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New partnership pilots trials to help change eating habits

New partnership pilots trials to help change eating habits

What we choose to put into our shopping baskets and how we make those choices will come under the microscope in a series of pilot trials designed to encourage healthy and sustainable diets.

Data analysts from the University of Leeds have joined forces with social impact organisation, the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD), to test different ways to encourage healthy and sustainable eating.

They are working in partnership with 20 leading retailers and manufacturers, including Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s and Aldi, to trial different strategies, including signposting better choices, the positioning of products in shops and online and the use of influencers and recipe suggestions.

Some have already begun to use some of those techniques in real-life settings as part of the research designed and implemented by the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA) and the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC).

Researchers from LIDA and CDRC will analyse the results by capturing and measuring sales data from each intervention, enabling the project group to see exactly what is going on in people’s shopping baskets and assess what truly drives long-term behaviour change.

Dr Michelle Morris, who leads the Nutrition and Lifestyle Analytics team at LIDA and is a CDRC Co-Investigator, said: “I am passionate about helping our population move towards a diet that is both healthier and more sustainable. I believe that unlocking the power of anonymous consumer data, collected by retailers and manufacturers, is a really important step towards this goal.

“Working with the IGD and its members to evaluate their healthy and sustainable diets programme is very exciting – testing strategies to change purchasing behaviour and evaluating the wider impact of these changes.”

The pilot trials have been funded by IGD and form a key part of the charity’s Social Impact ambition to make healthy and sustainable diets easy for everyone.

Hannah Pearse, Head of Nutrition at IGD, said: “We want to lead industry collaboration and build greater knowledge of what really works. Our Appetite for Change research tells us that 57% of people are open to changing their diets to be healthy and more sustainable, and they welcome help to do it. But we also know that people don’t like to be told what to do and information alone is unlikely to change behaviour.

“We believe consumers will make this transition if we make it easier for them; that’s why we are delighted to be partnering with our industry project group and our research partners at the University of Leeds, to pilot this series of interventions over the coming months. The team at LIDA are experts in capturing, storing and analysing big data and have a variety of academic specialties that will be critical for this work.”

The work being carried out by CDRC researchers at the University of Leeds is unique because it will use the secure infrastructure at LIDA to allow retailers and manufacturers to share anonymised transaction data over a sustained period of time.

It is hoped that the results of the first pilot trial will be published towards the end of this year.

Areas most at risk of food insecurity in the cost of living crisis identified by CDRC and Which?

Areas most at risk of food insecurity in the cost of living crisis identified by CDRC and Which?

In a groundbreaking new study researchers from the Consumer Research Data Centre at the University of Leeds and Which? have identified the places around the UK where households are most at risk in the cost of living crisis and likely to be in need of extra support to access affordable, healthy and sustainable food.

The CDRC team, led by Dr Michelle Morris, and the consumer champion developed the Priority Places for Food Index as part of Which?’s national campaign to urge supermarkets to support consumers through the cost-of-living crisis. 

The index uses data across a range of relevant dimensions to rank local areas by the likelihood of the people living there needing support.

The researchers considered factors such as deprivation, poor access to affordable food, having no large supermarkets nearby, a lack of online shopping deliveries or circumstances such as no car access making it difficult to shop around.  All of these factors can make it difficult for people to find healthy and affordable food. 

Michelle Morris, Associate Professor Nutrition and Lifestyle Analytics, University of Leeds said: “With so many people in the UK already suffering from food insecurity and the cost of living crisis making that much worse, we need to do all that we can to support those most in need to access affordable, healthy and sustainable foods.

That is why we have developed the Priority Places for Food Index in collaboration with Which?

Our interactive map makes it easy to identify neighbourhoods most in need of support and highlights the main reasons that they need this support, recognising that one size does not fit all and that tailored help is required.”

“We will be engaging widely with the food industry and policy makers to help them use the tool to help our communities, both nationally and locally.  Some of our local communities in Bradford have been identified within the top 20 Priority Places across the UK, which is very worrying.”

Which? – Affordable Food For All

Which? are using the index as part of its newly launched Affordable Food For All campaign, and have created a 10-point plan to help supermarkets provide the support people around the country desperately need in order to feed themselves through the ongoing crisis.

