What is the "challenge" we speak of? The idea behind the Digging into Data Challenge is to address how "big data" changes the research landscape for the humanities and social sciences. Now that we have massive databases of materials used by scholars in the humanities and social sciences — ranging from digitized books, newspapers, and music to transactional data like web searches, sensor data or cell phone records — what new, computationally-based research methods might we apply? As the world becomes increasingly digital, new techniques will be needed to search, analyze, and understand these everyday materials. Digging into Data challenges the research community to help create the new research infrastructure for 21st century scholarship.

Applicants will form international teams from at least two of the participating countries. Winning teams will receive grants from two or more of the funding agencies and, two years later, will be invited to show off their work at a special conference sponsored by the eight funders.