Introducing our judges for the 2019 UK Data Service Data Impact Fellows Programme

Neil Dymond-Green, Service Director for ImpactNeil Dymond-Green introduces the judges for the UK Data Service Data Impact Fellows Programme 2019.

The UK Data Service aims to establish additional ways to support the long-range use of its data and resources by new generations of researchers and analysts, extending this usage through the research partnerships they develop, by the students they teach and the partnerships and networks they participate in.

For the third round of our prestigious Data Impact Fellows programme, we have extended the scheme to include researchers and analysts in the charity sector as well as academic researchers.

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the programme aims to provide career development opportunities for researchers and analysts at a relatively early stage of their careers with a proven record of research.

About the UK Data Service Impact Fellows Programme

The programme takes the form of an open competition for researchers and analysts early in their career, with a specific focus on impact in their research, who must be using data from the UK Data Service.

Up to five awards are offered to the value of £2000 per Fellow and the programme runs over 2 years, from which Fellows can draw to cover impactful public engagement activity such as holding focus groups, international conference costs or the cost of an article processing charge for a publication.

Data Impact Fellows come from a range of disciplines and are involved in fantastic, impactful research.

Potential Data Impact Fellows still have until 26th March 2019 to apply. Find out how to apply.

Our panel of judges


Professor Matthew Woollard: Director, UK Data Service

Matthew provides strategic direction as Director of both the UK Data Service and the UK Data Archive, based at the University of Essex. He has practical and theoretical experience in all aspects of social science and humanities data service infrastructure, having previously headed the History Data Service and served as Head of Digital Preservation and Systems at the UK Data Archive.

As director he has overall responsibility for the service strategy and key stakeholder relations. He also provides leadership in data curation, archiving and preservation activities.

Speaking about the Data Impact Fellows programme, Matthew says:

The UK Data Service has a unique collection of high-quality socio-economic data which can have great impact. I am proud that we can offer the support of being a Data Impact Fellow to early career researchers so they can develop new and imaginative approaches to developing that impact.


Professor Wiji Arulampalam: Economics Department, University of Warwick

Wiji is a professor of economics at the University of Warwick. Wiji’s research is mainly empirical and has been published widely in international and national journals.

Wiji’s publications include applications in the fields of development, education, health, labour, and public economics. Many of these publications are outputs from grants held by Wiji as principal investigator and also as co-investigator.

Wiji says:

I believe it’s extremely important to support researchers early in their career in developing their ideas of how high-quality socio-economic data, like that in the UK Data Service collection, can have a positive impact on policymakers, society and individuals.


Tracey Gyateng: Data Science Manager, Datakind UK

Tracey leads on working with social change organisations to use data (both numbers and words) to support decision making through the use of data science.

This involves managing Office hours for social change organisations to ask any data related questions; a peer learning group for data scientists that work in charities, supporting organisations to develop their data maturity and analyse their data through DataKind UK DataDives and Data Corp projects, and manages DataKind UK’s strategic projects – with a current focus on data governance and ethics.

Previously, she was data labs project manager at New Philanthropy Capital, helping charities to use government administrative datasets for programme evaluation and a quantitative research fellow at the Institute for Criminal Policy Research.

Tracey says:

It’s really important for research to be made accessible to all members of society that can make use of it. Providing researchers with support to engage with the wider stakeholders of their work is vital.


Dr Victoria Moody, Deputy Director and Director of Impact, UK Data Service

Victoria developed the Data Impact Fellows scheme and leads the impact strategy for the UK Data Service. Victoria is focused on engaging with data users, data owners and other stakeholders internationally – both academics and policymakers to develop opportunities for enhancing the impact of the Service.

Victoria is based at Jisc and brings expertise in public and voluntary sector policy development and change management, impact management and development in the Research Excellence Framework and in Research Council funding bids, research data management expertise, developing open data resources in local government, and public sector information access rights and Freedom of Information.

Victoria says:

The #DataImpactFellows programme supports the long-range use of Service data and resources by new generations of researchers, extending this usage through the research partnerships they develop – from the earliest stages of, and throughout their career. Fellows become Service champions, create a supportive network and importantly, bring new perspectives to the use of Service data and resources.


Nick O’Donnell: Head of Secure Research Service Policy, Operations and Engagement, Office for National Statistics

Nick manages the Office for National Statistics Secure Research Service (SRS) policy, engagement and operations.

The SRS is used extensively by researchers across government, the private sector and wider research community, to carry out analysis that informs evidenced-based decisions on government policy, service planning and decision making across all sectors of the UK.

Nick has over 30 year’s experience of managing government policy and stakeholder projects, including the 2011 Census for England and Wales.

Nick says:

The findings of research have considerable impact on everyday decisions on the economy and society. Decisions that affect all our lives. However, only when we demonstrate this impact, do we fully maximise this potential. I think the Data Impact Fellows have a really important role to play in helping spread the message about the importance of data analysis to inform decision making and so I’m really excited to be on the panel to help shape the data leaders of tomorrow.


Professor Liz Twigg: Professor of Human Geography at the University of Portsmouth

Liz’s main research interests focus on the influence of place and space on health, health behaviour and well-being.  Liz is particularly interested in the quantitative modelling of large scale secondary datasets to estimate local variations in health damaging behaviours (e.g. tobacco smoking, unhealthy diet) and has worked with stakeholders to help formulate policy to address existing inequalities.

Her work has also exploited longitudinal survey datasets, such as the British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society, to determine  important household and neighbourhood factors associated with poor mental health outcomes across adults and children in the UK.  Liz is very keen to use these ‘real world’ examples in her undergraduate teaching and encourages students to make full use of the data sources available via the UK Data Service.

Liz’s current research into the effect of social media on young people’s mental health has recently been covered by the media, such as this Guardian article. Liz also wrote a blog post for us last autumn when she was starting the research.

Liz says:

The UK Data Service is a tremendously valuable resource for social science researchers and it is important to promote its use. The Data Impact Fellowship scheme is an excellent way to do this. It not only informs the academic and wider community about how the data resources have been used to address policy relevant issues, but it also provides essential support to help our next generation of social science researchers get their research-informed evidence ‘out there’ to as wide an audience as possible.


Don’t forget – you still have time (until 26th March) to apply to become one of our 2019 Data Impact Fellows!

About the author

Neil Dymond-Green is the UK Data Service Impact Manager.

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