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DataX Collaborathon - Working Group Microgrants

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Overview of DataX Collaborathon

The DataX Collaborathon is the result of a $1 million commitment from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Creative Activities (ORCA) designed to catalyze long-term interdisciplinary research collaborations centered around broad themes in data/data justice/data science, while simultaneously building a DataX culture and community at UCLA that will continue to foster new directions and connections.

The DataX Collaborathon will be comprised of a series of funding opportunities intended to generate exciting new knowledge and help cultivate research teams poised for extramural funding. Grant opportunities will be complemented by DataX programming in a variety of forms (e.g. salons, workshops, speaker series) to help foster a vibrant campus community and spark new ideas and collaborations in the DataX initiative.

The initial phase of the DataX Collaborathon will be funding for Working Group Microgrants. Subsequent phases will provide more substantial funding to enable teams to continue to build sustainable collaborations and position themselves for external funding.

Overview of Working Group Microgrants 

This funding mechanism is aimed at incentivizing new, interdisciplinary collaborations through researcher-initiated working groups. The small award provides resources for the researchers to launch interdisciplinary discussions that foster collaboration. 

The goals of the Working Group Microgrants are to: 

  • Build collaborative rapport through exchanging ideas and perspectives 
  • Enhance group members’ understanding of the challenges, limitations, and opportunities within each other’s fields that are related to a particular research theme 
  • Develop a research agenda to better position the collaborative team to apply for subsequent funding opportunities from the DataX Collaborathon and/or for external funding

The general expectation is to describe an area of interest that has the potential to evolve into a novel research theme or has the potential to make a significant scientific/scholarly contribution and/or societal impact. The ideas should require building interdisciplinary teams and also have the potential to become a more substantial grant proposal. We understand “data” in the broadest possible sense and encourage faculty to consider a wide range of approaches, methodologies, and challenges in creating, analyzing, archiving, and thinking through data. 



There will be two initial cycles for microgrant funding:

Cycle 1

  • Applications Due: March 20, 2023 April 5, 2023 (by 11:59pm) 
  • Awardees Announced: Spring Quarter 2023

Cycle 2

  • Applications Due: Early Fall Quarter 2023
  • Awardees Announced: Fall Quarter 2023


Working Group Principal Investigators

  • Each working group should have two PIs, each from a different division
  • To help ensure the long-term sustainability of the collaboration, PIs of the working groups must be members of the Academic Senate
  • A person may only serve as the PI of one working group. However, there is no limit to the number of working groups of which they may be a non-PI member

Working Group Composition

  • Each working group must have at least three to five confirmed members including the two PIs 
  • Team members may be anyone with a UCLA appointment, including students  
  • When developing a team, please keep in mind that eligibility for subsequent phases of funding through the Collaborathon will likely require teams with members from both North and South campus. 
  • When composing teams, attention should be paid to ensuring diversity with regards to areas including (but not limited to) academic rank, gender, underrepresented racial/ethnic groups and/or disability


  • Six working groups per cycle will be awarded $5,000 each 
  • Funds should be spent within approximately 8-10 months of the fund transfer
  • Funds may not be used for faculty salaries, but otherwise may be spent in whatever ways the working group determines would be most effective for growing their collaboration (e.g. staff or student research support, guest speakers, workshops, regular lunch meetings, etc). 
  • All funds must be spent in compliance with campus policies

Recipient Obligations

  • Recipients are expected to work together as a group. Members are expected to invest time and attention in some sort of regular exchange, such as sharing and reviewing papers from each others’ fields, or contributing towards drafts of internal documents, and/or participation in regular meetings 
  • Recipients are expected to work towards a culture of inclusive collaboration within both their working group and the larger DataX community, for example:
  • Working Group Microgrant members are expected to participate in DataX events (e.g. DataX Salons) to socialize their ideas and increase interest
  • Each Working Group Microgrant will be announced in DataX correspondence, and featured on a DataX website. The aim is to garner interest from across UCLA, and to be accessible, inclusive and welcoming of faculty and research staff/students that express interest in engaging with the Working Group 
  • Recipients may be asked to meet with ORCA and/or DataX staff during the funding period
  • Recipients of Working Group Microgrants are highly encouraged to submit applications for subsequent phases of DataX Collaborathon funding, but this is not a requirement.

Review Criteria

  • Has the working group identified a compelling research theme for exploration that necessitates an interdisciplinary collaboration?
  • Does the working group demonstrate interdisciplinarity?
    • Note: Not every needed area of expertise needs to be covered (or even identified) at this point, but there should be a strong interdisciplinary foundation for the team
  • Does the working group possess a general idea of what mechanism(s) they plan to use to build their collaboration?
  • Has the working group identified possibilities for public impact?

Application Process

Applications should be submitted through the online application portal by 11:59pm on March 20, 2023 April 5, 2023.

The following information will be requested in the application form:

  • Names/affiliations/contact information for Working Group Chairs/PIs

The following uploads will be requested:

  • A document outlining the plan for collaboration (1,000 words maximum), including the general research theme for the working group and what mechanism(s) will be used to foster the collaboration
  • A list of the working group members (with names/affiliations)
    • The list must include at least three to five confirmed members (including the two PIs)
    • All members should be listed with an indication of their status:
      • Confirmed
      • Awaiting Confirmation
      • To Be Asked


If you have any questions regarding this program, please email