Sue Davies, Which? Head of Food Policy explained: “We know that millions of people are skipping meals through the worst cost of living crisis in decades but our new research tells us where around the UK support is most urgently needed.

The big supermarkets have the ability to take action and make a real difference to communities all around the UK. That’s why we’re calling on them to ensure everyone has easy access to budget food ranges that enable healthy choices, can easily compare the price of products to get the best value and that promotions are targeted at supporting people most in need.”

Priority places across the UK

Analysis of the Index shows that overall, seven in 10 UK Parliamentary constituencies have at least one area in need of urgent help accessing affordable food – but there are 16 constituencies across England and Wales for which at least three-quarters of the constituency are at risk.

Within England there is a large variation in where priority places are located across regions. The region with the greatest frequency of priority places is the North East, although because this is a small region then there are more priority places in Yorkshire and the Humber, the West Midlands and the North West in absolute terms. There are relatively few priority places in London, the South East and the South West, although in the latter there is a concentration in Cornwall.

In Wales, the highest concentration of areas at high risk during the food crisis is in the Valleys where proximity to a large supermarket or access to online deliveries may be very poor. Wales has a higher proportion of rural places where accessing affordable food is an issue than England and Scotland. 

In Scotland, the places in highest need of support are in the Central Belt, according to the Which? and CDRC index, but there is also a notable concentration in and around Dundee where there is relatively poor access to online food deliveries and people are more likely to be suffering from fuel poverty and on a low income.

Northern Ireland has the most even geographical spread of areas in need of support accessing affordable food. However, there is a noticeably greater concentration in parts of south-west Belfast and in and around Derry/Londonderry.

Explore the Priority Places.

Developing the Priority Places for Food Index

The Priority Places for Food Index is a composite index formed of data compiled across seven different dimensions relating to food insecurity for the four nations in the UK. It is constructed using open data to capture complex and multidimensional aspects of food insecurity.

Building on the CDRC e-Food Desert Index (EFDI), but with additional domains relating to fuel poverty and family food support, the goal of the Priority Places for Food Index is to identify neighbourhoods that are most vulnerable to increases in the cost of living and which have a lack of accessibility to affordable, healthy, and sustainable sources of food.

Read more about the development of the Priority Places for Food Index.

Further Information

For further information or to discuss how your organisation can use the Priority Places for Food Index please contact info@cdrc.ac.uk.

CDRC launches Open Data Science Bursary

CDRC launches Open Data Science Bursary

The CDRC Open Data Science Bursary is available to anyone with a protected characteristic and/or limited income, and who is interested in attending more than one of the CDRC’s short courses in data science. 

The short courses have hosted over 1,200 attendees since being launched in 2016; and were recently accredited by CPD UK.  Each course is offered at least once annually; and takes place over half a day, one day or two days. Courses are currently offered in: 

  • Beginners Python for Data Analytics (2-day course) 
  • Intermediate Python (2-day course) 
  • Tableau workshop on data visualisation (1 day course) 
  • Spatial Analysis for Public Health Researchers (1 day course) 
  • Introduction to QGIS (1 day course) 
  • Introduction to R (half day course) 
  • Intermediate R (1 day course) 
  • Geocomputation and Data Analysis with R (2-day course) 

How to apply 

Individuals interested in being considered for the Bursary are invited to complete an application form

As part of the international research-intensive University of Leeds, we at the CDRC welcome data science training delegates from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to data-science capacity-building.  

We are dedicated to diversifying both our local and the broader data science community.  We welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to: women; people who belong to a minority ethnic community; people who identify as LGBT+; and people with disabilities. Applicants’ cases will in any event always be considered individually, and on merit. 

Key facts 

Deadline 

Rolling deadline; first course attendance must be by 31 July 2023. Bursary funds are limited; applications as early as possible in the 2022/23 academic year are therefore encouraged. 

Number of funding places 

Multiple opportunities available 

Country eligibility 

International (open to all nationalities, including the UK) 

Eligible costs  

  • Course enrolment fees (for a minimum of 2 and up to a maximum of 4 courses) 
  • Travel to and/or from the University of Leeds campus (if attending course(s) in person) 
  • Cloud computing credits 

Source of funding 

University of Leeds

CDRC releases new Nutrient Profile Model Calculator for HFSS legislation

CDRC releases new Nutrient Profile Model Calculator for HFSS legislation

From October 2022, HFSS legislation means new restrictions on product placement for some high fat, salt or sugar products.

