DataScience@NIH

Driving Discovery Through Data

0 New FOA: Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Community-Based Data and Metadata Standards Efforts
/ 08.29.16

By Astrid Haugen

Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) announces the release of a Request for Application RFA-ES-16-010 “Community-Based Data and Metadata Standards Efforts (R24)”.  Within this context, "community" encompasses a broad range of stakeholders, including technical developers, librarians, scientific domain experts, researchers, information scientists, vendors, funders, publishers, patient advocacy groups, and other end-users.  This program addresses important standards-related issues and gaps raised by community members in response to a Request for Information (RFI) NOT-ES-15-002 "Making Data Usable--A Framework for Community-Based Data and Metadata Standards Efforts for NIH-Relevant Research" (Summary Report), as well as their participation in two related meetings:  Frameworks for Community-based Standards Efforts Workshop (2013) and Community-based Data and Metadata Standards Workshop (2015).

Biomedical Big Data encompasses many kinds of data, including clinical and pharmaceutical to biomolecular and genomic.  The BD2K initiative aims to address many of the problems in finding and integrating these different forms of data from across a full spectrum of NIH-supported research for reuse, as well as discovering a more unified view of the data.  To help with this challenge, it is essential to have uniform data and metadata (also called “data about the data”) standards.  For the purpose of this RFA, data and metadata standards are more simply defined as rules to describe how biomedical data are recorded.  These rules are applied to data exchange, data format, and data semantics.

This funding opportunity targets community-based standards related activities at any point in their lifecycle with emphasis on the following:

  • Data and metadata standards, and/or pertinent tool development, is necessary to make biomedical data more FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable).  Projects may support activities at any point in the data standards lifecycle and should build on existing partnerships, infrastructure, and resources whenever possible.  Both short-term and longer-term projects are eligible.  
  • Community engagement and community interest must be demonstrated as well as a plan for meaningful engagement of the end-user communities and relevant stakeholders in the process.
  • Data sharing and repurposing is indispensable to the future of biomedical science.  The data/metadata standard(s) and any associated tools or products developed will be made freely available to the scientific research community via a curated, searchable portal.  Projects are asked to address long-term maintenance and sustainability of data standards after the NIH award period has ended.  Issues to be considered include approaches for dissemination, evaluation, and updating/refinement.  

The receipt deadline for applications is October 19, 2016, with an optional letter of intent due September 19, 2016.

For additional information, email Astrid Haugen or call 919-541-4415.

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