Turing PhD Enrichment Scheme at LIDA



Turing PhD Enrichment Scheme at LIDA

Apply now for a place on the prestigious Alan Turing Institute PhD Enrichment Scheme at LIDA

The Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA) at the University of Leeds is one of only two UK universities that have been selected to deliver the Turing’s unique PhD Enrichment Scheme. The first cohort of Turing enrichment students will start at LIDA in autumn 2021.1

As an enrichment student at LIDA you will boost your data science skills, be given the chance to collaborate with top data science researchers and develop your interdisciplinary networks across the global data science community. You will have the opportunity to find new collaborators for your PhD research or to start a new collaboration on a project related to your research. You will join a cohort of enrichment students from across the UK, and be given the opportunity to network with researchers from LIDA and from across the wider Turing network. You will have access to training offered by LIDA and two CDTs at Leeds, the CDT in Data Analytics and Society and the UKRI CDT in Artificial Intelligence for Medical Diagnosis and Care, and have the opportunity to learn new techniques and methodologies to enrich your research.

Typically you will be in your second or third year of your PhD and your placement at LIDA should enhance and broaden your current PhD work. You will remain enrolled at your home university while based at LIDA and your placement must be supported by your supervisor.

LIDA and the University of Leeds have an excellent reputation in many areas (see list of Turing Fellows and research areas below) and applications from a broad range of academic disciplines are encouraged. As well as maintaining usual contact with your home university supervisor, during your LIDA placement you will be supervised by one of the Leeds Turing Fellows, with whom you will collaborate on your enrichment project.

How to apply

Applications to the scheme should be made directly to the Alan Turing Institute not to LIDA, please follow the link below.  However, you may wish to contact one of the University of Leeds Turing Fellows listed below to discuss the possibility of an enrichment project placement with them before you apply. But please note that any prior conversation with one of the Fellows in no way constitutes your acceptance on to the scheme, nor does it guarantee you a place. If your research area is not covered in the list below please contact Rosaleen McDonnell, University of Leeds Liaison Manager,  rmcdonnell@turing.ac.uk.

You will find full instructions for how to apply on the Alan Turing Institute website here.

Closing date  2 February, 12pm (noon) GMT. 

University of Leeds Turing Fellows’ Research Areas

Urban Analytics

Many of the Turing’s top researchers in urban analytics are based at LIDA, including the Urban Analytics Programme Director Mark Birkin and Turing Fellows Alison Heppenstall, Nick Malleson, Nik Lomax, Susan Grant-Muller, Dan Birks, Mark Mon-Williams and Ed Manley. The Turing Urban Analytics programme fosters a thriving research community that hosts many events including a regular cross-disciplinary monthly meet-up. LIDA is home to the Data Analytics and Society CDT and the ESRC Consumer Data Research Centre. LIDA urban analytics also has strong connections with many research groups in the School of Geography, Institute for Transport Studies and Sustainability Research Institute.

Agent-Based Modelling and Multi-Agent Systems

The University and LIDA are world experts in Agent-Based Modelling and Multi-Agent Systems, which traverses the Turing research themes of Mathematical Modelling, Applied Mathematics and AI. Turing Fellow Nick Malleson’s research focuses on the development of computer models that help us to understand social phenomena. Nick is particularly interested in how we can use ‘big data’, agent-based modelling, and smart cities initiatives to reduce the impacts of phenomena like pollution or crime.

Turing Fellow, Charisma Choudhury’s research focuses on developing the next generation mathematical models of travel behaviour to better predict activity and travel decisions. Technological advances, societal changes and disruptive changes, such as the current pandemic, are leading to fundamental changes in the way people work, move and think. Traditional data and travel behaviour models are unable to deal with such increased complexities and radical changes. Charisma’s current research brings together choice modelling, ubiquitous computing and machine learning techniques, to develop models that will enable planners and policymakers, both in the UK and in developing countries, to meet the new mobility challenges of the 21st century. Her research benefits from the diverse and strong interdisciplinary research environment at Leeds, and from an approach that combines behavioural science with data-driven research methods.