Researchers at the Consumer Data Research Centre at the University of Leeds have developed the Nutrient Profile Model (NPM) calculator which makes assessing products easy.

Our free tool calculates the NPM score and helps you identify whether a product is in scope for restrictions, supporting compliance and enforcement.

Victoria Jenneson, lead researcher on the project, explained: “It’s great to see Government taking action to restrict promotions of HFSS products, but the legislation is quite tricky to interpret. Stakeholder consultations revealed a need for support to implement the new rules, particularly for SMEs, convenience stores and enforcement officers. The NPM calculator offers a free to use mobile-friendly tool which makes HFSS assessment simple and transparent.”

CDRC part of collaborative effort to curb Leeds’ food emissions

You say day-tah, I say dah-tah: Learn to code by exploring regional language variation

The CDRC are part of a new collaboration which aims to reduce the city’s carbon footprint through food has been announced by Leeds City Council, the University of Leeds and FoodWise Leeds.

Around 10% of the UK’s carbon emissions can be linked to the food we eat or waste, with every part of the journey from farm to fork contributing to its overall environmental impact.

The partnership of organisations is working collaboratively on a number of new projects designed to tackle climate change by making it easier for residents and organisations to make informed food choices, support more sustainable food production, and reduce food waste.

Studies show that our collective health and the health of the planet would improve if we ate a balanced diet consistent with the NHS-recommended Eatwell guidelines. For some people, this may mean eating more fruit and vegetables and less meat.

CDRC Carbon Calculator

Researchers at the Consumer Data Research Centre (CRDC) based at the University of Leeds have recently developed a new calculator to make it easier for food venues and caterers to estimate the carbon footprint, land use, and water use of meals based on their ingredients.

The council’s school meals provider, Catering Leeds, is already trialling the new tool to review its menus and suppliers to explore how to become more sustainable and support the local authority’s climate targets. Last year, Leeds City Council set out its ambition to halve the carbon footprint of the average meal it serves by 2030.

Engaging the local community

Meanwhile, FoodWise Leeds—a citywide partnership with representatives from third sector, academia, businesses and the council—has used the calculator’s findings to show the impact of simple, nutritious, and affordable recipes published on its new online Recipe Hub. It is believed to be the first recipe hub to include carbon calculation and supports the Partnership’s ambition to encourage greater sharing of cooking skills and knowledge.

As well as developing the carbon calculator, the University of Leeds researchers have also used their research to engage young people in local primary schools through special food data science lessons, workshops, and even creating an interactive and educational ‘Planet Plates’ game.

Each of the organisations in the new partnership, plus many others, have also contributed to the creation of the first city-wide food strategy currently in development. The new Leeds Food Strategy will be published in draft form and will open to consultation later this month.

Councillor Helen Hayden, Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate at Leeds City Council said:

“The food we eat is responsible for a significant proportion of our carbon footprint, so we believe it is important to lead by example to reduce the impact of the food we serve, whilst empowering others to do the same.

“This new collaboration with the University of Leeds and Food Wise is a brilliant example of how working together can help us realise our ambitions for a healthier and greener city.

“Going forward, we’ll continue to educate and equip organisations and residents with the tools and knowledge they need to make informed food choices, to make it easier for the city to come together to help Leeds tackle climate change through food.”

Alexandra Dalton, a former data scientist at Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA) and the Consumer Data Research Centre:

“When we buy food, we don’t often think about where it has come from, or the environmental impact of the food supply chain.

“Small changes to our diets, such as eating more fruit, vegetables, and plant-based products make a difference. However, we should also try and consider where certain foods come from, how processed they are, or whether it is in season.

“While working with Leeds primary schools and Leeds City Council, we have created resources that help educate pupils about the impact of their food choices and encourage them to support more sustainable food behaviours.”

Sonja Woodcock, Sustainable Food Places Coordinator at Food Wise Leeds said:

“I’m really excited to be building on our existing partnership with the University of Leeds and Leeds City Council with this new collaboration.

