Mash up using Francis Pringle's Notes of David Gregory's lectures (c1694-c1705)

Digital Research Sandpit

The Centre for Data, Culture and Society aims to build capacity for data-led research and support digital research projects. 

We are looking for humanities, arts and social science researchers at the University of Edinburgh who want to explore innovative early stage digital research projects with the support of our experienced team of research technologists.   

Participants in the sandpit will be able to apply for small project funding to support the purchase of relevant datasets, software or equipment, or the time of research assistants.   

Our sandpit is a place for building things up and knocking things down, for learning and for fun.  We will support researchers towards developing prototypes, the first step in any digital project; quickly creating a preliminary model of a digital object or product. This enables you to test the feasibility of ideas and helps clarify a project’s requirements. 

Our team includes research software engineers and academics with experience across a range of project types from large scale text mining, to building interactive maps, to creating linked data, to network visualisations.  We want to support our community to experiment with digital methods and tools, and to develop ideas into realistic projects. It might be a completely new research project, or part of an ongoing project, something you think would be quick and easy, or the beginning of a grand plan.  You don’t need to have everything fully worked out, just an initial idea which we can help you develop. 


May 6th 2024:    Applications are open  

June 28th 2024:     Call closes  

July/August:      Round 1- Requirements gathering

We’ll give feedback on your idea, and discuss your requirements in more depth. This is a chance to get the insights of experienced researchers and technologists. The most feasible projects will be taken forward to Round2.

September:     Round 2 - Paper prototyping

Projects will be supported through a ‘paper prototyping’ exercise where we'll map out the basic structure and key requirements together. Again, only the most feasible projects will be taken through to the next round, but all projects will get their paper prototype and guidance on how to move the project forward.

October/November:   Round 3 - Digital prototyping 

We’ll then set to work on basic digital prototypes for the most feasible projects: you’ll get to test your concept, get feedback from the team on the work involved—what it entails and where the challenges lay—and have a chance to consider next steps for the project.

December:   Hand Off Discussion of next steps and support for project bid development   



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CDCS Digital Research Funding

The Centre for Data, Culture & Society has a small pot of funding to support digital research within CAHSS. This fund is for one-off purchases and discrete costs such as data-sets, equipment, software licences or a short period of research assistance.


Training Bursaries

We also offer a limited number of bursaries to allow members of staff and PhD students to develop their digital and computational skills by attending workshops, summer schools and other scholarly training events.

Data Surgeries

Are you struggling with your own data?  Do you need some advice and support on how to efficiently adopt data-driven methods for your project?  Book a spot at our Data Surgery where we can provide you with advice on how to process your data, how to troubleshoot issues or point you towards more information or training.