The goal of feature selection is to identify the most informative features for compact representation, whereas the goal of active learning is to select the most informative instances for prediction. Previous studies separately address these two problems, despite of the fact that selecting features and instances are dual operations over a data matrix. In this paper, we consider the novel problem of simultaneously selecting the most informative features and instances and develop a solution from the perspective of optimum experimental design. That is, by using the selected features as the new representation and the selected instances as training data, the variance of the parameter estimate of a learning function can be minimized. Specifically, we propose a novel approach, which is called Unified criterion for Feature and Instance selection (UFI), to simultaneously identify the most informative features and instances that minimize the trace of the parameter covariance matrix. A greedy algorithm is introduced to efficiently solve the optimization problem. Experimental results on two benchmark data sets demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed method.