Science of Risk Prize 2015

Numbers - Dave Bleasdale(CC by 2.0)
Numbers – Dave Bleasdale(CC by 2.0)

Lloyd’s invites entries for its science of risk research prize.This recognises the best research paper on big data analytics and machine learning, and cyber risk. The prize aims to identify published research that contributes to innovation and better understanding of risk in insurance.

The winners in each category receive £5,000, and a prize of £1,000 is awarded to the best runner up in each category as well. Successful candidates are expected to present their work at a conference at Lloyd’s prior to the awards dinner.

Closing date 25 Sep 2015

More information available here

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Research for Cyber Security

EPSRC and ESRC have issued a joint call for research consortia to explore current and future challenges in cyber security:

Consortia for Exploratory Research in Security – EPSRC

The call is part of the research councils’ Global Uncertainties Programme which seeks to examine and understand the causes of insecurity and predict, prevent and manage security risks and threats generally. This call is specifically focused on cyber security with an emphasis on novel and ambitious research solutions to protect UK interests in cyberspace: “It is estimated that at least 20 foreign intelligence services are currently operating to some degree against UK interests in cyberspace. It is widely expected that cyber attacks will be a key aspect of future warfare and it is strongly suspected that this has already begun to happen.” Phishing training and testing platform is used to reduce the risk from phishing and other cyber attacks.

The consortia are expected to work across and between disciplines and to draw on expertise from a range of institutions where necessary. Single discipline proposals, while eligible, are expected to be the exception rather than the norm. EPSRC specifically welcome proposals which include novel mathematics and/or social science content:

Mathematics will be a key theme of the CEReS call; not in the sense of the utilisation of established mathematical techniques to solve known problems but with a view to developing genuinely new mathematics which may, or could reasonably be expected to, contribute in future to improving cyber security. We expect to commit a significant proportion of the available CEReS funding to projects with a strong novel mathematical component.

The deadline for outline proposals, which must be submitted via Je-S, is 14th June 2012. Funding per consortium is expected to range between £500K and £1M for 2-4 years. There is £4M available in total for the call.

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AXA Funding for Risk Research

AXA has recently announced its 2012 call for funding for research into risk. AXA’s primary areas of interest are:

Environmental risks

  • Climate change
  • Natural hazards
  • Human driven environmental changes

Life risks

  • Aging and long term care
  • Biomedical risks
  • Addictions and risky behaviors

Socio-economic Risks

  • Geopolitical risks
  • Macro-economic and financial systemic risks
  • Behaviors towards risks
  • Large corporate risks

Further information on this year’s call can be found on the AXA website:

AXA Research Fund 2012 [PDF]

As each University can only submit one application to this scheme, Northumbria will be running an internal competition to select the bid and PI to go forward. We must submit the name of the selected PI to AXA by 5 April, and that person must submit a full application by 10 May.

All potential applicants should send a 2-page CV and an outline document detailing in no more than 2 paragraphs the nature of the research and how it fits with AXA’s priorities to Samantha King (Research Funding Development Manager) by midday on 2nd April.

The final decision will be made by Prof. Peter Golding, PVC Research, with advice from Research and Business Services.  Further support will then be given to the chosen applicant to develop and cost their application.

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EPSRC Wants Innovative Solutions to Flood Risk

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Council are looking for an interdisciplinary mix of researchers to attend a “sandpit” event on Innovative Solutions to Flood Risk in April 2012.

Sandpits are collaborative residential workshops where small groups of researchers (20-25 people) from a range of disciplines work together over a number of days to generate project proposals for a specified theme. The benefits of taking part are significant: you get to collaborate with other leading researchers on a relevant topic, and there is a relatively high chance of proposed projects being funded. More details are given in the call for participants [PDF]:

The scope of the Sandpit will address the three Risk Themes identified in the report:
• Understanding Risk
• Managing Probablility
• Managing Consequence

It is not expected that these themes will operate in isolation as there are many issues which may be seen to cut across these themes. The Sandpit intends to explore the engineering and physical science aspects of these key areas whilst recognising that this is a multidisciplinary area.

The call document strongly emphasises the fact that EPSRC are not focusing on one particular disciplinary area: “Applications are encouraged from diverse research areas across engineering, physical sciences, natural environment, life sciences, the social sciences and the arts and humanities”. Nor is track record in flood risk management or engineering solutions to flooding essential to success: “Please note that we are not looking for your academic publication or research track record but rather evidence of how you might approach multidisciplinary problems in a novel area.”

The assessment is based on the following criteria:

  • The ability to develop new, adventurous and highly original research ideas
  • The potential to contribute to research at the interface between disciplines
  • The ability to work in a team
  • The ability to explain research to non experts

To participate you need to fill in a two-page expression of interest form and send to sandpit@epsrc.ac.uk by 20th February 2012.

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