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About the ADDS Office

The primary responsibility of the Associate Director of NIH for Data Science is to set a strategic vision for and lead trans-NIH data science activities and funding initiatives, drawing upon strengths from across all of the NIH's Institutes and Centers. The Associate Director of NIH for Data Science serves as a focal point for data science activities at NIH and is eager to engage with partners both within NIH and in academia, industry, nonprofit organizations, or other government agencies.

The strategic plan for DataScience @ NIH is evolving, as wide input continues to be gathered. This vision includes overseeing a sustainable data science infrastructure for biomedical research and leading the development of strategies to ensure that data are findable, accessible, inter-operable, and re-usable (FAIR), stimulating data science research and applying data science to biomedical research questions, leading efforts to support data sharing and open science, and fostering the development of the next generation of professionals in data science.

The position of the Associate Director of NIH for Data Science was created in response to a recommendation of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD), given in the June 2012 report from the Data and Informatics Working Group. In March 2014, Dr. Philip Bourne became the first NIH Associate Director for Data Science. Prior to coming to NIH, he was Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Industry Alliances at the University of California San Diego.

On January 6, 2017, National Library of Medicine Director, Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, assumed the additional role of Interim Associate Director of NIH for Data Science. 2017 also saw the transition of trans-NIH data science initiatives to NLM. This change builds upon the recommendations by the NLM Working Group Report to the NIH Director and makes concrete steps toward the vision of establishing the U.S. National Library of Medicine as the epicenter of data science for the NIH.

This transition also positioned the operational oversight of the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) trans-NIH extramural funding program to the Common Fund in the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives. Detailed information about BD2K initiatives, funded grants, and organizational structure can be found on the BD2K website.

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