CALL for PROPOSALS: Expanding the Use of Collaborative Data Science at UM

Grant Preparation

CALL for PROPOSALS: Expanding the Use of Collaborative Data…

IDSC is pleased to announce our second call for proposals for the Expanding the Use of Collaborative Data Science at UM grant program.  This program is designed to increase the use of data science to foster breakthroughs in disciplinary pursuits making the research team more competitive for external funding.

Applications are required to include at least one data scientist (from IDSC) and one researcher from a specific discipline. Typically, the disciplinary researcher initiates and leads the project. The awards include $20K discretionary funds[1] that can be applied to salary and travel, and 1M Service Units (SUs) to be used for high-performance computing (HPC). It is anticipated that five awards will be made.

For the 2021-22 academic year, IDSC is particularly interested in proposals in two focus areas:

  1. The use of data science to understand social and behavioral processes, such as machine learning of human action or novel analyses of social networks. This focus area includes proposals aimed at understanding the impact of data science on social processes, such as applications of facial identification technology in the criminal justice system.
  2. Understanding the intersection of ethics and data science, i.e.:
    (a) The role of data science in reducing, eliminating, or managing bias and discrimination;
    (b) Software engineering standards and processes in supporting adherence to the duties of explainability and privacy protection; or
    (c) Innovative governance and other approaches to using data science to reduce social injustice in focused/specific domains.

While these two focus areas are emphasized in this call for proposals, submissions in other areas of data science will also be considered.

The application process includes two steps and a final report presented at an IDSC seminar.

Step 1:  The disciplinary researcher provides a one-page letter of intent to IDSC outlining the discipline-specific research and where data science fits in. Based on the letter of intent, the IDSC review team will identify an IDSC data scientist for the collaboration, if the research team has not already identified an IDSC partner. Deadline: 5:00 PM, Friday, September 10, 2021. [[Submit Letter Here.]] NOW CLOSED

Step 2:  [UPON INVITATION] The research team (including the IDSC data scientist) will prepare a two-page proposal that outlines the research and the data science plan. The proposal should also include a short discussion of potential external funding mechanisms that the proposed work can be used to enhance the competitive position of the research team, and a budget plan on how the funds will be utilized.  Deadline: 5:00 PM, Friday, November 19, 2021. Submit Proposal Here.


Upon completion of the project, the research team will be required to give an oral presentation describing the research and results as part of the IDSC seminar series. Scheduling of the oral presentation will be coordinated by IDSC.

Review Process

The applications will be reviewed by an evaluation committee to determine feasibility, relevance to IDSC programs, and in terms of how the proposed research will put the team in a more competitive position for external funding.

Important Information and Deadlines

  • Step 1 – Letters of Intent:  Due by 5:00 PM, Friday, September 10, 2021
  • Invitation to submit full proposal (Step 2) with identification of an IDSC data scientist partner (if applicable): Friday, September 24, 2021.
  • Step 2 – Two-page Proposal: Due by 5:00 PM, Friday, November 19, 2021
  • Notice of Award:  On or before Wednesday, December 15, 2021
  • Project performance period:  January 1-December 31, 2022
  • Service Units (SU) expire January 31, 2023


[1] Discretionary funds can be used for salary and travel only. Equipment or supplies purchases are not allowed.