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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S022252/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Statistics and Operational Research in Partnership with Industry (STOR-i)
Principal Investigator: Tawn, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Eckley, Professor IA Glazebrook, Professor KD
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
ATASS Ltd BT EDF Energy
Elsevier UK Featurespace JBA Trust
Lubrizol Ltd Massachusetts Institute of Technology Morgan Stanley
Naval Postgraduate School Northwestern University Numerical Algorithms Group Ltd
Office for National Statistics Rolls-Royce Plc Royal Mail
Shell Tesco University College Dublin
University of Oslo University of Washington
Department: Mathematics and Statistics
Organisation: Lancaster University
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 October 2019 Ends: 31 March 2028 Value (£): 5,453,875
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Mathematical Aspects of OR Statistics & Appl. Probability
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Nov 2018 EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training Interview Panel E – November 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Lancaster University (LU) proposes a Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) to develop international research leaders in statistics and operational research (STOR) through a programme in which cutting-edge industrial challenge is the catalyst for methodological advance. Our proposal addresses the priority area 'Statistics for the 21st Century' through research training in cutting-edge modelling and inference for large, complex and novel data structures. It crucially recognises that many contemporary challenges in statistics, including those arising from industry, also engage with constraint, optimisation and decision. The proposal brings together LU's academic strength in STOR (>50FTE) with a distinguished array of highly committed industrial and international academic partners. Our shared vision is a CDT that produces graduates capable of the highest quality research with impact and equipped with an array of leadership and other skills needed for rapid career progression in academia or industry.

The proposal builds on the strengths of an existing EPSRC-funded CDT that has helped change the culture in doctoral training in STOR through an unprecedented level of engagement with industry. The proposal takes the scale and scientific ambition of the Centre to a new level by:

* Recruiting and training 70 students, across 5 cohorts, within a programme drawing on industrial challenge as the catalyst for research of the highest quality;

* Ensuring all students undertake research in partnership with industry: 80% will work on doctoral projects jointly supervised and co-funded by industry; all others will undertake industrial research internships;

* Promoting a culture of reproducible research under the mentorship and guidance of a dedicated Research Software Engineer (industry funded);

* Developing cross-cohort research-clusters to support collaboration on ambitious challenges related to major research programmes;

* Enabling students to participate in flagship research activities at LU and our international academic partners.

The substantial growth in data-driven business and industrial decision-making in recent years has signalled a step change in the demand for doctoral-level STOR expertise and has opened the skills gap further. The current CDT has shown that a cohort-based, industrially engaged programme attracts a diverse range of the very ablest mathematically trained students. Without STOR-i, many of these students would not have considered doctoral study in STOR. We believe that the new CDT will continue to play a pivotal role in meeting the skills gap.

Our training programme is designed to do more than solve a numbers problem. There is an issue of quality as much as there is one of quantity. Our goal is to develop research leaders who can innovate responsibly and secure impact for their work across academic, scientific and industrial boundaries; who can work alongside others with different skills-sets and communicate effectively. An integral component of this is our championing of ED&I. Our external partners are strongly motivated to join us in achieving these outcomes through STOR-i's cohort-based programme. We have little doubt that our graduates will be in great demand across a wide range of sectors, both industrial and academic.

Industry will play a key role in the CDT. Our partners are helping to co-design the programme and will (i) co-fund and co-supervise doctoral projects, (ii) lead a programme of industrial problem-solving days and (iii) play a major role in leadership development and a range of bespoke training. The CDT benefits from the substantial support of 10 new partners (including Morgan Stanley, ONS Data Science Campus, Rolls Royce, Royal Mail, Tesco) and continued support from 5 existing partners (including ATASS, BT, NAG, Shell), with many others expected to contribute.

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Organisation Website: http://www.lancs.ac.uk