The S.E.E.D.S Grant Program: Southern Engagement and Enrichment in Data Science

Applications Open Fall 2021

Purpose

The South Big Data Innovation Hub SEEDS - Southern Engagement and Enrichment in Data Science program is designed to promote collaboration and support the cross-pollination of tools, data, and ideas across disciplines and sectors including academia, industry, government, and communities. Seed grant awards must support the southern region and the Major Goals and Priority Areas of the South Hub.

South Hub Priority Areas

  • Health Disparities
  • Smart Cities and Communities
  • Materials and Advanced Manufacturing 
  • Team Science
  • Data Sharing and CyberInfrastructure
  • Data Science Education and Workforce 
  • Learn more about South Hub Priority Areas in the sections below

South Hub Major Goals

  • Build Impactful Cross-sector Data Science Partnerships and Collaborations
  • Community Engagement to Connect and Mobilize the Hub Community
  • Facilitate the sharing of Data, Cyberinfrastructure, and Other Resources Across the Region
  • Increase the Capacity for Data Science Education and Workforce Development

Eligibility 

Individuals or group teams lead by faculty, students, or individuals from academic institutions or other non-profits within the Southern United States- defined as Delaware – Texas, including the District of Columbia.

Award Sizes

Small SEEDs – Up to $10,000

Please note that small seed grants will be processed as reimbursements, not subawards. 

Example Activities Include:

  • Stipends
    • Professional time for the development of workshops, forums, webinar series, etc openly available to southen region.
    • Smaller-scale funding in support of the distribution of sharable outcomes or open products within priority goals (i.e. outreach efforts and the creation of web products, videos, & tutorials)
    • Professional Mentoring of underserved communities 
  • Travel $1000-$2000 / person requested (Due to COVID-19 travel requests will not be considered this year, however, other forms collaboration may be proposed)
    • Travel: Support a short-term visitor to an external group to create shared products – limit of one week Brainstorming for research, training, education …
    • Travel: For external experts for a ‘Birds of a Feather’ at an existing data science workshop or conference
    • Travel: Providing Professional Development to researchers and students -i.e. travel funding for academics to industry and cross-disciplinary conferences
    • Travel: Student travel 
    • Travel: Community training

Application Process for Small Grants

  1. Provide a Project Description (Up to 3 pages)
  2. Must include a budget justification 
  3. Biosketch – NSF or NIH style

Apply HERE

Mid-Range or Group Activities SEEDS – Up to $50,000

Example Activities Include (but are not limited to):

  1. Gather similar data within a priority area to be useful in education or research projects
  2. Create shareable resources / products – Create Live Use case data sets (as part of a hackathon for instance)
  3. Funding Hub Ambassadors to do work or outreach on behalf of the South Hub
  4. Smaller-scale applied research funding in support of the distribution of shareable outcomes or open products within priority goals

Application Process for Mid-Range Grants

  1. Provide a Project Description (Up to 5 pages)
  2. Provide a separate budget and budget justification
    1. Must include a subaward budget with indirect costs and a budget justification
  3. Biosketch – NSF or NIH style

Apply HERE

Large or Multi-Institutional Activities SEEDS – Up to $100,000

Example Activities Include (but are not limited to):

  1. Gather similar data within a priority area to be useful in education or research projects
  2. Create sharable resources / products – Create Live Use case data sets (as part of a hackathon for instance)
  3. Funding Hub Ambassadors to do work or outreach on behalf of the South Hub
  4. Smaller-scale applied research funding in support of the distribution of sharable outcomes or open products within priority goals

Application Process for Large or Multi-Institutional Activities SEEDS

  1. Provide a Project Description (Up to 8 pages)
  2. Provide a separate budget and budget justification
    1. Must include a subaward budget with indirect costs and a budget justification
  3. Biosketch – NSF or NIH style

2020 SEEDS Cohort

Proposals Submitted: 38 

Proposals: Small (11), Medium (13), Large (8) 

States represented: 10 of the 16 states in the South Hub region

Communities Served: 4-year colleges (24), HBCUs (7), HSI(2), Community Colleges (0)

Proposal Disciplines Represented: Computer Science (14). Engineering (8). Data Science, Informatics Studies (2). Business, Mathematics, Peace and Conflict Studies, Geography, Finance and Economics (1).Urban Affairs and Public Policy (2). Cybersecurity and Forensics (1). Information and Library Science (1).  