“The Leeds Recipe Hub is an innovative resource that will enable community groups and individuals to search, try, and share nutritious, tasty, and affordable recipes—whilst helping people to better understand the environmental impact of their food choices.

Diverse data scientists make for more representative data science 

Group of three data scientists chatting informally - one is using a laptop and one has back to camera

Diverse data scientists make for more representative data science 

CDRC is a key funder of the LIDA Data Scientist Development Programme (DSDP) which gives early career data scientists the opportunity to use real-world data to solve real-world data challenges. By contributing to projects through funding, data and expertise, CDRC meets its objective of creating highly skilled data scientists with an understanding and ethos for open research, open methods and the current landscape of data science. In a recent case study about the Programme’s award-winning work on building a research culture which promotes Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, CDRC’s Kylie Norman discusses how more representative recruitment in data science leads to more representative data science insights.  

The DSDP’s mission statement is ‘data science for public good’, and this mission also underpins the ethos of CDRC in creating innovative research which has a clear social good function, and which breaks down barriers, whether geographic, socio-economic, between subject disciplines, or between the advantaged and the disadvantaged. For example, this year’s cohort of data scientists are working with CDRC researchers: to improve the representation of accessible pedestrian networks in OpenStreetMaps; to reduce waste in supermarket supply chain stock flow; and to better understand the geodemographic factors affecting urgent cancer referrals in the NHS.

Through its three pillars of practice – research innovation, building data science capacity, and sharing data for collaborative research through its Data Service – CDRC is able to support the DSDP, not only through funding projects for social good, but also by providing the in-house and stakeholder expertise to build the essential skills of an early career data scientist. This is owing to CDRC’s shared commitment to building resilience, robust methodologies and their understanding of ways of working in its early career data scientists. During their induction period, each cohort of LIDA data scientists receives valuable contact time with CDRC staff through lectures, seminars and workshops on hard and soft skills ranging from: reproducible coding practises and data management; GIS and spatial analysis for beginners; how to conduct data science for the greatest engagement and impact; how to work with partners; understanding their own ways of working (WoW) and the WoW of those in their teams; and what pitfalls are inherent in the practice of data science; as well as, and perhaps most importantly, how to fail well. 

We all want to do good work, but deep down, I believe we also want our work to have meaning and to drive positive change.”  

Eric Wanjau Muriithi, LIDA Data Scientist 2021-22 

CDRC has seen the benefit of this holistic approach to developing a diversity of data science talent in more representative data insights. For example, Simon Leech, data scientist 2020-21, worked with local authorities and other stakeholders on CDRC Local Data Spaces to determine the optimal locations for COVID-19 testing sites in Liverpool, based on analyses of geodemographic factors affecting susceptibility to the virus.

It has also been able to better visualise and tell the data story of the gaps in provision of government support services to those hit hardest by the cost of living crisis, e.g. in Alex Dalton and Tom Albone’s Free School Meals Uptake blog series. Ifeanyi Chukwu’s work with CDRC’s Nik Lomax on the Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Referrals, concluded that considering geodemographic contexts “helps to identify the segments of patients who were most vulnerable and thus may require more attention in receiving faster cancer referrals and improved prognosis.” The more representative our data scientists, the more representative the data science.

Three of the Programme’s data scientists working on CDRC research projects, Alex Dalton, Diogo Ann Onuselogu and Rosalind Martin, were nominated for the University’s Engaged for Impact Awards 2022, with two winning in their award categories, and one coming in runner-up position.  

In a research culture which asks the question, “but why?”, “who do these census data overlook?”, or “what biases are inherent in these data?”, data insights are bound to be more representative because the data scientists asking those questions often have first-hand experience of falling into the so-called ‘Data Gap’. Read on to find out more about how LIDA is improving diversity and representation in its DSDP, and how CDRC is supporting this work. 

Do healthy checkout strategies lead to healthier purchasing behaviour?

woman scanning item at self checkout

Do healthy checkout strategies lead to healthier purchasing behaviour?

Research Team: Alison Fildes, University of Leeds; Phillippa Lally, University College London; Michelle A Morris, University of Leeds; Alexandra Dalton, University of Leeds; Helen Croker, University College London

From Autumn 2022, the rules for selling products high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) in England will change and location restrictions will come into force to prevent these items from being shown in front of store, on gondola ends and at checkouts.

