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Office of the Vice President for Research
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NSF's 10 Big Ideas, Part 2

Harnessing the Data Revolution: Transdisciplinary Research In Principles Of Data Science (HDR TRIPODS) aims to bring together the electrical engineering, mathematics, statistics, and theoretical computer science communities to develop the theoretical foundations of data science through integrated research and training activities. In the Phase I solicitation, NSF seeks to support the development of small collaborative Institutes. Awards for up to $500,000 per year for three years are available.

A broad effort called HDR Institutes comprises two separate, complementary solicitations: NSF 19-453, HDR: Institutes for Data-Intensive Research in Science and Engineering – Ideas Labs, which was mentioned in the first column, and NSF 19-549, HDR: Institutes for Data-Intensive Research in Science and Engineering – Frameworks.

The HDR Institutes activity seeks to create interrelated institutes that can accelerate discovery and innovation in multiple areas of data-intensive science and engineering. The HDR Institutes will achieve this by harnessing diverse data sources and developing and applying new methodologies, technologies, and infrastructure for data management and analysis. The HDR Institutes will support convergence between science and engineering research communities as well as expertise in data science foundations, systems, applications, and cyberinfrastructure. The first opportunity (Ideas Lab) encourages individuals with compelling data-intensive science and engineering problems and/or technical expertise to self-organize into teams with the aim of developing innovative, collaborative research proposals through an Ideas Lab process. The second opportunity (Frameworks) encourages applications from teams of researchers proposing Frameworks for integrated sets of science and engineering problems and data science solutions. Both opportunities are for two-year awards without set budget ceilings; both are still open. Ideas Lab has a preliminary proposal deadline of March 4.

Four of the Big Ideas are process ideas intended to encourage out-of-the-box thinking. A brand-new NSF-wide program, Growing Convergence Research, has just been announced and is featured in the Funding Connection section of this issue. Convergence research is driven by compelling societal problems and features deep integration across disciplines. Awards will be made as cooperative agreements and progress evaluated after two years; at that time, three additional years of funding may be available.

— Beth Montelone, senior associate vice president for research