The University of Warwick is one of only 14 institutions to be given the investment, which will fund 15 PhD students over the next five years, who will work across both disciplines, using quantitative methods to understand new sociological issues.
Psychology Professor Thomas Hills applied for the grant on behalf of Warwick, along with Professor Sascha Becker of Economics and Professor David Firth of Statistics, emphasising the need for future expertise to span the two fields.
Prof Hills said: ‘Often students are trained in one discipline or the other and shared supervision between disciplines is rare. But at the same time, more established researchers often lack sufficient background in one another’s domains to understand the contexts in which the scientific questions are developed.
“With the rise in big data and the growth of data science, the challenge facing the scientific community is to train researchers who, in addition to quantitative sophistication, have deep knowledge of the underlying problems driving the questions at the forefront of the behavioural and social sciences.
“These are areas where understanding the quantitative structure of information is critical to our understanding of contemporary problems, ranging from finance, to policy, to energy, health, and well-being.
“Warwick aims to train researchers who close this gap – at the intersection of the mathematical and social sciences, areas where Warwick has tremendous strength. The Bridges Pathway leverages these strengths to create a cross-disciplinary environment for students, where data and theory can combine to produce the best possible science.”
Five students will be recruited per year through the Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships programme and additional candidates will be enrolled from within contributing departments.
The Bridges Pathway programme will be delivered by academic staff from eight subject areas – Computer Science, Economics, Mathematics, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, Statistics and Warwick Business School.