Introducing: Data First’s Academic Advisory Group

Members of the AAG have a mix of specialist technical and methodological expertise in data-linking, as well as substantial experience of research across the justice system. This breadth of knowledge, alongside their range of academic networks, provides invaluable support and credibility for the progress of Data First.

The terms of reference for the Group are available here.

Professor David Ford, Swansea University (Chair)

David Ford is Professor of Informatics at Swansea University. He is also Principal Investigator and Co-Director of Administrative Data Research Wales (ADR Wales). David is a Director of the SAIL Databank, an internationally recognised data linkage resource that safely and securely shares linked and carefully de-identified data from a wide variety of routinely collected sources from across Wales. He is also responsible for the development and use of Swansea’s Secure e-Research Platform (SeRP), which is increasingly used by researchers and data custodians around the world to safely curate and share data.

David is also deputy Director of the Substantive Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) site for Wales and Northern Ireland, working with other national experts in HDR UK to develop ways health data can be used to improve health, healthcare and medicine. He develops links between academia, the NHS, and business within the UK and internationally. David is Co-Director of the Nuffield Family Justice Data Partnership and Co-Investigator on numerous other research grants including Healthwise Wales, Challenging Human Environments and Research Impact for a Sustainable and Healthy Digital Economy (CHERISH-DE), and the National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH).

Professor Helen Margetts OBE FBA, University of Oxford & The Alan Turing Institute

Helen is Professor of Society and the Internet at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. She is a political scientist specialising in the relationship between digital technology and government, politics and public policy. She has researched and published widely in this area including six books, and over 100 articles and major policy reports. Since 2018, Helen has been Director of the Public Policy Programme at The Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence (AI). The programme works with policymakers to research and develop ways of using data science and AI to improve policymaking and service provision, foster government innovation and establish an ethical framework for the use of data science in government. Helen sits on the UK government Digital Economy Council and the Home Office Scientific Advisory Council.

Professor Imran Rasul FBA, UCL

Imran Rasul is Professor of Economics at UCL, Co-Director of the Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and Research Programme Director in the Firms portfolio at the International Growth Centre. His research interests include labour, development and public economics. He was awarded the 2007 IZA Young Economist Prize, the 2008 CESIfo Distinguished Affiliate Award, an ERC-starter grant in 2012, and a British Academy Mid-career Fellowship in 2018. In 2018 he was elected as a Council Member of the Royal Economic Society (RES) and as a Council Representative on the RES Executive Committee from 2018-2023. In 2019 he was jointly awarded (with Oriana Bandiera) the Yrjö Jahnsson Award in Economics, which is awarded to a European economist no older than 45 years old who has made a contribution in theoretical and applied research that is significant to economics in Europe. In 2019 he was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy.

Professor Karen Broadhurst, Lancaster University

Karen Broadhurst is Professor of Social Work in the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University, and Society Lead within the University’s Data Science Institute. She is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. Karen is currently serving as advisor to HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) for the evaluation of family court reform. She is also Principal Investigator and Co-Director for the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory Data Partnership, which aims to accelerate intelligence about how the family justice system is working, using administrative data. Her research interests are in child and family justice, with a particular interest in the formal operation of the family courts and related institutions, their impact on family life, as well as alternative problem-solving approaches to justice.

Professor Kerina Jones, Swansea University

Kerina is a Professor of Population Data Science at Swansea University Medical School. She is the Associate Director for Information Governance and Public Engagement (IG&PE), ensuring data protection and maximising socially-acceptable data utility across the various Swansea University-based Population Data Science initiatives, including: the SAIL Databank, ADR Wales, and the HDR UK collaboration. Kerina is internationally acknowledged as having an essential and unique leadership role in these initiatives, by focusing on innovative data governance models and public engagement to enable person-based data to be used effectively and safely.

Professor Peter Christen, Australia National University

Peter is a Professor at the Research School of Computer Science at Australia National University (ANU). His research interests are in data mining and record linkage, with a focus on machine learning and privacy-preserving techniques for record linkage. He has published over 150 articles in these areas, including, in 2012, his book: Data Matching. He is a co-author of the forthcoming book Linking Sensitive Data (Springer, 2020). Peter is the principle developer of the Febrl (Freely Extensible Biomedical Record Linkage) open source data cleaning, de-duplication and record linkage system. He has served on the program committees of various data mining conferences and workshops, has been on the organisation committee for the Australasian Data Mining conferences since 2006, and co-organised the workshops on Data Integration and Applications since 2014. He has also served as reviewer for a variety of top-tier international journals, and as assessor for the Australian, UK, and Canadian Research Councils. He is also involved in the ESRC-funded Digitising Scotland project, which aims to construct linked genealogy of Scottish historical records.

Professor Ruth Gilbert, UCL

Ruth Gilbert is Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. She leads a programme of research to generate evidence for policy and practice for the health of children and families. She leads the NIHR Children and Families Policy Research Unit, which interfaces with government and conducts research on children and families affected by chronic physical or mental health conditions, social or economic adversity or inequalities. She aspires to widen the safe and appropriate use of administrative data as a core evidence resource for research and policy. She is leading new data developments, such as linkage between health and schools data for England. Ruth leads the Public Health theme for HDR UK London, is a director of UK Biobank, and was previously deputy director for the Administrative Data Research Centre (ADRC) England.

Professor Susan McVie, University of Edinburgh

Susan is Chair of Quantitative Criminology at the University of Edinburgh. She is highly active in research and currently holds positions as Co-Director for the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research (SCADR, part of ADR Scotland) where she leads its Safer Communities Strategic Impact Programme; Director of the Understanding Inequalities project; Co-Director of the Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime; and member of the leadership team for the UKRI-funded eNurture Network. Susan is an expert in advanced quantitative methods and the bulk of her research involves using large-scale survey and administrative datasets. Her current interests include research into: crime patterns, trends and inequalities in the context of the crime drop in Scotland; youth crime and juvenile justice; criminal careers through the life-course; patterns of violence and homicide; youth gangs and knife crime; crime prevention and reduction; police stop and search; and police use of biometric data. She is consulted on a broad range of crime and justice related issues by central and local governments, third sector organisations and private sector bodies. She also sits on several Scottish Government committees, including the Board of Official Statistics in Scotland, the Independent Advisory Group on Stop and Search, and the Independent Advisory Group on Policing and Biometric Data. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2014 and received an OBE for services to social science in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List in 2016.

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