The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a solicitation for its newest program under the Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) Big Idea, titled Institutes for Data Intensive Research in Science and Engineering – Ideas Labs (I-DIRSE-IL). This solicitation is part of the first phase of creating new HDR Institutes, which are intended to accelerate data-intensive science and engineering through convergence between science and engineering researchers and researchers with expertise in data science foundations, systems, and applications. The Ideas Lab will facilitate the creation of teams that can compete for two-year conceptualization awards that will build towards a full Institutes competition. The NSF expects to release a second solicitation for researchers that don’t participate in the Ideas Lab to compete for a different type of phase I conceptualization award.
The DIRSE program is part of the NSF’s cross-cutting 10 Big Ideas initiative and advances the HDR big idea. Notably, DRISE differs significantly from the Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science (TRIPODS) program, also under the HDR big idea. While TRIPODS institutes are centered around advances in foundations of data science, the DIRSE institutes will be oriented towards the convergence of data science and other fields. Of particular relevance to SIAM, the solicitation specifically emphasizes the importance of facilitating collaboration between domain scientists “working on important data-intensive science and engineering programs” and “data scientists, e.g., computer and computational scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, and information scientists with expertise in different aspects of modeling and data analysis as well as systems and cyberinfrastructure specialists with expertise in open source software development, reproducibility, and transfer learning.” Additionally, note that the NSF Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) will be deeply involved since it appears that a DMS program manager, Nandini Kannan, is serving as the DIRSE program lead.
This solicitation is open to participants from a wide range of disciplines across science and engineering as well as those with expertise in data science disciplines like computer science, computational science, and mathematics. The Ideas Lab will take place April 22- April 26, 2019 near the NSF headquarters in Alexandria, VA. Preliminary proposals, which are required, are due January 28, 2019.