Program to Empower Partnerships with Industry and Government (PEPI-G)

Call for Proposals – Deadline May 1st, 2017

Program Description:

The Program to Empower Partnerships with Industry and Government (PEPI-G) supports faculty members, research scientists, postdocs, graduate students, as well as undergraduate and high-school students (rising juniors and seniors) from the 16 states that comprise the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub (South BD Hub). Summer exchange visits will be sponsored by data-related industry partners. The overarching goals of the program are three-fold (1) support academics in developing industry and government relationships for research collaboration and career success; (2) prepare students for the workforce landscape in data science, computing, and Big Data research; (3) create a diverse Big Data pipeline from university research through to real-world impact.

Applicants should identify the partner or partners they wish to engage with, based on the partner list provided. Project outlines are required for faculty applicants to describe how the proposed engagement bolsters long-term collaboration, furthers the goals of both the academic and industry partner, as well as aligns with South BD Hub’s goals and broad theme areas. Applicants can apply to work with more than one partner and the South BD Hub will attempt to provide matchmaking services for strong proposals.

Each applicant will be assessed based on merit, compatibility, expected outcomes, and long term impact to the individual and/or institution. PEPI-G is administered by the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub (South BDHub) and co-sponsored by industry partners, both will participate in applicant selection.

Industry and Government Partners: 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) – Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) announces slots for PEPI-G and for full time fellows. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) develops programs for missions throughout DHS and the larger Homeland Security Enterprise which includes public and private sector partners.  (See eligibility below) View details and topics of interest. 

Stanley Black & Decker: Digital Accelerator

Stanley Black & Decker Digital Accelerator’s mission is to infuse digital into the DNA of the company and help empower the next generation of data professionals. Whether you’ve just begun classes, been in classes for the last 4 years, or just looking to leverage your talent in a new way, tell us what that next step in your career looks like. Let’s tap into your passion and potential! (See eligibility below) View details and topics of interest.

Nokia Bell Labs

The Bell Labs Prize will give any researcher the chance to introduce their ideas to the world, and collaborate with world-renowned Bell Labs researchers.The Bell Labs Prize winners will take home cash awards worth as much as $100,000, and the chance to further develop their ideas at Bell Labs, where possible.(See eligibility below) View details and topics of interest.

Applications will also be reviewed by:

United Healthcare (UHC)



GE Power Systems

About the South BDHub

The South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub is part of a network of four National Big Data Hubs funded by the National Science Foundation. The South BD Hub is operated by the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA) and RENCI (Chapel Hill, NC), with a vision to be a connection point to Big Data partnerships, assets, people, and opportunities. Our goal is to connect academia, industry, government, and community partners throughout the southern United States with a focus on solving “Grand Challenges” faced by our region and the world. The initial broad Grand Challenge areas for the South BD Hub are:

  • Health Disparities, Precision Medicine, and Healthcare Analytics

  • Habitat Planning / Smart Communities

  • Coastal and Natural Hazards

  • Industrial Big Data / Energy and Smart Grid

  • Materials and Manufacturing

  • Big Data Sharing and Infrastructure

  • Big Data Economic Modeling

  • Data Security, Privacy and Policy

  • Data Science Education

Please note, submissions which do not address one of the above topics will also be considered, although they will be expected to address a particularly novel or innovative data science question relevant to their host company.


A qualifying applicant must be at an institution within the 16 southern states that comprise the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub (South BD Hub), including Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Big Data Hub membership is required. (Sign-up for free at:

Companies and agencies having differing eligibilities. (See below)

DHS: Faculty, post-doctoral researchers, research scientists, graduate students or undergraduate rising juniors, or seniors engaged at an accredited U.S. college, or university are eligible. DHS will also accept proposals for faculty-student pairs. Applicants must pass DHS background check (suitability). Duration at least 12 weeks.Washington, DC  View details and topics of interest. 

Stanley Black & Decker: Students and professionals interested in corporate experiences in data science, the Internet of Things, UX design, software design, and project management  (i.e. high-school students, undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, research scientists or professionals from related disciplines transitioning into data science). Applicants through the PEPI-G program will be considered for multiple roles (see link) as well as provided with training and exposure. All accepted applicants will work in the Digital Accelerator, a true start-up environment within the larger Black & Decker company. Duration 8 weeks. Atlanta, GA View details and topics of interest.

Nokia Bell Labs: An academic researcher (i.e. faculty, post-doctoral researcher, or research scientists). Teams of up to four members are also allowed. They have a two stage process so please read full details before applying.  View details and topics of interest.


Compensation will be  based on company or agency rates and will vary based on the activity, trip duration, location, organization, and seniority of applicant.

Important Dates

April 14, 2017 - Application announced

May 01, 2017 - Application Due

May 13, 2017 - Notification of successful applicants


  • Resume, Biographical sketch or CV is required.

  • Industry Value-Proposition Letter (described below)

  • (for Faculty) Project description (2 pages). A clear and detailed statement describing the focus of the proposed work during the exchange, the challenges addressed by that work, and the proposed plans for the project during the summer.

(For Nokia Bell Labs, Please register separately at the link below: and you will receive further instructions)

Industry Value-Proposition Letter (1 page): A one-page cover letter describing a value proposition for at least one company or industry sector and how a partnership would be mutually beneficial. Please include answers to the questions below:

1.     What are your strengths or specialty areas?

2.     How do you feel that your strengths would be of interest to the industry partner?

3.     What would you wish to gain from an industry exchange?

Submit Your PEPI-G Application