Due to unforeseen circumstances regarding COVID-19, STEM Fellowship has taken the initiative to make the Big Data Challenge take place entirely online. This means that there will be absolutely no need to attend in-person workshops and training sessions, and everything will be delivered online.

Deadline to Registration









Want to participate as a mentor instead? Guide undergraduate researchers through your expertise

More InformationRegister Here

The Big Data Challenge (BDC) for undergraduate students is an inquiry-driven experiential learning program that invites students from across the country to strengthen their problem-solving and critical thinking skills while gaining familiarity with the fundamentals of data science. 


How It Works

  • Form and register teams of up to 4
  • Participants are offered data science workshops, various analytical tools like SAS, R, and Python, and mentorship from experts in academia and industry
  • Teams submit their results as research manuscripts.
  • The finalists are then invited to defend their findings in front of a panel of experts to compete for prizes.
  • All submitted abstracts are published in the peer-reviewed STEM Fellowship Journal through the NRC Research Press.
  • The BDC will take place from May 22 to 31, 2020, with the finale event held in mid-July.
  • All aspects of the BDC will occur online.


Exploring the complexities and challenges of public and personal health decisions using open biomedical, social, and economic data.

The challenge will be based on the analysis of open data from:

Through this challenge, students will:

  • Collect and analyse data to investigate the validity of popular health claims within the media, by critically considering the implications of the data and attempting to establish objectivity.  
  • Gain insight into how public health data plays a role in public policy, individual decisions, and economic/financial actions.
  • Characterise, understand, and predict the public health and socioeconomic effects of potentially disingenuous health claims within the media. 
  • Explore a wide variety of open data in order to test novel hypotheses.

Identify and suggest policies and decisions in various areas of health and biomedical science that impact both individuals and the general public.

Why Participate?

  • Participate in workshops to learn key data science skills.
  • Interact remotely with mentors and students across Canada.
  • Have your work published in the peer-reviewed STEM Fellowship Journal! The top 3 finalists have full manuscripts published and all participants have their abstracts published. 




  • National Diabetes Repository Data and Workshop
  • Opportunity to engage with Roche
  • Public and Personal Health Presentation Awards
    • 1st Prize: $1500 + Publication
    • 2nd Prize: $600
    • 3rd Prize: $400
    Public and Personal Health Decisions Research Excellence Awards
    • 1st Prize: $1500  + Publication
    • 2nd Prize: $600  + Publication
    • 3rd Prize: $400
  • $1500 worth of technological prizes
  • More to come soon!

For more details about the Big Data Challenge, please read the welcome document below.


Computational Thinking

The ability to translate aggregates of data into abstract concepts and conduct data-based reasoning.

Social Intelligence

The ability to participate in the collaborative construction of solutions.

Design Mindset

The ability to create solutions in contexts where only part of the requirements are known.


Cognitive Load Management

Examine many data sources and filter excess information in order to produce successful solutions.


Here are samples of last year’s workshops to give you an idea of this year’s live, interactive workshops. This year, we will have workshops that focus on statistics, data manipulation, data analysis, machine learning, and more! We encourage you to read these ahead of time to help prepare you for the upcoming BDC.




Interested, but not an undergraduate student?

Check out our High School Big Data Challenge
Click Here