Collaborative Research Teams

Data science is defined as the science of collecting, manipulating, storing, visualizing, learning from, and extracting useful information from data in a reproducible, fair and ethical way. Data science is inherently interdisciplinary and building capacity in data science has the potential to advance research frontiers across a broad spectrum of fields. Entirely new fields of data science are forming at the intersections of traditional disciplines and foundational fields. The model of the University of Toronto Data Sciences Institute (DSI) makes it easy for researchers to find each other, fosters research connections through the research support it provides for Collaborative Research Teams (CRTs) in emerging fields and encourages work in the foundations of data sciences themselves.

What is a CRT?

To be eligible to apply for DSI funding and support, scholars must assemble a CRT. CRTs bring together expertise from across disciplines to form multidisciplinary teams that are focused on the development of new data science methodology or the use of existing methodology in innovative ways previously not considered, or not possible, to address questions of societal importance.

CRT Eligibility Requirements

  • CRT researchers must have their primary budgetary appointment at U of T or at a DSI external funding partner. Faculty budgetary appointments for U of T are continuing, full-time academic appointments with salary commitments from a U of T academic unit.
  • CRTs must include one domain expert and one methods expert, or two methods experts from different fields working together.
  • At least one PI must be a computational or data scientist. A computational or data scientist may include individuals working in foundational data science disciplines, such as statistics, mathematics, engineering, information sciences, and computer science, or individuals engaged in big data-driven research, such as computational biology, computational social sciences, or digital humanities. This is not an exhaustive list of fields. Applicants may provide alternative descriptions for their role as computational or data scientists in a CRT, if applicable.
  • Members of a CRT must be members of the DSI.
  • CRTs can be new or existing research collaborations.


  • CRTs are supported through applications for research funding and support.
  • CRT funding proposals emphasize innovative application and/or novel development of computational and statistical methodology.
  • A proportion of Catalyst Grant funding is earmarked for research in a DSI Thematic Program.

Related Links


Read more about our 2022 Catalyst Grant winners.

Read about our first round of software development support.