About Us

Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training in My Life in Data

Our research

The Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) is based at the University of Nottingham and is supported by a £9.3 million investment from UK Research and Innovation, the University of Nottingham and over 40 industry partners.

Internationally recognised as a leading research university, the University of Nottingham is one of the top five UK universities for collaborations with industry and the private sector, leading to cutting-edge research solutions that make a real difference to modern day science and society.

Each year Horizon recruits 10-20 students on to our PhD programme from a wide range of backgrounds including positioning, computer science, engineering, business, geography, psychology, HCI and other arts, science and social science disciplines.

Students spend 4 years experiencing an innovative PhD programme that combines a PhD research project with training in transdisciplinary research, innovation skills and industrial internships.

Our short video about the CDT below explains the benefits of the programme for students and collaborators, and you can also visit our research highlights page.

Video Production: Boardie.com

My Life in Data

CDT cohorts who have started the four year PhD research programme from October 2014 onwards, now focus on the theme of ‘My Life in Data‘, where research centres around personal data and the traces we leave behind throughout our lives.

From web searches and browsing histories, to likes and dislikes, purchases, tweets, texts, emails, photos, videos and locations – the list of human data we share as we go about our everyday life continues to grow and is increasingly collected and used by commercial and government organisations.

The combination of widespread data capture, data mining, machine learning and large scale cloud computing collectively referred to as “big data” has led to personal data becoming recognised as a major business and societal asset, one that can be used to infer our habits, behaviours, preferences, relationships, risks and even emotional states.

Ubiquitous Computing

The 2009-2013 Horizon CDT cohorts have focussed on the theme of ‘Location-aware and ubiquitous computing for the digital society’.

Millions of computers become embedded into the world around us and interact with us wherever we are, for example with Sat Nav in cars and mobile phones using Bluetooth and GPS. This has given rise to the most exciting and significant technology to emerge since the Internet.

It promises to transform the ways in which we work, shop, travel, learn, socialize and play, but it also challenges many of our ideas of privacy and the relationship between citizens, commerce and the state

Research Council commends Horizon CDT

During early 2011 the Horizon CDT provided a report to Research Council’s UK (RCUK) which was used to evaluate the Centre’s performance.

In August 2011 RCUK provided the results of the evaluation which included the following comments:

“There is a strong multidisciplinary approach, right from year 1 for the students.  The large demand for a place at the centre is noteworthy … It is impressive that every student carries out an internship … The SME engagement process is also to be commended and it is pleasing to see that some students will interact with several SMEs during their training.”

We are all delighted with the results of the evaluation and look forward to continuing to deliver world leading, innovative digital economy research.