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Limited Submission Funding Opportunity: BD2K Research Education Curriculum Development: Data Science Overview for Biomedical Scientists

Modified: August 16, 2016

Limited Submission Funding Opportunity: BD2K Research Education Curriculum Development: Data Science Overview for Biomedical Scientists


FOA#: RFA-ES-16-011

The over-arching goal of this NIH Big Data to Knowledge R25 program is to support educational activities that   complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs. To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on: 

Curriculum and Methods Development: The development of coursework in Big Data Science for the training of predoctoral level students in the biomedical sciences; the integration of data science into biomedical curricula to improve biomedical, behavioral or clinical science education; working in tandem with other awardees to formulate core competencies; and sharing the instructional material and educational tools developed with others who wish to include this instruction in their curriculum.

This Program will facilitate community-driven development and implementation of data science curriculum for graduate students in the biomedical sciences.  The FOA will support curriculum development activities at institutions interested in working collectively to define, develop, and test modules integrating data science into their existing biomedical science curriculum, with the intention that the modules can be adapted by other institutions.  Although the curricular material will be developed for use by students at the applicant institution, it will also be shared by producing an open educational resource that adheres to the FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reproducible) principles, such as video modules for a flipped classroom. Multi-PDs/PIs are encouraged so that the leadership team includes expertise in computational and quantitative sciences to include (1) computer science or informatics; and (2) statistics and mathematics. 

The program will be phased:  Year 1 will be devoted to planning and curriculum content development, year 2 will be devoted to implementation on a test scale, obtaining feedback and modification, and year 3 will be devoted to full implementation and dissemination of curricular materials. 


Applications that request costs for curriculum development may request up to $100,000 per year direct costs; Applications proposing to serve as the lead to coordinate the program may request an additional $50,000, for a total of $150,000 per year direct costs. The maximum project period is 3 years.


Only one application per institution (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH IPF number) is allowed. 


Internal Letter of Intent Due: September 6, 2016 (by midnight)

Sponsor Proposal Due: December 7, 2016       


Faculty members interested in applying are required to submit a letter of intent (LOI) by the deadline specified above. If interest exceeds the number of submissions the university is allowed, an internal competition will be held. Typically, all investigators that submit an LOI will be invited to submit an internal proposal. Occasionally, as appropriate, based on the LOI, only selected applicants will be invited to submit an internal proposal.

  1. Click here to access the form.
  2. Name the LOI as follows:  “LastName-FirstInitial-NIH-BD2K-Curriculum-2016”, replacing “LastName” with your last name and “First Initial” with your first initial.
  3. Click on the following link: grants.nubic.northwestern.edu/welcome.
  4. Login with your NU NetID and password.
  5. Under the “Limited Submissions - Office of Research Development” heading, click “Apply” next to the “Letter of Intent: NIH BD2K Research Education Curriculum Development:  Data Science Overview for Biomedical Scientists”.
  6. Update your profile.
    • a. Populate the following fields: Phone, Title, and Department.  Note: There is no need to upload your biographical sketch as part of your profile.
    • b. Click on “Save draft and continue” to save your profile and move to the competition application page.
  7. Insert proposal title.  Click on “Save draft and continue.”
  8. Click the Browse or Choose File button and navigate to your file on your hard drive or network.  Select your file and click “Submit”.  No supplemental documents are accepted.

You will receive a confirmation email from ORD indicating that your application was received.


The Training Grant Support Office assists faculty in the preparation of institutional training grant applications, including: Data table production involving institution-wide and Training Grant Support Office-tracked data; Proposal development aids; Advice, sharing of best practices, tips and traps; Coordination of special funding/ commitment requests made to The Graduate School in support of the training grant;  and Special training grant-related projects.  Please contact Jennifer E. Hobbs, PhD, Assistant Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Training and Development (jennifer-hobbs@northwestern.edu). 


The Office of Research Development offers assistance in identifying and facilitating collaborations, putting together interdisciplinary teams, programmatic and administrative development of large, cross-school proposals, and leveraging institutional resources for outreach and education. Contact Fruma Yehiely (yehiely@northwestern.edu), Associate Vice President for Research, for more information.


Fruma Yehiely, Associate Vice President for Research, 847-491-1074, yehiely@northwestern.edu

Limited Submissions web site: ord.northwestern.edu/limited-submissions

Training Grant Director