Five internationally-recognised researchers have been appointmented as the first Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellows to conduct ground-breaking work on Artificial Intelligence’s (#AI) biggest challenges.

The new fellows, who will conduct ground-breaking work on AI’s biggest challenges, are:

  1. Professor Zoubin Ghahramani, University of Cambridge
  2. Professor Samuel Kaski, The University of Manchester
  3. Professor Mirella Lapata, The University of Edinburgh
  4. Professor Philip Torr, University of Oxford
  5. Professor Michael Wooldridge, University of Oxford

The Turing Artificial Intelligence Fellowships are a £46 million initiative created by the UK government, aimed at attracting and maintaining the best talent in artificial intelligence.

The Turing AI Fellowships initiative was created as part of an ambitious skills and talent package set out by the UK government, aimed at attracting and maintaining the best talent in artificial intelligence.

The Turing AI Fellows are pioneering unique and exciting areas of research in the field of AI, from addressing the challenge of building a more sustainable aviation industry, to democratising safe and robust AI. These fellows have been appointed for five years, from a wide variety of disciplines.

1. About the Turing AI Fellowships

The Turing AI Fellowships are a £46 million initiative created as part of the AI Sector Deal’s ambitious skills and talent package aimed at retaining, attracting and developing the best and brightest AI international researchers. Fellows will undertake world leading creative and innovative AI research, working in collaboration with partners from other sectors to accelerate the impact of their research.

The initiative consists of:

  • an initial Turing AI Fellowships programme delivered by The Alan Turing Institute in 2019
  • Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships aimed at accelerating the careers of high potential researchers developing next generation AI technologies, towards a world leading position by the end of the fellowship. Fellows were announced by UKRI in November 2020
  • Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellowships intended to retain and recruit the best international researchers in AI to build new capability and capacity in the UK. Fellows will be announced by UKRI in summer 2021

The Turing AI Fellowships are being delivered in partnership by UK Research and Innovation, The Office for Artificial Intelligence, and The Alan Turing Institute.

2. The Turing AI Fellows

The AI Fellows

The table lists the Turing AI Fellows supported by funding from the UK Government.

