One of the primary missions of the University of Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS) is to foster innovative and groundbreaking multi-disciplinary research in data science across the three U-M campuses. MIDAS has launched major research initiatives in data science focused on transportation science, learning analytics, health science and social science.

Up to $10M of funding will be awarded to proposals in these Challenge Thrusts based on a competitive process involving submission of a white paper, followed by invitation to submit a full proposal. A total of 8 proposals will be funded at a level of approximately $1.25M each. A successful research proposal will involve a multi-disciplinary team engaged in research that will both have disruptive impact on a relevant thrust application and significantly advance the methodological foundations of data science. The ultimate intent of the MIDAS challenge initiatives is to stimulate research activities that can be leveraged into successful external funding proposals from government, private foundations, or industry.

Round Two Funding

RFPs Released, Town Halls scheduled

Requests for proposals in Data Science for Health Science (download RFP) and Social Science (download RFP) have been released.

Town hall meetings took place in spring 2016:

  • MIDAS leadership presented an overview of this funding solicitation.
  • U-M faculty recognized as domain experts and active in Health Sciences or Social Sciences research presented on a significant problem and/or data set(s) relevant to the MIDAS Challenge Thrust Program.
  • Representatives from CSCAR and ARC-TS presented on data science services and infrastructure available to support research projects.
  • Potential industry partners made presentations on possible collaborations.

Presentations from the town halls are available on industry partnership, data sciences services and infrastructure, domain-relevant datasets, and more.


  • February 16: Request for Solicitations released
  • March – May: Town halls held
  • Thursday, June 30, 2016: White Papers due
  • Friday, July 22, 2016: Invitations to submit Full Proposals communicated
  • Monday, October 17, 2016: Full Proposal due
  • January 2017: Awards announced

Submitting Your Proposal

Project teams invited to submit a full proposal in response to the Round 2 Funding solicitations should prepare a single pdf that contains proposal title page, technical volume, references, budget, budget justification, biographical sketches and letters confirming cost share.  The full proposal format and requirements are described in the Round 2 Funding solicitations.

Proposals should be submitted via email to no later than 11:59:59 pm on Monday, October 17, 2016.  Receipt of submitted proposals will be communicated to project PIs on Tuesday, October 18, 2016.

Round 1 Funding (closed)

Requests for proposals in Data Science for Transportation Science and Learning Analytics were released in Fall 2015. Presentations from the Round 1 Town Hall Meetings featured potential industry partners, available data science services and infrastructure and domain-relevant data sets.

The funded proposals in transportation and learning analytics were announced in June.