Priority Areas: Data Science and Education (25), Data Sharing and CyberInfrastructure (22), Health Disparities (12), Smart Cities and Communities (4), Materials and Advanced Manufacturing (5)

2020 SEEDS Awardees

Proposals Awarded:

Proposals: Small (3), Medium (2), Large ( 1),  Unique Institutions Involved: 24 

States represented: 10 of the 16 states; FL, VA(3), MD(3), AL, NC(2), GA (3), DC, TX(5), TN, DE 

Communities Served: 4-year colleges (3), HBCUs (2), STEM HS (1).

Proposal Disciplines Represented: Computer Science (1), Engineering (1), Data Science (1), Finance and Economics (1), Mathematics (1), Urban Affairs and Public Policy (1). 

Priority Areas: Data Science and Education (3), Data Sharing and CyberInfrastructure (2), Health Disparities (2), Smart Cities  and Communities (3)

2020 SEEDS Cohort - Large & Mid-scale Awardees

Large: HBCU Data Science Consortium (HBCU-DSC)

Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL; Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA; Bowie State University, Bowie, Alabama A&M University, Normal, AL; Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, NC; Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA

Learn More About the Project

Mid: Data4Kids: Virtually Teaching Kids about Data Science

The Urban Institute, Washington,DC + Seven K12 Organizations (UTeach Outreach, TX; K12 Education Manager, ESRI, VA; GoodGeo.BuenMundo SC; K-12 Education Strategy, Policy, and Services, Texas and Georgia; Launch Years Course Programs Texas and Georgia; University of Memphis, Tennessee; Pathway.ai, Texas

Mid: Evaluation and Demonstration of Open Data Portal Technology for Smart Cities and Data Science for Social Good 

University of Baltimore, Towson University  

2020 SEEDS Cohort - Small Awardees

Small: North Carolina Data Science Panel Series 

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (K12 11th and 12th graders) 

Small: Homeless Data for the State of Delaware by Reducing Uncertainty in Risk Projections for Statewide Hospital Capacity in COVID-19   

University of Delaware

Small: Visualization and Data Reuse Challenge - Digital Rocks Portal 

The University of Texas at Austin and Virginia Tech

 

Applications Open Fall 2021.

Deadlines

Applications Open  
Small Grants  
Mid-Range Grants  
Large/Multi-Institutional Grants  
   
Applications Close  
Small Grants  
Mid-Range Grants  
Large/Multi-Institutional Grants  
   
Award Decisions  

Review Process / Selection Criteria

 

The South Hub wishes to partner with investigators through this program to support strategic efforts across the region. Due to this aspect of partnership, outcomes will be reported jointly by the South Hub and the grant awardee. Logistical support such as food, catering, materials and supplies, while not excluded, would not be ideal uses for seed grants, as awardees would be expected to partner to support their proposed activity. Awards will be reviewed by the South Hub external steering committee. Awardee activities will be advertised as a collective program and as an extension of South Hub program activities within priority areas. Seed fund applications will be evaluated on the Reach (number of partners or states directly impacted), Impact (the degree of impact on the southern region), Connection (The demonstrated connection to users), and Diversity (the types of groups or individuals impacted). 

 

Small proposals will be evaluated on a rolling basis based on alignment to South Hub goals/objectives, priority areas, as well the Hub’s capacity for fulfilling requests. The Hub staff works with awardees to support participant travel reimbursements, and limited joint communications to support activities to foster collaboration, data science education, sharing of infrastructures and/or advancing priority area objectives.

Mid-scale and Large awards will be reviewed once per year based on the following criteria: 

  • Intellectual Merit
  • Broader Impact 
  • Alignment to South Hub goals, objectives, and priority area activities.

(Encouraged for Large Awards)

  1. Connection to multiple institutions or priority areas (horizontal + vertical, for example)
  2. Funding newcomers to the Hub to broaden participation
  3. Demonstrating how the work will be accessible and beneficial to the broad South Hub community
  4. Preference will be given to standalone projects or well-defined activities that could be completed in 1-2 years. In that time, the proposed activity should realize a demonstrable benefit, product, or outcome.

Learn More About Our Priority Areas

View the South Hub’s Impact Report to generally learn more about our impact in regional priority areas, or view the information below if your interest lies in a particular priority area: 

DATA SCIENCE AND EDUCATION
The South Hub provides faculty development and student opportunities to gain real-world experience through attending multi-week fellowships with industry and government partners, to collaborate in fast-paced atmospheres, to share expert knowledge to address grand challenges, to obtain internships to utilize data for social impact, and to participate in speaking engagements and travel awards to expand their knowledge and network. 

