Understanding a changing Europe through big data
The EU-funded LONGPOP project will train young researchers in the skills needed to fully exploit big data. With a focus on social change, the researchers will be able to apply the knowledge and techniques learnt to helping welfare systems prepare for the years ahead.
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Europes ageing population, declining mortality rates, changing family situations, and increased mobility and migration, all mean rapid social change. They also mean greater challenges for EU welfare systems.
Traditional tools for the analytical study of such societal challenges have shown serious limitations. To better understand these challenges, new tools will be created to exploit the big data nowavailable. Long-term investments in the development and construction of longitudinal population registers and large research databases will also help to open up avenues for new linkages between different data sources (i.e. administrative and health data).
A new generation of researchers must also be trained in the tools and skills required for data management and statistical analysis.
The LONGPOP project aims at creating a European training network to support a new generation of creative and innovative researchers in data management. The multi-partner network has recruited and is already hosting early-stage researchers, offering training across different sectors and disciplines as well as high-quality supervision.
The project will create a training track for specialist researchers and generate joint research initiatives in addition to fostering the transfer of knowledge between different doctoral programmes through mentoring. The researchers will benefit from networking activities and links established among consortium members and beyond (namely, other research institutes, businesses and SMEs), and this will hopefully lead to better career prospects for LONGPOPs young postgraduate researchers in both the public and private sectors.
LONGPOP will also organise summer and winter schools, workshops and training courses in a bid to raise awareness among the scientific community of the existence, richness and value of the datasets already available on the topic, as well as of the new ones that will be generated by the project.
LONGPOP will produce researchers with the advanced data mining, management and statistical analysis skills needed to study the societal transformations taking place across the EU. The knowledge gained can then be applied to helping welfare systems prepare for and identify solutions to the challenges resulting from an ageing, mobile and diverse EU population.