NSERC Participating in New Digging Into Data Challenge Competition


Digging into Data Challenge


This an opportunity to support research projects that use "big data" to address questions in the social and natural sciences, humanities and engineering. This research is expected to involve sets of data so large and/or complex that traditional processing applications are inadequate. These data sets can include sources such as texts, images, music, photographs, audio or audiovisual data. The projects must involve both social sciences or humanities partners and partners outside of Canada.


Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada,  Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies/Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et culture (FRQNT/FRQSC) and launched by the Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP)


NSERC will fund the computer science and mathematics component of up to six projects with up to $100,000. The projects must involve both social sciences or humanities partners and partners outside of Canada. SSHRC-eligible partners can also apply for up to $100,000 for the project (up to six projects funded). If the project lead is based in Quebec, the project leader can apply to the FRQSC/FRQNT for an additional supplement of up to $75,000, bring the total maximum Canadian funding for a project to $275,000. 

Maximum Project Value

$100,000 plus supplementary funds depending on the eligibility of participating partners.

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

Each international project will have a duration ranging between 24 (twenty-four) and 36 (thirty-six) months.

Special Notes

The Digging into Data Challenge has been funding cutting-edge digital research in the humanities and social sciences since 2009. Now under the auspices of T-AP, the program will support collaborative research teams from three continents: Europe (Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal (to be confirmed) and the United Kingdom); North America (Canada, Mexico, the United States); and South America (Brazil and Argentina). A "team" is a group of principal investigators from at least three of the participating countries. Because this is a "trans-Atlantic" grant program, your team must have PIs on both sides of the Atlantic.

Internal Deadline

Please submit your application/proposal, along with an OR-5 Form to research.services@uoguelph.ca

External Deadline

How To Apply

Application procedure

6.1 Applications must be received by June 29, 2016 and must be submitted via the online submission system hosted by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), http://www.diggingintodata.org/.
6.2 The coordinator of each transatlantic project partnership must submit the joint research proposal on behalf of the whole partnership.
6.3 Applications must be submitted in English
6.4 Researchers can participate in no more than 2 (two) applications and submit only 1 (one) application as main Principal Investigator/coordinator.
6.5 Applications that are late, incomplete, or ineligible will not be reviewed
6.6 Please consult the relevant National Eligibility Requirements before applying.
6.7 All research teams are strongly advised to contact their relevant Funding Organisations at least four weeks before the application deadline to check the eligibility of the national teams involved.

Information for Co-applicants

If you need to meet a deadline set by the lead institution for this opportunity, please ensure that you provide the Office of Research with at least five days in advance of the lead institution’s deadline to review the application, or your proposed component of the project. Please be in touch with the Office of Research (contact information below) ahead of the deadline if it looks like it will be difficult for you to submit all the required documentation on time (i.e. budget, proposal, OR-5 Form).

For More Information

For additional information, please visit the program’s websites for


Note the Canada-specific documentation here:

For Questions, please contact

Follow @DiggingIntoData on Twitter for news and announcements

For questions, please contact:

SSHRC - Mika Oehling (mika.oehling@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca)
FRQSC/ FRQNT - Étienne Carbonneau (etienne.carbonneau@frq.gouv.qc.ca)
NSERC - Dave Bowen (dave.bowen@nserc.crsng.gc.ca

Katie Meyer Beck, Contracts Manager
Office of Research, Research Support Services
519-824-4120 x54059