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Research Students using Statistics Mini-Symposium
June 6 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Title: The influence of external peer reviewers on funding decisions in grant applications in NIHR
Speaker: Lexy Sorrell (University of Plymouth)
The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) is a large, long established national funder of health research, aiming to select applications for research funding which are of the highest quality and address important health issues, providing evidence for policy and practice. However, this selection process is time consuming and costly in terms of human resources: the NIHR staff, external reviewers and board members. This study is part of the wider ‘Push the Pace’ project aiming to reduce the time for research to get from ‘bench to beside’, which is currently averaging 10 years in the NIHR research pathway. We use the external reviewers’ scores along with reviewer and application characteristics to investigate the influence of external peer reviewers on the funding decisions made by the board, how many reviewers are needed to review an application; and the relative value of peer review scores from different kinds of reviewers.
Title: Sonification: The Aesthetics of Listening to Data
Speaker: Nuria Bonet Filella (University of Plymouth)
Sonification is ‘the use of nonspeech audio to convey information’; in other words, the aural display of data (as opposed to visual). It can be a superior approach for the understanding of data, where their visual interpretation is difficult. Sonification has mainly been used for scientific purposes (for example Geiger counter, EEG monitor or heart rate monitor) but composers are showing increasing interest in the method.
Musical aesthetics are crucial to sonification. In order to be effective in transmitting data, a sonification must be clear, appropriate to the data, and aesthetically pleasing to the listener. Many examples are ‘typically unpleasant and lacking any natural connection to the data represented’. Scientists might not have the musical knowledge to create a good sonification; composers might not have the scientific knowledge to deal with the data musically. Therefore, the production of sonification has strongly increased in recent years but their quality has not.
I have approached sonification from a compositional point of view in order to establish an aesthetic framework for aural display. Through a portfolio of sonifications and theoretical work, I have explored the practical aspects of listening to data, whether for scientists or composers.