• ISBDS: Independent Study in Biomedical Data Science
  • CFDE: Common Fund Data Ecosystem

The CFDE Edition of ISBDS is focused on effective use and integration of NIH Common Fund datasets for biomedical discovery.

What you can learn:
  • How to integrate heterogeneous biomedical datasets, for data science research applications featuring Illuminating the Druggable Genome (IDG) use cases.
  • How to use state of the art Neo4j knowledge graph databases, with instructions and examples suitable for beginning to advanced learners.

Students will have access to project templates, example code, documentation, and other resources, based on CFDE scientific use cases, which can readily be extended and customized for novel independent study projects.

The first session of ISBDS: CFDE Edition is scheduled for the summer of 2024, as a fully remote, online course. The course effort expectation is equivalent to 1-credit, final grade pass-fail, primarily based on a final report and poster. Students may allow their project reports and posters to be published online via the course website, and optional video poster presentations published via YouTube channel.


  • June 3 – July 26, 2024

Prerequisites and requirements:

  • Learners with a broad range of data science skills are welcome to participate via a custom research plan designed to be suitable to their background.
  • Students are required to use their own computer.
  • Students must, in cooperation with course instructors and advisors, submit a preliminary research plan by the start of the course, June 3.


  • Registration Form
  • Please save a copy of your confirmation email.
  • Enrollment limit: 25. 
  • In mid-May, registered students will receive an introductory email, invitation to an orientation meeting (via videoconference), and instructions regarding research plan development.

Certificates of Completion:

  • Upon successful completion of this NIH-CFDE-sponsored, course, students will receive a personalized digital certificate.


  • How much does the training course cost? This training course is being offered at no cost.
  • Where is the training course being held? This training course is entirely online to facilitate participation of motivated learners anywhere.
  • What kind of support will students receive during the course?  Students are paired with an advisor and course designers and administrators are also available to answer questions.
  • What equipment is required?  Students are expected to have their own computer along with the ability to participate in videoconference meetings with their advisor.
  • Do I have to be a current undergraduate or postgraduate student to take this training course?  No – everyone is welcome.  All current students (undergraduate and up) are encouraged to register.  Those who are not current students or who have completed their formal education are likewise encouraged to register.
  • Is my research plan required to utilize the neo4j knowledge graph featured in this training course?  No – although we encourage students to design a research plan that uses this specific CFDE resource.  You are required to use one or more CFDE resources or tools in your project, but you are not required to use neo4j.


  • Jeremy Yang, Instructor
  • Vincent Metzger, Lead Advisor
  • Tonya Morgan, Course Administrator
  • Feel free to contact us with any questions about the course.

See Also: