We support research collaborations between data scientists and domain experts.

DSI Seed Funds Program

The DSI Seed Funds Program supports new collaborations that will lead to longer term and deeper relationships among faculty in different disciplines across campus. Aimed at advancing research that combines data science expertise with domain expertise, the program’s funded research should embody the spirit of the Institute’s mission statement.

We are pleased to announce a call for proposals from Columbia University faculty and research staff for DSI Seed Funds. We are actively seeking proposals that represent new collaborations, which ideally lead to future proposal submissions to government, industry, or foundations. We are particularly interested in proposals that address one or more of DSI’s focus areas—Business and Finance, Climate, Foundations of Data Science, Health, and Social Justice—and encourage proposals that address the technical challenges in the fair and ethical use of data.

Statement on Racial Equity
The Data Science Institute is committed to racial equity and justice. Proposals should explicitly state that the project will uphold these values, e.g., stating that the methods used to collect and analyze project data and the project outcomes reported are fair, just, and ethical.

This year, DSI will provide two levels of funding levels. We will be accepting proposals with budgets up to $25,000, as well as proposals with budgets up to $100,000, annually, for a maximum of two years. The $25,000 grants are intended for projects where significant salary support of Ph.D. students, post-docs, or research scientists is not needed. As a condition of funding, awardees will be required to submit quarterly financial reviews and biannual progress reports. Eligibility for continued funding for a second year will also require a progress report. All reports must include progress on external funding proposal submission(s) and other related activities (presentations, publications, etc.). Budgets are encouraged to request support for DSI research scientists (as in last year’s call) and for the University’s Bridge to the Ph.D. Program in STEM program (new for this year’s call).

The Data Science Institute’s research scientists and scholars represent a wide range of expertise, from the foundations of data science to a domain where data science is heavily used. Collaborating with a DSI research scientist or scholar may accelerate your research project. The Bridge to the PhD Program in STEM is a structured post-baccalaureate opportunity with an aim to diversify the STEM professoriate and workforce. By including one of their scholars as part of your DSI Seed Fund research proposal, you are contributing towards increasing pathways for underrepresented students to advance in STEM disciplines. The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement covers 70% of the scholar’s salary and fringe, with 30% (~$17K) expected from the sponsoring PI. Your DSI Seed Fund budget is eligible to cover the PI’s expected cost for sponsoring a scholar.

The Herbert & Florence Irving Institute for Cancer Dynamics
The Data Science Institute and the Herbert and Florence Irving Institute for Cancer Dynamics are collaborating to support up to two seed grants, up to $100,000 annually, for a maximum of two years, that align with their shared mission of improving the understanding of cancer biology, origins, treatment and prevention through data-driven methods and processes. The Institute is particularly interested in candidates that may further advance core research in Statistical and Probabilistic Modeling. If you wish to have your Seed Fund application reviewed for this opportunity as well, please indicate as such on the application cover page (check box).

Proposal Process
The deadline for proposal submission is Monday, November 9, 2020, 3:00 p.m. We will not accept incomplete or late submissions. We anticipate notifying award recipients by December 21, 2020. Please submit materials via email, in .doc or.pdf format, to dsi-seed@columbia.edu, by the Monday, November 9, 2020, 3:00 p.m. deadline.

September 2020 DSI Seed Funds Application


Columbia-IBM Center Seed Funds Program

This partnership with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and supports new research and education projects campus-wide as part of the Columbia-IBM Center on Blockchain and Data Transparency.


DSI Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

We are actively seeking candidates who are recent Ph.D. graduates and have explicit interests in advancing and/or applying data science to other domains.