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Program Snapshot

As biomedical tools and technologies rapidly improve, researchers are producing and analyzing an ever-expanding amount of complex biological data called ‘Big Data’. As one component of the NIH-wide strategy, the Common Fund is supporting the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) program, which aims to facilitate broad use of biomedical big data, develop and disseminate analysis methods and software, enhance training for disciplines relevant for large-scale data analysis, and establish centers of excellence for biomedical big data.

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BD2K Mission Statement

The mission of the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative is to enable biomedical i scientists to capitalize more fully on the Big Data ii being generated by those research communities. With advances in technologies, these investigators are increasingly generating and using large, complex, and diverse datasets. Consequently, the biomedical research enterprise is increasingly becoming data-intensive and data-driven. However, the ability of researchers to locate, analyze, and use Big Data (and more generally all biomedical and behavioral data) is often limited for reasons related to access to relevant software and tools, expertise, and other factors. BD2K aims to develop the new approaches, standards, methods, tools, software, and competencies that will enhance the use of biomedical Big Data by supporting research, implementation, and training in data science and other relevant fields that will lead to:

  • Appropriate access to shareable biomedical data through technologies, approaches, and policies that enable and facilitate widespread data sharing, discoverability, management, curation, and meaningful re-use;
  • Development of and access to appropriate algorithms, methods, software, and tools for all aspects of the use of Big Data, including data processing, storage, analysis, integration, and visualization;
  • Appropriate protections for privacy and intellectual property;
  • Development of a sufficient cadre of researchers skilled in the science of Big Data, in addition to elevating general competencies in data usage and analysis across the biomedical research workforce.

Overall, the focus of the BD2K initiative is the development of innovative and transforming approaches as well as tools for making Big Data and data science a more prominent component of biomedical research.

Big Data to Knowledge

Funding Opportunity: Supplements to Support Interoperability of NIH Funded Biomedical Data Repositories. NIH is accepting administrative supplement requests for existing NIH grants to support projects that will establish or improve interoperability among NIH funded biomedical data repositories. Applications are due April 20, 2015. Read the Funding Opportunity Announcement.

Funding Opportunity to Advance Biomedical Science Using Crowdsourcing and Interactive Digital Media. The purpose of this Big Data to Knowledge funding opportunity is to support the development of new or significantly adapted interactive digital media that engages the public, experts or non-experts, in performing some aspect of biomedical research via crowdsourcing. Applications are due June 3, 2015. Read the Funding Opportunity Announcement.

Request for Applications: BD2K-LINCS Data Coordination and Integration Center External Data Science Research Projects. The BD2K-LINCS Data Coordination and Integration Center (DCIC) is soliciting applications from the scientific community for data science research collaborations with the DCIC that focus on mining and integrating data generated by the LINCS program for new scientific discovery. The overarching goal of this solicitation is to maximize the value of LINCS data and transform it into new knowledge. The DCIC, via a subcontract, will support collaboration projects with a budget limit of $130K in total costs per year for up to two years. Applications are Due May 1, 2015. Learn how to apply. Exit Disclaimer

Funding Opportunity to Enhance Diversity in Biomedical Data Science. The over-arching goal of this BD2K program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce. To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this funding opportunity will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on research experiences for students and faculty, and for curriculum development. Applications due April 7, 2015. Read the funding announcement.

Input | Output, a News and Discussion Forum for the Biomedical Data Science Community. This new blog is maintained by the NIH Office of the Associate Director for Data Science (ADDS) and will serve as a news and discussion vehicle for the overall community and is an opportunity for the ADDS to present timely information and receive important feedback. Visit the Input | Output Blog. Exit Disclaimer

Multiple Funding Opportunities in Biomedical Data Science Training are currently open! Visit our Big Data to Knowledge Funding Opportunities page for more information including due dates.


NIH Big Data to Knowledge Website

The NIH Common Fund is pleased to contribute to this NIH-wide initiative. Click on the image below to visit the NIH BD2K Website for a full listing of funded research and other program activities.

NIH Big Data to Knowledge Website

In the News...

Click on the image below to watch a brief video of NIH Associate Data Director Dr. Philip Bourne explaining NIH efforts to coordinate strategies related to computation and informatics in biomedicine across its 27 institutes and centers​.Exit Disclaimer
Philip Bourne Stanford Big Data 2014

Learn more about the BD2K Initiative and meet each of its Centers of Excellence: "NIH Launches a United Ecosystem for Big Data." Exit Disclaimer

Check out the Input|Output Blog of the NIH Associate Director for Data Science to learn how biomedical scientists and computational/quantitative scientists are working together to solve tough problems in biomedical research.

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