The Data Science Institute at Lancaster University

Data Science Institute

We aim to set the global standard for a truly interdisciplinary approach to contemporary data-driven research challenges. Established in 2015, the Data Science Institute (DSI) has over 300 members and has raised nearly £35 million in research grants.

Research Themes

Latest News and Events

The Data Science Institute with Administrative Data Research Uk are hosting an online event.

8th December 12 -1.30

This workshop will introduce delegates to the wealth of linked administrative datasets that are available for researchers to access through ADR UK’s partner trusted research environments (TREs). Participants will learn about the datasets themselves, how to access them, and what other resources are available to support their use, including funding. It will showcase opportunities for cross-cutting research using these linked datasets, including a case study from a researcher to illustrate the research potential of this kind of data.

Background

Administrative data is collected when people interact with public services, such as schools and colleges, the NHS, the courts, and the benefits system. When these data are linked, they can provide powerful insights for research that can inform policy to improve people’s lives. Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK) was formed in 2018 to support the opening-up and linkage of government-held administrative data for research for the public good. In addition to making available lots of exciting new, national-level linked datasets, much progress has been made to provide support for researchers to use it through the development of discoverable metadata and resources, as well as research funding. ADR UK is continuing to develop its training and capacity building activities to further support the use of these datasets through, for example, the commissioning of training on how to use these large and often complex datasets.​

Please register via Eventbrite

Agenda

12.00pm – 12.30pm: Introduction to administrative data, ADR UK, and overview of linked administrative data available (Balint Stewart, ADR UK):

2.30pm- 1pm: Accessing data for research in DEA-accredited trusted research environments (Natasha Kong, UK Statistics Authority)

1pm -1.30pm: Linked administrative data research case study (Dr Katie Hunter, Lancaster University): Using Administrative Data to Understand Disproportionalities in Youth Justice Involvement: The Intersections between Ethnicity and Care Experience (Ministry of Justice – Department for Education linked dataset).

More information

If you require further information about this event, please contact Julia Carradus (j.carradus1@lancaster.ac.uk) or Balint Stewart (balint.stewart@esrc.ukri.org)​.

Additional materials

Invitation to apply for funding for interdisciplinary research workshops

The Data Science Institute supports interdisciplinary research across a wide range of disciplines and interests. Institute members are passionately engaged in a wide range of data-intensive activity, which is addressing critical societal, economic and environmental questions, as well as generating new mathematical models and methods of digital innovation. We are delighted to collaborate with a wide range of centres across the University and take a broad definition of ‘data’ and ‘science’ - reflecting an inclusive outlook, which is critical to our mission.

To support the development of cross-disciplinary data intensive activity at Lancaster we are offering workshop funding for your projects. We welcome applications from colleagues with interests, which may include: the foundations of data science, environmental data science, critical data studies, design, AI and trust, data and ‘hard to reach’ groups, data and inclusion, data and justice, digital innovation, population data science, citizen science and emerging forms of data. If you are unsure your proposal fits – please do drop a line to DSI.

Your workshops should aim to bring colleagues together for exciting dialogue and exchange, you may want to invite external colleagues from other universities, industry, policy, charity or civil society. Our only stipulation is that you must demonstrate collaboration beyond a single discipline.

We look forward to reading your proposals!

Further Information. Proposals are sought for workshops to be held at Lancaster before the end of the academic year 2022/23. Funding of between £2000 - £5000 is available for each workshop. Funds can be requested to cover travel and subsistence costs associated with inviting UK/international speakers to the workshop, together with local costs associated with the event itself (venue, refreshments & food, etc.). We encourage workshops to invite non-LU researchers to attend and so it may be appropriate to charge external folks a nominal workshop fee to cover some of the costs, if your budget will exceed £5000.

DSI will be able to provide administrative support to help with these workshops (e.g., setting up the financial aspects, rooms and catering bookings) however the proposer(s) and a local organising committee will be ultimately responsible for organising the workshop. You will be asked to provide a short report for the DSI website of not more than 2-3 paragraphs, following the conclusion of your workshop. This may include photographic material where appropriate permissions are sought.

Proposals will be reviewed by a sub-group of DSI leadership and members, taking into account any conflicts of interest. Professor Heather Brown will lead the review process. We will aim to ensure, as far as possible, that funding is spread across the faculties of the University.

