Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs (BD Hubs): Accelerating the Big Data Innovation Ecosystem

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

NSF's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) initiated the National Network of Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs (BD Hubs) program in FY 2015 (NSF 15-562). Four Big Data Hubs (BD Hubs)—Midwest, Northeast,South, and West—were established, one in each of the four Census Regions of the United States[1]. The BD Hubs provide the ability to engage local or regional stakeholders, e.g., city, county, and state governments, local industry and non-profits, and regional academic institutions, in big data research, and permit a focus on regional issues. These collaborative activities and partnerships play a critical role in building and sustaining a successful national big data innovation ecosystem.

This solicitation continues the operation of a national network of BD Hubs. It builds on demonstrated strengths of the program, which has grown to include a set of BD Spokes affiliated with the BD Hubs, and is responsive to the recent developments in data science. For instance, the recently released report on Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine exemplifies the urgency of multi-faceted education and training in data science. The BD Hubs will continue to nucleate regional collaborations and multi-sector projects, while fostering innovation in data science.

The NSF BD Hubs program is aligned with NSF’s Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) Big Idea, one of NSF’s 10 Big Ideas for Future Investment. HDR is a visionary, national-scale activity to enable new modes of data-driven discovery, allowing fundamentally new questions to be asked and answered in science and engineering frontiers, generating new knowledge and understanding, and accelerating discovery and innovation. The HDR vision is realized via a coordinated set of program solicitations resulting in an ecosystem of interrelated activities enabling (i) research in the foundations of data science; frameworks, algorithms, and systems for data science; and data-driven research in science and engineering; (ii) advanced cyberinfrastructure; and (iii) education and workforce development—all of which are designed to amplify the intrinsically multidisciplinary nature of the data science challenge. The HDR Big Idea will establish theoretical, technical, and ethical data science frameworks, and apply them to practical problems in science and engineering, and in society more generally.

Please note that this particular solicitation is not meant to be a source of funding for new research. Other funding opportunities relevant to the NSF HDR Big Idea include, but are not limited to, Critical Techniques, Technologies and Methodologies for Advancing Foundations and Applications of Big Data Sciences and Engineering (BIGDATA)Cyberinfrastructure for Sustained Scientific Innovation (CSSI) - Data and Software: Elements and FrameworksResource Implementations for Data Intensive Research in the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (RIDIR); and Partnerships between Science and Engineering Fields and the NSF TRIPODS Institutes (TRIPODS + X).

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 1


  • Duke Internal Deadline: October 18, 2018 Extended to November 5, 2018.
  • Full Proposal Deadline Date:    December 18, 2018

If the internal deadline has passed and you are interested in this opportunity, please email Anastasia Maddox at to find out if it is still open.

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) - Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members. Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US campus.
  • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.
  • State and Local Governments: State educational offices or organizations and local school districts.
  • Other Federal Agencies and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs): Contact the appropriate program before preparing a proposal for submission.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 1. An organization may only submit one proposal.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 1

The PI may be affiliated with only one proposal in this competition, and may not serve as PI, co-PI, or senior personnel on any other proposal in this competition. These eligibility constraints will be strictly enforced in order to treat everyone fairly and consistently. In the event that an individual exceeds this limit, the proposal received within the limit will be accepted based on the earliest date and time of proposal submission (i.e., the first proposal submitted will be accepted and the remainder will be returned without review). No exceptions will be made.



Amount Description

Estimated Number of Awards: 4

Up to four awards are anticipated.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $16,000,000

Up to four projects will be funded, each up to a maximum of $4,000,000 for up to 4 years, subject to the availability of funds and quality of proposals received.

Funding Type





Community Outreach and Engagement
Curriculum Development
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Social Sciences

Internal Nomination

Owing to the sponsor's restriction on the number of applications that may be submitted from Duke, anyone wishing to pursue nomination should submit the following materials as one PDF.

* A letter of support from dean/chair - 1 to 1.5 pages
* Project summary - 1 page
* NSF Biosketch of PI

Please submit internal materials through My Research Proposal. (Code ILN)

Instructions for setting up your account and uploading internal applications can be found here:

Internal Deadline

November 5, 2018

External Deadline

December 18, 2018