SC INBRE Data Analytics
Student-Initiated Training Award (SITA)

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

2024 NOFO Links

The South Carolina IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (SC INBRE) and the SC INBRE Data Analytics component of the Bioinformatics Core solicits applications for the Student-initiated Training Award (SITA) program. This program is designed to enrich the academic experience of students and to better prepare future generations of researchers, investigators, and entrepreneurs throughout the SC INBRE network. SITA applications must engage in advancing their Data Analytics skills within the frame work of a research project.  The project should not include data acquisition and should only focus on the development of skillsets to analyze the data using modern analytics tools such as AI and Machine Learning. The learning objectives of the proposal project must fit within the area of data analytics that include statistical approaches, computational methods, Artificial Intelligence, or Machine Learning. There is a strong preference for Biological or Health Science themes within which the Data Analytics skills are developed and applied.  


Up to ten new SITA awards will be made throughout the state. SITA awards support Data Analytics training for undergraduate or graduate students.

Important Dates 

Award amounts and number of anticipated awards

Up to ten awards of $5,000 each will be awarded

LOI and Application Submission Instructions and Contact Information

To submit a Letter of Intent (LOI), please click on the link above. The LOI must be completed by 5 pm ET on March 4, 2024.

Completed LOIs will include the title and short description of your project. This short description is limited to 4 sentences total and should accurately describe the biomedical relevance of your project.

Where applicable, please make sure the applicant’s email address is used for correspondence, not the applicant’s advisor.

Completed applications, including required signatures on the Face page, must be submitted to the link above by 5 pm ET on April 5, 2024.

Applications submitted without a Letter of Intent submission will not be accepted.

Applications with missing components will not be accepted.

If you have any questions relating to this NOFO please contact

Utilization of Available Facilities and Resources

Applicants are required to participate in one of the following training opportunities:

Short Summer Workshops. The Bioinformatics Core of SC INBRE will provide two short courses in June of 2024. The first course will use R as its primary platform and is geared toward Data Analysts, while the second course will be delivered in Python and aimed at ML/AI Architects. Each course will consist of 2 weeks of training where the first week will focus on the basics of the platform (R or Python) while the second week will be aimed at applications to Data Analytics or ML/AI design. The courses will contain in-person (up to 40 participants due to space limitation) and remote components. The two courses will be delivered in sequence and will span the month of June.

Individualized Training Sessions. On special instances and based on availability, the Bioinformatics Core of SC INBRE will provide individualized training sessions. To provide this activity, we will dedicate the month of July to this form of training. To explore this mechanism of training, participants need to provide compelling reasons for the need for individualized training sessions, and reverse their training sessions in advance. These individual sessions will be delivered either in person at USC or remotely via Zoom meeting platform.

Enrollment in a Summer Data Science Course at an SC INBRE affiliated institution. Participants may enroll in a Data Science qualified course in one of the SC INBRE affiliated institutions. Participants are encouraged to communicate their plans with the core director (Homayoun Valafar, email) to ensure the appropriateness of the planned course. The requirement will be satisfied with a passing grade in the agreed course. For instance, a number of courses at USC such as “CSCE 106: Scientific Applications Programming in Python” will serve as an ideal example for this requirement. for enrollment by transient students. 

Enrollment in an online Data Science Course. Participants may enroll in one of many online Data Science courses offered by Corsera, Google, or Microsoft. Participants are encouraged to communicate their plans with the core director (Homayoun Valafar, email) to ensure the appropriateness of the planned course. The requirement will be satisfied with a passing grade or attainment of a certificate in the agreed course. 


SITA proposals are solicited from currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate students at institutions of higher education in the SC INBRE network who have not previously held a SITA award. 


**Only one proposal per funding period will be accepted from any student. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Although more than one application can be submitted per lab per funding period, the projects submitted by students with the same faculty mentor must be distinct projects.  Two students working as a team on the same project under the same mentor can apply together for a single SITA award although the award amount will remain the same.

Proposal Preparation Instructions

The application package can be downloaded from the SC INBRE website ( in a fillable, pdf format. All forms must be completed according to the published guidelines found on the SC INBRE website. Each package includes the following:



Applications will be reviewed by the SC INBRE Administrative Core personnel to determine responsiveness to the NOFO, eligibility of the applicant, completeness of the application, and information regarding human subjects and vertebrate animals. Applications deemed incomplete, ineligible, or not responsive will be returned to the applicants. 

All proposals that meet the eligibility requirements and guidelines will be independently evaluated by SC INBRE’s Scientific Review Committee. A competitive proposal will describe a focused set of experiments that require bioinformatics methods of data analysis and will provide the applicant with training in bioinformatics tools and approaches. Reviewers will apply the following review criteria: 

Final decisions on funding will be made by the SC INBRE External Advisory Committee and NIGMS. 

Awards and Reporting Requirements

All applicants will receive a notice of award/declination and copies of the reviewers’ comments via email. Award recipients are required to provide the SC INBRE Administrative Core with project data for evaluation and reporting purposes, as follows: 

After the expiration date of each award, SC INBRE will continue to contact awardees for outcome-related data such as post-baccalaureate educational plans and job placement.

Page updated Feb 9, 2024