COVID Information Commons Newsletter | April 1, 2021
COVID, Chocolate, and Collaboration: Researchers Discuss Their Work in February CIC Community Webinar

Thank you to all of the participants and speakers who attended last month's event! During February’s COVID Information Commons (CIC) webinar, researchers, students, and non-profit leaders gathered to discuss and collaborate on research about COVID. The webinar featured talks from seven scientists from across the nation who shared insights on their NSF-funded research.

COVID Information Commons
Undergraduate Student Paper Challenge


The COVID Information Commons (CIC) is an NSF-funded research collaboration and knowledge hub designed to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration across various COVID research efforts. The CIC Student Paper Challenge is an opportunity for undergraduate students to leverage the CIC NSF Award search tools and the global COVID-19 resources the CIC offers to learn how the scientific research community is working to address the widespread impacts of the pandemic and offer their own insights on the next steps for COVID-19 research.

Student Papers due April 1, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET 
Judges will review submissions through April

For full details about the Challenge, please visit the CIC Student Paper Challenge webpage. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact

April 2021 COVID-19 Research Webinar: Lightning Talks and Q&A

Date: April 14, 2021, 2:30 - 3:30 PM ET. Click here to learn more and register.

Meet the scientists seeking new insights on COVID-19. Every month, we bring together a group of researchers studying wide-ranging aspects of the current pandemic, to share their research and answer questions from our community. Learn more about their ongoing efforts in the fight against COVID-19, including opportunities for collaboration.

Join us to hear from the following speakers. Register here for your unique Zoom link and calendar information.

Brian Chang, Clark University: Predicting Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Impact with Multiscale Contact and Transmission Mitigation. Funded by NSF Mathematical and Physical Sciences / Division of Materials Research.

Lalitha Sankar, Arizona State University: Federated Analytics based Contact Tracing for COVID-19. Funded by NSF Computer and Information Science and Engineering / Computer and Network Systems.

Song Gao, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Geospatial Modeling of COVID-19 Spread and Risk Communication by Integrating Human Mobility and Social Media Big Data. Funded by NSF Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences / Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences.

Dan O'Brien, Northeastern University: Infection Transmission of COVID19 in Urban Neighborhoods. Funded by NSF Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences / Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences.

Kollbe Ahn, ACatechol, Inc.: Virucidal surface coatings for prevention of COVID-19 transmission. Funded by NSF Engineering / Industrial Innovation and Partnerships.

Jaideep Vaidya, Rutgers University-Newark: Privacy-Preserving Crowdsensing of COVID-19 and its Sociological and Epidemiological Implications. Funded by NSF Computer and Information Science and Engineering / Division of Computer and Network Systems.

Olga Wilhelmi, University Corporation For Atmospheric Research: Responding to extreme heat in the time of COVID-19. Funded by NSF Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences / Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences.

If you would like to join us for our next round of lightning talks and Q&A as a presenter, please email We look forward to convening again soon to learn more about researchers' ongoing efforts in the fight against COVID-19 and opportunities for collaboration.
NIH DATA Scholars Program Now Accepting Applications

Applications Due: April 9

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Data Science Strategy (ODSS) Data and Technology Advancement (DATA) National Service Scholar Program is seeking experienced data and computer scientists and engineers to tackle challenging biomedical data problems with the potential for substantial public health impact.

Applicants should possess technical skills in one or more of the following areas, as relevant to their proposed project area(s): artificial intelligence, cloud computing, data engineering, data science, database management, project management, software design, supercomputing, and/or bioinformatics. Industry experience is desired. Applicants should have an M.D., Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree and have advanced experience in data science or related fields. Appointees may be U.S. citizens, resident aliens, or non-resident aliens with, or eligible to obtain, a valid employment-authorization visa. Applications from women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged

Learn more here.
Privacy, Ethics and Trust in Connected Healthcare Workshop
Date: April 28, 2021, 11:00am–2:00pm ET

The Global Connected Healthcare Cybersecurity Virtual 2021 Workshop Series is presented by the IEEE SA, IEEE/UL P2933™ Standards Working Group, and the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub headquartered at Columbia University. The second workshop in the series will focus on Privacy, Ethics and Trust in Connected Healthcare.

Addressing Privacy and Ethics requirements in connected healthcare and IoT systems design and development is vital to develop trust in using IoT based systems in the healthcare domain. IoT based connected healthcare systems require an appreciation of both the ethico-legal milieu and the sociopolitical landscape. It has been noticed that one of the issues in the low adoption of IoT applications among end-users is the lack of trust in connected healthcare and IoT devices concerning data protection, privacy and safety.

