ESRC Smart Data Research UK Strategic Advice Team

A 2-year ESRC project funded to convene & leverage national and international expertise from across the entire Smart Data + Digital Footprints landscape.


The purpose of this webpage is to provide an overview of current and upcoming ESRC Smart Data Research UK (formerly Digital Footprints) Strategic Advice Team (SAT) activities and to provide ample avenues for stakeholders and community members to get involved and provide input. The ESRC’s Smart Data Research UK programme presents an enormous opportunity for social and economic researchers across the UK and, to maximise the success of the investment, we are here to collect expertise and perspectives and also share opportunities widely.

This is a simple website by design, aimed to provide easy access to our formal activities, which include:

We will review and digest the input we receive across these various activities, providing a series of reports and roadmaps, as we go.

About the ESRC Smart Data Research UK Programme

An overview of the Smart Data Research UK programme and ESRC contact information can be found here. As new opportunities become available, we will highlight them here.

Current Smart Data Research UK Funding Opportunities

About the Strategic Advice Team (SAT)

The SAT is led by Prof Rachel Franklin at Newcastle University and includes Prof Simeon Yates and Dr Elena Musi at the University of Liverpool, Dr Omar Guerrero at the Alan Turing Institute, and Dr Seth Spielman as an international partner at Microsoft in the United States. The SAT also includes two early-career researchers: Jeanette D’Arcy at the University of Liverpool and Jessica Crosby at Newcastle University.

Getting Involved!

We aim to bring together community members from the full breadth of the Digital Footprints landscape, including researchers, data owners, infrastructure experts, and more. We have several structured ways to get involved in our work (see below), but always welcome an email, as well!

The easiest way to hear about upcoming events and activities is to sign up for our mailing list.

Smart Data Research UK Strategy Engagement Exercise

The Smart Data Research UK draft strategy is out and your feedback and input is welcomed! Help ensure that this impactful and important programme is set up for success. See here for the draft strategy, guiding questions, and additional instructions. Closes 6 October 2023


We are convening a series of online workshops on different topics over the next two years. Please see below for details, including registration links, where available.

  1. Project Launch Workshop (13 January 2023)
  2. Research and Data Priorities (aka Pillars and Data Centres) (7 March 2023)
  3. Identifying Researcher Needs (18 April 2023)
  4. International Best Practice (18 May 2023)
  5. Digital Footprints Research Infrastructure (7 June 2023)
  6. Meet the ESRC Digital Footprints Programme Team! (18 July 2023)
  1. Smart Data for Government and Policy (15 December 2023)

Interviews & Questionnaire

We are currently conducting expert interviews, starting with our SAT Advisory Group members and snowballing from there, as necesary. We are especially curious about the following:

We will also be collecting feedback via a questionnaire. If you’re willing to complete the questionnaire (and/or be interviewed), please do sign up to our mailing list here.

Digital Data Dives

More on these, coming soon: watch this space!