NameUniversityFellowshipProjectResearch areaWebsite
Professor Damien Coyle University of Ulster Turing AI Acceleration Fellow AI for Intelligent Neurotechnology and Human-Machine Symbiosis AI Neurotechnology; Brain-computer interface (BCI); Electroencephalography (EEG); Rehabilitation https://pure.ulster.ac.uk/en/persons/damien-coyle
Dr Jeff Dalton University of Glasgow Turing AI Acceleration Fellow Neural Conversational Information Seeking Assistant Conversational search; Neural-symbolic methods; Representation learning; Natural language understanding; Virtual personal assistants www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~jeff
Dr Theodoros Damoulas University of Warwick Turing AI Acceleration Fellow Machine Learning Foundations of Digital Twins Machine learning; Bayesian nonparametric; Causality; Distributed digital twins; Urban and environmental digital twins https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/dcs/people/theo_damoulas
Timothy Dodwell University of Exeter Turing AI Fellow Intelligent Virtual Test Pyramids for High Value Manufacturing Uncertainty Quantification; Probabilistic Machine Learning; Multiscale Modelling; Digital Twins; Data-centric Engineering https://emps.exeter.ac.uk/engineering/staff/td336
Professor Aldo Faisal Imperial College London Turing AI Acceleration Fellow Reinforcement Learning for Healthcare Machine Learning; Reinforcement Learning; Digital twins; Digital Healthcare; AI for Medicine www.imperial.ac.uk/people/a.faisal
Professor Yarin Gal University of Oxford Turing AI Fellow Democratizing safe and robust AI through public challenges in Bayesian Deep Learning Democratizing Safe; Robust AI
Professor Zoubin Ghahramani University of Cambridge Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellow Advancing Modern Data-Driven Robust AI * http://www.eng.cam.ac.uk/profiles/zg201
Professor Yulan He University of Warwick Turing AI Acceleration Fellow Event-Centric Framework for Natural Language Understanding Natural language understanding; Machine reading comprehension; Event graph learning, Biomedical QA; conversational QA https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/dcs/people/yulan_he
Dr Antonio Hurtado University of Strathclyde Turing AI Acceleration Fellow PHOTONics for ultrafast Artificial Intelligence Neuromorphic Photonic Computing Ultrafast AI Hardware; Energy efficiency; Defence & Security; Finance www.strath.ac.uk/staff/hurtadoantoniodr
Professor Samuel Kaski The University of Manchester Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellow Human-AI Research Teams - Steering AI in Experimental Design and Decision-Making * https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/samuel.kaski.html
Dr Jose Miguel Hernandez Lobato University of Cambridge Turing AI Acceleration Fellow Machine Learning for Molecular Design Deep generative models of molecules; Molecule generation via chemical reactions; Data-efficient molecular optimization, Robust machine learning for molecule data; Accelerate drug and material design https://jmhl.org
Professor Mirella Lapata University of Edinburgh Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellow TEAMER – Teaching Machines To Reason Like Humans * https://www.research.ed.ac.uk/en/persons/mirella-lapata
Neil Lawrence University of Cambridge Senior Turing AI Fellow Innovation to Deployment - Machine Learning Systems Design Deployed AI; Systems design; Data governance: AutoML: MLOps https://www.cst.cam.ac.uk/people/ndl21
Dr Per Kristian Lehre University of Birmingham Turing AI Acceleration Fellow Rigorous Time-Complexity Analysis of Co-Evolutionary Algorithms Co-evolutionary algorithms; Algorithmic game theory; Analysis of algorithms; Combinatorial optimisation; Robust optimisation www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~lehrepk
Professor Maria Liakata Queen Mary University of London Turing AI Fellow Creating time sensors from language and heterogeneous user generated content Natural language processing; Longitudinal methods; Change detection; Learning from heterogeneous data; Mental health http://eecs.qmul.ac.uk/profiles/liakatamaria.html
Professor Giovanni Montana University of Warwick Turing AI Acceleration Fellow Advancing Multi-Agent Deep Reinforcement Learning for Sequential Decision Making in Real-World Applications Reinforcement learning; Decision making; Multi-agent systems; Digital healthcare; Manufacturing https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/people/profile/?wmgid=1567
Dr Christopher Nemeth Lancaster University Turing AI Acceleration Fellow Probabilistic Algorithms for Scalable and Computable Approaches to Learning (PASCAL) Statistical machine learning; Probabilistic uncertainty; Scalable computing; Cybersecurity, Autonomous vehicles www.lancs.ac.uk/~nemeth
Professor Raul Santos-Rodriguez University of Bristol Turing AI Acceleration Fellow Interactive Annotations in AI Human-centric machine learning; Annotations; Labels; Explainability; Digital health www.raulsantosrodriguez.com
Anna Scaife The University of Manchester Turing AI Fellow AI4Astro - AI for Discovery for Data Intensive Astrophysics Bayesian Deep Learning; Data Intensive Astrophysics; Variational Inference; Uncertainty calibration; Reproducible AI https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/anna.scaife.html
Dr Sebastian Stein University of Southampton Turing AI Acceleration Fellow Citizen-Centric AI Systems Responsible AI Multi-agent systems; Smart energy; Smart transportation; Disaster response www.southampton.ac.uk/~ss1y07/ccais
Professor Philip Torr University of Oxford Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellow Robust, Efficient and Trustworthy Learning * https://eng.ox.ac.uk/people/philip-torr
Professor Ivan Tyukin University of Leicester Turing AI Acceleration Fellow Adaptive, Robust, and Resilient AI Systems for the FuturE Robust, Stable, and Trustworthy AI and Machine Learning; Adaptive AI; Provably Certifiable AI; AI Error Correction; Learning and Generalisation in High Dimension www2.le.ac.uk/departments/mathematics/extranet/staff-material/staff-profiles/it37
Dr Adrian Weller University of Cambridge Turing AI Acceleration Fellow Trustworthy Machine Learning Fairness; Explainability; Robustness; Health; Justice http://mlg.eng.cam.ac.uk/adrian
Professor Michael Wooldridge University of Oxford Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellow The Large Agent Collider – robust agent-based modelling at scale * https://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/people/michael.wooldridge
Professor Christopher Yau The University of Manchester Turing AI Acceleration Fellow clinAIcan - Developing clinical applications of artificial intelligence for cancer Probabilistic modelling; Deep learning; Causal inference; Cancer; Genomics www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/christopher.yau.html

3. Connect with a Turing AI Fellow

Connect

The Turing AI Fellowships are intended to enhance connections between academia and industry through supporting cross-sector collaborations and enabling the two-way flow of knowledge and people. This will accelerate the impact of the world-leading AI research being carried out by the fellows and benefit UK industry through the creation of new academic-industry collaborations and partnerships.

