2024 Inter-University Big Data And AI Challenge (IUBDC)

Leveraging Open Data Analytics and Machine Learning to Improve Mental Health Research and Innovation

Sign up now to gain access to:

  • Conference boasting National Health Industry leaders, policymakers, and dignitaries
  • Poster session to showcase your project and interact with Big Pharma representatives and academic professionals
  • Vast network of industry and academic professionals
  • An opportunity for scholarly publication of your project
  • Carefully curated datasets, learning materialsworkshops, and more

Add to Calendar

Registration deadline: May 1, 2024, 11:59 PM EST

Cost of applying*

2024 Inter-University Big Data And AI Challenge (IUBDC)2024-04-05T22:15:31-04:00

Our Sponsors

With support from our sponsors

About Challenge

The Inter-University Big Data Challenge is a unique opportunity to participate in the world of academic research via a hands-on data science and/or artificial intelligence research project relating to the theme of mental health. The challenge will culminate in a conference and poster presentation located in both western or eastern Canada (Calgary or Toronto respectively). All participants will have the opportunity to present their research amongst a community of experts and peers and will be able to learn from and network with like-minded individuals (keynote speakers, panelists, representatives of organizations, industry leaders).

For over 7 years, the IUBDC has brought together industry and academic professionals in both data science and health fields alongside motivated university students for an experiential learning program unlike any other. This year, the challenge is motivated by the theme of mental health research and innovation. We challenge students to use open data and open science in combination with data science and machine learning to produce innovative research that will enhance our understanding of mental health and related symptoms, help people affected by the disease to adapt to their lifestyle, and reduce their risk of suffering from the disease. Projects should focus on one of the many mental health illnesses from dementia to addictions and the patient’s life.

The abstracts of all participating teams will be published in the open-access, peer-reviewed NRC Research Press STEM Fellowship Journal. Finalists’ videos and manuscripts will be published with Underline. We also facilitate participants with preprint opportunities at JMIR Publications.


Graduate and undergraduate students

Students from any undergraduate or graduate program, who are willing to apply computational thinking to address real-world problems.

Program Flow

Here are short flows, for more details, please contact us below

Registrants will have the opportunity to either register as solo participants or form a team of up to four others until May 1, 2024.

Starting May 13, registrants will select a project and will have time until June 30 to complete a full research abstract, manuscript, and poster presentation to accompany it.

The registrants will gain exclusive access to webinars and skill-building opportunities from industry experts during the six weeks of the challenge period to improve their skills in data analysis.

The conferences for Western and Eastern Canada will occur in mid-July The exact dates of each conference for Calgary and Toronto will be announced soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can students from different universities form a team?2024-03-29T11:23:43-04:00

Yes, students do not necessarily have to represent the university at which they are studying.

Is this competition only open to Canadian students?2024-03-29T11:23:16-04:00

No, students from any country can sign up. The IUBDC is not limited to Canadians.

Do I need to have an idea for my project?2024-03-29T11:22:40-04:00

Think about what interests you the most in the field of the provided topic. Reflect on your day-to-day; talk to your friends and professional network from academia and industry; explore emerging technologies and platforms; read the internet and research articles. In hackathons like these, many teams come up with their topics in the first few days of the challenge, rather than beforehand.

How do I form or join a team?2024-03-29T11:22:06-04:00

We encourage participants to start forming teams before the event. You may also register and participate on your own or request to be placed into a team after registration. It is also recommended to make interdisciplinary teams given the nature of our data challenge topics.

Do I need previous programming experience?2024-03-29T11:20:04-04:00

You do not need previous experience with programming, although it is recommended. We welcome all students who are eager to put effort into learning and expanding their skillsets, as well as those who show any level of interest in data science or the challenge topic. Additionally, we will provide you with access to resources and webinars to learn everything you need to succeed!


If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us

General Inquiries

Support the

Big Data Challenge

As a federal charity, we rely on the generous support of our sponsors to sustain the work we do for Canadian youth. Funds that are donated to STEM Fellowship are appreciated and will be used to support STEM programs, which provide students across the country with unique, inquiry-based, experiential learning opportunities.