A letter from the Director of The Alan Turing Institute:
First and foremost, I hope you and your loved ones are keeping healthy during these challenging times.
I want to ensure the Institute is willing and able to play its part at the forefront of the fight against this global pandemic and explore opportunities to provide immediate frontline support to the UK’s efforts to tackle Covid-19.
To this end, in recent weeks myself and our Programme Directors, most notably Programme Director for Health and Medical Sciences Chris Holmes have been personally engaged in a number of positive discussions with the NHS and others about how our vibrant research community could best support this effort. A number of new opportunities and strands of work are now beginning to emerge, although the situation is fluid and subject to many moving parts.
We are incredibly grateful for all the offers of support and interest to underpin this work while the projects are coming together. It is heartening to see so many from our community wanting to be involved and tackle these critical challenges head on. That said, I know you will understand that it’s also important to be especially sensitive and not put additional burden on the front-line NHS and others. For this reason, our offers of support require a rapid but well-coordinated approach. We are currently working on the detail of how best implement this across the research community, drawing on our university partners and networks, and will be in touch as soon as we can.
In the short-term, we have created a ‘Covid-19’ channel on Slack to be used day-to-day to share ideas and discuss opportunities for the Turing community to develop research around coronavirus. We are also looking at ways to encourage further discussion and collaboration and highlight the Institute’s work in this area. If you have thoughts on any of these matters, please share them on Slack here in the first instance. This channel will be regularly monitored and the feedback shared with the team.
Please be assured that a great deal of work is going on now to establish the most useful way the Turing, as the UK’s national institute for data science and AI, can help immediately. There will, undoubtedly be longer term projects and the Turing’s Research Leadership will be in touch very soon to take this forward with your support. I also hope to take part in an all-staff virtual address very soon and will shortly share more details.
Continue to do what you do best as best you can - carry on your important work and research and I look forward to hearing if you will be able to participate in this collective effort.