Proposal format Proposals should consist of the following:

Proposers: (inc. departmental affiliation)

Workshop focus: brief description of aims:

Proposed local organisers (inc. departmental affiliation)

List of potential invited speakers

Brief justification of funds requested

Expected outcome/benefits from the workshop

Proposals should be sent in pdf/word format to the DSI mailbox by 15th January 2023. Please keep to two sides of A4

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact DSI.

A SafePod has arrived in Lancaster!

What is a SafePod?

A SafePod is a standardised safe setting that provides the necessary security for a researcher to access sensitive datasets from participating Data Centres across the UK. The SafePod includes a door control access system, CCTV, a researcher area for the analysis of datasets and a separate secure storage area for IT equipment. The SafePod is also wheelchair accessible and includes a height adjustable desk.

The SafePod at Lancaster University is part of the SafePod Network (SPN). A total of 25 SafePods will make up the SafePod Network, spread geographically across the UK. This network will remove the need for long distance travel to a dedicated safe setting provided by a data centre.

The SPN is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and run by the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research. Both are part of the ADR UK programme. For more information about the SPN visit www.safepodnetwork.ac.uk. SafePod is a registered trademark of the University of St Andrews.’

To use this facility please book via the links on this Library's Safepod webpage

This will be bookable and live from 19th September

How to access the SafePod

Bookings to access the SafePod are made via the SafePod Network’s website. Please note that you need a project with an SPN Data Centre to be able to book and use a SafePod. To access the SafePod please follow the steps below:

  • Register with SafePod Network as a researcher with the SPN. Registration will involve completing a short online questionnaire on SPN User policies.
  • Once your registration is complete, make a booking request for Lancaster University's SafePod from the SafePod Network website.
  • Your SafePod booking request will then be sent to your chosen Data Centre. If approved, a booking confirmation email will then be sent to you.

Bookings must be received by the Lancaster University SafePod Coordinators a minimum of three working days before the date the SafePod is required. Booking requests go to the Data Centre for approval before they reach the Lancaster University SafePod Coordinators, so please factor this in when planning your SafePod booking.

On the day of the booking come to the Service Desk by the Entrance of Library A floor and ask for the on-duty SafePod Coordinator. Please ensure you bring valid identification with you and follow the instructions provided in the booking confirmation email for use of the SafePod.

Location and opening times

Hours of opening: Monday - Friday, 9.30am-4.00pm.

The SafePod is located on A floor of the University Library.

More information

For more information about the SafePod at Lancaster University please email Libraryresearchspaces@lancaster.ac.uk

For general enquiries about the SafePod Network contact 01334 463901 or email safepodnetwork@st-andrews.ac.uk.

SafePod is a registered trademark of the University of St Andrews.

Staff members standing outside of the SafePod

Research Themes

Data Science at Lancaster was founded in 2015 on Lancaster’s historic research strengths in Computer Science, Statistics and Operational Research. The environment is further enriched by a broad community of data-driven researchers in a variety of other disciplines including the environmental sciences, health and medicine, sociology and the creative arts.

  • Foundations

    Foundations research sits at the interface of methods and application: with an aim to develop novel methodology inspired by the real-world challenge. These could be studies about the transportation of people, goods & services, energy consumption and the impact of changes to global weather patterns.

  • Health

    The Health theme has a wide scope. Current areas of strength include spatial and spatiotemporal methods in global public health, design and analysis of clinical trials, epidemic forecasting and demographic modelling, health informatics and genetics.

  • Society

    Data Science has brought new approaches to understanding long-standing social problems concerning energy use, climate change, crime, migration, the knowledge economy, ecologies of media, design and communication in everyday life, or the distribution of wealth in financialised economies.

  • Environment

    The focus of the environment theme has been to seek methodological innovations that can transform our understanding and management of the natural environment. Data Science will help us understand how the environment has evolved to its current state and how it might change in the future.

Professor Christina Pagel

Professor Christina Pagel gave a talk to DSI on 'What Independent SAGE has taught me about the current biggest issues in light of COVID-19 and where data science can help'. Listen here to her insights and observations about the ongoing pandemic.

DSI Society - Inequalities

A recording is now available of the launch of the book by Amy Clair and our very own Jasmine Fledderjohann and Bran Knowles entitled, "A Watershed Moment for Social Policy and Human Rights?: Where Next for the UK Post-Covid". The event included an overview of the key concepts and themes in the book; invited talks from Aaron Reeves (University of Oxford), Kayleigh Garthwaite (University of Birmingham), and Daniel Greene (University of Maryland).

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