LIDA continues to remain at the forefront of data analytics research and education at the University of Leeds, and beyond. Our new Research Communities and Programmes continue to grow and develop and have already evidenced great successes. As has our award-winning Data Scientist Development programme, which develops the data scientists of the future, continues to go from strength to strength and has been formally recognised in the Research Culture and Engaged for Impact Awards.
Our Education team continue to broaden our range of data science related training and our world-class secure cloud-based platform, LASER, continues to enable world-class research. The ongoing partnership with the Alan Turing Institute means we remain optimally placed to capitalise on regional, national and international trends in data science. We are also seeing growth in the team with new communications support and a 5-year strategy refresh, to ensure we continue to be aligned with the fast-moving pace of data Science, research IT developments, education and new ways of working.
Research & Innovation
This has been another exceptional year for consolidating the LIDA R&I Strategy. During the past year, we undertook several community workshops to consolidate the formation and strategic goals of the three LIDA Communities and have launched several new methodological LIDA Programmes.
LIDA Community and Programmes, alongside several LIDA Interest Groups, are vertebrate and provide structure to our community of over 300 scientists across the University of Leeds. In addition, LIDA continues to build synergies and collaborations nationally and internationally and plays a major role in the Alan Turing Institute.
Over the past year LIDA has supported a research portfolio of 71 projects, worth £95m. We’ve contributed to the award of 14 research grants totalling almost £30million and a further ten grant applications (value of £5m) awaiting results. All research grant applications that LIDA supported in this time ranged across our expertise in Health, Societies and Environment for a multitude of different funders, with wealth of different partners across the public, private and third sectors.
Some high-profile grants we have supported this year include Leeds Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), the Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre and Food Insecurity in people living with obesity (FIO Food), to name just a few.
LIDA’s research communities are currently focused on three main challenge areas that require interdisciplinary working and have spent the past year getting established.
This year the main activity was a series of three workshops with the broad aim of community formation and focus. Three linked themes emerged, research into multiple long-term conditions, mental health, and the use of large molecular, genetic and imaging data sets in diagnosis and to direct treatment.
In May and June, we held a series of information sessions followed by a workshop to discuss the strategy for the community, and to develop plans for further interaction. Thanks to the 40 attendees to the workshop, we identified a number of activities that we could undertake to promote collaboration between social scientists and data scientists.
The recently formed LIDA Environment theme has started fostering cross-university collaboration between researchers at Leeds University who apply machine learning in their day-to-day research in the physical sciences. This cross-discipline collaboration has crystallised around the recently-formed Scientific Machine learning (SciML) community.
Supporting our communities are four cross-cutting programmes of work that focus on exploiting and developing our capabilities and capacity within four key methodological data analytics areas.
This programme aims to bring together University of Leeds researchers with interests in the methodological development of data science approaches. A series of workshops are being planned to launch the programme.
The LIDA horizontal AI programme is starting this year. One key activity will be the mapping of AI related activities across campus, creating visibility for individual research groups and alerting others to potentially useful know-how available in Leeds.
This is a newly created programme which was organized this year, with preliminary work starting around June. At this initial stage, we are focused on defining what “Immersive technologies” encompasses in the context of LIDA, and who in Leeds has research that falls within this area.
This new programme covers the Computing/Computer Science Foundations and the Data Science Infrastructures. We are defining what it encompass in the context of LIDA, and who in the University Leeds has research that falls within this area with two workshops.
Our Research & Innovation Ecosystem
The centre is working with industry and public sector partners to facilitate the use of consumer data in research to provide unique insight into lifestyle, activity, attitudes and behaviours and to help policy makers better understand the societal and economic challenges facing the country.
The 2019-2022 period saw work on improving equity play out against the backdrop of a pandemic that reversed a decade of progress in reducing educational inequality. The impact of covid-19 will reverberate throughout our society for decades to come.
Hosted within the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and in partnership with the University of Leeds, research within the NIHR Leeds BRC is focused on providing individually targeted, cost-effective therapies that improve the lives of those living with musculoskeletal disease.
CISTIB performs cutting-edge research in fundamental and applied biomedical imaging & modelling with an impact on personalized minimally invasive therapies and active and healthy ageing.
The Centre for Environmental Modelling And Computation (CEMAC) aims to provide a core of technical and scientific expertise related to research computing applications in environmental research and teaching.
The mission of “LeedsOmics” is to engage and unify the critical mass of ‘omics’ researchers at the University of Leeds into one central virtual institute.
The Centre for HealthTech Innovation (CHI) is a joint research initiative between the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to accelerate the development and adoption of new health technologies.
We believe in innovation through collaboration and work closely with a wide range of data partners in the public, private and third sectors to ensure the Institute’s academic expertise is channelled towards addressing real-world challenges. LIDA is currently working with a number of key partners. Please click the partners below to read more about these collaborations.
Education & Training
LIDA’s core education & training activities of affiliated taught postgraduate programmes, short courses and early career seminars have all enjoyed a successful year. We have also continued to innovate, aligned to the new opportunities provided by the University 2020-2030 strategy and the curriculum redefined project. LIDA-affiliated MSc programmes continue to recruit strongly and plans for further fully online programmes continue to take shape.
The early career seminar programme hosted 6 well-attended online meetings during 2022 and in partnership with the Turing Institute Skills Group we have launched a Data Science & Artificial Intelligence Education Leeds Local Interest Group.
Data Scientist Development Programme
The programme had an increase in data scientists this year, going from a cohort of 9 to 12 and has seen Professor Michelle Morris take over the leadership of the Programme Academic Advisory Group.
It also won a university Research Culture Award in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for its work on positive action recruitment.
Our Education & Training Ecosystem
This year has seen the first cohort of our centre complete their projects and graduate. Many of our students who have graduated or are close to finishing have also gone on to get jobs, both in academia and outside of academia.
The UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in AI for Medical Diagnosis and Care is now in its fourth year. It had a third intake of 12 highly talented students including CDT and associated CDT PhD students and will welcome our fourth cohort in September 2022.
The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics tackles fundamental and applied problems providing students from a wide range of academic backgrounds with the opportunity to undertake cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research.
The centre is training the next generation of Earth Observation leaders, with the expertise and knowledge to address Earth System challenges using both advanced data science and remote sensing.
In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2021) assessment, Leeds was ranked 8th in the UK for research power (source: Times Higher Education). As the REF environment statements of 11 out of Leeds’ 28 units of assessment show, LIDA’s infrastructure, facilities and data assets are central to the research conducted by an impressively diverse proportion of the University, including medicine, health, the environment, maths, computer science, business, and the social sciences. LIDA infrastructure, facilities and data assets are also central to the research of many of Leeds’ 40 Turing Fellows.