The first winner of a new RSS grant scheme that encourages interdisciplinary work between statistics and other sciences has been announced.
The Mardia Interdisciplinary Workshop Prize, founded by RSS fellow Kanti Mardia, aims to encourage cutting-edge interdisciplinary work between statisticians and other science communities by funding events or workshops in emerging interdisciplinary areas.
The inaugural prize has been awarded to Dr Fiona Underwood, an applied statistical consultant and visiting senior research fellow at the University of Reading, to part-fund a series of workshops designed to link statisticians with those working on the sustainable management of natural resources for poverty alleviation.
Dr Underwood says that these workshops will build on ongoing interdisciplinary programmes such as the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) which requires knowledge of biological processes, the physical environment, social and economic systems and their interactions. However, she points out in her proposal that currently, there are very few statisticians collaborating in these kinds of projects.
The Mardia Workshop prize will part-fund a series of three workshops bringing together statisticians (both UK and internationally based) with researchers working in sustainable management of natural resources for poverty alleviation. It’s hoped the workshops will both raise awareness of what statisticians can do to aid this research and develop more collaborations in this area.
A total of £8,000 has been awarded over two years (the maximum available); the workshops will also be part funded by the RSS’s International Development Working Group.
Dr Underwood said she was ‘delighted to be given this opportunity to run these workshops’.