As retailers undertake preparations to implement these new regulations, researchers from the Consumer Data Research Centre and colleagues assessed the impact that location restrictions can have on the sale of less healthy foods.

In 2015 the ‘healthy checkouts initiative’ was launched in Tesco Express convenience stores across the UK.  The initiative removed less healthy products – those high in fat, salt or sugar – from the in-queue checkout space in 1151 stores.

However despite having been rolled out on a mass-scale, the initiative had not been subjected to external evaluation until now and while lots has changed since 2015, it is important to share these learnings with the wider community. 

In a study, published today in the journal Nutrition Bulletin our researchers analysed sales data for 1101 participating Tesco Express stores over an eight-week period in 2014, prior to the introduction of the initiative, and the same eight-week period in 2015 following the roll-out.

Analysis revealed that whilst shoppers mean overall spend increased from 2014-2015 the proportion of less healthy food decreased, from 8.21% in 2014 to 8.03% in 2015.  Unsurprisingly confectionery accounted for the largest proportion of less healthy product spend and showed the biggest reduction, from 4.12% in 2014 to 3.91% in 2015.

The team used data from other major UK stores to compare Tesco’s sales to the UK market and found there was no general decline in sales of less healthy products (with the possible exception of crisps) in the UK market during the period, whereas sales from Tesco only showed a slight decrease in sales.

Co-author of the report, Dr Michelle Morris, from the Nutrition and Lifestyle Analytics Team at the University of Leeds, said: “Tesco was one of the first supermarkets to implement a healthy checkout strategy and our analysis indicates that the removal of less healthy products from checkouts can lead to small but important changes with respect to healthier purchasing behaviour. However, the study also highlighted some of the challenges that retailers face when implementing such initiatives.”

Oonagh Turnbull, Head of Health and Sustainable Diets At Tesco, said: We are committed to helping our customers enjoy a better-balanced diet and to making Tesco the easiest place to shop for affordable, healthy, sustainable food. We have a long history of taking action, from being the first supermarket to take sweets off our checkouts in large stores in 1994 to ensuring all our Own Brand soft drinks were below the Soft Drinks Sugar Levy in 2016 – ahead of its introduction. 

Helping our customers to eat a healthier and more sustainable diet is a key focus for our business. In March 2021, we set out our ambitious health commitments including an increase in sales of healthy products, as a proportion of total sales, to 65% by 2025. More recently, following the Government announcement that restrictions on multibuy deals on foods high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) are to be delayed for a year, we also confirmed that we will continue with plans to remove volume-led promotions on HFSS products from October 2022.

You can read the full paper online in Nutrition Bulletin.

The funding and sales data were provided by Tesco but the company played no role in the study design, analysis or interpretation.

CDRC affiliated researchers show how check-in activity between different venues can support urban planning

CDRC affiliated researchers show how check-in activity between different venues can support urban planning

Researchers in the Geographic Data Science Lab at the University of Liverpool have shown how mobility data can provide insights into the structure and function of cities.

They conducted a study of human behavioural patterns using a longitudinal mobility dataset from the Foursquare Future Cities Challenge (FCC) to describe check-in activity (movement) between different venues (point of interests) across ten global cities including London, New York and Singapore. From this analysis, the researchers developed a Geographic Data Science framework that transformed the Foursquare check-in locations and user origin-destination flows data into knowledge about the emerging forms and characteristics of cities’ neighbourhoods.

Work like this will enable urban planners to understand more about the nuances of human behaviour to create better experiences for the population and guide urban development.

Have a look at the FourSquare data and insights blog to read more about this interesting work and what the researchers discovered.

Researchers demonstrate the value of consumer data for population dynamics and utilities research.

Researchers demonstrate the value of consumer data for population dynamics and utilities research.

A team of five researchers, based in Liverpool’s Geographic Data Science Lab (GDSL), recently took part in a three-day hackathon organised by O2, Virgin Media and Northumbrian Water. The hackathon, which took part in a hybrid online/remote format, comprised teams from many different backgrounds, including app design, UX, digital services and academia.

The team, led by Patrick Ballantyne, comprised of GDSL PhD students; Danial Owen and Sian Teesdale, and CDRC researchers; Zi Ye and Meixu Chen, with project support from CDRC Deputy Director, Professor Alex Singleton.

