Open Call for Ideas

Open Call for Ideas


The Data Science TAE supports all areas of data science and its applications in research, education, community engagement and infrastructure building. While the DS-TAE has a seed grant competition every year, its Steering Committee appreciates that good ideas and fund needs can arise anywhere at any time. Responsiveness and accessibility are critical for TAE support to the data science community on campus. This open call for ideas aims to create an “open door” through which the DS-TAE can hear new ideas, listen to new voices and respond more quickly to time-sensitive opportunities.

The Data Science TAE is calling for ideas to make investments and meet critical needs in our community. Examples of ideas that it will consider include, but are not limited to:

  • Acquisition of equipment, IT service for computing and storage, software and database subscriptions, cloud computing services, etc.
  • Establishment of or improvement to a significant database, data set or data repository.
  • Funding of career development activities (including travel to conferences, funding agencies or collaborators; registration fees for short courses; publication fees, etc.)
  • Organization of a conference, a workshop, a symposium or other networking and community-building event.
  • Organization of an invited speaker talk in data science foundations as well as broad topic areas such as data visualization, GIS and spatial data, data analysis, text mining, text analysis, social media mining, network analysis, quantitative methods, data justice, data ethics, etc.
  • Organization of a guest lecture or workshop that trains graduate students and faculty in critical techniques and topic areas such as those mentioned above.

Ideas submitted through the Open Call are not full proposals with traditional requirements. Rather, they are brief but carefully constructed concepts submitted through a user-friendly inquiry process. There is no set limit on the requested funds, but we anticipate that most projects will cost less than $5,000. Ideas should be sent to Xingye Qiao, the chair of the DS-TAE Steering Committee, by email at qiao@math.binghamton.edu. The Steering Committee will receive and review ideas on a rolling basis, upon funding availability; ideas submitted before Dec. 6, 2021 will receive full consideration.

Eligibility and selection criteria

Ideas may be submitted by any faculty, staff or student in the Binghamton University community, but students’ ideas should include a support letter from their faculty advisors if funding requests are involved.

The successful proposal should address the following aspects when applicable:

  • How well the concept addresses an unmet need in research, education, community engagement or infrastructure.
  • How the concept will have impacts on individuals, the University and/or the community at-large.
  • Identification of the partners with whom the submitter can collaborate to implement the proposed idea.
  • Whether there are any other opportunities and entities that could share the cost of the project. (For travels and short courses, we anticipate cost-sharing from the department or other University units; we encourage students to explore other existing funding opportunities for traveling.)
  • When applicable, how the project broadens participation and access to data science and computing among underrepresented groups and disciplines not traditionally associated with data science and computing.

For example, a proposal to acquire some computing equipment should include estimated cost, estimated number of users and should address the project’s potential to increase funded research efforts and to increase access to computing through educational activities, etc. The submitter should also have a brief plan about how the equipment will be maintained, how to make the equipment accessible to the campus and also should identify key partners in the effort. 

Based on merits of the ideas, the Data Science TAE Steering Committee will make recommendations on funding, or, in many cases, request more details from the idea submitters.