EFI announces student research award winners

In this article

We are pleased to announce the student research awards for 2020/2021. These awards support student projects with a focus on innovative, multi-disciplinary research for the public good.

We are pleased to announce the student research awards for 2020/2021. These awards support student projects with a focus on innovative, multi-disciplinary research for the public good.

Our scheme

Our student community has ambitious projects to develop despite the difficult circumstances and restrictions related to Covid-19 – so it is more important than ever to provide our support. EFI’s funding call was for awards of up to £1000 and winning projects will develop over the next few months. The supported projects contribute to knowledge and capacity building in Data Driven Innovation across the City of Edinburgh and beyond.

The panel agreed to support ten interdisciplinary and innovative projects across all the three Colleges. The selected projects reflect EFI’s ethos with data-rich and challenge-led proposals that include co-design of the research questions and/or co-create the final outputs with external partners, including industry, the public sector and the wider community.

EFI Acting Director of Research, Dr Ewa Luger said:

“EFI is delighted to be able to support these highly talented students in their individual research journeys. We are again excited and proud of the imagination, creativity and innovation arising from Edinburgh’s research students as they apply interdisciplinary responses to a range of compelling challenges. We look forward to seeing the results and sharing them with our community as they report”.

Funded projects

• Pushpi Bagchi (Edinburgh College of Art) – Shaping Transnational Education Landscapes: A Service Design Workshop

• Sarah Bennett (Edinburgh College of Art) – AI Ethics and Society Edinburgh: Building Community in the Pandemic

• James Besse (School of Social and Political Sciences) – Creating an Evidence Base for Harm Arising from the EU Settlement Scheme

• Ryan Bowler (Design Informatics) – Communicating health uncertainty in social planning

• Benedetta Catanzariti (School of Social and Political Sciences) – Hidden Humans in the Loop: Unpacking Societal Challenges in the Curation of Facial Recognition Datasets

• Anu Choudhury (School of Economics) – Examining negative health outcomes among ethnic minorities through the lens of income differences: an analysis of UK Biobank Data

• Georgia Gardner (Edinburgh College of Art) – Corporeal Critique of Sites of Social Reproduction: How can we Harness Choreography to Re-assess the Notion of Normal?

• Hannah Imlach (School of Geosciences) – Moth Kota: a sculpture to attract both humans and moths

• Jill Steel (Moray House School of Education and Sports) – Online Reading to Dogs: A feasibility study

• Jack Suitor (School of Biological Science) – Engineering Bacteria to Transform Toxic Pollution into Textiles.

Pushpi Bagchi commented on receiving the award, “The EFI award will help further my research practice of developing participatory design methods that use graphic techniques and collaborate with researchers in other departments within the university to explore quantitative data analysis in transnational education services.”

Jack Suitor commented, “EFI’s support means I will be able to turn interdisciplinary discussions with colleagues into tangible progress in the lab that will be used to develop new biotechnology for the public good.”

Previous successes and student feedback

We launched the student research award scheme last year and supported nine ambitious proposals across a variety of disciplines. It was exciting to launch this support and wonderful to see the development of successful projects. Many students had to adapt initial plans due to the pandemic but their feedback and success was exciting:

“Due to the impact of COVID-19 many aspects of this project were adapted. However, with the support of this award I was able to continue my research into how machine-learning can be used as a creative tool. I created a body of work, in artistic form and through written scholarship, which I was able to circulate online via zoom talks and a website.”

– Fabi Jones’ project was Imagining the Future of Edinburgh College of Art and Creative Industries through Machine Learning

“Thanks to the aid of this student research award, the AI Ethics & Society group was able to facilitate a number of events connecting students, researchers and industry professionals working in AI Ethics, both in Edinburgh and worldwide. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic meant we had to move our events online, however, this just meant we had a wider reach, and had participants from the US, India and Canada as well as a number from diverse departments at the University of Edinburgh.”

– Sarah Bennett’s project was AI Ethics and Society: Facilitating Our AI Ethics Research Community in Edinburgh

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