This PhD award builds on the partnership between Health Data Research UK and the Turing and will ensure that the next generation of health data scientists are trained and supported by field-leading researchers.

The four-year programme will have a UK-wide reach. With Health Data Research UK and the Turing leading the application, other partners include NHS Digital, Eisai, Astra-Zeneca, Intel, GSK, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, IQVIA, Microsoft and seven leading universities:  Queen’s University Belfast; University of Birmingham; University of Cambridge; University of Edinburgh; University College London; University of Manchester; and University of Oxford.

Wellcome is awarding £127m funding to support 23 new PhD programmes in science that have shown a blend of scientific excellence and a commitment to improving research culture.  It aims to promote positive research environments and to actively address issues like student mental health good research practice, supervision and mentorship relationships, career transitions and increasing diversity in research. Health Data Research UK and the Turing are looking forward to being part of this drive towards creating a new research culture and training the health data scientists of the future.

Professor Peter Diggle, Director of Training at Health Data Research UK said:

“This PhD programme is a big step forward in our ambition to meet the UK’s need for trained health data scientists at every career stage, from school leavers to senior leaders. Working with The Alan Turing Institute, and with our academic and industry partners throughout the UK, we aim to attract the UK’s best statistics and computer science graduates into the data-rich world of twenty-first century health research.”

Dr Chris Yau, Turing Fellow and co-director of the programme, said:

“This is an unprecedented opportunity to develop our future digital health leaders. Embedding our PhD students within an extensive cross-sector, multi-disciplinary collaborative network formed from Health Data Research UK, The Alan Turing Institute and many other partner organisations will enable them to address the greatest challenges in implementing health data science at scale. I am excited to see the new discoveries and methodologies that these students will make in the coming years which will lead to profound improvements in patient care and life quality.”