4. The Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships

The Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships

The Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships were awarded with the aim of accelerating the careers of fifteen high potential mid-career researchers towards a world-leading position by the end of the five year award. They are all delivering a high quality programme of ambitious, novel and creative research, in an area of AI of opportunity for the UK, with world leading results.

The Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships will:

  • position the UK Internationally in AI Research and Innovation, attracting further talent and inward investment by signalling the UK’s ambition to be a global leader in the development of AI and enhance our research power in the field
  • build new UK capability and maintaining the resilience of the academic research base by investing in the recruitment and retention of world-leading and high-potential researchers, enabling blue skies research and training of future talent
  • support a diverse research community in the high profile growing area of AI thereby ensuring a diverse and sustainable ecosystem of AI leaders, with a strong future pipeline of talent
  • enable new models of collaboration and career paths across sectors in AI — greater porosity between academia and industry will retain researchers in academia, create collaborations and enable the two-way flow of knowledge and people between sectors
  • integrate consideration of AI adoption into AI research activities by embedding high expectations of the development of safe, ethical and responsible AI technologies at all stages of research

5. Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellowships

Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellowships

The prestigious Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellowships have been awarded to five world-leading AI researchers, with significant packages of support to enable the building of centres of excellence in key areas of AI research. The awards will allow some of the brightest minds in AI to move to (or remain in) the UK, whilst maintaining the momentum of their research programmes thereby building and growing the UK’s international competitiveness and reputation in AI.

The new fellows, who will conduct ground-breaking work on AI’s biggest challenges, are:

  1. Professor Zoubin Ghahramani, University of Cambridge
  2. Professor Samuel Kaski, The University of Manchester
  3. Professor Mirella Lapata, The University of Edinburgh
  4. Professor Philip Torr, University of Oxford
  5. Professor Michael Wooldridge, University of Oxford

The fellows will:

  • establish a world leading centre of excellence in a strategically important area of AI research
  • lead a major programme of AI research, translation and innovation
  • build strong relationships and collaborations with academia, industry and broader stakeholders in the UK and internationally
  • act as a leader in the community and as an ambassador and advocate for it, driving forward the UK and international research agenda
  • develop the skills and careers of their teams, developing the independent researchers and innovators of the future
  • actively engage with the questions around AI and ethics, and responsible research and innovation (RRI) throughout their activities
  • deliver research with a high likelihood of impact on UK society and the economy
  • build a broader portfolio of funding and activities beyond the fellowship, moving towards a position of sustainability at the end of the fellowship

Turing scheme to open up global study and work opportunities for disadvantaged students 

12th Mar 2021: Schools, colleges and universities can now apply for funding from today (12 March) to allow students to study and work across the globe as part of the new Turing Scheme.

The programme, backed by £110 million, replaces the Erasmus+ scheme in the UK, and will fund 35,000 global exchanges from September 2021, including university study, school exchanges, and industry work placements. The new scheme aims to improve social mobility, targeting students from disadvantaged backgrounds and areas which did not previously have many students benefiting from Erasmus+, making life-changing opportunities accessible to everyone across the country.

The British Council is looking at areas which have traditionally not engaged with Erasmus to help promote the scheme and improve take up.

The Turing scheme offers benefits to students that they would not have under the previous Erasmus+ programme, with university students from disadvantaged backgrounds set to receive a maximum of £490 per month towards living costs (currently worth around 573 euros compared to 540 under Erasmus), alongside travel funding, and other forms of additional funding to offset the cost of passports, visas and insurance. 

Unlike the Erasmus+ Scheme, which is EU-focused, the Turing Scheme is a truly global programme, and every country in the world is eligible to partner with UK universities, schools and colleges.

Boris Johnson 100x100

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said:

“The Turing Scheme is a truly global programme with every country in the world eligible to partner with UK universities, schools and colleges.

“It is also levelling up in action, as the scheme seeks to help students of all income groups from across the country experience fantastic education opportunities in any country they choose.”

