Funding Opportunity: Research in Health Data Science

February 27, 2020

In collaboration with Duke AI Health and Duke Forge, the Duke Department of Medicine is seeking proposals for research in health data science. This request for proposals is designed to fulfill two missions:

  • To grow Department of Medicine faculty involvement in health data science; and
  • To support research that will then be used to improve the quality of care for patients at Duke Health.

The Department is particularly interested in proposals that utilize data from the Duke University Health System. We plan to fund several 1-year awards.

The deadline for submitting proposals is 5:00 PM Eastern time, Friday, April 3rd, 2020.

PLEASE NOTE: The deadline for submitting proposals has been extended to 5:00 PM EDT, Thursday, April 30th.

Selection Process

After proposals have been submitted, an initial review will select the top proposals for Design Workshops.  These roundtable discussions will clarify the study question, assess data needs, and consider statistical and machine learning approaches that would make the project successful. These steps will be followed by a feasibility review, which will include an assessment of available populations and data, IRB needs, and the degree of analytic support required for success. Following the Design Workshops and Feasibility Review, the review committee will select the final projects in the summer of 2020.

Award decisions will be based on:

  • Scientific rationale and innovation
  • Likelihood of impact on patient care
  • Originality of the research question
  • Potential to increase long-term involvement in health data science by the investigator
  • Contribution to proposals for external funding


  • Department of Medicine faculty may submit proposals, but may also include collaborators from outside of their division or the Department of Medicine as part of the project.
  • Multidisciplinary collaborations are encouraged.
  • Proposals likely to result in career development opportunities and future external funding will be favored.


We will provide informatics and statistical support for each project. Up to $40,000 will be available to fund investigator time and other project expenses (training workshops, conferences, etc.).  Funding for analytic support should not be included in this budget. Note: investigators are expected to dedicate at least 1 half-day per week to this project. 

Statistical and Informatics Support

If your team includes an analyst to complete the project, please include a letter of support from the analyst that includes an estimate of the effort they will need to dedicate to the project over the course of the year. This effort will be provided through our central funding and should not be budgeted in the $40,000. 

If you do not have the analytic resources needed for the proposed work, our AI Health/Department of Medicine team will identify appropriate informatics and statistical support during our feasibility review.  These resources will then be funded centrally and available throughout the year.

Deliverables and Expectations

  • All projects will result in an academic manuscript.
  • All final projects will be presented during a Medicine Grand Rounds session. 
  • All PIs will participate in periodic AI Health/DoM Team Conferences where we will share ideas and develop health data science skills.
  • All project teams will meet with our core team every other monthly to discuss progress and facilitate troubleshooting and course-change, when necessary.

Proposal Requirements

Please include the following in your 2-page proposal:

  • Significance of the research question
  • Specific goals of the project
  • Impact on clinical care within Duke Health
  • Data source within Duke Health
  • Approach/methods
  • Potential impact on faculty academic trajectory
  • Timeline
  • Preliminary budget

Proposals should be emailed to Please include the subject line “Research in health data science.”

The deadline for proposal submissions is 5:00 PM Eastern time, Friday, April 3rd, 2020.

PLEASE NOTE: The deadline for submitting proposals has been extended to 5:00 PM EDT, Thursday, April 30th.

Logos for Duke AI Health Institute and the Duke Department of Medicine.