CDT: Data Analytics and Society

The Challenge

Despite its obvious importance, the dynamic analysis of social systems has been compromised for too long by the lack of suitable sources of evidence. A significant feature of the new data environment is that it is comprised streams of data that are often fast-moving, sometimes real-time but also over longer time horizons. These new sources have the potential to unlock enormous value: for business, for policy, for society.

The New Centre

Data Analytics and Society is an ESRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training which will provide postgraduate research and training for 52 PhD students across 4 Universities:

  • University of Leeds
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Sheffield

The CDT will encourage significant advances which bring together social science with methods from computing, mathematics and the natural sciences.

Information for Students

This is an exciting opportunity to undertake a 4-year funded integrated PhD and MSc in Data Analytics and Society.

The programme will include an integrated MSc in Data Analytics over the first two years which will provide you with the foundation skills to complete your research project.

The Centre will focus on:

  • Promoting the creation and analysis of new longitudinal and streamed data resources for socio-economic investigations.
  • Creating new methods (e.g. scaling up existing methods for real time big data analytics),
  • Investigating social processes (e.g. virtualisation of retailing; data-driven decision making and social behaviours)
  • Facilitating interventions (e.g. resource targeting, network planning, social media apps for diet, travel, lifestyle planning).

Potential applicants are encouraged to get in touch and include details on their area of research interests. Academics who may have an interest in supervising a project as part of the CDT should also contact Professor Mark Elliot, University of Manchester (

Collaboration opportunities for industry partners

The CDT is co-funded by the ESRC, the partner universities and also external organisations. We are committed to developing a substantial portfolio of external partners to co-develop PhD and internship projects

We seek non-academic partners from all sectors with an interest in evidence-based analytics of social systems.

Partners are invited to engage with the centre for a four year period to:

  • Access world class research expertise across a range of disciplines including mathematics, computer science and the social sciences.
  • Co-develop the Centre’s portfolio of projects and receive first access to research findings.
  • Propose specific projects that address advanced analytics challenges within your organisation – these could be either a full studentship or a shorter intern project.
  • Host short student intern placements as part of a programme of engagement.
  • Access specialist data science training courses.
  • Attend consortium conferences and networking events.

The subscription cost is £6000 per annum with a commitment of four years starting in October 2017, 2018 or 2019.

In some circumstances we may also consider discussions with organisations who can contribute data, software, technology and/or other resources that may add value to this initiative.

Find Out More

For further information, please visit the CDT website.