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NIH's Common Fund Launches Harnessing Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa Program

NIH's Common Fund recently issued Notices of Intent to Publish Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) for its new program, Harnessing Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa (DS-I Africa). This program will leverage data science technologies and prior NIH investments to develop solutions to the continent’s most pressing public health problems through a robust ecosystem of new partners from the academic, government, and private sectors. These FOAs will support data science and innovation research hubs focused on key health problems; data science training programs; research projects that examine ethical, legal, and social implications of data science research in Africa; and development of an open data science platform and coordinating center.

These FOAs will be open to the following groups:

  • African academic and other non-profit organizations in partnership with the private sector, government, NGO, and other research partners (from Africa or other parts of the world)
  • U.S. applicants in strong partnership with African institutions (applicable for the data science training program FOA)

The estimated publication date for these four FOAs is July 10, 2020, and the first estimated application due date is November 24, 2020.  

As a part of the launch of this new program, NIH is also hosting a DS-I Africa Virtual Symposium Platform. This online resource will include information about the FOAs and engage participants in robust scientific sessions that examine the state of data science in Africa. It will include tools that facilitate networking across disciplines, sectors, and geographies. It will also include pre-recorded keynote videos and interactive webinars with leading data scientists as well as an online networking community that enables participants to interact with each other. Additional information and a registration process will be added to the Virtual Symposium Platform in June 2020, with online events taking place in August 2020. All virtual events are free and open to the public.

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