Utilising some impressive datasets from O2/Virgin Media and Northumbrian Water the team presented their take on “The value of consumer data for population dynamics and utilities research”. 

Over the course of three days, the Liverpool team constructed a UK customer geodemographic, using data on audience insights from O2/Virgin Media, to capture the search interests of O2/Virgin Media customers.

They then applied their customer geodemographic, utilising the excellent O2 motion and Northumbrian water datasets, to demonstrate applications to population dynamics and utilities research. They investigated the recovery of different residential areas following the COVID-19 pandemic (see application 1), and the applications of geodemographics for selective targeting of water meters where they would provide better value for customers (see application 2).

Team leader Patrick Ballantyne reflected upon the experience: “This hackathon was a great opportunity to collaborate with some of my excellent colleagues on a short and exciting project, drawing upon our individual skills and talents. It enabled us to get a better understanding of how new sources of consumer data, such as O2 motion, can be used to provide solutions to societal problems”. 

It is hoped that the CDRC will establish a partnership with O2/Virgin Media, enabling researchers to use their data, to provide solutions and empirical evidence to help answer societal problems.

CARTO add CDRC dataset to their Spatial Data Catalog and use it to explore UK retail centres

Birds eye view of a crowd of people on street

CARTO add CDRC dataset to their Spatial Data Catalog and use it to explore UK retail centres

CARTO, one of the world’s leading location intelligence platforms has added CDRC’s Retail Centre Boundaries dataset to its Spatial Data Catalog. The dataset contains spatial boundaries for Retail Centres across the UK, as well as measures of supply vulnerability, online exposure, a clone town measure, E-resilience, and a hierarchical classification. It is based on a hexagonal H3 grid, designed for spatial analysis at scale. This gives the dataset some unique benefits when cross-analysing with other datasets.

Miguel Álvarez, Lead Data Scientist and Helen McKenzie, Geospatial Advocate at CARTO took advantage of this to explore UK retail centres. They looked for patterns by cross-analysing CDRC data with external datasets from CARTO’s extensive Spatial Data Catalog. One insight from their analysis is that, on average, Regional Centres have by far the highest number of employees per centre, averaging at around 40,000 people working within them. However, in total Town Centres (e.g. Arnold, Nottingham) are by far the biggest employer with over 600, 000 people working there.

See what else the researchers discovered at CARTO data science.

Another CDRC dataset available on CARTO’s Spatial Data Catalog is our “Retail Centres Typology”, which is a previous version of Retail Centre Boundaries, based on 2015-18 data. However, the two datasets are not directly comparable, as they contain different information and geometric types.

If you want to go exploring using a CDRC data please visit our data catalogue, which has over 80 datasets covering the following topics: Population & Mobility; Retail Futures; Transport & Movement; Finance & Economy; and Digital.

[Adapted from original article].

CDRC recognised for award winning research and culture

The CDRC team were delighted to collect four awards at the University of Leeds inaugural Research Culture and Engaged for Impact Awards earlier this week.

The awards celebrated the role that all members of the research community – participants; collaborators and partners; academic, research and technical staff; professional services and students – have to play in developing and promoting a positive and inclusive research culture, as well as contributing to the impact our research makes locally, nationally and internationally.  

CDRC Co-Director, Professor Mark Birkin, commented “CDRC has prospered as a research centre through an inclusive approach with a commitment to invest in the future of all team members, and through the development of robust partnerships with outside organisations.  I am delighted that these values have been recognised and validated so generously through the Research Culture and Impact Awards at the University of Leeds.”

The CDRC received awards in four of the ten categories and our colleagues at Leeds Institute for Data Analytics received a fifth:


Engaged for Impact – Building partnerships and networks 

This award recognises the importance of partnerships and networks to bring about change.

Winning project: Building networks with supermarkets to assess healthy and sustainable consumer diets

This collaboration with the IGD (Institute of Grocery Distribution) and their 20 retailer and manufacturer members has enabled us to trial large scale consumer interventions that incentivise healthy eating. This partnership has built on previous collaborations such as the strategic partnership between Leeds Institute for Data Analytics and Sainsbury’s and the ESRC Strategic Network for Obesity cementing a leading reputation for trusted cross sector collaboration to effect change in the food system.

