In a significant boost to the realm of data analytics, City University London and Warwick University have secured a £9 million grant from the Engineering and Physical Research Council (ESPRC) to establish a Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) focusing on Diversity in Data Visualisation. This initiative aims to revolutionise the way data is interpreted and communicated.

Partnering in this endeavour, Bradford Council, through its newly formed Health Determinants Research Collaboration (HDRC), will host some of the CDT’s PhD students. This collaboration intends to delve into innovative data visualisation techniques to address health disparities within the district.

Bradford’s HDRC, formed in 2022 with backing from the National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR), seeks to bolster the council’s research capabilities concerning broader health determinants. By equipping policymakers with comprehensive insights, the collaboration aims to combat health inequalities effectively.

Data visualisation serves as a pivotal tool in simplifying complex information, facilitating the identification of trends and patterns. With organisations increasingly reliant on data, effective visualisation becomes indispensable for informed decision-making. The newly established CDT not only emphasises innovative visualisation techniques but also prioritises diversity among prospective students, aiming to redress historical underrepresentation in research roles.

According to the Department of Digital Media, Culture and Sport, data visualisation ranks among the top five skills demanded by businesses, underscoring its relevance in contemporary professional landscapes.

PhD students from City and Warwick Universities will embark on a unique journey, interning at Bradford’s pioneering HDRC. Here, they will engage in gathering, analysing, and visualising vast datasets from diverse research projects. Supported by experienced researchers and data scientists, including Dr Caroline Tait, Consultant in Public Health leading on Data at HDRC, students will gain invaluable practical experience.

Dr Tait said, “I am excited that Bradford HDRC can support the DIVERSE CDT by offering internships to its PhD students. We believe we have a unique offer that will ensure they have high-quality training and their research will answer questions that are important to the council and will influence policy and decision-making in our district. This will offer significant post-PhD employment advantages as they will be able to demonstrate how their work has directly impacted policy. And with Bradford being City of Culture 2025, there will be exciting opportunities for evaluation of the year through data visualisation.”

The first cohort of students is slated to commence their six-month internships in October 2025, marking a significant step towards advancing data visualisation and addressing societal challenges. With Bradford poised to be the City of Culture in 2025, opportunities abound for the evaluation of the year through data visualisation, further accentuating the importance of this collaborative endeavour.