NIH – Early-Stage Development of Data Science Technologies for Infectious and Immune-mediated Diseases (U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

March 26, 2021 by


The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to solicit applications for the development of enabling data science technologies to improve the acquisition, management, analysis, visualization, and dissemination of data and knowledge for immune-mediated and infectious diseases including disease mechanism, risk prediction, epidemiology, detection and diagnosis, treatment and vaccines across the allergy, immune-mediated, and infectious-disease research continuum, aligned with the research mission of NIAID. This includes infectious diseases, emerging infections, or immune-mediated diseases that include allergy, autoimmunity, or immune reactions associated with transplantation.

As a part of the trans-NIAID data science program, this FOA focuses on early-stage development from prototyping to hardening and adaptation. Early-stage development is defined for the purpose of this FOA as initial tool development or the significant modification of existing tools for new applications. This contrasts with exploratory (R21) and enhancement/sustainment (U24) efforts to generate these tools and resources that are supported by the companion FOAs.


NIAID’s basic and clinical research projects are generating large, diverse and complex data sets, including genomics/omics data, clinical data, immune phenotyping assay data, and imaging data. Similarly, the infectious and immune-mediated diseases research communities have become a data-intense enterprise. NIAID recognizes that there is a critical need to transform these data into knowledge to better understand pathogen transmission and evolution, pathogen-host interactions, host immune response, infectious and immune-mediated disease pathogenesis, as well as to develop new and improved diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. Hence the need for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) software solutions that are innovative and sustainable.

In response to these complex data requirements NIAID is launching three trans-NIAID initiatives (RFA-AI-21-035RFA-AI-21-020, and RFA-AI-21-021) to support investigator-initiated informatics and data science researchers, driven by critical research needs in infectious or immune-mediated disease research. The objective is to expand NIAID’s commitment to promote informatics solutions and harness the power of data science to maximize the Institute’s potential to accelerate discoveries in NIAID’s research. The three companion FOA’s will also provide new funding opportunities and demonstrate NIAID’s commitment to informatics and data science research.

The companion FOA’s of the AI-DS program include:

  • Exploratory Data Science Methods and Algorithm Development in Infectious and Immune-Mediated Diseases (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed): RFA-AI-21-035.
  • Early-Stage Development of Data Science Technologies for Infectious and Immune-mediated Diseases (U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed): RFA-AI-21-020.
  • Enhancement or Sustainment of Data Science Tools for Infectious and Immune-Mediated diseases (U24 Clinical Trial Not Allowed): RFA-AI-21-021.

These NIAID data-science program FOAs aim to promote research-driven data science technology across the development lifecycle to address priority needs in immune-mediated and infectious disease research with a clear rationale for the needs of the technology proposed and their benefit to immune-mediated and infectious disease research through user feedback.

Key Dates:

Letter of intent: 30 days prior to due date

Application due dates: earliest July 02, 2021

URL for more information:

Filed Under: Funding Opportunities