K Guide to the Fundamentals of Data Science,” Fridays, 12:00pm ET (9:00am PT). The Series will be streamed live, login/registration link is available on the BD2K TCC Webinars Page. Archived lectures are available on the TCC YouTube Channel. For additional information, contact John Van Horn at:

Data Science New Announcements:

  • HHS Town Hall Meeting, December 20, 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET, 5600 Fishers Lane, Pavilion A, Rockville, MD. Ambassador Deborah L. Birx M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy presents “Transforming PEPFAR through Data.” Ambassador Birx will discuss the achievements of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which remains the single largest commitment any country has ever made to address a single disease, and the use of data to monitor PEPFAR performance and enhance decision-making to ensure every dollar has the most impact. Participation is reserved for HHS/NIH employees and contractors. To register, visit: For additional information or to request special accommodations, please email:
  • NIH Common Fund FOA: RFA-RM-17-001 “Novel Analytical Approaches for Metabolomics Data (R03).” The NIH Common Fund Metabolomics Program has released a funding opportunity to foster collaboration between computational scientists, metabolomics experts, and biomedical researchers in developing, piloting, and/or validating novel bioinformatic approaches that address current analytical hurdles in metabolomics data. Letter of Intent due January 14, 2017; applications due February 14, 2017.
  • NIH Common Fund FOA: RFA-RM-16-024 “Knowledge Management Center for Illuminating the Druggable Genome (U24).” The NIH Common Fund Illuminating the Druggable Genome (IDG) Program enables researchers to explore understudied proteins with the potential to be modified by medicines. The program plans to allocate $54 million to advance research through the development, broad dissemination, and use of community scientific resources to study human proteins for which publicly available information or active research is lacking. IDG aims to catalyze the discovery of novel biology, with a particular focus on understudied members of the protein kinase, ion channel, and non-olfactory G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) families. The program is administered by NIDDK, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and the National Cancer Institute. Letter of Intent due February 14, 2017; applications due March 14, 2017.
  • X-STEM Extreme STEM Symposium, presented by the U.S. Department of Defense, April 28, 2017, 9:30am – 3:00pm ET, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC. This educational event is for middle through high school students and features interactive presentations and workshops by an exclusive group of visionaries who aim to empower and inspire kids about careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Online registration opens January 2017.  Advance registration is required to attend X-STEM. Sign up on the Interest List to be notified when registration is available. For additional information, contact:

Data Science Opportunities:

  • The HHS Secretary’s Ventures Fund is looking for investments. Round 4 is now open and looking for HHS (and NIH) teams with proven, but still early-stage ideas that need support to get to the next level of implementation. Ventures provides growth-stage funding and support to HHS employees with innovative ideas for how to dramatically improve their Office, Agency, or the Department’s ability to carry out its mission. Extramural researchers may participate in collaboration with a designated FTE PI. Selected teams are given up to $100,000 and 15 months of coaching and technical support. Applications due December 20. Read more about previously awarded projects at: To apply, visit: For more information, contact Bonny Harbinger, Fund Manager, at or 202-774-2303.
  • National Library of Medicine RFI: The National Library of Medicine is seeking key input from stakeholders for Request for Information (RFI): NOT-LM-17-002 “Strategic Plan for the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.” Responses due January 9, 2017.
  • NIH BRAIN Initiative FOA for Standards: RFA-MH-17-256 – This FOA is aimed at funding short term projects to develop standards that describe experimental protocols that are being conducted as part of the BRAIN Initiative.  The funded data archives will be required to use these standards. Applications due January 10, 2017 and October 11, 2017.
  • The Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is recruiting a Chief Data Scientist in the Office of the Director, DCEG. For details, please reference the attached Word document. Interested individuals should send a cover letter, curriculum vitae and bibliography, and three references to Catherine McClave, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute at: Applications due January 13, 2017 for the first round of interviews, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
  • NIH BRAIN Initiative FOA for Data Archives: RFA-MH-17-255 – This FOA is aimed at funding web-accessible data archives to capture, store, and curate data related to BRAIN Initiative activities. Applications due January 17, 2017 and October 19, 2017.
  • NIH BRAIN Initiative FOA for Software Development: RFA-MH-17-257 – This FOA is aimed at developing informatics tools (or modifying existing tools) for analyzing, visualizing, and integrating data related to the BRAIN Initiative. Applications due January 19, 2017 and October 26, 2017.
  • NSF Funding Opportunity: Transdisciplinary Research In Principles Of Data Science (TRIPODS) aims to bring together the statistics, mathematics, and theoretical computer science communities to develop the theoretical foundations of data science through integrated research and training activities. Letters of Intent due January 19, 2017; Full Proposals due March 15, 2017.
  • Call for Proposals: The International Society for Computational Biology’s 2017 European Conference on Computational Biology (ISMB/ECCB 2017), July 21-25 in Prague, is calling for Special Sessions proposals for emerging research. The Call for special sessions is open at: Submissions due January 19, 2017.
  • NIEHS FOA: RFA-ES-17-001 “Powering Research through Innovative Methods for Mixtures in Epidemiology (PRIME) (R01).” The purpose of this funding opportunity is to stimulate the development of innovative statistical, data science, or other quantitative approaches to studying the health effects of complex chemical mixtures in environmental epidemiology. Applications due February 22, 2017.
  • NIH BRAIN Initiative FOA: RFA-NS-17-018 – “BRAIN Initiative: Team-Research BRAIN Circuit Programs – TeamBCP (U19).” This program will support integrated, interdisciplinary collaborative research teams from prior BRAIN technology and/or integrated approaches teams, and/or new projects from the research community that focus on examining circuit functions related to behavior, using advanced and innovative technologies. Applications due March 1, 2017 and October 17, 2017.

Data Science Events:

  • Dr. Jon Gunderson of the Accessible Information Technology Group of the Rehabilitation Education Center at the University of Illinois has set up a series of monthly teleconferences to discuss open source web accessibility tools development. The meetings will be the first Thursday of the month at 2:00pm CT, but due to conferences some will be on the second Thursday. The next teleconference will be held on January 5, 2017 (first Thursday in January). Join the listserv here: The group’s email address is For additional information, contact Jon Gunderson at:
  • Biomedical Data Science Hackathon hosted by NCBI, NLM, and NHGRI, January 9-11, 2017, at the National Library of Medicine on the NIH Main Campus, Bethesda, MD. For additional information, contact:
  • The NIH Data Science in Biomedicine Interest Group announces its first meeting, January 13, 2017, 1:30 – 3:00pm ET, Bldg 1, Wilson Hall, on the NIH Main Campus. The meeting will feature an introduction from Phil Bourne, NIH Associate Director of Data Science, and talks by NIH researchers working with machine learning techniques. The talks will be followed by a networking session and discussion of future activities for the group. No registration is required for in-person attendance. To attend via webinar, please register at For additional information, contact

Data Science Resources: