University of Nottingham

Professor Sir Jonathan Van Tam at the Digital Research Service 'Celebrating 10 years of Excellence' event July 2022


The Digital Research Service, formerly known as ADAC, had its 10th anniversary in 2022. On 21st & 22nd July 2022, a two-day conference was held to celebrate this milestone. It was a testimony to the achievements, collaborations and fruitful connections that have blossomed over this period.

Our team has grown consistently and our expertise in the fields of Bioinformatics, Software Engineering and Data Science have led to several multi-million pound projects and cross disciplinary collaboration across the University of Nottingham and beyond.

If you missed our event this year, rest assured that it will now be an annual fixture. The themes explored at this year’s event revolved around health data science and its implications in many people’s day-to-day lives. But the work we do encompasses Engineering, Geography, Business and Mathematics.

At the very core of Digital Research, as a field of work, is problem-solving with high-end technologies. Due to this, much of the language used and the expertise required can sound jargony and intimidating, but our ethos and core goal is to empower all to become researchers, have access to information, and a better quality of life as a result.

That might sound ambitious - and in fairness, it is - but ambition is our drive. And that is what we are good at.

By developing systems like Trusted Research Environments (TREs), while simultaneously building infrastructures like HUTCH that allows for sensitive datasets that have been anonymised to be available as an open source resource, we are at the forefront of democratising research.

Our strive for FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) data is responsible and each project we lead has Data Governance Standards at its core. We will never allow individuals in datasets to be traced or found, and there are many measures in place to ensure all are protected. The work we do has a real impact on people’s everyday lives because it is respected by the research community, and in turn influences policymaking.

If you would like to find out more about our current projects and how the Digital Research Service could take your research goals to the next level, please get in touch.

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at our upcoming annual event due to take place in June 2023.

Here is a snapshot of the individuals we heard from during the two-day conference and the projects we have enabled:

Dr Philip Quinlan, Professor Sir Jonathan Van Tam and Professor Richard Emes at the Digital Research Service 'Celebrating 10 years of Excellence' event July 2022

Day One

  • Professor Richard Emes gave a warm welcome and opened the conference
  • Professor Sir Jonathan Van Tam was our keynote speaker; he spoke of the lessons learned during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Our Health Data Research UK 2022 cohort of interns discussed Diversity in Data Science with Professor Van Tam and Dr Maria Arruda, from the Researcher Academy
  • Dr Tom Giles delivered a talk on Data Infrastructure to Scale alongside Dr Esmond Urwin, and Professor Ana Valdes

Dr Tom Giles at the Digital Research Service 'Celebrating 10 years of Excellence' event July 2022

  • Digital Research Service’s head, Dr Philip Quinlan, discussed a recent collaboration between the DRS and Digital Nottingham - Trusted Research Environment for Cities (TRE4C). Dr Esmond Urwin and Eve Draper spoke about the work done to enable data linkage in this cross-disciplinary project
  • Gendius CEO Rory Cameron spoke about the work his business is undertaking in the field of diabetes, and how the DRS enabled its continued development over the years
  • Rachel Webster from the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust delivered a talk on collaborations between the NHS and the DRS
  • Kerry Oliver from PRIMIS spoke about the continued collaboration with the DRS and the work done by PRIMIS during the pandemic
  • Dr Sam Cox closed the first day of the conference discussing Best Practice in Software to Deliver Impact. His key message was: “Make the software easy, because the science is hard enough!”

All attendees were then invited to a dinner at the East Midlands Conference Centre.

Dr Maria Aruda and Nadine Holmes at the Digital Research Service 'Celebrating 10 years of Excellence' event July 2022

Day Two

  • Dr Philip Quinlan welcomed all attendees to the second day of the conference
  • Professor Lucy Donaldson from the Researcher Academy gave a keynote talk onthe University of Nottingham’s research culture aims, which was followed by a Q&A
  • Dr Judith Wayte from the School of Biosciences discussed How to Shape Researchers for the Future alongside Dr Maria Arruda from the Researcher Academy and Dr Grazziela Figueredo from the DRS
  • Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences’ Dr Jen Martin spoke about the innovative NEUROMS project, its focus on Multiple Sclerosis research and how the DRS worked alongside the team to take it to the next level
  • Professor Christian Wager talked about A New Platform for Capturing Data
  • Professor Morgan Alexander spoke about his work on the Next Generation Biomaterials at the School of Pharmacy
  • Sarah Davidson talked about KTPs and Gleeds
  • And Benedikt Engel discussed CITRUS, a project the DRS has played a crucial role in and how “Artificial Intelligence is keeping the lights on”

Kwabena Amponsah (DRS) and guest at the Digital Research Service 'Celebrating 10 years of Excellence' event July 2022


Dr Esmond Urwin at the Digital Research Service 'Celebrating 10 years of Excellence' event July 2022

Dr Sam Cox, Dr Philip Quinlan, and Dr Tom Giles at the Digital Research Service 'Celebrating 10 years of Excellence' event July 2022

Advanced Data Analysis Centre

ADAC was a joint initiative between the School of Computer Science
and the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. We have since grown and became known as
Digital Research Service, part of DTS.
Please see our Contact Us page for telephone and email contact points