Data Science Grants @ Brown

We are currently no longer accepting proposals for this year. Please check back in fall 2019, as we expect to be accepting proposals again then. 

Brown's Data Science Initiative offers internal grants for collaborative projects that support our mission, namely to 

  • facilitate and conduct both domain-driven and fundamental research in data science;
  • increase data fluency and educate the next generation of data scientists; 
  • explore the impact of the data revolution on culture, society, and social justice.

We are particularly interested in funding new initiatives and collaborations, and will not fund the continuation of existing research projects. If you have questions after reading this information, please contact us.

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Brown faculty and postdoctoral fellows are eligible to apply. We also welcome applications from undergraduate and graduate students if submitted through a faculty sponsor. We plan to fund both small and larger grant proposals. Please note that we do not provide funding for faculty salaries. We anticipate having $200 – $250k available in FY19.


We fund proposals that

  • initiate a new interdisciplinary research direction or catalyze new collaborations across disciplines or units, potentially leading to a competitive external grant proposal;
  • advance Brown’s educational goals in data science; or 
  • explore the impact of the data revolution on culture, society, and social justice.

Successful proposals should address at least one of these criteria.


Proposals should be 1-5 pages long and address the following:

  • Context and background
  • Project summary
  • How does your proposal address our criteria? What is new and why should we fund you?
  • What are your measures of success?
  • Timeline and budget (including budget justification)

Please write your proposal with a broad audience of researchers in mind. We encourage applicants to list a few potential reviewers (at Brown) in their proposal. Please submit proposals to [email protected].

Review process

Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis. Proposals will be reviewed by a DSI committee (potentially plus other Brown ad hoc reviewers). We will evaluate the criteria mentioned above, the anticipated risks and rewards of the proposed project, and the budget in the decision process.

Successful applicants will be expected to

  • provide a brief description with an image for the DSI website;
  • work with a DSI liaison to keep track of progress (for large projects only);
  • attend a 2 hour annual gathering of grant recipients (and give a short talk or poster presentation);
  • provide a written 1-2 page final report of findings and outcomes.

Examples of funded activities

Projects that we would be interested in funding include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Working lunches/discussion groups to bring together colleagues from different units or disciplines to work on a competitive grant proposal or develop new research directions
  • Preliminary data collection and analysis for preparing an external funding proposal
  • Purchase of data from Twitter or subscription-based data providers, for instance to facilitate an undergraduate research project or course
  • Graduate student or postdoc funding, for initiating a new interdisciplinary data science research project
  • Course development of co-taught courses at the interface between data science and the humanities
  • Data science bootcamps for undergraduate or graduate students in the humanities, life, or social sciences
  • Bringing in high-profile visitors for lectures or collaboration