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Early-stage ideas are often too risky for traditional funding sources and require support to demonstrate feasibility and preliminary results. This is particularly important for projects that are interdisciplinary, ambitious, and expand the boundaries of existing scholarship.

CDAC Discovery Grants

Discovery Grants provide risk-tolerant seed funding for innovative data science projects intended to achieve a clear impact on major scientific, scholarly, and societal questions.

Grant recipients will also benefit from a suite of resources designed to help projects scale:

  • Identification of follow on funding: assistance in developing customized, long-term plans for securing external funding in subsequent stages of the project.
  • Interdisciplinary networks: access to our network of academic, civic, government, and industry connections.
  • Community: engagement with the University data science community and beyond, through quarterly receptions for all grant cohorts, workshops, and speaker series.
  • Communications: amplification of research results through our website, news articles, and events.
  • Student & technical talent: identification of talented students through our summer internship program and access to technical staff.

Visit our research page to learn more about our project’s investigators, outcomes, and discoveries.

Our Autumn 2019 cycle has closed. We will announce the next call for CDAC Discovery Grant proposals in mid-2020. Join our mailing list to receive information about the 2020 application process. You can review our most recent RFP here

AI + Science Grants

Research funding for AI + Science research projects among the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago. You can review our most recent RFP here to learn about upcoming deadlines.

Visit our research initiative page to learn more about our project’s investigators, outcomes, and discoveries. Digital Transformation Institute

The University of Chicago is one of six universities joining with Microsoft and in this new consortium for accelerating artificial intelligence innovation and advancing its benefits for business, government, and society. CDAC helps UChicago scientists connect with each other and peers at the other partner institutions to create strong research proposals for DTI initiatives.

The Institute’s first call for proposals focuses on using AI to abate the spread of COVID-19 and advance the knowledge, science, and technologies for mitigating the impact of future pandemics. You can read more information about this research award program at

If you have a potential project and need help identifying a collaborator at UChicago, please contact Julia Lane, Executive Director of CDAC, , with a brief description of the project and research question of interest. If you need help coordinating and preparing the proposal, please contact Elena Zinchenko, Executive Director of Research Development Support.

You can also submit an idea to the C3DTI Team Matchmaking: Collaboration Inventory.  Complete the form to indicate interest in collaborating on a proposal to the C3DTI’s first call for proposals and access the spreadsheet of all potential collaborators. This collaboration inventory is open to anyone with PI status from any of the universities that are part of the consortium (University of Chicago, MIT, Princeton University, UIUC, Carnegie Mellon University).