Gavin Williamson 100x100Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson said:

“This is a landmark step in delivering on our promise to level up a truly global Britain, strengthening our ties across the world and providing students with the skills they need to thrive.

“The programme’s focus on social mobility and value for money will open up more opportunities for international education and travel to all of our students, especially for those from disadvantaged backgrounds who were less likely to benefit from the previous EU scheme

“I urge all universities, schools and colleges from all corners of the UK to start their applications and partner up with countries worldwide.”

Michelle Donelan 100x100Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan said:

“The Turing scheme will support our levelling up agenda by opening up the world to young people and children from all backgrounds with exciting global opportunities.

“The scheme will enable up to 35,000 students throughout the UK to work or study across the globe.”

As part of the UK-wide launch, Education Ministers are visiting the devolved nations today to highlight the advantages of the Turing scheme and ensure wider participation for all students across the UK.

In support of the launch, Universities Minister Michelle Donelan will visit Cardiff University and Edinburgh University to discuss the bidding process including how to demonstrate widening access to more disadvantaged students as part of the application process.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb and Apprenticeships Minister Gillian Keegan will visit educational settings in areas that have not previously benefitted from Erasmus+. Applicants from schools and colleges are encouraged, with funding levels and eligibility set out in programme guides available to help inform applications.

Kate Green MP 100x100Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“The Government’s rhetoric on the Turing Scheme does not live up to the reality. While claiming to be targeting disadvantaged students, the scheme provides no support to cover tuition fees which will make accessing these opportunities impossible for many students.

“Boris Johnson broke his promise when he committed to ensuring the UK would remain part of Erasmus+ after Brexit, and he is subjecting the Turing Scheme to future spending review decisions creating financial uncertainty for organisations and young people.”

UK organisations are encouraged to form partnerships across the globe, not just the EU. The Turing website includes the programme guide, funding levels and eligibility, and details of webinars available to help inform applications.

Successful applications will receive funding for administering the scheme and students taking part will receive grants to help them with the costs of their international experience. The benefits of the exchanges will be assessed and the findings used to build on future schemes. Funding decisions for subsequent years will be subject to future spending reviews.

£110m of funding will be available to support projects and activities during the 2021/2022 academic year. This is enough to fund similar levels of student exchanges under the former Erasmus+ scheme.

Eligible education and training institutions across the UK will be able to apply for funding for international opportunities from March 2021. We expect to issue funding decisions in July. The first funded placements will begin at the start of the 2021-22 academic year. Programme guidance, including information on the application process, has also been published on the Turing Scheme website. Potential applicants will also be supported by the Delivery Partner, with a range of opportunities to attend webinars and contact us for support set out on the website.

The Turing scheme provides funding to eligible providers – whether that be schools, FE colleges or higher education institutions – to offer a range of different opportunities. The provider will promote their opportunities and the student would apply or sign up for the opportunity whether it a school exchange, work experiences abroad or a study placement. Once confirmed the participant and provider book and organise the trip.

Aspect

Erasmus+

Turing Scheme (Euro conversion according to current exchange rates)

Cost of Living

For programme countries, HE students can receive a maximum of 540 Euro per month under E+ cost of living rates including the disadvantaged supplement

Breakdown:

A typical HE student would get 370-420 Euro for study placements under Erasmus+.

The disadvantaged uplift for Erasmus+ is 120 Euro per month for study placements

Students can apply for student finance as usual

A maximum of 573 Euro grant under Turing (£490).

Breakdown:

Turing rates are in line with this, 392 - 445 Euro (£335-380).

Turing disadvantaged uplift is 129 Euro (£110) per month,

Students can apply for student finance as under Erasmus+.

*Euros 1.17 to 1 Sterling Pound

Travel Costs

There is no travel support for HE mobilities within programme countries under Erasmus+. This only applied to participants who travelled to Partner Countries i.e. non-EU, which was only around 3% of UK Erasmus+ mobilities.

NEW FOR TURING: Turing will provide travel costs to all destinations for disadvantaged HE students.

NEW FOR TURING: Additionally, we are providing funding for visas, passports and related travel insurance for disadvantaged HE students. 

Tuition fees

Not free tuition but tuition fee waivers in place as part of the EU-wide programme.

As is typical for HE exchanges, expect tuition fees to be waived by host universities. Universities in the UK make these arrangements with overseas partners outside Erasmus+ and the EU as a matter of course.

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