A key aim of the Eastern ARC partnership is to strengthen current collaboration and develop new cross-disciplinary research between its three member universities.
The initial focus will be on three broad interdisciplinary areas, with each university acting as academic lead in one of the areas:
- Digital Humanities, led by the University of Kent
Digital humanities combine materials and methodologies from traditional humanities disciplines with computing tools and digital media. Techniques can range from data mining and information retrieval, to digital mapping and visualisation. Interests and expertise in the Eastern ARC include digital heritage and curation, visualisation, and geographical information systems. The consortium also embraces the use of digital technologies to protect, document, and understand humanity’s shared heritage.
- Quantitative Social Science, led by the University of Essex
Quantitative social sciences apply statistical and mathematical techniques to the empirical investigation of phenomena in the social sciences. The universities of the Eastern ARC have undertaken research on individual and collective behaviour, as well as social interactions and their consequences. This has made a substantial contribution to understanding and improved the well-being of human populations. The consortium’s research agenda currently focusses (but is not limited to) the three main areas of: inequality, conflict and migration; lifespan, lifestyle and decision-making; and environment, energy and security.
- Synthetic Biology, led by the University of East Anglia
Synthetic biology combines advances in biological understanding with concepts of engineering to design and construct new biological devices or systems for a range of uses, from new materials and biofuels to medical treatments. The discipline is underpinned by rapid advances in high-throughput genomics technologies, and the principles of synthetic biology can be applied to optimise the characteristics of biological organisms for a wide range of uses.