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Data science boost aids postgraduate research

Postgraduate students are to benefit from a £10 million UK initiative to support data science research.

The investment aims to raise the number of physicists working in data-intensive science.

The emerging field of data science uses advanced computational, statistical and programming techniques, including artificial intelligence, to extract meaningful insights from huge datasets.

National collaboration

Edinburgh is leading one of eight new UK Centres for Doctoral Training, the only one in Scotland.

The funding will support the creation of the Scottish Data-intensive Science Triangle (ScotDIST), which will support PhD students at the Universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews and Glasgow.

Some 16 postgraduate physics students have been awarded places through the initiative.

Real-world applications

The scheme supports astronomy, particle physics, nuclear physics, and solar physics as key areas for big data research.

By tackling problems such as the fundamental nature of matter, the early history of the universe or how elements are made in neutron star mergers, researchers hope to develop novel problem-solving techniques that are directly relevant to industry and commerce.

Graduates are expected to stay in research, or take up positions in industry.

Training support

Students funded through the scheme will benefit from additional technical training and six-month placements with Industrial partners.

The centres are funded by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council.  

The new Centres for Doctoral Training are helping to equip the next generation of data scientists, who will help shape how data science is applied in research and industry.

Professor Andy LawrenceDirector of ScotDIST, School of Physics and Astronomy

Related links

Scottish Data-Intensive Science Triangle