NOT-RM-20-010 Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Harnessing Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa (DS-I Africa): Research Hubs (U54 – Clinical Trial Optional)
NOT-RM-20-012 Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Harnessing Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa (DS-I Africa): Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications Research (U01 – Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
NOT-RM-20-013 Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Harnessing Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa (DS-I Africa): Open Data Science Platform and Coordinating Center (U2C –Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)
The purpose of this Notice is to inform the research community that the NIH Common Fund, along with its partner NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices, is planning to issue a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to support Research Training awards for a new program entitled Harnessing Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa (DS-I Africa).
This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive Research Training projects. Additionally, this notice informs the research community of a Virtual Symposium Platform that will launch the program and facilitate networking. This FOA will be open to applications from African and U.S. institutions and is expected to be published in Summer 2020, with an expected application due date by November 2020. This FOA will utilize the U2R International Research Training Cooperative Agreement activity code. Details of the planned FOA are provided below.
Data drive scientific discovery. Recent technological advances, in Africa and around the world, have enabled researchers to collect enormous volumes of data. From rural clinics to the most sophisticated genomics laboratories—data are central to our ability to improve health, from delivering care to conducting biomedical research. The collection and analysis of data are fundamental activities that underpin successful biomedical research and translation to clinical and public health benefits. The ability to fully extract useful knowledge from these data will lead to accelerated discoveries and innovations that can impact health in Africa and globally.
NIH is launching the DS-I Africa program to explore how advances in data science applied in the African context can spur new health discoveries and catalyze innovation. This program will leverage existing data and technologies to develop solutions to the continent’s most pressing clinical and public health problems through a robust ecosystem of new partners from academic, government, and private sectors. The DS-I Africa Research Training Program will be a key component of the larger DS-I Africa program, which will also include companion FOAs supporting 1) data science and innovation research hubs, 2) research on ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) issues central to data science health research and innovation in Africa, 3) and development of an open data science platform and coordinating center. As a group, awardees will constitute a collaborative consortium and will work collectively toward strategic objectives designated by the consortium, beyond the individual research objectives of each award. Representatives from each DS-I Africa award will be expected to participate fully in the DS-I Africa Consortium and cross-consortium working groups.
The DS-I Africa Research Training FOA expects to fund approximately four U2R awards to support long-term data science health research and innovation training through graduate degree (master's and/or doctoral) training and faculty development activities. Grantees will train cohorts of African investigators that will have the skills to become independent investigators, research leaders, and research collaborators. The cooperative agreements can either be direct awards to African institutions or awards to U.S. institutions in partnership with African institutions. Regardless of the applicant organization, the training programs must focus on building institutional capacity at one or more African institutions and train African researchers. Partnerships with additional organizations, including for-profit or governmental organizations, are encouraged as a means to provide applied research experiences for the trainees.
Research Training Programs may develop various data science and health tracks or themes and should establish programs that provide core foundational data science and health knowledge and skills along with experiential learning through applied research projects. Additionally, the DS-I Africa Open Science Platform and Coordinating Center will provide opportunities to connect trainees with research experiences developed in the DS-I Africa Research Hubs (see Related Announcements). Proposed institutional research training programs may complement other ongoing research training and career development programs at the African institution(s), but the proposed program must be clearly distinct from related programs currently receiving U.S. government support.
It is expected that meritorious Research Training Program applications will:
$1,400,000 in FY2021
$350,000 total costs per year for five years
Laura Povlich, Ph.D.
Fogarty International Center (FIC)