New seed funding will support efforts in data science

A photo from the cover of UO philosophy professor Colin Koopman’s book “How We Became Our Data: A Genealogy of the Informational Person,” which explores the history of data tracking technologies used over time, and the emergence of mass-scale data systems

Novel pursuits in data science will get a boost at the University of Oregon thanks to a new seed funding program that will support new faculty partnerships and the development of innovative research and educational programs.

A joint initiative of the Office of the Vice President of Research and Innovation and the Presidential Initiative in Data Science, the Data Science Initiative Seed Funding Program launched officially May 21.

“The program will bring together existing faculty members and newly recruited scholars to use data science in innovative ways to make groundbreaking discoveries,” said Bill Cresko, founding director of the UO's data science initiative. “It will lead to new grants funding investigator-initiated research, graduate training and the development of major centers or institutes centered on data science.”

The seed funding program will support the Presidential Initiative in Data Science, which launched in September 2017 as part of a new effort to connect the UO's legacy of interdisciplinary collaboration with data science, which is transforming society and scholarship within universities, including the UO.

The data science initiative will integrate, enhance and expand data science activities into a universitywide program. Faculty leaders from across campus are working to build research and educational components in areas such as environmental big data, business analytics, biomedical data science, and data science of social interactions and impacts.

Seed funding in data science will help support the growth of the data science community at the UO through submission of large grants for development of educational opportunities. The mechanism supports two strategic areas of development, offering up to $10,000 for convening grants to support the development of research or educational activities to further the strategic development of the data science initiative, and up to $50,000 in piloting funds for faculty members to engage in more structured research and scholarship activities to prepare for submission of competitive external grants. 

The funding is open to tenure-related faculty members or career non-tenure-track faculty members in the research professor, research scientist, research engineer or research associate classification who will hold a UO appointment during the academic year of the research award.

The deadline for seed funding proposals is Oct. 15. Awards are anticipated to be announced in December.

An information session is scheduled for 1 p.m. June 6 in Room 122, Pacific Hall. For more information, contact rds@uoregon.edu.