Cancer institute seeks expert to develop data standards

NCI looks for informatics experts to harmonize existing data elements from several domains

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) wants help to develop common data standards in the Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid that will make it easier to link and share information.

The institute is looking for an informatics expert to harmonize Common Data Elements and associated metadata across the grid, according to a Request for Proposals notice on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site updated Nov. 3. The metadata is a hierarchical structure that organizes the data elements.

It will be awarded as a subcontract by SAIC-Frederick, Inc., a subsidiary of Science Applications International Corp. under its contract with the National Cancer Institute in Frederick.

NCI wants to accomplish common data element management and support, metadata support, harmonization and implementation of new metadata services and tools.

The institute’s grid initiative is an open-source infrastructure and connects the cancer research community. It allows researchers and clinicians to share, integrate and analyze data.

Currently, each domain of cancer research manages its own data elements and metadata. Under the contract, the institute will create a shared metadata and harmonized data elements across the domains to link cancer research from several areas.

The domains include cancer prevention trials, biomedical imaging, biomarker studies, early phase clinical trials, genomic research, population sciences and epidemiology.

Metadata and data element harmonization are also happening in other areas. For example, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has issued metadata standards to help with information sharing across domains.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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