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Courtesy of

Data-Driven Discovery

Investigator Awards

Our Data-Driven Discovery Initiative seeks to advance the people and practices of data-intensive science, to take advantage of the increasing volume, velocity, and variety of scientific data to make new discoveries. Within this initiative, we’re supporting data-driven discovery investigators – individuals who exemplify multidisciplinary, data-driven science, coalescing natural sciences with methods from statistics and computer science.
We held a competition in 2014 to select 14 innovators who are striking out in new directions and are willing to take risks with the potential of huge payoffs in some aspect of data-intensive science. We awarded each investigator $1.5M for five years of research.

2014 Investigator Competition

Successful applicants made a strong case for developments in the natural sciences (biology, physics, astronomy, etc.) or science enabling methodologies (statistics, machine learning, scalable algorithms, etc.), and applicants that credibly combine the two were especially encouraged. Note that the Science Program does not fund disease targeted research.

Download the 2-page solicitation here.

A list of frequently asked questions can be downloaded here.



  • Open call for pre-applications: Jan 15 – Feb 24, 2014

  • Notices/Invites sent for full application: Apr 15

  • Invited full applications: Apr 15 – May 13

  • Notices/Invites sent for in-person talks: Jul 1

  • Invited talks: Jul 28 - 29

  • Final award decisions communicated: September

  • Public announcement  of 14 Investigators: October 2, 2014


Future Investigator Competitions

We have no plans for future Investigator Awards at this time.


If you have questions about the Investigator Award competition, please email us at:


Read more about the Data-Driven Discovery Initiative

Read more about the Data-Driven Discovery Investigators

Read more about the Data-Driven Discovery Initiative's Data Science Environments

Watch the data science partnership announcement (courtesy of NSF):


Sponsored by the White House, the Data to Knowledge to Action event unveiled new, high-impact collaborations among federal agencies, private industry, academia, state and local governments, non-profits, and foundations.