On-going Programs:
DataUp 
DataUp Video

Keeping Data Science Broad
Keeping Data Science Broad Video Playlist


HEALTH DISPARITIES
The Southern US has a disproportionately high prevalence of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS compared to the rest of the United States. These challenges are mirrored in other Southern health disparities and require coordinated and cross-sector responses to combat the multitude of serious societal and systemic challenges. A relevant, data-driven, and tailored set of resources must be made available to have a meaningful impact.

The Health Disparities priority area focuses on the high impact applications of data science in health disparities, including Heart Disease and HIV/AIDS. Past work has included two workshops, one on High Impact Applications of Data Science in Precision Medicine, Health Analytics, and Health Disparities and another on Translational Data Analytics for Environmental Health: Sensors, Algorithms, and Patients

On-going projects:
Large Scale Medical Informatics for Patient Care Coordination and Engagement Spoke Award


DATA SHARING AND CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE
The All-Hub Data Sharing and CyberInfrastructure Working Group (DSCWG) provides the opportunity for a variety of technologies to be demonstrated across hubs. The DSCWG has begun the process of mapping existing data cyberinfrastructure collaborations, services, and resources, and of identifying Hub member and Spoke project data and cyberinfrastructure requirements. The Working Group organizes monthly meetings. 

On-going projects: 
All-Hub Data and Cyberinfrastructure Working Group
DCWG Video Playlist


SMART CITIES AND COMMUNITIES  
Southern communities, towns, and cities, are engaging in digital transformations for their citizens and their infrastructure due to this new era of data-enabled intelligent technologies. The rapidly-changing nature of these technologies offers great promise for improved well-being and prosperity but poses significant challenges at the intersection of technology, society, and urban planning. To tackle this intersection, the SBDH will focus on Synthetic Smart Cities initiatives such as those focusing on transportation, access to basic amenities, emergency services, and smart grid as important aspects of urban planning.

Numerous data scientists have also noted that university and college campuses operate in small – or in some cases – large cities that have complicated infrastructure, transit, crime, leading many campuses to heavily engage in digital methods to optimize activities. The South Hub’s ‘Smart Cities and Communities’ Research Community sought to explore and address these challenges by hosting a workshop, ‘The Internet-of-Things for Smart and Connected Cities and Campuses,’ that collected input from 71 practitioners regarding the challenges surrounding the use of data from distributed sensors in the context of smart cities and smart campuses. Attendeefrom 34 organizations and 12 states discussed use cases and open research questions related to data flow, trust, data timing, analytics on the edge, etc. The workshop resulted in the development of a ‘Smart Campus Case Study’ that identified potential lessons learned that are applicable to the community.

On-going projects:
Smart Grids Big Data Spoke Award


MATERIALS AND ADVANCED MANUFACTURING
The SBDH Advanced Materials and Manufacturing priority area aims to catalyze a transformation of the digitization of the protocols and workflows currently employed in the materials and manufacturing innovation ecosystem, with a primary goal of increasing the rate of innovation in the materials-manufacturing value chain. This vision is motivated by a major challenge in the materials and manufacturing enterprise: while the discovery rate of new manufacturing and materials technologies has increased significantly, deployment in real-world applications often takes years, if not decades.

The South Hub’s main focus will be on the continuous refinement of the foundational cyberinfrastructure elements needed to support the materials/manufacturing data life cycle, addressing the major challenges associated with R&D of the entire materials/manufacturing information workflow, creating and delivering novel education and outreach programs that will coalesce, nurture and grow stakeholder (including user and developer) communities in universities, national labs and industry, through workshops /conferences, competitions and innovative knowledge propagation activities.

Learn More:
Materials and Advanced Manufacturing Workshop Videos

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The South Big Data Innovation Hub Seed Grant program is designed to support the convening of people and the cross-pollinating of ideas across disciplines (data science and other domains), and sectors (academia, industry, and government) and communities in order to foster ideas, data, and/or products in support the major goals and priority areas of the South Hub. 

Seed grant support will be extended to include: 

  1. Virtual meetings, working groups, and activities related to COVID-19 response. 
  2. Support for faculty placed at a hardship for completing data community building

 

 

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