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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Data Science Initiative

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education has announced an initiative to support two-year grants for data sciences research. The initiative is backed by at least $1 million in funding.

The online application form will be available at research.wisc.edu on Nov. 1, 2017 and the deadline to apply will be March 15, 2018.

“UW-Madison’s Data Science Initiative was formed to stimulate development of new research relevant to data science including new tools for applying data to complex problems,” says Marsha Mailick, vice chancellor for research and graduate education. “In addition, by providing seed funding for data science projects at UW-Madison, we hope to position our faculty to be more competitive when applying for federal and other extramural funding for their research.”

Steve Ackerman, associate vice chancellor for research in the physical sciences, says this is the right time for a data science initiative at UW-Madison.

“The pace of change in the data science field is extremely rapid, and we think the data science initiative is one very good way to keep UW-Madison research on pace with those changes,” Ackerman say. “We’re looking forward to seeing how this initiative can help UW-Madison leverage its knowledge in statistical methodology and computer science to create impactful predictions and insights for a wide range of traditional scholarly fields. Data science is now widely accepted as the fourth mode of scientific discovery, on par with theory, experimentation and computational analysis. ”

UW-Madison researchers are invited to submit proposals that can cover multiple aspects of data science. Applicants can be single or collaborative investigators. New avenues of research are encouraged. Examples of projects in each area include, but are not limited to:

  • The development or application of new methods for analyzing highly complex data
  • The development or application of new analysis techniques using machine learning and data mining to problems that involve large data sets
  • The development or application of new approaches using algorithms and visualization techniques for extracting information from large data sets
  • The development or application of data management and storage systems
  • A collaboration between faculty engaged in curating and making large datasets useful and available to the broader research community for further analysis
  • A collaboration where expertise in computer software or hardware is made available to researchers needing that expertise

A faculty committee of subject matter experts will review the proposals to identify those that hold the most promise for sustained research programs and galvanizing research funding. The committee will then make recommendations to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. The OVCRGE will make final selections.

Research grants will be available in two categories: projects less than $100,000, and those more than $100,000 up to a maximum of $250,000.

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, is providing the funding for the UW–Madison Data Science Initiative.