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Data for Policy 2016: Frontiers of Data Science for Government

When Sep 15, 2016 09:00 AM to
Sep 16, 2016 06:00 PM
Where University of Cambridge
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Frontiers of Data Science for Government: 

Ideas, Practices, and Projections


15-16 September 2016 | University of Cambridge  | @dataforpolicy


Abstract submission deadline: Monday, 16 May 2016

Data Science is emerging as a key interdisciplinary research field to address major contemporary challenges across sectors. Particular focus on the government sector offers huge potentials to advance citizen services and collective decision-making processes. To reflect the diversity of skills and knowledge required to tackle challenges in this domain, the conference offers an open discussion forum for all stakeholders. We invite individual and/or group submissions from all relevant disciplines and application domains. Topics covered include but are not limited to the following:


  • Government & Policy: Digital era governance and citizen services, public demand vs. government response, using data in the policy process, open source and open data movements, policy laboratories, citizen expertise for government, public opinion and participation in democratic processes, distributed data bases and data streams, information and evidence in policy context, case studies and best practices.
  • Policy for Data & Management: Data collection, storage, and access; psychology/behaviour of decision; privacy, trust, public rights, free speech, ethics and law; data security/ownership/linkage; provenance, curation, expiration; private/public sector/non-profit collaboration and partnership, etc.
  • Data Analysis:  Computational procedures for data collection, storage, and access; large-scale data processing, dealing with biased/imperfect/uncertain data, human interaction with data, statistical/computational models, technical challenges, communicating results, visualisation, etc.
  • Methodologies: Qualitative/quantitative/mixed methods, gaps in theory and practice, secondary data analysis, web scraping, randomised controlled trials, sentiment analysis, Bayesian approaches and graphical models, biologically inspired models, real-time and historical data processing, simulation and modeling, small area estimation, correlation & causality based models, and other relevant methods.
  • Data Sources: Government administrative data, official statistics, commercial and non-profit data, user-generated web content (blogs, wikis, discussion forums, posts, chats, tweets, podcasting, pins, digital images, video, audio files, advertisements, etc.), search engine data, data gathered by connected people and devices (e.g. wearable technology, mobile devices, Internet of Things), tracking data (including GPS/geolocation data, traffic and other transport sensor data, CCTV images etc.,), satellite and aerial imagery, and other relevant data sources.
  • Policy/Application Domains: Security, health, cities, public administration, economy, science and innovation, finance, energy, environment, social policy areas (education, migration, etc.) and other relevant domains.



Extended abstracts for individual submissions should not exceed 1000 words and group/special session submissions are limited to 4500 words (including general session description and abstracts for each of the presentations in the session). Please note that this conference will also mark the launch of the new Data for Policy Discussion Paper Series. All submissions will also be considered for this series and those selected will be invited to submit full discussion papers prior to the conference.  Consideration will also be given for other post-conference publications (e.g. special journal issues and policy reports).


Submissions are accepted through the official conference website –


Please note that special session proposals can be submitted for research panels, policy workshops, fringe meetings, tutorials, demonstrations, and other innovative formats as relevant to conference audience. Organisations can get in touch with Data for Policy Team ( to discuss potential partnership & sponsorship opportunities and/or group discounts


Please also note that special discounts with conference registration fees will be applied to students and early career researchers. Limited funding is also available to support travel expenses of exceptional candidates. For those wishing to be considered for travel support please send a CV and covering letter to the conference team after completing your submission and before the submission deadline. 


