HDR UK is delighted to welcome aboard UCL Associate Professor at the Department of Statistical Science Dr Ioanna Manolopoulou as Associate Director of the HDRUK-Turing PhD programme.

Dr Manolopoulou has been closely linked to the programme since 2018 and served as the training lead for University College London.

The generously-funded scheme, now preparing to recruit its third cohort, is highly distinctive – with a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary character and providing students with in initial foundation year before they begin their theses. It also aims to build close contacts and collaborations between the students themselves.

Dr Manolopoulou will work alongside programme Director Professor Chris Yau and fellow Associate Director Dr Max Little.

Dr Manolopoulou said:

“I really enjoyed my involvement as a training lead and am very pleased to have the chance to become more closely involved with the programme. There are quite a few things that are different from traditional PhD programmes, which I really like. One is that it’s multi-institutional and truly multidisciplinary and collaborative which means the students are really exposed to a wide variety of people, research environments and topics.

“The recruitment and the training are also set up is to create cohorts that truly gel and work together – there’s a lot of group activities, interactive learning exercises and projects, as well as a leadership programme,with a focus on collaborative work. The training is designed to be engaging and challenging to nurture successful collaboration.”

Recruitment to the programme is also done in a way that focusses on the abilities of the candidate ahead of the institution they are studying at.

Dr Manolopoulou said:

“There’s a big effort to try to think outside the box and judge people for their potential as opposed to just their credentials, which are also a reflection of access to opportunity.

“One of the things that I would like to do is to further strengthen the cohesion that we build up among students in their later years. Another is to introduce training on topics like algorithmic fairness – which is very important and coming to the forefront for AI research.”

The programme brings together seven partner universities – Birmingham, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Manchester, Oxford, Queen’s University Belfast, and UCL.

Prof. Yau said:

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Dr Manolopoulou to our team. She has been a strong supporter of the programme since the very beginning and is a passionate advocate for high-quality education, diversity and positive research cultures.

“Her involvement in the programme will make a powerful contribution to our aim of training the next generation of leaders in health data science.”

About Dr Manolopoulou

  • Her first degree was in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge.
  • She completed a PhD in Statistics in 2008 at the Statistical Laboratory, University of Cambridge.
  • Dr Manolopoulou was a Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute 2016-2021.
  • Her main research interests are in developing, extending or re-evaluating Bayesian models with a view to producing inferences which are useful and interpretable in practical applications.