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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L016710/1
Title: EPSRC and MRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Next Generation Statistical Science: The Oxford-Warwick Statistics Programme.
Principal Investigator: Doucet, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Smith, Professor JQ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Amazon Columbia University DeepMind
Duke University Fera Science Limited GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK)
Google Illumina Cambridge Ltd Lubrizol Ltd
Man Group plc Millward Brown Market & Social Research National University of Singapore
Novartis Office for National Statistics Optimor Limited
Regents of the Uni California Berkeley Swiss Federal Institute of TEC Unilever
University of Washington Xerox Zurich Insurance plc
Department: Statistics
Organisation: University of Oxford
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 April 2014 Ends: 30 September 2022 Value (£): 4,263,185
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Statistics & Appl. Probability
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Food and Drink Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Chemicals Financial Services
Retail Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Oct 2013 EPSRC CDT 2013 Interviews Panel D Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Oxford-Warwick Statistics Programme will train a new cohort of at least 50 graduates in the theory, methods and applications of Statistical Science for 21st Century data-intensive environments and large-scale models. This is joint project lead by the Statistics Departments of Oxford and Warwick. These two departments, ranked first and second for world leading research in the last UK research assessment exercise, can provide a wonderful stimulating training environment for doctoral students in statistics. The Centre's pool of supervisors are known for significant international research contributions in modern computational statistics and related fields, contributions recognised by over 20 major National and International Awards since 2008. Oxford and Warwick attract students with competitively won international scholarships. The programme leaders expect to expand the cohort to 11 or 12 per year by bringing these students into the CDT, and raising their funding up to CDT-level using £188K in support from industry and £150K support from donors.

The need to engage in large-scale highly structured statistical models has been recognized for some time within areas like genomics and brain-imaging technologies. However, the UK's leading industries and sciences are now also increasingly aware of the enormous potential that data-driven analysis holds. These industries include the engineering, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, financial, e-commerce, life-science and entertainment sectors. The analysis bottleneck has moved from being able to collect and record relevant data to being able to interpret and exploit vast data collections. These and other businesses are critically dependent on the availability of future leaders in Statistics, able to design and develop statistical approaches that are scalable to massive data. The UK can take a world lead in this field, being a recognized international leader in Statistics; and OxWaSP is ideally placed to realize the potential this opportunity.

The Centre is focused on a new type of training for a new type of graduate statistician in statistical methodology and computation that is scalable to big data. We will bring a new focus on training for research, by teaching directly from the scientific literature. Students will be thrown straight into reading and summarizing journal papers. Lecture-format contact is used sparingly with peer-to-peer learning central to the training approach. This is teaching and learning for research by doing research. Cohort learning will be enhanced via group visits to companies, small groups reproducing results from key papers, student-orientated paper discussions, annual workshops and a three-day off-site retreat. From the second year the students will join their chosen supervisors in Warwick and Oxford, five in each Centre coming together regularly for research group meetings that overlap Oxford and Warwick, for workshops and retreats, and teaching and mentoring of students in earlier years.

The Centre is timely and ambitious, designed to attract and nurture the brightest graduate statisticians, broadening their skills to meet the new challenge and allowing them to flourish in a focused, communal, research-training environment. The strategic vision is to train the next generation of statisticians who will enable the new data-intensive sciences and industries. The Centre will offer a vehicle to bring together industrial partners from across the two departments to share ideas and provide an important perspective to our students on the research challenges and opportunities within commercial and social enterprises. Student's training will be considerably enhanced through the Centre's visits, lectures, internships and co-supervision from global partners including Amazon, Google, GlaxoSmithKline, MAN and Novartis, as well as smaller entrepreneurial start-ups Deepmind and Optimor.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.ox.ac.uk