Co-PIs for BD2K are Michael Kosorok (BIOS, kosorok@bios.unc.edu) and Greg Forest (Math/BME/APS, forest@unc.edu).

The NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) in Biomedicine graduate training program is one of the three national awards given in May 2015. The award funds 6 trainees per year for 5 years, but the program is open to graduate students from across the UNC campus in any PhD program. This is not a PhD granting program, rather a supplement to existing PhD programs, offering a BD2K certificate from the Graduate School. Thus far, the participating units are: the Departments of Applied Physical Science, Biochemistry & Biophysics, Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Biostatistics, Cell Biology & Physiology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Epidemiology, Genetics, Mathematics, Microbiology & Immunology, Nutrition, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Pharmacology, Physics & Astronomy, and Statistics & Operations Research; the Schools of Information & Library Science and the Eshelman School of Pharmacy; and the Curricula in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Genetics & Molecular Biology, and Toxicology.

The BD2K trainees constitute a multidisciplinary cohort drawn evenly from the biomedical science domain (including biology, biochemistry and biophysics), computer science and informatics domain, and the mathematics and statistics domain. The program combines rigor and depth of a trainee’s chosen PhD program interwoven with a blend of didactic, experiential, team-science approaches necessary for, and specific to, present and future careers in Big Data biomedical science. All BD2K trainees pursue the PhD in their respective disciplinary domain while engaging in enhanced and supplemental training in Big Data Science leading to a BD2K Certificate. The common trait aimed for in our BD2K in Biomedicine training program is that all BD2K trainees, independent of their source of support, will be poised and equipped for the remainder of their careers to develop new or apply current methods for Big Data in the context of biomedical science.

To view requirements for BD2K funded trainees, click here. For further information regarding the BD2K Data Science Certificate, check out this page.

Regarding the undergraduate level, feel free to read the National Academies report on data science – Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options.


BD2K Data Science Certificate Requirements:

  • Monthly attendance of the BD2K training program seminars.
  • Completion of one acceptable BD2K course within the student’s department.
  • Completion of one acceptable BD2K course in domain area outside the student’s primary field.
  • Completion of three, one-credit topical modules.

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