Workshop participants will explore the latest technologies, challenges, and regulations regarding privacy, ethics and trust for connected health IoT systems, and make recommendations for the future. The learning outcomes and topics for  discussion will include but are not limited to:

  • Identifying data protection and privacy consideration when designing and developing new devices and connections to legacy systems and devices , to improve trust among people using IoT devices and systems, and trust in device to device connections.
  • Identification of the ethical issues that need to be addressed with connected health IoT.  E.g Individual rights; autonomy, privacy and confidentiality; ownership of the data;  necessity and proportionality; beneficence and nonmaleficence. How do we satisfy these ethical requirements in designing and developing connected health IoT solutions? 
  •  Identification of frameworks, standards and legal regulations related to privacy in Connected Health IoT based system

he expert panel includes Jeannette WingDirector, Data Science Institute, Columbia University; Julia Stoyanovich , New York University, Responsible Data Science and Co-Leader, Institute for a Framework for Integrative Data Equity SystemsShaneel Pathak, CEO & Co-Founder, Zoe Insights; and Dipak Kalra, President at The European Institute for Innovation through Health Data, moderated by Deborah Peel, Founder and President at Patient Privacy Rights.

Visit the event page for updates and registration details for the entire Global Connected Healthcare Cybersecurity Virtual Workshop Series from February through November 2021

Thank you to those who joined us as part of the first workshop of the Global Connected Healthcare Cybersecurity Virtual 2021 Workshop Series presented by the IEEE SA, IEEE/UL P2933™ Standards Working Group, and the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub headquartered at Columbia University. The first workshop in the series, Global Connected Healthcare Cybersecurity Risks and Roadmap, was held on February 24th 2021.

Watch recordings of the workshop assessing and addressing cybersecurity risks in the growing connected healthcare ecosystem and discuss a potential roadmap to address these risks.
Build your PI Page!

As part of the new NSF COVID Awards and PI Database on the COVID Information Commons website, we've already added websites, research findings, and collaboration opportunities provided by over 250 NSF PIs. If you would like to help others further engage with your work by adding or updating any information on your PI page, please fill out this survey.

To learn more about the database, watch this overview from our November 2020 webinar.

Transition Announcement And Thank You

Dear CIC community members and friends:

After five years as the first operations manager of the Northeast Big Data Hub, with the last year particularly focused on building and growing the COVID Information Commons, I’ve had the unique and invaluable opportunity to work with so many of you in making COVID research more collaborative and accessible to all. It’s been a tremendously rewarding experience - which is why it’s both exciting and a little bittersweet to announce I am moving on this month, to a new project management role at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

I’m proud to have built this platform, our communications, and the COVID Information Commons community from the ground up in collaboration with a fantastic project team and an outstanding community. Your ideas, engagement, and feedback have helped us grow and evolve from an online platform making research more accessible to a close-knit community of researchers supporting and enhancing each other’s work. I’ve witnessed our impact firsthand as countless individuals found valuable peers and collaborators through the CIC whom they might never have connected with otherwise. I’m very proud of the work we’ve done, and confident that even sunnier days are ahead.

Our webinar series will resume later this spring, along with coming announcements about our Undergraduate Student Paper Challenge (there’s still time to sign up as a mentor or judge!). I’m so excited to see what’s yet to come, and want to extend my thanks to Jeannette Wing, Florence Hudson, the entire project team, and our stellar team of student leaders, who are keeping us on an upward track. My deepest thanks go out to you, our community, as well! You make the CIC shine. 

I’ll continue to stay engaged with the CIC in my work as a science communicator and as a champion of all the great work it does. Don’t hesitate to stay in touch!

With appreciation and gratitude,

Katie Naum

We all want to thank Katie for her invaluable leadership and support for the Northeast Hub and the community of Hubs and collaborators over the past five years. From the projects she has enabled, including being the leader of the COVID Info Commons community webinars, to the team she has built of student project leaders for the Hub, to the many community members she has collaborated with, it's been such a pleasure having Katie on the team. 

We will miss you Katie, and are delighted you will keep in touch as you go and grow to new heights!! 

We thank you and wish you all the best, always.

Florence Hudson, Executive Director, Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub
The COVID Information Commons (CIC) serves as a resource for researchers, students and decision-makers from academia, government, nonprofit, and industry to identify collaboration opportunities, to leverage each other's research findings, and to accelerate the most promising research to mitigate the broad societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To suggest COVID research-related news, events, and opportunities for an upcoming newsletter, please email

Help build our community by forwarding CIC news widely, and encourage your colleagues to sign up for updates via this web form.

Thanks!  —The CIC Project Team
Copyright © 2021 Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.