Bayes Centre

Call for Data Study Group challenges related to the theme of dementia

The Alan Turing Institute are seeking a range of research questions (challenges) across disciplines to better understand dementia-causing disorders.


In September 2021, Turing Data Study Groups, in conjunction with the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) and the Deep Dementia Phenotyping Network(DEMON) will host a themed Data Study Group event. The event seeks to draw on a range of expertise across disciplines to better understand dementia-causing disorders and champion new diagnosis approaches, treatment, provision and prevention.

Data Study Groups are 'collaborative hackathons' hosted at the Turing, bringing together organisations from academia, industry, government, or the third sector, with multi-disciplinary researchers. Groups brainstorm avenues of exploration, run experiments on the data and document their activities.

We are looking for six dementia related projects to feature in this thematic Data Study Group*. Projects must have a dementia focus and can investigate any area, be it in detection, prevention or treatment. This is an ideal opportunity to generate exploration avenues, testing a proof of concept, kick starting a larger project and knowledge transfer. Data Study Group challenge owners can expect:

  • A team of doctoral students, early career researchers, and postdocs from across a broad range of disciplines, whose quick, agile thinking will help tackle the challenge.
  • A report published on the Turing website detailing approaches explored and possible further avenues to investigate. 
  • Full support of The Alan Turing Institute to help prepare and shape the challenge. 

*If your organisation has a data science or artificial intelligence challenge that you would like to put forward for this process but the challenge does not relate to dementia, please enquire via our challenge owner webpage as we have a number of events throughout the year which are not tied to a theme.


We particularly welcome proposals from charities, research institutes, healthcare arms or industry interested in neurodegeneration. While projects can lend themselves to any area of dementia research, they should seek to generate positive impacts for the Challenge Owner directly and for the wider data science community by investigating where findings can be applied/translated to other contexts.

Before applying, organisations should be aware of the following:

  • Challenge Owners must provide the data and have the right to use it.
  • Challenge Owners should have support from senior stakeholders within their organisation.
  • The final report will be made available online in the public domain (subject to anonymisation or limited redaction, to protect data and processes if necessary).
  • This is not a consultancy-type engagement.
  • The Data Study Group is a large undertaking which requires input from the Challenge Owner organisations. The engagement will begin in March 2021. The level of engagement usually requires an individual within the challenge owner organisation to dedicate a few hours per week in the months running up to the event and a near full-time commitment during the event.


For each challenge: 

  • £45k + VAT for Corporates.
  • £20k + VAT for SMEs (i.e. <250 employees), academia, charities and government.

Challenges from academics who are not able to cover the cost should email, there may be alternative funding sources available for the right challenge. 

If your organisation does not have a challenge but would like to sponsor promising challenges for this dementia-themed event, please contact the Data Study Group Team:

How to apply

Applications are now open. Please register your challenge online via Flexi-Grant. You will be able to save your progress, so you do not need to complete it in one sitting.

Applications must be submitted via Flexi-Grant. Please do not send us a hard or electronic copy of an application – these will not be accepted. If you have not done so already you will need to create a basic Flexi-Grant account. It is quick and free to register, please be aware you will be required to activate your account via email. 

Applications close on 5 February 2021.

Those who submitted shortlisted challenges will be contacted by 19 February and invited to discuss the project with a group of academics. Applicants will be notified of outcomes by 8 March 2021. 

Please download the Call Guide for the full details and selection criteria.  

Please read the Challenge Owner Pack.

If you have any questions regarding the call, the application form or using the online system please email