Multi-million pound boost for research

Lancaster University. STOCK IMAGE.
Lancaster University. STOCK IMAGE.

The Data Science Institute at Lancaster University has been awarded £5.5m for two large-scale research programmes.

Both are aimed at bringing new understanding and helping decision-making in both environmental and public health policy.

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, both intend to change the way data is used and deal with the challenges facing them.

One project ‘Data Science of the Natural Environment’, has received £2.6 million and will involve a cross disciplinary team of outstanding scientists and is supported by 22 key organisations.

Part of the project will involve using new techniques to develop a virtual lab, with the aim of helping society make better-informed decisions about key issues from arctic ice melts to air pollution.

Professor David Leslie from the Data Science Institute is leading this project, which is also getting £500,000 from the Natural Environment Research Council.

He said: “We are bringing together leading experts from a wide range of disciplines, alongside partner organisations, to develop a game-changing virtual lab.

“This will enable a myriad of complex environmental models to work together, offer new insights and provide much richer information for policy makers.”

The other programme; New Approaches for Bayesian Data Science: Tackling Challenges from the Health Services, led by Professor Paul Fearnhead has received £2.95m

It aims to develop new data science methods, and obtain important new insights into public health issues.

By extracting a richer understanding from the large quantities of health-related data that is routinely collected, the programme will develop new data science methods that will enable improved diagnoses, more timely interventions and effective treatments, and pave the way for more personalised medicine.”