PDF version of the Call for Contributions can be downloaded here


All general enquiries about the conference should be directed to the Data for Policy Team at


Important Dates: 


Abstract submission deadline: Monday, 16 May 2016

Notification of acceptance: Friday, 17 June 2016

Presenters' registration deadline: Monday, 1 August 2016

Discussion Paper submission deadline: 15 August 2016

Public registration deadline: Thursday, 1 September 2016

Conference: Thursday-Friday, 15-16 September 2016


Partner Institutions: 


Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge | European Commission | The Alan Turing Institute | Office for National Statistics | Data Science Institute, Imperial College London | Department of Computer Science, University College London | Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford | Department of Methodology, London School of Economics and Political Science | Royal Statistical Society | London Innovation Society Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge | UCL Public Policy | Technopolis Group


Advisory Committee:


  • Prof. Jean Bacon, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge
  • Prof. Kenneth Benoit, Department of Methodology, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Dr. David Cleevely, Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge
  • Prof. Jon Crowcroft, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge
  • Prof. Anthony Finkelstein, Chief Scientific Advisor, UK Government Office for Science
  • Prof. Enrico Giovannini, Co-Chair, UN Data Revolution Group & University of Rome "Tor Vergata"
  • Prof. David Hand, Winton Capital Management and Imperial College
  • Prof. Jonathan Haskel, Data Science Institute, Imperial College London
  • Prof. David Howarth, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge
  • Prof. Helen Margetts, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford
  • Prof. Beth Noveck, The GovLab, New York University & MIT Media Lab
  • Mr. Bill Oates, Chief Data Scientist, UK Office for National Statistics
  • Prof. Rob Procter, Department of Computer Science, University of Warwick
  • Prof. Graeme Reid, University College London
  • Prof. John Shawe-Taylor, Department of Computer Science, University College London
  • Prof. Peter Smith, ESRC Administrative Data Research Centre for England and University of Southampton
  • Prof. John Taysom, University College London, University of Cambridge, University of Harvard
  • Prof. Philip Treleaven, Department of Computer Science, University College London
  • Prof. Patrick Wolfe, Deputy Director, The Alan Turing Institute
  • Prof. Sir David Wallace, University of Cambridge
  • Mr. Glen Watson, Director-General, UK Office for National Statistics
  • Prof. Robin Williams, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh
  • Prof. Derek Wyatt, Chair, Royal Trinity Hospice; NHS Innovations South East



Executive Committee: 


  • Dr. Zeynep Engin, Founder, Data for Policy
  • Dr. Anil Bharath, Data Science Institute, Imperial College London 
  • Dr. Bilal Gokpinar, School of Management, University College London
  • Dr. Prabhat Agarwal, European Commission



Programme Committee:


  • Dr. Anne Alexander, Digital Humanities Network, University of Cambridge
  • Mr. Daniel Castro, Director, Centre for Data Innovation
  • Dr. Suleyman Demirsoy, Director, London Innovation Society
  • Dr. Clare Dyer-Smith, Cambridge Big Data SRI, University of Cambridge
  • Dr. Rayid Ghani, Centre for Data Science and Public Policy, University of Chicago
  • Dr. Ella McPherson, Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge
  • Prof. Eric Meyer, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford
  • Dr. Slava Michaylov, Department of Political Science, University College London
  • Assoc. Prof. Suzy Moat, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick
  • Dr. Richard Mortier, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge
  • Mr. Will Moy, Director, Full Fact
  • Dr. Mirco Musolesi, Department of Geography, University College London
  • Assoc. Prof. Tobias Preis, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick
  • Dr. Martijn Poel, Technopolis Group
  • Dr. Alison Powell, Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Dr. Charlotte Sausman, Cambridge Public Policy SRI, University of Cambridge
  • Prof. Ralph Schroder, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford
  • Drs. Gideon Shimshon, Director Centre for Innovation, Leiden University
  • Dr. Jatinder Singh, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge
  • Dr. Olivia Stevenson, UCL Public Policy
  • Dr. Mesut Tastan, Department of Finance, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Ms. Barbara Ubaldi, The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)


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About Us

We aim to support public policy research across Cambridge University, working with colleagues in science, social science, the arts and humanities, to apply new thinking to public policy problems and promote research and analysis into the public policy process. We hope to connect and raise the profile of existing public policy related work across the University and support collaborative research that includes policy development in a range of subject areas. 

Contact us if you are interested in joining the initiative or would like to know more.