CST: 28/10/2016 12:46:48   

The Trans-Atlantic Platform Launches Fourth Digging into Data Challenge

241 Days ago

Previous challenge winners have developed tools to analyze 240 years of London's criminal court records and studied the media's role in the 1918 influenza outbreak

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Mar 1, 2016) - The Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) is launching its 2016 Digging into Data Challenge to support research projects that use "big data" to address questions in the social sciences and humanities. In this context, "big data" refers to sets of data so large or complex that traditional processing applications are inadequate. These data sets can include sources such as texts, images, music, photographs, audio or audiovisual data.

The funding opportunity is open to international projects that consist of teams from at least three member countries, and must include partners from both sides of the Atlantic. All projects must address any research question in humanities and/or social sciences disciplines by using large-scale, digital data analysis techniques, and show how these techniques can lead to new insights.

Research partners will receive funding from their own national funding agencies for projects that can last for up to 36 months. Canadian applicants may seek funding of up to C$275,000 for their section of an international project supported by at least two other countries.

The results of these research projects will be showcased at a special conference sponsored by the participating agencies at the end of the funding period. Although this is the fourth Digging into Data challenge, it is the first time it has been sponsored by T-AP.

"This means many more teams will be able to compete. The Challenge will be open to more researchers, including new partners from Europe and North America and, for the first time, partners from South America," said Ted Hewitt, president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and co-chair of T-AP's steering committee.

"This expanded challenge will allow social sciences and humanities researchers on three continents to potentially work together in the area of digital scholarship and help foster new approaches to research in this exciting and rapidly evolving field."

Examples of previous winners of the Digging into Data Challenges include:

  • a team that developed tools to compare, visualize and analyze the extensive court records of more than 197,000 individual trials held over 240 years at the Old Bailey criminal court in London, England; and
  • a team that conducted data mining to better understand how the media shaped public opinion during the 1918 influenza pandemic.

The deadline for final applications is June 29, 2016. Learn more about the competition and the application process.

About T-AP

The Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) is an unprecedented collaboration between key humanities and social science funders and facilitators from South America, North America and Europe. T-AP aims to enhance the ability of funders, research organizations and researchers to engage in transnational dialogue and collaboration. Among other activities, it works to identify common challenges and emerging priorities in social science and humanities research. T-AP also facilitates the formation of networks within the social sciences and humanities and helps connect them with other disciplines.

About the Digging into Data Challenge

The Digging into Data Challenge has been funding cutting-edge digital research in the humanities and social sciences since 2009. Now under the auspices of T-AP, the program will support collaborative research teams from three continents: Europe (Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal (to be confirmed) and the United Kingdom); North America (Canada, Mexico, the United States); and South America (Brazil and Argentina). Follow @DiggingIntoData on Twitter for news and announcements.


The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is the national research funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and research training in the humanities and social sciences. By focusing on developing Talent, generating Insights and forging Connections across campuses and communities, SSHRC strategically supports world-leading initiatives that reflect a commitment to ensuring a better future for Canada and the world. Follow SSHRC on Twitter @SSHRC_CRSH.

Michael Adams
Communications Advisor
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Cell: 613-219-7523