School of Informatics

€1.9m funding for Skye project

Dr James Cheney has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant.

ERC says that consolidator grants “are targeted at top researchers of any nationality based in, or willing to move to Europe.”

The €1,995,181 award will support the support the Principal Investigator and a team of postdoctoral researchers and PhD students to develop Skye, a programming language bridging theory and practice for scientific data curation.

The project will last for 5 years, June 2016 – May 2021.

Provenance for curated databases

An extract from the Skye project web page explains:

“Science is increasingly data-driven. Scientific research funders now routinely mandate open publication of publicly-funded research data. Safely reusing such data currently requires labour-intensive curation. Provenance recording the history and derivation of the data is critical to reaping the benefits and avoiding the pitfalls of data sharing.

“Research on provenance for scientific databases is still at an early stage, and prototypes have so far proven challenging to deploy or evaluate in the field. Also, most techniques to date focus on provenance within a single database, but this is only part of the problem: real solutions will have to integrate database provenance with the multiple tiers of web applications, and no-one has begun to address this challenge.

“The Skye project will build support for curation into the programming language itself.”

Postdoctoral position available

Dr Cheney is currently recruiting a Research Associate in Programming Languages for this project. The successful candidate will have expertise in foundations of programming languages and functional programming.

The position is available for 24 months, starting September 2016. Applications must be submitted through the University’s jobs site by 5pm, 17 June 2016.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to email Dr Cheney at before applying, to discuss the position.

For further information and to apply, use this direct link to the application site.

Useful links

Skye on the ERC website

Skye project web page

Postdoctoral position - direct link to the application site.

Dr Cheney on Edinburgh Research Explorer

ERC press release



The ERC funds the work of some of the most brilliant minds in frontier research, people whose discoveries can start new industries, new markets and contribute to the welfare of the planet.

European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation