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Clare Hall students win prestigious £14K Accelerate-C2D3 grant

16 November 2022 Students

A team featuring four Clare Hall students has won a £14,000 grant from Accelerate-C2D3: AI for research and innovation – a University of Cambridge funding call – to investigate theoretical, scientific, and philosophical perspectives on biological understanding in the age of artificial intelligence.

The grant-winners, left to right: Matt Greenig and Srijit Seal (both PhD students in Chemistry), Elsa Lawrence (PhD student in Pharmacology, Darwin College), Adham El-Shazly (PhD student in Philosophy), and Chaitanya K. Joshi (PhD student in Computer Science). The students were delighted to receive their official award letter on Monday morning.

As new grant-holders, the team will organise a conference in early 2023 and publish a review paper to examine the application of artificial intelligence in biological discovery. The scheme was open to researchers from all disciplines at the University of Cambridge.

We are delighted to receive the grant from Accelerate-C2D3. A few months ago, Adham, Chaitanya, Matt, Elsa and I sat at a Clare Hall dinner discussing the possibility of combining our research. A few pizzas and barbecues later, we were applying for grants along with many academics in the competition. The grant arrived just in time, and our next step is to form a scientific advisory board to get the conference up and running.

Srijit Seal, PhD student in Chemistry at Clare Hall, former GSB President

The Cambridge Centre for Data-Driven Discovery brings together researchers and experts from across the University to enhance the interdisciplinary nature of research.

When asked about the grant, Chaitanya K. Joshi, a PhD student in Computer Science at Clare Hall, commented: ‘This project in the confluence of artificial intelligence, scientific discovery and philosophy aims to leverage Clare Hall and Cambridge’s interdisciplinary and academic diversity. We hope to build a community of students and thought-leaders interested in the prospects and challenges of data-driven scientific discovery.’

The project will focus on recent developments in the theory of machine learning and how they apply to the modelling of biological systems. The team, including current Clare Hall GSB President and Philosophy PhD student Adham El-Shazly, will explore the philosophical implications of relying on artificial intelligence systems for scientific insight into Life Sciences.

‘Clare Hall is really delighted with our students’ success in this highly competitive scheme with a particularly imaginative and exciting proposal’, notes Alan Short, President of Clare Hall.

To support the collaborations vital to successfully deploying AI, Accelerate Science provides seed funding for innovative projects that bring researchers together across disciplinary boundaries to advance the application of AI in research or real-world contexts. Discover more on the Accelerate Programme for Scientific Discovery at https://acceleratescience.github.io

Find further Clare Hall student news on this page, and learn more about the College here.