Team members: Dr Michelle Morris, Dr Victoria Jenneson, Dr Stephen Clark, Diogo Ann Onuselogu, Alexandra Dalton, Francesca Pontin, Hannah Skeggs (IGD), Becky Shute (Sainsbury’s), Paul Evans and Dr Emily Ennis.

Engaged for Impact – Finding a better way 

This award recognises all the ways in which new thinking and acting, new products and knowledge, lead to creating and galvanising change and innovation.

Runners-up: Building an online nutrient profile model calculator for implementation of HFSS legislation

This research revealed shortfalls in available nutritional information and practical implementation guidance for the UK Government’s Nutrient Profile Model (NPM). The NPM will be used as the basis for restricting the placement of certain foods in supermarkets as part of the UK Obesity Strategy – but data availability does not meet legislative purposes.  Having consulted with industry nutritionists from retail and manufacturing companies to develop recommendations for industry and the UK Government, the team are now developing an online NPM calculator to support implementation of legislation in an open access, scalable and transparent way.

Team members: Dr Victoria Jenneson, Dr Michelle Morris and Rosalind Martin.

Engaged for impact – Caring for the future 

This award recognises research impact that’s likely to build over time, leading to a fairer, safer and more equitable world and healthier environment. 

Winning project: Understanding and improving the carbon footprint of school meals in Leeds

Working with Leeds City Council, this project changed council practice for designing climate-friendly school menus, by co-creating a Carbon Calculator assessing food’s environmental impact. In collaboration with the Leeds Social Sciences Institute, the project team were able to design a suite of engagement activities supported by the ESRC-funded Local Accelerator Fund. This allowed the team to use data from the tool to develop an online game and classroom activities to encourage primary school children to think about the planet’s future through their own food choices.

Team members: Dr Emily Ennis, Alexandra Dalton, Dr Michelle Morris, Mel Green, Kevin Mackay (Rethink Food), Polly Cook (Leeds City Council), Ellie Salvidge (Leeds City Council) and Gillian Banks (Leeds City Council).

Research Culture – Open research and impact 

This award recognises initiatives that increase the transparency, collaboration, inclusivity, reproducibility and efficiency of research processes to build trust and accountability. It focuses on aspects such as open access and open data, and promoting the use of open platforms for sharing research data, activities, outputs and impact.  

Winning project: Opening up data science to solve real-world problems

CDRC Leeds were recognised for building trust and accountability through rigorous governance and infrastructures, including our virtual research environment (Leeds Analytics Secure Environment for Research) and our research management process. As well as encouraging transparency and reproducibility by creating diverse types of derived data products, aimed at diverse groups, from policy makers and researchers, to activists and children.

[The CDRC] appears to be a beacon of good practice and it would be useful to transfer the ways of working / methods and approaches to infrastructure and skills to others.”

Research Culture Awards Judging Panel

Team members: Professor Mark Birkin, Professor Ed Manley, Dr Nik Lomax, Dr Emily Ennis,  Adam Keeley, Dr Pete Baudains, Kylie Norman, Robyn Naisbitt, Mel Green, Oli Mansell and Paul Evans.

CDRC’s Dr Michelle Morris and Kylie Norman were also included in an award won by our colleagues at Leeds Institute for Data Analytics:

Research Culture – Equality, diversity and inclusion in research 

This award recognises initiatives that make positive changes to embed a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion in research.

Winning project: Championing recruitment for diversity on the LIDA Data Scientist Development Programme.

Team members: Kylie Norman, Dom Frankis, Dr Michelle Morris and Professor Nick Malleson.

Dr Emily Ennis, CDRC Research and Impact Manager commented “These awards demonstrate CDRC’s commitment to fostering open, collaborative, and co-designed research with our external partners in a way that uses data science for public good. It has been inspiring to see our research projects recognised for their impact to society beyond academia, thanks to our partnerships in retail, education, local government, the charity sector, and education, among others.

Additionally, we have also seen recognition for research led by data scientists across a range of career stages and disciplinary backgrounds, as well as appreciation for the integral role professional services and technical staff play in building open and impactful research within CDRC.”