Research

We catalyse collaborative, data-driven and interdisciplinary research innovation across the University of Edinburgh and four key sectors: Creative Industries, Financial Services and FinTech, Public Services, Tourism and Festivals. 

“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.”

Jack Suitor

Support for Proposals

Affiliation

Funding calls

Projects & awards

Digital methods

Centres & Clusters

We support strategic research grant applications by providing expert advice on how to design, structure and resource a project and coordinate the submission process.

We can support your grant application process in different ways – from identifying colleagues who can constructively peer review proposals, to facilitating networking and collaboration with external partners. We can also provide teaching buy-out for applicants or buy-in for junior researchers to support Primary Investigators in preparing a proposal.

Our internal affiliation programme promotes and supports post-graduate students and academics at all career stages who would like to develop their interests in, or are already working on areas close to, our themes. 

Our ambition is to build a holistic research environment that supports, encourages, rewards, and promotes research and its impacts. We are creating a culture of success, ambition, and engagement, by supporting research that makes meaningful and measurable change.

OPEN FUNDING CALL

Research Capability Fund

The fund aims to support researchers affiliated with EFI, at any stage of their career, with dissemination activities. This includes organising events such as book launches, presenting at national or international conferences, or attending meetings organised by key stakeholders and partners to discuss the outcome of research projects. 

Funds are closed for applications until 1st August 2024

EFI Research Awards

Managed in collaboration with the CAHSS College Research Office as a stream within the Challenge Investment Fund. Please liaise with your School Research Office to check their internal deadline.

OPEN FUNDING CALL

EFI projects and events grant

This grant supports researchers planning a pilot project or organising workshops or other events with a view to applying for external funding. Awards are usually up to £2,500 for staff and £1,000 for students, and we tend to confirm the outcome of the application within two weeks.

Funds are closed for applications until 1st August 2024

Student Research Projects

These awards aim to support our student community working on ambitious and multidisciplinary projects that can contribute to knowledge and capacity building in Data Driven Innovation across the City of Edinburgh and beyond.

Calls will be advertised here when open.

2022/23

We look for looking for interdisciplinary research questions that are risky, challenge existing theoretical and methodological paradigms, and have the potential to contribute to social transformations.

2021/22

James Besse (School of Social and Political Sciences) – 
Setting Up the Edinburgh Digital Due Process Clinic

Benedetta Catanzariti (School of Social and Political Sciences) – 
AI Ethics and Society Edinburgh: Building Community in the Pandemic

Kai Jun Eer (School of Engineering) – 
Privacy-preserving Digital ID to Improve Identity Verification Process

Idil Galip (School of Social and Political Sciences) – 
Knowledge Exchange and Creation within a Burgeoning Academic Field: The Meme Studies Index

Youngsil Lee (Design Informatics / Edinburgh College of Art) – 
Hidden Humans in the Loop: Unpacking Societal Challenges in the Curation of Facial Recognition Datasets

Auste Simkute / Aditi Surana (Edinburgh College of Art) – 
Can Explainability Narrow the Gap between ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Expertise to Support AI Literacy, Expertise Development and Agency of Experts

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.

To migrate content

“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.”

Pushpi Bagchi

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.”

Jack Suitor

We look for interdisciplinary research questions that are risky, challenge existing theoretical and methodological paradigms, and have the potential to contribute to social transformations.

We have supported several events, workshops and initiatives with a focus on Data Driven Innovation.

2022/23

We look for looking for interdisciplinary research questions that are risky, challenge existing theoretical and methodological paradigms, and have the potential to contribute to social transformations.

2021/22

James Besse (School of Social and Political Sciences) – 
Setting Up the Edinburgh Digital Due Process Clinic

Benedetta Catanzariti (School of Social and Political Sciences) – 
AI Ethics and Society Edinburgh: Building Community in the Pandemic

Kai Jun Eer (School of Engineering) – 
Privacy-preserving Digital ID to Improve Identity Verification Process

Idil Galip (School of Social and Political Sciences) – 
Knowledge Exchange and Creation within a Burgeoning Academic Field: The Meme Studies Index

Youngsil Lee (Design Informatics / Edinburgh College of Art) – 
Hidden Humans in the Loop: Unpacking Societal Challenges in the Curation of Facial Recognition Datasets

Auste Simkute / Aditi Surana (Edinburgh College of Art) – 
Can Explainability Narrow the Gap between ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Expertise to Support AI Literacy, Expertise Development and Agency of Experts

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.

To migrate content

“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.”

Pushpi Bagchi

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.”

Jack Suitor

We build capacity for data-led research and innovative research methods at the University of Edinburgh.

We enable researchers to grow and develop their own approaches to data-led research using computational methodology.

The Centre for Data, Culture and Society helps researchers navigate the world of digital research methods, providing space for experimentation, innovation and skills development. They offer guidance, training, technical services and tailored support to research groups and projects, and work to showcase the potential of data-rich and applied digital research.

