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12 March 2024

King's Centre for Doctoral Training in Data-Driven Health awarded multi-million EPSRC funding

The Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has awarded £7.9 million to King’s Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Data-Driven Health (DRIVE-Health) for student intake from 2024 onwards. DRIVE-Health is one of 65 CDTs which received funding, totalling more than £1 billion.

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DRIVE-Health is led by Professor Richard Dobson at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) and Professor Vasa Curcin at the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine (FoLSM) at King’s College London. It is training the next generation of PhD health data scientists to become innovation leaders who will tackle complex problems and global challenges.

Using seed funding from King’s Centre for Doctoral Studies awarded in 2020, DRIVE-Health has trained 30 students to date. Building on this, the new award will support five additional cohorts at King’s, totalling at least 85 talented PhD students. The CDT is expecting to welcome its fourth intake of at least 15 students in October 2024.

DRIVE-Health is the first health data science training centre in the UK to harness cross-sector collaboration across the NHS, industry, enterprise, policy makers, and academia. Working with diverse partners, DRIVE-Health PhD students develop cutting-edge models which leverage healthcare data to improve patient outcomes, streamline operations, and enhance clinical decision-making processes.

EPSRC CDT DRIVE-Health’s vision is informed by three core goals:

  1. To provide world-class training in health data science research to the next generation of health data scientists, who will have the multidisciplinary skills needed to enable transformations in public health and breakthrough treatments.
  2. To solve the most challenging problems in data-driven health research through a diverse community of the brightest minds in health data science and an open, collaborative culture which fosters exchange and champions innovation.
  3. To co-create a translational cross-sector collaboration with the NHS, industry, enterprise, policy makers and academia.

As more data from biological, social, genomic, imaging, smart devices, and electronic health records becomes available, there are significant opportunities to revolutionise the way healthcare is delivered. Through DRIVE-Health, we will train some of the brightest minds in health data science to develop cutting-edge tools which utilise data to improve healthcare systems and patient outcomes.

Professor Richard Dobson, Co-Director of DRIVE-Health and Professor of Medical Informatics at King’s IoPPN

This is an exciting time for medicine, with new data paradigms creating a novel research and implementation landscape covering the full span from cell to society. Over the next nine years, DRIVE-Health will nurture world-class researchers that will chart that landscape and drive the UK’s health data agenda.

Professor Vasa Curcin, Co-Director of DRIVE-Health and Professor of Health Informatics at King’s FoLSM

The DRIVE-Health PhD Programme (2024-2032) focuses on five key scientific research themes: 

  1. Sustainable health data systems engineering: Investigates methods to develop secure and scalable software systems for healthcare. Theme lead: Dr Zina Ibrahim.
  2. Multimodal patient data streams: Integrates diverse patient data types for analysis, including wearables and electronic health records. Theme lead: Dr Jorge Cardoso.
  3. Complex simulations and digital twins: Builds simulated environments to train AI models for healthcare applications. Theme lead: Dr Steffen Zschaler.
  4. Next-generation clinical user interfaces: Ensures healthcare data science applications are usable in clinical settings. Theme lead: Professor Nicolas Holliman.
  5. Co-designing impactful patient-centric healthcare solutions: Co-producing and co-designing healthcare solutions to maximise impact across all themes. Theme lead: Professor Claire Steves.

On top of the £7.9m provided by the EPSRC, DRIVE-Health has received over £5.1m from partners, as well as in-kind contributions worth nearly £4m.

DRIVE-Health is one of 65 CDTs which received EPSRC funding

For more information, please contact Milly Remmington (School of Mental Health & Psychological Sciences Communications Manager)

In this story

Richard Dobson

Professor of Medical Bioinformatics

Vasa Curcin

Professor of Health Informatics