Pathways to Research Collaboration

The mission of the American Family Insurance Data Science Institute (DSI) is to perform cutting-edge research in data science and catalyze the translation of this research into practice.  Data Science is now everywhere, in all disciplines, and DSI is building new ways to collaborate with researchers across campus and beyond to advance scientific discovery. Want to explore an idea or discuss ways we can work together? Please contact us! There are many pathways to collaboration.

Research Funding from American Family Insurance

Data science is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field that uses algorithms and computing systems to extract information and to make predictions from massive datasets.  American Family has partnered with UW to foster cutting-edge research in the foundations and applications of data science.  The American Family Insurance Data Science Institute offers mini grants of $75-100K per year to faculty and staff with PI status. Topics of interest span the four campus divisions, ranging from artificial intelligence and data integration to behavioral economics and business analytics.  See the page for more details.

The Data Science Collaborator Program

The Data Science Collaborator Program partners over short periods (weeks to months) with selected cutting-edge campus researchers, or teams of researchers, who are struggling to overcome pressing data science challenges. This might involve, for example, finding ways to aggregate and curate data from multiple sources, build out research pipelines, or deploy resources through a dashboard. DSI will assign a data scientist to work closely with a researcher (or key team members) to build their data science capacity through a combination of strategic planning, training, and joint development of research tools. Ideally, this collaboration will lead to new depths of research, enabling investigation of new questions previously considered infeasible or unattainable, opening up new funding opportunities. Proposals are accepted on an ongoing basis at the program page.

Other Data Science Research Opportunities

DSI is working with multiple research teams across campus to foster new research opportunities. DSI has coordinated meetings for interdisciplinary teams, helped develop UW2020 proposals, written letters and critical internal review for federal proposals, and provide pre- and post-award grant support. DSI is happy to work with research teams that span multiple campus units  

Additional industry partnerships are under development that will expand data science research opportunities. DSI’s experience with the successful UW-AFI Master Research Agreement is helping to pave the way for more accessible research collaborations with potential new industry partners. Watch this space for new developments.

Contact Us!

Not sure if your idea or project fits into one of these programs? We are happy to meet and discuss options and opportunities with any potential research collaborator. To set up a meeting, use our contact form or email us at