BD2K funds research and training activities that support the use of Big Data to advance biomedical research and discovery. This includes efforts in enhancing training, resource indexing, methods and tools development, and other data science-related areas.
The BD2K Centers of Excellence program has established 11 Centers of Excellence for Big Data Computing and one Center that is a collaborative project with the NIH Common Fund LINCS program, the LINCS-BD2K Perturbation Data Coordination and Integration Center. The centers are located all across the United States. They are large-scale projects aiming to develop new approaches, methods, software tools, and related resources. The Centers will also provide training to advance Big Data science in the context of biomedical research. The 12 BD2K Centers function with the other BD2K grantees as a consortium and collaborate with one another, with the purpose of furthering every aspect of the field of biomedical data science research.
To harness the full potential of Big Data scientists must be able to readily find, cite, and access existing data and other digital objects, such as software. There is no existing infrastructure or incentive that enables this. These basic goals maximize data use, enable sharing, limit duplication of effort, and allow areas of sparse research coverage to be more readily identified. To advance the infrastructure and policies needed to meet these goals, awards in this area address the challenges of resource discovery, citation, and access.
The BD2K Enhancing Training programs aim to support the establishment of an effective and diverse biomedical data science workforce using a variety of methods at all points along the education pipeline. Accomplishing this requires outreach to students of all levels, as well as dissemination of training materials and massive open online courses (MOOCs). In addition to these projects, there is a current funding opportunity announcement to support a training coordination center, which will ensure that training materials made by NIH and other sources are findable.
Targeted Software Development
There is great potential for discovery and innovation as the quantity and accessibility of biomedical data continues to expand. However, this potential can never be realized without appropriate tools. Targeted Software Development awards fund software and methods development. Awardees will develop tools to tackle data management, transformation, and analysis challenges in areas of high need to the biomedical research community.