See our main Community Development and Engagement program page for more information. Please contact us directly at if your questions are not answered below.

Q: Where do I find the MBDH Priority and Crosscutting Theme Areas?

Midwest Big Data Hub website

Q: Where do I submit my proposal?

Please use our EasyChair Submission process.

Q: What do I need to include in my proposal?

Our Proposal Template (.docx file) specifies the information you need to include.

Q: When are proposal submissions due?

The submission period closes July 24, 2020. 

Q: How many awards do you expect to make this call?

We anticipate making 3 to 5 awards in this cycle, with other submission cycles potentially occurring later in the year, subject to availability of funds.

Q: When are awardees notified?

We expect to notify awardees by August 28, 2020.

Q: What is the maximum budget allowed for this call?

The maximum budget allowed is $25,000.

Q: What information should I include in my budget?

Budgets should include all coordination, event planning, or facilitation elements that the MBDH would be coordinating on behalf of the proposers, clearly separated from elements that are in the proposer’s control. 

The time commitment or level of effort you are requesting from the MBDH is more important to estimate than the dollar amount.

Institutional indirect costs are not permitted for this program.

Proposers must follow NSF PAPPG rules, including developing codes of conduct for events.

Q: What specifically am I awarded if my proposal is accepted?

Awards will be made in the form of activity planning support, administrative and logistical support, event facilitation, and other in-kind coordination by the MBDH staff. Participant support for attendees (especially students and qualifying speakers) may be available for some activities.

Logistics will be coordinated by the MBDH on behalf of successful proposers if those services are not available from the proposers’ home institutions. No direct funding will be awarded to the proposers.

PIs and their team will be responsible for defining the scope and goals of the activity, developing the program or project plan, inviting speakers and attendees, and carrying out the intellectual work of the activity. 

Q: What type of events/activities are covered by this call?

We welcome your innovative ideas! Proposals submitted for Community Development and Engagement (CDE) activities could include, but are not limited to:

  • • Proposal development workshops that address capacity building in one or more of the MBDH Priority Areas, or which help the Hub move toward long-term sustainability. These could include NSF solicitations related to the Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) program, or other relevant programs at NSF, other funding agencies, or foundations.
  • • Development of curricula or best practices for online data science education to address workforce development opportunities, particularly for nontraditional students.
  • • Activities around research data management topics, such as developing data-sharing agreements, data-quality standards and best practices, or use cases for interdisciplinary data collaboration.
  • • Domain expert-driven hackathons and data challenges, particularly those focused on student mentoring and skill development.
  • • Summer Institutes for data-science education, including for early-career researchers.
  • • Train-the-Trainer events on data science topics that focus on one of the MBDH Priority Areas.
  • • Efforts to extend data-science training and workforce development to nontraditional students, such as local government employees and community organizations such as nonprofits, or to members of underrepresented groups.

Events that aim at multiple outcomes can also apply.

Q: What types of proposals are preferred?

Preference will be given to activities or events occurring within the 12-state Midwest region, and which are open to participants from outside the host institution.

Successful proposals will help to reduce the friction between the development and use of data and data infrastructure and will help build capacity in data science expertise in the Midwest through workforce development, training, and education.

Q: Is there a geographic restriction on who can be a PI/co-PI?

Lead proposer(s) (PI) must be primarily affiliated with an academic, governmental, or nonprofit organization within the 12-state Midwest Big Data Hub region (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin).

Q: Can there be other sponsors for the event/activity?

Yes, gathering support from other sponsors is highly recommended, since the Community Development and Engagement funds may not cover the totality of costs associated with the organization of the activity (for example, salary time spent by PIs and organizers need to be covered by the home institution/organization). Registration fees for events are not allowed.

Q: Can activities scheduled more than a year away apply for CDE funding? 

Activities should be completed within 18 months of award. Due to the current outbreak of COVID-19, virtual events and activities are encouraged. The MBDH Seed Fund Steering Committee may review its guidelines regarding award completion as the situation evolves.

Q: Who should I contact with other questions?

Please email