Special RFP for COVID-19 Trust in Science Proposals

Application Deadline: Monday, May 25, 2020, 11:59 p.m.

Submission Requirements: All proposals should be submitted online here.

Contact for questions:    Kevin Doyle at kevin_doyle@harvard.edu 

The Harvard Data Science Initiative Research Fund for Trust in Science supports research that advances understandings of trust and mistrust in science by leveraging data science, toward the goal of creating actionable insights that will advance trust in science.  The Fund is a multi-donor gift fund with initial seed funding provided by Bayer, an HDSI Corporate Member

In 2020, a portion of the fund will be used to support projects that employ data-driven approaches to advance our understanding of trust and mistrust in science in the context of the novel coronavirus pandemic.  Applications are due Monday, May 25,  2020, and will undergo expedited review by faculty peer reviewers, with awards made in June. 

Goal of the Special COVID-19 Trust in Science RFP

The goal of the Special COVID-19 Trust in Science RFP is to enable faculty across Harvard to study issues related to trust in science, broadly construed, in the context of the novel coronavirus pandemic.  The HDSI welcomes data-science related proposals from all disciplines that seek to explore issues such as: the credibility of data and data models, the spread of information and misinformation, issues related to communication of scientific findings in a pandemic, data-driven indicators of consensus around scientific findings and  recommendations, uptake of recommendations in different communities and national contexts, and the effect and impact of open data on public trust.  These are examples only and applicants are encouraged to think broadly. 

Matchmaking: The HDSI seeks to facilitate connections between researchers in diverse disciplines.  If you believe your proposal would benefit from a collaboration with a researcher outside of your department or discipline, we encourage you to seek collaborators through the Trust in Science channel on the HDSI Slack.  You can access our Slack site at https://bit.ly/2L5E3h5

Award Amount and Duration: The HDSI expects to make 3 - 5 awards of up to $100,000 (direct costs) for projects that are designed to be completed in a 12 to 18 month project period. 

Eligibility: Individuals who hold a faculty appointment at a Harvard school and who have principal investigator rights at that school are eligible to apply. (Harvard Medical School faculty must hold a faculty appointment with PI rights in one of HMS’s Quad-based, preclinical departments). 

Application Requirements: Please submit the following online here:

  1. Project Statement (2 page maximum) that addresses:

    1. The question or problem, and why it is important.

    2. The approach to be taken.

    3. The potential impact of the proposed work broadly and in the context of trust in science.

  2. Abridged CV or Biosketch (limit 2 pages)

  3. Budget Estimate (up to $100,000), with major divisions of funds listed as line items (personnel, equipment, etc.). School assessments and/or indirect costs should not be included in your budget (the DSI will arrange these with home schools separately). Examples of eligible expenses include: personnel (including postdocs, graduate students, undergraduate students), travel, and acquisition of datasets. The following expenses are NOT eligible for funding: faculty salary, graduate student tuition, subcontracts outside Harvard unless there is a clear scientific rationale for why the work needs to be done externally.

Reporting: Each awardee is expected to complete a short  interim report three months from the date funds are awarded, and a final report within 30 days of project completion.