The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Research Data and Information
Policy and Global Affairs
Quick Links


Contact Us
Board on Research Data and Information
Policy and Global Affairs Division
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Using Data for the Public Good
The National Academy of Sciences Board on Research Data and Information (BRDI; is holding an open challenge to increase awareness of current issues and opportunities in research data and information. These issues include, but are not limited to, accessibility, integration, discoverability, reuse, sustainability, perceived versus real value and reproducibility. Opportunities include, but are not limited to, analyzing such data and information in new ways to achieve significant societal benefit. Entrants are expected to describe one or more of the following:
  • Novel ideas
  • Tools
  • Processes
  • Models
  • Outcomes
using research data and information. There is no restriction on the type of data or information, or the type of innovation that can be described. All data and tools that form the basis of a contestant’s entry must be made freely and openly available. The challenge is held in memory of Lee Dirks, a pioneer in scholarly communication.
Anticipated outcomes of the challenge include the potential for original and innovative solutions to societal problems using existing research data and information, national recognition for the successful contestants and possibly their institutions.
Challenge Rules and How to Enter
Contestants must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. A one-page Letter of Intent, including the project title, project outline, names, affiliations, emails and telephone numbers of contestants, is encouraged but not required. This letter of intent will not be used to evaluate submissions, but will be used to determine the expertise needed for judging of submissions. The deadline for the submission of this Letter of Intent is Monday, December 16, 2013 and should be sent by email to Cheryl Levey at
Final entries must be submitted to Paul Uhlir at by May 15, 2014 and expand the project outline to no more than 3000 words. Submissions will be judged by BRDI members and other relevant experts based upon:
  • Originality and creativity
  • Potential benefits to society
  • Feasibility
The First Place and the Second Place winners will be announced on the Board on Research Data and Information website in early July, 2014.
Awardees will be invited to present their projects at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC as part of a symposium of the regularly scheduled Board of Research Data and Information meeting in the latter half of 2014. Many US federal funding agency representatives are likely to attend the BRDI meeting and webcast symposium. Travel costs of both awardees to the meeting will be covered, subject to the travel reimbursement rules of the National Academy of Sciences.
Questions concerning the BRDI Data and Information Challenge may be addressed to Paul Uhlir at