Causal data science

The University of Leeds is a leading centre of expertise in contemporary causal data science.  Because of the transdisciplinary relevance of this research area, it encourages collaboration with LIDA colleagues from across computing, geography and health. The research is led by Turing Fellows Mark Gilthorpe and Peter Tennant and covers the following broad areas: 1) Advancing fundamental understanding of data science using causal inference methods 2) Increasing awareness, education, and training in causal inference methods 3) Translating causal inference methods into applied data science. Peter Tennant and Mark Gilthorpe also co-ordinate the Turing’s Causal Inference Interest Group.

Data Visualization

Leeds is one of the few universities in the UK that is known for its research in visualization, covering both fundamentals and applied research, and has carried out work with end-users that has resulted in successful adoption in the public and private sectors. The University has some of the best facilities for data visualization in the UK, including several 50-million pixel Powerwall displays and immersive virtual reality (VR) setups. Leeds runs established training in data visualization that ranges from a 1-day continuing professional development course to a whole-module course that PhD students may join. Turing Fellow Roy Ruddle is a Professor of Computing and Director of Research Technology at LIDA. He conducts fundamental and applied research in data visualization, makes substantial use of Powerwall displays, and collaborates with private/public sector organisations sectors such as health, retail and engineering. His current research is on visualizing data quality, data profiling workflows, and visualization methods for designing and validating AI models.

The Ethics and Policy of AI

Leeds Turing Fellow Vincent Müller is known for his research in many areas related to the ethics & policy of artificial intelligence. His research covers areas such as surveillance and privacy; risks of digital manufacturing and synthetic biology; conceptual and ethical challenges of progress towards human-level AI, especially computationalism; benchmarking and testing of AI (or cognitive ability in technical systems); theory of computing, especially within the philosophy of mind: computationalism, hypercomputing, morphological computing, digital states, and pancomputationalism. See his web page at See webpage: http://sophia.de/research.htm, also see https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-ai/.

Medical and Health

LIDA medical research is built on strong links to Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust and emphasises work on cancer, cardiovascular and musculo-skeletal disease and intensive care research, with several recent projects focused on the COVID-19 pandemic.  Links to the visualization group support an acknowledged strength in digital pathology and the use of AI in Medical Diagnosis through Turing Fellows Roy Ruddle and David Hogg.  Turing fellows Jeanine van Houwing-Duistermaat and David Westhead support work in integrated genomics and pathology imaging, with applications in precision medicine. Linking to the causal inference group led by Turing Fellows Mark Gilthorpe and Peter Tennant, epidemiology is particularly strong across a range of medical areas.

Human computer interface, neuroscience and cognitive science

The University of Leeds has specific expertise in combining big data and AI with the latest in virtual and augmented reality technologies, embodied through its Centre for Immersive Technologies (www.leeds.ac.uk/immersivetechnologies). Enrichment students would work in a world-class research environment with access to state-of-art technologies and collaborate with a leading team of researchers studying human behaviour using XR. Research in this area would be led by Turing Fellow Faisal Mushtaq.

If your research area is not mentioned above or if you have any queries about the Turing PhD Enrichment Scheme at LIDA please contact University of Leeds Liaison Manager, rmcdonnell@turing.ac.uk

More about LIDA

By connecting academic research with external partners in business, government and the third sector, LIDA is matching the world class capabilities of University research with the needs and opportunities of local organisations. The LIDA approach makes use of interdisciplinary methodologies to address complex sociological and environmental challenges, facilitating the transformation of information into knowledge. LIDA’s aim, and that of the enrichment scheme, is to address the current skills gap in data analytics and to develop and to provide opportunities for researchers, students and partners across disciplines, to acquire new skills and knowledge. LIDA works closely with those organisations who are themselves the generators and custodians of data, to address real-world challenges and build capacity. LIDA hosts some unique datasets and is underpinned by an enabling technology platform, the Integrated Research Campus (IRC).

1 Please note that acceptance of applicants on to the Leeds cohort for 2021/22 is subject to finalization of the agreement between the University of Leeds and the Alan Turing Institute.