Staff news

Data-Driven Innovation grants to fight Covid-19

Projects to help Edinburgh and the surrounding region recover from Covid-19 are to be supported by a new £100,000 fund.

Staff and post-graduate students are being encouraged to apply for individual grants of between £1,000 and £25,000 for Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) initiatives that tackle the virus or its impact.

The aim is to use DDI solutions to support people in south-east Scotland both in the next few weeks, and in the longer term, as the battle against Covid-19 continues.

Funding will be considered for a wide range of ideas and applications, including, but not limited to:

  • Working with government bodies or organisations to meet new analytical needs and requirements
  • Connecting vulnerable people to ensure they receive the support they need
  • Helping individuals and businesses with their finances during uncertain times
  • Supply chain and logistics management
  • Combatting misinformation and fake news
  • Citizen data science, including personal health tracking

The funding is being made available as part of the City Region Deal’s DDI initiative, which aims to help individuals and organisations benefit from the data revolution.


Grants will be made available for both new and existing projects which have the potential to assist in the response to and recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

Applications are open to academic and professional staff, as well as post-graduate students at the University of Edinburgh.

Quick implementation is a key consideration, with a preference for work to be underway before July 2020.

If you have a project, please contact the DDI team first for a brief discussion by emailing

There is a strong desire at the University of Edinburgh to contribute our knowledge and skills to defeating Covid-19. We want these grants to equip our students and staff with the resources they need to use data-intensive approaches to help our region respond to, and eventually recover from this crisis. Even if we can make a small-difference it will have been worth it.

Jarmo EskelinenExecutive Director, DDI initiative

Related links

Full guidance for applicants

Application form