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T-AP Digging into Data Challenge 2016

The Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) has launched a groundbreaking pilot programme: the T-AP Digging into Data Challenge. Formed on the basis of previous successful collaborations, the Challenge is aimed at supporting projects that address social science and/or humanities research questions through the development and innovative application of tools and methods for capturing and analysing “big data”.

The T-AP, an EU-funded Platform encouraging and facilitating increased cooperation between funding agencies in Europe and the Americas, has enabled the Digging into Data Challenge to be expanded in terms of the number of funders (from ten to 16), the number of countries (from four to 11), and the overall ambition of the scheme. Whilst the core goal of Digging into Data remains the same – to help create the new research infrastructure for 21st-century scholarship –an increasingly digital and interconnected world presents new challenges of scale that require specific attention in order to unlock their research potential.

This exciting opportunity is open to international projects comprised of teams from at least three participating countries seeking to address any social science/humanities research question by using large-scale, digital data analysis techniques, and show how these techniques can lead to new insights.

The T-AP Digging into Data Challenge is open to any project that addresses research questions in the humanities and/or social sciences by using techniques of large-scale digital data analysis and shows how these new techniques can lead to new theoretical insights. It is specifically aiming to advance multidisciplinary collaborative projects in digital scholarship that seek new perspectives and insights. Proposals may address any research question in the humanities and/or social sciences, utilising any data source to do so. Examples of research challenges that may be considered in projects include (but are not limited to):

  • Interpreting data: using data-based analysis, modelling and simulation techniques to gain new insights into how an increasingly connected and digital world is changing the ways in which groups and individuals are interacting, including but not limited to the creation and development of creative, cultural, and societal processes and phenomena, as well as analysis of historical trends and linguistic change.
  • Novel application of data: using one or more data sources which were not originally designed/generated/collected for research purposes, for example open data/open source systems or ‘live’ data generated in real-time, either alone or in combination to address humanities and/or social science research questions.
  • Employing multi-form and/or multi-source data in research: exploring the potential for calibration, combination and interoperability of datasets in two or more different formats and/or from two or more different sources in order to address humanities and/or social science research questions.

For examples of projects that have been approved in the past in Digging into Data Challenges, see diggingintodata.org. Note, however, that in these calls the prospect of answering pertinent social sciences and/or humanities research questions was not yet an evaluation criterion.

The UK funding bodies are the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), who are making a total of £1M available for this activity. The AHRC are committing £500,000 and the ESRC £500,000. Any number of eligible UK institutions can form a combined UK team and the partners should identify one institution as the lead.

Awards are up to £150,000 (full fEC) for applications from a single UK institution. If multiple UK institutions are collaborating on a single application, then the maximum award is increased to £200,000 (full fEC). Please see the Request for Proposals (RFP) for more details.

Applicants must apply as a transnational research project partnership. Each transnational project is a partnership among a number of national research teams based in any of the participating T-AP Digging into Data countries listed above. Each project must:

  • consist of at least three eligible research teams based in at least three of the participating T-AP Digging into Data countries;
  • include teams from both sides of the Atlantic, i.e., from Europe and the Americas;
  • include teams led by an eligible Principal Investigator; if more than one team from the same country is participating in the same proposal, they must work together and designate one single Principal Investigator; and
  • designate one of the Principal Investigators as the project’s main Principal Investigator/coordinator.

Each international project will have a duration ranging between 24 (twenty-four) and 36 (thirty-six) months.

The deadline for proposals is 29th June 2016. No application received after this time will be considered for funding.

Grants may commence from June 2017.