March 3, 2016


IMLS Press Contact
Giuliana Bullard 

Fourth Digging into Data Challenge Launches with Expanded International Funding and Opportunities

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and 15 national funding agencies from 11 countries on three continents announced the fourth round of the Digging into Data Challenge.  Since 2009, the Digging into Data grant competition has provided nearly $12 million in funding for international research projects that use “big data” sources and methodologies to address questions in the social sciences and humanities.

This year’s competition is presented under the auspices of the Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP), a consortium of sixteen international funders of social sciences and humanities research from Europe, South America, and North America. U.S. funding agencies are IMLS, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation. With new funders from Europe and, for the first time, South America, research teams will have opportunities for more diverse collaborations and subjects of inquiry.

“IMLS is proud to be a part this expanded Digging into Data Challenge,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “Digital archives, libraries, and data repositories provide access to more primary source materials (in the forms of text, images, video, audio, social media communications, and even government data) than we’ve ever had before. The research using these sources represents the leading edge of 21st-century humanities and social science scholarship.”

The Digging into Data 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. Projects must address a 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.

The deadline for final applications is June 29, 2016.  Learn more about the competition and application process at or The challenge can be followed on Twitter: @DiggingIntoData.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.