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Data science vision and strategy

Unprecedented volumes of data are being generated through patient records, population studies, clinical trials, imaging and large-scale biological studies such as genomics. Alongside this, complementary methods and tools are being developed in order to maximise the use of these data, enabling research on a scale not previously possible, and leading to transformational advances in medicine and public health.

The MRC’s vision is to harness information contained within clinical, population, cellular and molecular datasets to gain new scientific insights into health and wellbeing. This vision is underpinned by five strategic elements include:

  • supporting cutting-edge research using large datasets
  • funding infrastructure, tools and technologies to enable data collection, management, storage, analysis and linkage
  • building capacity in skills needed for analysing large datasets such as bioinformatics, biostatistics, population health sciences and methodology research
  • policies to encourage data discovery, access and sharing
  • developing frameworks to protect confidentiality, ensuring data is managed in safe research environments with appropriate governance.

To achieve our vision, we have invested over £90m, in partnership with other councils from UKRI, government and charity funders, across several strategic initiatives in data science research.