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Funding for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Healthcare Data Science, which is hosted by the Big Data Institute, has been renewed as part of a £1 billion investment by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Ministry of Defence, universities, and business partners.

The CDT in Healthcare Data Science will receive £10 million to train 58 DPhil students over the next five years. The students will receive intensive training in their first year, including hands-on data challenges where they will work on at-scale health data in teams. They will develop skills in statistics, machine learning, and data management, to derive insights from large, complex datasets. At the core of the programme is a strong emphasis on combining technical training with a foundation in ethics.

Professor Thomas Nichols, Director of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Healthcare Data Science, said ‘This funding will enable the Centre to continue to deliver research training at the heart of the University’s medical sciences campus. We will continue to develop the next generation of data scientists with the vital expertise required to transform healthcare research and access to health services.’

Speaking of the UK-wide investment, Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology, said ‘As innovators across the world break new ground faster than ever, it is vital that government, business and academia invests in ambitious UK talent, giving them the tools to pioneer new discoveries that benefit all our lives while creating new jobs and growing the economy. By targeting critical technologies including artificial intelligence and future telecoms, we are supporting world class universities across the UK to build the skills base we need to unleash the potential of future tech and maintain our country’s reputation as a hub of cutting-edge research and development.’

The funding is the UK’s biggest-ever investment in engineering and physical sciences doctoral skills. 65 CDTs will train more than 4,000 doctoral students in centres addressing key challenges including net zero, AI, and quantum technologies.

Professor Charlotte Deane, Executive Chair of the EPSRC said ‘The Centres for Doctoral Training announced today will help to prepare the next generation of researchers, specialists and industry experts across a wide range of sectors and industries. Spanning locations across the UK and a wide range of disciplines, the new centres are a vivid illustration of the UK’s depth of expertise and potential, which will help us to tackle large-scale, complex challenges and benefit society and the economy.

‘The high calibre of both the new centres and applicants is a testament to the abundance of research excellence across the UK, and EPSRC’s role as part of UKRI is to invest in this excellence to advance knowledge and deliver a sustainable, resilient and prosperous nation.’

The CDT in Healthcare Data Science is one of four CDTs at the University of Oxford. The next cohort of students will start in October 2024. For further information about the CDT in Healthcare Data Science, please email the Admissions Team.