The Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability (STRIDES) Initiative aims to modernize the biomedical research ecosystem by reducing economic and process barriers to accessing commercial cloud services. To harness the power of the cloud to accelerate biomedical discovery, STRIDES offers customized trainings and promotes best practices designed to help researchers achieve optimal use of cloud-based research technologies.

Data generated via biomedical research continues to outpace the ability to process, store, and analyze in many local environments.

An NIH program, and part of NIH’s data science portfolio A destination (i.e., there is no “STRIDES cloud”)
A mechanism for NIH and NIH-funded researchers to access and use cloud compute, storage, and related services A service for researchers to store or analyze research data (though it can help provide access to cloud capabilities for storing and analyzing data)
One method for using the cloud to support biomedical research The only method for using the cloud to support biomedical research
Encouraged by NIH Required by NIH


The first STRIDES Initiative partnership was established with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) in July 2018; a second partnership was established with Amazon Web Services (AWS) in September 2018; and a third partnership was established with Microsoft Azure in July 2021.

The STRIDES Initiative allows NIH to explore the use of cloud environments to streamline NIH data use by partnering with commercial providers. NIH’s STRIDES Initiative provides cost-effective access to industry-leading partners to help advance biomedical research. These partnerships enable access to rich datasets and advanced computational infrastructure, tools, and services.

The STRIDES Initiative is one of many NIH-wide efforts to implement the NIH Strategic Plan for Data Science, which provides a roadmap for modernizing the NIH-funded biomedical data science ecosystem.


By leveraging the STRIDES Initiative, NIH and NIH-funded institutions can begin to create a robust, interconnected ecosystem that breaks down silos related to generating, analyzing, and sharing research data. NIH-funded researchers with an active NIH award may take advantage of the STRIDES Initiative for their NIH-funded research projects. Eligible investigators include awardees of NIH contracts, other transaction agreements, grants, cooperative agreements, and other agreements.