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Eight International Research Funders Announce Round Two of the Digging into Data Challenge

WASHINGTON (March 16, 2011)—Today, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) joins seven international research funders in announcing their joint participation in round two of the Digging into Data Challenge, a grant competition designed to spur cutting-edge research in the humanities and social sciences. The Digging into Data Challenge asks researchers these provocative questions: How can we use advanced computation to change the nature of our research methods? That is, now that the objects of study for researchers in the humanities and social sciences, including books, survey data, economic data, newspapers, music, and other scholarly and scientific resources are being digitized at a huge scale, how does this change the very nature of our research? How might advanced computation and data analysis techniques help researchers use these materials to ask new questions about and gain new insights into our world?

The first round of the Digging into Data Challenge sparked enormous interest from the international research community and led to eight cutting-edge projects being funded. There has also been increased media attention to the question of so-called “big data” techniques being used for humanities and social sciences research, including a recent cover article in the journal Science.

Due to the overwhelming popularity of round one, the Digging into Data Challenge is pleased to announce that four additional funders have joined for round two, enabling this competition to have a world-wide reach into many different scholarly and scientific domains. The eight sponsoring funding bodies include the Arts & Humanities Research Council (United Kingdom), the Economic & Social Research Council (United Kingdom), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (United States), the Joint Information Systems Committee (United Kingdom), the National Endowment for the Humanities (United States), the National Science Foundation (United States), the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (Netherlands), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada).

Final applications will be due June 16, 2011. Further information about the competition and the application process can be found at www.diggingintodata.org.

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About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

Media Contacts: Paula Wasley at (202) 606-8424 or pwasley@neh.gov