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

This fund aims to support research activities by providing access to new data sets, as well as software licences, equipment, digitisation, Data-Driven Innovation upskilling and researcher engagement events.

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 and we tend to confirm the outcome of the application within a week.

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, prototyping and tailored support to research groups and projects, and work to showcase the potential of data-rich and applied digital research. The Centre’s extensive training programme covers a wide variety of applied digital research methods including:

Data visualisation

Statistical Analysis

Managing Digitised Documents

Text Analysis

Sentiment Analysis

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

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

Mathematics for Humanity

The Mathematics for Humanity project is an initiative by the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS). The project supports the efforts of mathematical scientists to work for the betterment of humanity by facilitating the delivery of projects that engage with the challenges of accessible education, knowledge-driven activism, and transformative scholarship.

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

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.

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 Global Development cluster focuses on the role of digital technology in the context of international development and humanitarianism. It aims to build capacity in research collaboration across disciplines at the University of Edinburgh, while generating a fruitful exchange of ideas and research insights internationally.

The Digital Social Science Cluster focuses on teaching and research in the digital social sciences.

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.

The Tourism, Technology & Data Cluster focuses on the strategic application of technologies in tourism and hospitality, and data analytics.

Latest research news

News

How data is transforming the sharing of indigenous identities and histories

Learn about Dr Arkotong Longkumer’s research exploring the digitisation of the indigenous histories of the Naga people, including a digital archive project supported by the Edinburgh Futures Institute.

Blog

Towards understanding infectious disease dynamics across time and space 

Pollock Halls, University of Edinburgh

Dr Glenna Nightingale and a team of clinical and academic researchers published a study about the spread of Covid-19 across the University’s Halls of Residence, partly supported by a small grant awarded by Edinburgh Futures Institute.

News

Edinburgh Futures Institute welcomes new Director of Research

Image of Prof. Edna Delaney, incoming Director of Research, Edinburgh Futures Institute

The Edinburgh Futures Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Enda Delaney to the post of Director of Research.

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 Joe Noteboom

Joe Noteboom

AI and Data Ethics Intern
Headshot of Theodor Cojoianu

Theodor Cojoianu

Deputy 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