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4 Year MRC PhD Programme: Harnessing Big Data to Accelerate Evaluation of Infection Outbreak

School of Life Sciences

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Dr K Budzynska , Prof C A Reed No more applications being accepted Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Social media and local news hold huge untapped potential as indicators of infectious disease outbreaks and resistance threats, yet the automatic processing and sense-making of vast amount of natural language unstructured data is still an enormous challenge. The project will combine two innovative and emerging AI technologies – Argument Mining (Lawrence et al. 2017) and Ethos Analytics (Duthie et al. 2016) – for which the Centre is the world leader working with IBM and the BBC. By building techniques to assess the content and credibility of such data at very large scale, we will deliver an early warning system for infection outbreaks. We will partner with Health Protection Scotland to align with the MRC’s Infections Priority Challenge (MRC Delivery Plan 2016-2020).

Duthie, R., Budynska, K & Reed, C. (2016) "Mining Ethos in Political Debate" in Baroni, P., Stede, M. & Gordon, T. (eds) Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Computational Models of Argument (COMMA 2016), IOS Press, Potsdam, pp299-310
Lawrence, J., Snaith, M., Konat, B., Budzynska, K. & Reed, C. (2017) "Debating Technology for Dialogical Argument: Sensemaking, Engagement and Analytics", ACM Transactions on Internet Technology, 17 (3)

Track Record: Katarzyna Budzynska ( is a Dundee Fellow working in Computing in the Centre for Argument Technology ( She has published 2 books and almost 80 peer-reviewed papers, amongst which 16 appeared in international journals such as Artificial Intelligence and ACM’s Transactions on Internet Technology. She has won £680k grant funding from the Polish Ministry, the Swiss Sciex Programme, the UK programmes of Innovate UK and EPSRC, and German VW Foundation (VolkswagenStiftung). Most recently, Budzynska established her research group, Computational Ethos Lab (; the webpage will be available in mid Apr), which develops innovative technologies using speakers’ ethos to predict results of presidential elections, detect trolls and cyber bullies in social media or uncover potential terrorist threats.

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