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March 16, 2011

Digging into Data Challenge

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Digging into data challenge

Today eight international research funders are jointly announcing their participation in round two of the Digging into Data Challenge, a grant competition designed to spur cutting edge research in the humanities and social sciences.

The challenge asks researchers these provocative questions: How can we use advanced computation to change the nature of our research methods? Now that the objects of study for researchers in the humanities and social sciences - including books, survey data, economic data, newspapers, music - and other scholarly and scientific resources are being digitized on a huge scale, how does this change the very nature of our research? How might advanced computation and data analysis techniques help researchers use these materials to ask new questions about and gain new insights into our world?

Alastair Dunning, programme manager at JISC, said: “We are delighted to continue our involvement in the Digging into Data challenge. Digging into Data offers the arts and humanities and the social sciences the opportunity to explore new frontiers in research, forging not only international partnerships but new relationships between traditional scholarship and cutting edge computer science.”

The first round of the Digging into Data Challenge sparked enormous interest from the international research community and led to eight cutting-edge projects being funded. There has also been increased media attention to the question of so-called 'big data' techniques being used for humanities and social sciences research, including a recent cover article in the journal Science.

Due to the overwhelming popularity of round one, the Digging into Data Challenge is pleased to announce that four additional funders have joined for round two, enabling this competition to have a world-wide reach into many different scholarly and scientific domains.

The eight sponsoring funding bodies include JISC, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council in the UK; the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation in the US; the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research; and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in Canada.

Final applications will be due 16 June 2011.

Further information about the competition and the application process can be found at <>

February 22, 2010

Launch of the 'Teaching International Students' Project

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The Higher Edcaution Academy is pleased to announce the formal launch of the ‘Teaching International Students’ Project. This project is a joint initiative of the Higher Education Academy and the United Kingdom Council for International Students Affairs (UKCISA) with funding from the Prime Minister’s Initiative 2 and the Academy. Melodee Beals of the History Subject Centre is a contributor to the project.

As international student numbers in the UK have grown and now number almost one in five students, issues around teaching them have gained increasing prominence.  This project aims to provide support and guidance to academic teaching staff wishing to improve their teaching in ways that will also benefit all students. The project focuses on two core areas of work: the establishment of a research database and resources bank on teaching and learning for international students, and a series of collaborative events (seminars, workshops and staff development events) on research and teaching and learning practice.

Work on the resources bank has already begun and includes many new resources, however, we are keen to also bring together the many excellent resources that are already available. We need your help in identifying these resources and nominating people who would like to be involved in this project.  If you would like to contribute to the project, please contact Melodee Beals or visit the History "Teaching International Students Page" at

The main project website can be accessed at:




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