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Digging Into Data Challenge

Office of Digital Humanities

Receipt Deadline May 15, 2013 for Projects Beginning January 2014

The deadline for this program has passed.

Updated guidelines will be posted in advance of the next deadline. In the meantime, please use these guidelines to get a sense of what is involved in assembling an application.

Brief Summary

In 2013, the Digging into Data Challenge has returned for a third round, this time considerably larger, with sponsorship from ten 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.

Applicants will form international teams from at least two of the participating countries. Winning teams will receive grants from two or more of the funding agencies and, two years later, will be invited to show off their work at a special conference sponsored by the ten funders.

You can find more information, including application materials and instructions for applying, at

Program Statistics

In the first two rounds, the program received an average of 77 applications per competition and made an average of eleven awards per competition, for a funding ratio of 14 percent.


Contact the NEH Office of Digital Humanities via e‑mail at Applicants wishing to speak to a staff member by telephone should provide in an e-mail message a telephone number and a preferred time to call. Hearing-impaired applicants can contact NEH via TDD at 1-866-372-2930.

Guidelines Resources