Alex Hulkes is Strategic Lead for Insights at the ESRC, and is responsible for developing our ability to evaluate and carry out data-informed analysis of ESRC investments, policy and operation.
Here he highlights why we publish our application and award data, and what conclusions we might be able to draw from it.
You may have noticed that we’ve just published a new set of application and award data showing the number of applications and awards from each research organisation (RO) that has applied for ESRC funding in the last five financial years. The set also contains similar data on numbers of applications and awards based on the research disciplines used to classify grants. Continue reading
Professor Matthew Williams and Dr Pete Burnap are directors of the ESRC-funded Social Data Science Lab that continues the successful COSMOS programme of work. The Lab forms part of the Data Innovation Research Institute, which will be housed within the new Social Science Research Park at Cardiff University.
Together with colleagues (Dr Luke Sloan and Professor Omer Rana) they recently presented their intriguing findings about the power of pulling large sets of data from social media in front of 150 policymakers, academics and industry experts at the Data Science and Government Conference. The event, organised by the Behavioural Insights Team, looked at how emerging techniques in data science can best be used to support policy agendas in a range of areas.
Professor Matthew Williams and Dr Pete Burnap
Many would say there has been a lot of hype about the promise of Big Data and Data Science in government circles in recent years. The Data Science and Government Conference gave one of the first opportunities for presenters, from government and academia, to demonstrate how very large datasets are being put to use in real-world policy contexts to address a range of pressing questions and to introduce new efficiencies. Recently the Cabinet Office developed a set of guidelines for the ethical use of big data in government projects.
Dr Jennifer Holden (University of Aberdeen) is Training and Outreach Officer for the dot.rural Digital Economy Hub. Her role involves co-ordinating internal dot.rural training, along with dot.rural public engagement and outreach activities.
This project seeks to develop and apply new tools and methods for social media data analysis, as well as explore the ethical challenges associated with using such data in research. Case studies include transport disruption around the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, UK-EU relations and island communities in the Western Isles. Part of the project seeks to engage with the public on the topic of social media through a series of festivals. These include music festivals as they lead to encounters with members of the public who might not attend science events. To date the team have featured at seven festivals including Green Man 2014 and Edinburgh International Science Festival.