May 22, 2022

University of Michigan: $38 Million NSF Data Infrastructure Initiative Will Improve Access to Social and Behavioral Research

From the University of Michigan:

The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research will oversee a $38 million investment from the National Science Foundation to create a new data platform that will help researchers across the gamut of scientific disciplines access, collect, store and secure vital information.

Data-intensive scientific research on human behavior and society can help improve community resilience to natural disasters, avoid supply chain disruptions and accurately predict infectious disease outbreaks, and more. However, researchers in many disciplines have faced obstacles like incompatible data standards, missing or error-filled information and technical difficulties in managing large data sets.

“Imagine a researcher attempting to understand economic growth in small towns and why some towns prosper while others don’t. This project makes such transformative work possible by standardizing and organizing complex data from hundreds of different sources, so it can be analyzed and understood in new ways,” said economist and project leader Margaret Levenstein, director of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research at ISR.


The $38 million commitment, developed and funded by the NSF, will establish the Research Data Ecosystem: A National Resource for Reproducible, Robust, and Transparent Social Science Research in the 21st Century. ISR will oversee the creation of new data archives and software researchers can use to access, organize, analyze and contribute data.

Learn More, Read the Complete Announcement

See Also: Direct to Award Announcement (via NSF)

See Also: New Data Infrastructure Initiative Will Accelerate the Advancement and Impacts of Social and Behavioral Research (via NSF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.