For the past nine years, the University of Minnesota Informatics Institute (UMII) fostered and accelerated data-intensive research across the University system in agriculture, arts, design, engineering, environment, health, humanities, and social sciences through informatics services, competitive grants, and consultation. Building on this strong foundation, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, the College of Science and Engineering, and the School of Medicine is partnering with the OVPR’s Research Computing (RC) on a new system-wide Data Science Initiative (DSI). This new initiative will help to manage and grow what have been UMII’s core functions by communicating, coordinating, integrating, and amplifying the significant data science activities happening across our campuses. In short, while the UMII name has reached a successful end, the work it began will continue to be supported and developed under the new RC-DSI partnership.
Here’s a quick look at some of the changes that you may have already seen or that you will see in the coming months. For starters, staff who were a part of UMII are now part of a larger informatics group housed within MSI. The consolidation of RC’s talented informatics staff is intended to make it easier for researchers to find informatics services and to provide more learning and mentoring opportunities for our staff. Seed Grants and PhD Assistantships previously managed by UMII will still be available; however, starting this spring, the focus of these grants will be closely aligned and coordinated with the new DSI’s priorities. The RC website will be updated to reflect name changes, and new DSI-focused web content will be created to highlight data science research, education and other activities taking place throughout the U of M system and to promote new data science-related opportunities and resources.