The EFI Research Technology Service provides research software engineering support for projects using data-led or digital methods. This may include developing early-stage prototypes for pre-award research projects, supporting the development of digital outputs for funded projects, and advanced technical consultation.

We support research centres, clusters and networks that are focused on challenge-led, interdisciplinary, data-driven innovation across our themes.

Research centres

Centre for Future Infrastructure

A world-class centre of excellence on infrastructure systems, CFI combines knowledge and expertise within the University’s subject areas of informatics, architecture, social and political studies and business.

Centre for Investing Innovation

The Centre for Investing Innovation is a strategic partnership between global asset management company abrdn and the University of Edinburgh. It is addressing challenges facing the investment and asset management sector, including how to improve demonstrable societal benefit.

University of Edinburgh Centre for Investing Innovation Logo

Centre for Purpose-Driven Innovation in Banking

The Centre for Purpose-Driven Innovation in Banking combines business insights from NatWest Group (NWG) with the University’s research, data and social science expertise to co-create data-driven, novel solutions for the future of banking.

Centre for Research in Digital Education

Our research is focused on how technology, culture, learning and policy intersect within research and practice in digital education. Focused on socially responsible digital education, it covers all sectors from early years to school, higher education and lifelong learning. 

The Centre for Research in Digital Education Logo

Centre for Technomoral Futures

The Centre for Technomoral Futures focuses on the ethical implications of present and future advances in AI, machine learning and other data-driven technologies. It supports work and research in these areas across the Futures Institute, the University of Edinburgh and with a wide portfolio of partners, projects and networks.

Centre For Technomoral Futures Logo

Data Civics Observatory

The Data Civics Observatory is about the representation of people and communities through mixed, experimental, digital methods using a range of media, platforms and data.

Digital Influence and Intelligence Lab

The Digital Influence and Intelligence Lab (DIIL) uses digital monitoring and experimental approaches to better understand digital influence and its role in politics, the economy and society.

Digital Influence and Intelligence Lab Logo

Edinburgh Centre for Financial Innovations

The Edinburgh Centre for Financial Innovations, in collaboration with external stakeholders, exploits the big data and computational evolution in financial services for societal benefit. Using a unique interdisciplinary lens combining the physical and engineering sciences with the social sciences, humanities and the arts, ECFI engages in research addressing real world challenges facing society today.

edinburgh centre for financial innovations logo

The Binks Hub

The Binks Hub works together with communities to think, create, and research. Using art, crafts, and other creative activities, we investigate how to tackle the issues that matter most to people, driving real-world, positive change.

The Binks Hub Logo

The New Real

Established 2019, The New Real is a unique hub for AI, creativity and futures research. It is a partnership between the University of Edinburgh, Alan Turing Institute, and Edinburgh’s Festivals.

new real logo

Research clusters

The “Creativity, AI, and the Human” cluster recognises the ubiquity of creativity in human experience and its central role in navigating the unpredictability of our futures.

Researching the political and social dimensions of data-driven and AI technology.

The Digital Cultural Heritage cluster brings together researchers from across the University of Edinburgh who work on analysing, understanding and developing new approaches to the relationships between data, digital and cultural heritage.

The Digital Economy and Society (DES) Cluster focuses on the social and economic impacts of digital transformation, with a particular focus on how digitalization is transforming the world of work.

An interdisciplinary group dedicated to exploring games and play in their broadest social context.

We investigate the rapidly changing role of data in communication, as well as digital media more broadly.

Providing leadership and empower capacity for thriving in university communities by developing data-driven asset-based education strategies in a global context for societal transformation.

Latest research news

News

Announcing our 12 Visiting Fellows for AY 2024/2025

Edinburgh Futures Institute is proud to announce our very first cohort of Visiting Fellows for Academic Year (AY) 2024/2025.

News

Call for Participatory Artist for “Modelling the Future” 3D project

Back of man looking at artwork

The Ripple Project and the Binks Hub are looking for a participatory artist who has experience working with communities to join their “Modelling the Future” 3D project.

News

Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH-EU) Partnership

The Centre for Data, Culture & Society is delighted to announce a new Cooperating Partnership between the University of Edinburgh and the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH-EU).  

Our sectors in focus

A DJ standing over his decks, red tint over image.

Creative
industries

Financial Services
& FinTech

Public
Services

tourism, Travel
& festivals

Meet the research team

We’re a team of experts, navigators, makers and doers, facilitators and collaborators with diverse skills and capabilities who want to help you explore new ways of thinking and working.

Headshot of Amy MacPherson

Amy Macpherson

Research Administrator

Anna Rezk

PhD newsletter editor
Headshot of Anna Votsi

Anna Votsi

Research Proposals Manager
Enda Delaney headshot

Enda Delaney

Director of Research
Headshot of Valentina Guerrieri

Valentina Guerrieri

Head of Research Support

Get in touch to discuss research support

If you’d like to discuss how we can support you with your research please complete the form below and one of of team will get back to you.

Join us to challenge, create, and make change happen.

#ChallengeCreateChange