Original Announcement of the Round One (2009) Competition: The Digging into Data Challenge is an international grant competition sponsored by four leading research agencies, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) from the United Kingdom, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) from the United States, the National Science Foundation (NSF) from the United States, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) from Canada. What is the "challenge" we speak of? The idea behind the Digging into Data Challenge is to answer the question "what do you do with a million books?" Or a million pages of newspaper? Or a million photographs of artwork? That is, how does the notion of scale affect humanities and social science research? Now that scholars have access to huge repositories of digitized data -- far more than they could read in a lifetime -- what does that mean for research?
Original Announcement of the Round Two (2011) Competition: During the first round, in 2009, nearly 90 international research teams competed in the challenge. Ultimately, eight remarkable projects were awarded grants. In 2011, the Digging into Data Challenge has returned for a second round, this time much larger, with sponsorship from eight international research funders, representing Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. What is the "challenge" we speak of? The idea behind the Digging into Data Challenge is to address how "big data" changes the research landscape for the humanities and social sciences. Now that we have massive databases of materials used by scholars in the humanities and social sciences -- ranging from digitized books, newspapers, and music to transactional data like web searches, sensor data or cell phone records -- what new, computationally-based research methods might we apply? As the world becomes increasingly digital, new techniques will be needed to search, analyze, and understand these everyday materials. Digging into Data challenges the research community to help create the new research infrastructure for 21st century scholarship.
Original Announcement of the Round Three (2013) Competition: On behalf of ten research funders representing Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, we invite you to apply for Round Three of the Digging into Data Challenge. Now going into the third round of the competition, the Digging into Data Challenge has funded a wide variety of projects that explore how computationally intensive research methods can be used to ask new questions about and gain new insights into our world. To encourage innovative research from across the globe, Digging into Data is sponsored by ten international research funding organizations that are working together to focus the attention of the social sciences, humanities, library, archival, information, computer, mathematical, and statistical science communities on large-scale data analysis and its potential applications.
Original Announcement of the Round Four (2016) Competition: The Trans-Atlantic Platform today announced that it will be launching its first international funding opportunity: the T-AP Digging into Data Challenge. The T-AP Digging into Data Challenge will launch in March 2016. The Challenge will support research projects that explore and apply new “big data” sources and methodologies to address questions in the social sciences and humanities.