Data Access Grants


Grants of up to $10,000 are available to cover costs associated with accessing and working with large data sources, which are necessary to carry out data-intensive research projects. This program is expected to bring together researchers from different disciplines to work on projects through a shared trainee at a Master’s, Doctoral, or Postdoctoral level.

The purpose of these grants is to improve data accessibility for DSI researchers and to foster research by mitigating the high cost of access to data sets. The DSI believes that equitable access to resources is crucial for creating a diverse and inclusive environment, and equity will be considered when reviewing all applications.

Applications are accepted four (4) times a year (November, January, April, July) until five (5) grants have been funded in a given university fiscal year (May-April).


  • Eligible applicants and co-applicants include all professorial staff who are eligible to hold research funding at the University of Toronto or at a DSI external funding partners and must satisfy the additional eligibility criteria below.
  • Each proposal must include two faculty members from complementary disciplines. Co-PIs from the same unit can apply, as long as they represent different disciplines. The proposal should highlight the complementary academic contributions of the researchers and any trainees.
  • Each Co-PI must have a budgetary appointment at U of T or at a DSI external funding partner.
  • Applicants must be members of the DSI. 

Allowable Expenses

The DSI Data Access Grant is intended to cover the costs of accessing data. Usually, the main cost to be covered is a data access fee, but it could also include costs such as data transfer. This grant cannot fund personnel costs.

How to Apply

Applications must include the following:

  • Up to one-page study proposal, and,
  • Up to one-page budget and justification.

The proposal and budget should detail the project costs and what data will be paid for by the DSI Data Access Grant. This should include a description of the costs necessary for data access, that is, the costs reimbursed that will make the difference between being able to gain access to the data for an existing research project or not.

If relevant, please mention how the data access will address equity, diversity and inclusion.


Researchers that receive Data Access Grants are required to fulfill the reporting obligations listed below: 

  • The Project and related findings must be presented in oral or poster format at a DSI Research Day within 1 to 2 years that the award is made. 
  • A summary report must be submitted within two months after the end of the funding period. The report should include a short summary of the progress of the project during the reporting period, including any publications or other project outcomes. 

Further Information

Please contact


January 25, 2022.

First-round recipients:

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the first round of our Data Access Grants competition:

Rohan Alexander (Information & Statistical Sciences, Arts & Science) & Monica Alexander (Statistical Sciences and Sociology, Arts & Sciences) to access data for Disparities in climate-induced health outcomes in the Greater Toronto Area 

Benjamin Haibe-Kains (University Health Network) & Trevor Pugh (Medical Biophysics, Temerty Faculty of Medicine) to access data for Validating the Utility of Meta-Analysis for Learning Translatable Predictive Models from in vitro Pharmacogenomics 

Scott MacIvor (Biological Sciences, UTSC) & Marie-Josee Fortin (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Arts & Science) to access data for Urban parks for people: anonymized movement data to determine access and equity 

Bruce Perkins (Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute) & George Tomlinson (University Health Network) to access data for Working to Mitigate Diabetic Ketoacidosis in Type 1 Diabetes: An Education Tool Combining Novel Trial Data Analysis and Lived Experience