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 submit my proposal?

Please submit via email to

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

Our Proposal Template (.docx file) specifies the information you need to include, but see the answers below for additional guidance.

Q: When are proposal submissions due?

This call has a rolling deadline for submissions. Please notify us ( that you intend to develop a proposal before submitting.

Q: How many projects do you expect to support with this call?

We anticipate supporting 4–6 projects in this cycle.

Q: When will proposers be notified of the review committee’s decision?

We expect to notify applicants of acceptance or decline within 30 days of proposal submission.

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

Project activities will be supported with funding of up to $35,000. In addition, MBDH can provide amplification of project activities through our communications channels. Proposers must follow NSF PAPPG rules, including developing codes of conduct for events.

Details of budgetary support requested should be included in the Proposal Template (.docx file). We encourage proposers from small institutions of higher education, MSIs, and TCUs to include salary support in their budgets if that is a deciding factor in their ability to participate.

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

The maximum budget allowed for this call is $35,000.

Q: What information should I include in my requested support?

Your requested support should include (1) an itemized breakdown of project personnel with their responsibilities and effort and associated monetary amount requested and (2) an itemized breakdown of any non-personnel expenses and the associated monetary amount requested.

Q: Can indirect costs be included in a proposal budget?

Indirect costs (sometimes called “Facilities and Administrative” or “F&A” costs) are allowed if the lead institution has prohibitions on accepting awards without them. Since the funding is for community-building work rather than basic or applied research, proposers should check with the lead institution’s sponsored research office about using an “Other Sponsored Activities” rate, which is often available for non-research activities and tends to be much lower than the standard research rate.

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

This call is focused on community-building activities. Research projects by individual investigators are not in scope for this program. Proposals submitted for Community Development and Engagement (CDE) activities could include, but are not limited to, activities such as:

  • • Development of curricula or best practices for online data science education to address workforce development opportunities, including underrepresented and nontraditional students.
  • • Activities that convene stakeholders around “data for social good” topics, such as building capacity for community resilience around climate, water, and health issues.
  • • Activities that convene stakeholders around research data management topics, such as developing data sharing agreements, data quality standards and best practices, or use cases for interdisciplinary data collaboration. These should support the FAIR and CARE principles.
  • • Proposals for matching industry internships in the MBDH Priority Areas to foster longer-term relationships or to develop student workforce pipelines, especially for underserved institutions.
  • • Partnerships between academia, industry, and/or government that focus on domain expert-driven hackathons and data challenges, particularly those focused on student mentoring and skill development.

The CDE projects awarded in rounds 1, 2, and 3 are examples of relevant activities, but we encourage proposers to think creatively.

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?

The lead proposer/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). Proposers who are currently funded by the NSF BD Hubs program must have collaborators from other, non-funded institutions on their proposals.

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 support?

Activities should be completed within 12 months of award.

Q: Who should I contact with other questions?

Please email