Thursday, July 15, 2021
NIH Requests Information on Programs to Increase Access to Cloud Computing to Diverse Biomedical Research Institutions
Responses due Sept. 30
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) titled "NIH Programs to Increase Access to Cloud Computing to Diverse Biomedical Research Institutions" (NOT-OD-21-158). Through the RFI, the NIH Office of Data Science Strategy (ODSS), the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) seek input on current and future needs and utilization of cloud computing for biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social science. The RFI also request input on any challenges or strategies to adopt cloud computing broadly among universities and colleges within the Institutional Development Award (IDeA)-eligible states, institutions with Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMIs), and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).
Responses to the RFI are due Sept. 30.
In contrast to traditional, locally provisioned, “on-premises” computing, cloud computing provides access to on-demand, scalable computing and storage resources with a variety of payment models, most of which scale with usage. Most cloud service providers also offer software services such as database management systems and/or machine learning toolboxes, etc. Cloud platforms also provide an opportunity to collect data and computing resources in the same cloud for high-speed connection between data and computers.
NIH-supported researchers can access cloud computing platforms through the NIH Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability (STRIDES) Initiative or through other cloud services contracts negotiated by their institutions.
The ODSS, the NIGMS, and the NIMHD seek input from all external stakeholders to understand the current challenges and opportunities of using cloud computing at universities and colleges within the IDeA-eligible states, institutions with RCMIs, and MSIs for biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social science research. The NIH seeks comments on any or all of the following topics:
- Computing, storage, networking, and data access needs for conducting biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social science research.
- The local computing resources currently available at your institution.
- Any relevant experience with cloud computing resources.
- The barriers to adopt cloud computing including, but not limited to, training and infrastructure gaps, technical barriers, social challenges, perceived risks, and costs.
- Any existing strategies to adopt cloud computing.
- Opportunities and potential impact on biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social science research from greater use of cloud computing.
- What needs to be done to better leverage cloud computing capabilities.