A New Opportunity in Big Data


In addition to all the biomedical workforce activity following December’s Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) meeting, other ACD working group initiatives have also been busy launching their flagship programs, as well.  For example, in April I blogged about two new diversity programs supported by the NIH Common Fund – the Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity, or BUILD program and the NIH National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN). Most recently, NIH announced the flagship program for supporting challenges related to “Big Data” —  the large, complex data sets that have come out of rapid research advances and will continue to grow in number and value in the future.

As described in the funding opportunity announcement, the “Big Data to Knowledge” (BD2K) Centers of Excellence will be large-scale enterprises that will develop new approaches, methods, software, and tools to tackle the major challenges in using large biomedical data sets, ranging from data acquisition and processing to the analysis and visualization of large data sets, as well as workforce training and development for those who work with this data. The centers will form a BD2K consortium leveraging each individual center’s strengths, as well as working together in collaboration with other US and international big data science organizations.

I encourage you to read more about this important program on the BD2K website and in the funding opportunity announcement. Letters of intent to apply are due October 20, and applications to the program are due one month later. We are in an exciting time for capitalizing on biomedical research advances to further science and healthcare, and the BD2K centers will play a key role in making that happen.

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