2022 Call for Proposals

MIDAS is pleased to announce the 2022 round of pilot funding!

Important Dates

  • 11:59 pm, March 4, 2022: Letters of intent due
  • 11:59 pm, April 15, 2022:  Full proposals due
  • June 27, 2022: Awards announced
  • By July 30, 2022: Projects start
Apply Here

Scientific Scope

MIDAS will fund data science and artificial intelligence (AI) research that develops theoretical foundations, methodology and tools, and innovative application of proposed methodologies. Specifically, proposals should align with the research “pillars” that are MIDAS focus areas for this round.

  • Responsible Research Pillar – Enhancing Scientific and Societal Impact: Integrating methodologies and tools to enable responsible data science and AI research and enhance its scientific impact; applying data science and AI methodologies and tools to inform policy and promote social good.
  • Data Pillar – Measuring and Improving Society: developing and using data science and AI methods to enable new opportunities to better understand society through new data interfaces such as sensors and digital traces (including social media and other digital transactions).
  • Analytics Pillar – Transforming Health Interventions: enabling the transformation of health interventions through the use of cutting edge data science and AI methods, such as sequential decision-making and integrative modeling of complex systems to enable insights from multiple types of data.
  • Emerging Pillar – Cultivating New Strengths: research in areas that are, or are expected to be, national priorities and / or U-M strengths, and can be significantly boosted with data science and AI.
  • Methodological Foundations – Advancing Data Science and AI methodologies in ways that could have downstream benefits for these pillars.

Research Impact

We are particularly interested in funding pioneering work that promises broad impact, major expansion, and / or contributes to the U-M data science and AI research ecosystem. Proposers are encouraged to describe the following, as appropriate.

  • Follow-on expansion: A concrete plan to submit a major external grant application within one year of receiving PODS funding would be a strong indication, though not the only one, of the potential for further expansion. For example, the research team may articulate how to use this pilot grant to prepare a grant proposal, including obtaining preliminary data, testing a prototype, or filling other gaps to strengthen the external grant application. In the transition plan (see “How to Apply”), applicants may identify the specific target grant opportunity and the application timeline. 
  • Future impact: Applicants should articulate how the line of research started with the PODS funding will in the long run have major implications for a research field or a national / regional priority topic.
  • Contributing to the U-M data science and AI research ecosystem: Examples of such proposals include, but are not limited to, building datasets with the explicit goal of enabling new projects by other U-M researchers; developing methodologies and disseminating them to other U-M researchers; or research activities that connect research groups / units through the novel use of data science and AI methods.

Award Details

8-10 projects will be awarded for a duration of 12-18 months, based on a competitive process. Two models of funding are available: 1) $10K-30K, MIDAS will provide 100% of the funding, with no cost-share required.  2) $30K-$70K, with cost-share above the first $30K in a ratio of 1:1. For example, if you request $70K, your cost-share portion will be $20K and MIDAS will provide $30K base + $20K cost-share match = $50K. The project team is responsible for securing cost-share from individual research accounts or unit contributions. Please email midas-research@umich.edu for questions regarding the cost-share.

In addition, we expect projects that can benefit through the use of Google Cloud Platform or Microsoft Azure will receive free credits, courtesy of Google and Microsoft. Please request this in the grant proposal as an addendum to your budget.

How to Apply

Who May Apply: Principal Investigators (PIs) and co-PIs should be U-M (Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Flint) researchers who are eligible to apply for federal grants, and should not have been a PI or co-PI of a MIDAS grant awarded on or after May 2020. An individual may participate as PI/co-PI on only one proposal. Co-investigators, consultants and other personnel are not limited by this restriction. All PIs and co-PIs should be MIDAS affiliate members.

Important Dates:

  • 11:59 pm, March 4, 2022: Letters of intent due
  • 11:59 pm, April 15, 2022:  Full proposals due
  • June 27, 2022: Awards announced
  • By July 30, 2022: Projects start

How to Apply:
Letters of intent should be submitted through Infoready. The letters are for MIDAS planning purposes only, and will be approved to submit full proposals, provided the submitters are eligible. The letter should be one .pdf file containing the following:

  1. The tentative title of the proposal.
  2. The names and affiliations of the PI and co-PIs (co-PIs may change in the full proposal).
  3. An abstract (up to 300 words), including which pillar(s) the proposal is aligned with (must be one of the 5 listed above in “Scientific Scope”) and the dimensions in which the project will have impact (such as the three listed above in “Research Impact”, or others not listed).

The full proposal should be one .pdf file submitted through Infoready, containing the following components. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

  1. Project summary, up to three sentences in non-technical language. This will be made public (for example, on MIDAS website) if the project is awarded.
  2. Up to six keywords.
  3. An abstract (up to 300 words), including which pillar(s) the proposal is aligned with (must be one of the 5 listed above in “Scientific Scope”) and the dimensions in which the project will have impact (such as the three listed above in “Research Impact”, or others not listed).
  4. Project description, up to 6 pages, with the font size of 10 or above. This should include the following components in any order or format, Specific Aims, background, significance and innovation, and methods.
  5. A transition plan (up to ½ page) that describes the strategy for follow-on funding and activities, such as external grants, continuing research plan, data products and/or commercialization.
  6. A Statement of Societal Impact (up to ½ page) that describes how this project will benefit the society, and, if any, potential negative impact that needs to be mitigated.
  7. References (no page limit).
  8. Biosketch in NSF or NIH format for all senior personnel. In addition, all U-M internal grant awards received since 2017 should be listed (this can be on an additional page).
  9. A detailed budget and budget justification. You may use our template or any other template of your choice. Effort budgeting follows the NIH salary cap of $203,700, (i.e. If direct salary is >$203,700 then the effort proportion is calculated using this figure). Only U-M personnel may have funded effort on the project. 
  10. If applicable, proof of cost-share (such as a letter from the department chair or a statement about the PI’s research account).
  11. If an IRB is required for the project, include a description of the status of the IRB application.

Before submission, applicants are welcome to discuss with MIDAS 1) how we can support their external proposal regardless of whether they receive our pilot funding; 2) if they would like MIDAS to help identify interdisciplinary collaborators; and 3) how to collaborate with MIDAS to build synergy and for dissemination of research outcomes.

Review Criteria

  • Innovative concept and/or approach;
  • The significance of the research questions;
  • The fit with at least one of the “pillars”;
  • Establishment of a new collaboration across disciplines;
  • Likelihood of success;
  • Impact on the research field and on the U-M data science and AI research ecosystem;
  • Potential for major expansion, external funding and/or commercialization.

Post-Award Expectations

  • All teams will be expected to present at MIDAS events and participate in MIDAS activities for data science research, training and community building. 
  • All publications, public presentations and products from this award should acknowledge MIDAS.

Have questions? Please contact midas-research@umich.edu.