• Opening date: 8 December 2021 
  • Closing date: 31 January 2022, 12:00 GMT (midday)

Missing data are a common problem that arise in many fields and can significantly complicate analysis. While there are established ways to handle data that is missing at random, it is often the case that missing readings are structured in some way. Dealing with such structured missingness is substantially more challenging yet occurs commonly in healthcare (and other) contexts. For example, one cohort of patients may have been given a certain test, another may not, leading to blocks of missing readings. Simply excluding such missing (or potentially inaccurate) data can significantly bias subsequent analysis. Consequently, there is a need to develop rigorous ways to understand structured missingness and develop tools to handle it appropriately.

As an example, the Roche Clinico-Genomic Database, combines real-world patient level clinical data with in-depth genomic profiling for over 30,000 patients. While this data set of enormously rich, it also possesses significant structured missingness: the sets of genes measured varies between patients depending upon which tests they received; similarly, the clinical measurements vary between patients depending upon their particular indication.

We recently ran a series of virtual workshops on the topic of structured missingness with the aim of convening a community of researchers interested in developing new tools and methods to learn from hetrogenous data with structured patterns of missing readings.

Who can apply

Stemming from the workshop we are now inviting applications for proposals of projects that address structured missingness. This call invites project ideas that have been generated through the collaborative discussions, networking, and co-creation of project ideas using the whiteboarding platform during the workshops, as well as proposals from those who did not attend the workshops. 

Please note that you are able to apply even if you did not attend the workshops but please be aware collaboration is key throughout the project lifecycle. Each project team seconded under the structured missingness workstream will be expected to communicate with one another through meetings such as knowledge shares, as well as work with the Partnership Community Manager to engage with one another and to actively collaborate with Roche researchers in this area. In addition, project teams are expected to all communicate and collaborate asynchronously e.g., via Slack discussions.

Submissions for applications will open on the 8 December 2021 and will remain open until the submission deadline: 31 January 2022 12:00 GMT (midday).

If you were involved in the workshops ahead of the open call you will continue to have access to the whiteboard and networking space that you used to co-create your ideas in your groups to aid you in putting your application together.

To be eligible to apply you must:

  • Be part of a university or research institute. Commercial organisations are not eligible.
  • Have permission from your organisation to apply, i.e., ensure your organisation agrees to the Terms and Conditions above and that you submit a letter from your head of department stating support for your application.

Funding available

Please note that due to the head terms attached to this partnership, these secondment details are an exception to the usual Turing overhead model for secondments for this call only. 

The model laid out below will require approval from the Principal Investigator’s and collaborators’ Head of Department and administration teams – please ensure approval is obtained as early as possible.

  • We anticipate project length to range from 6 to 18 months. 
  • 100% salary and on-costs will be paid to the university.
  • Overheads should be calculated at the Turing rate of £65,000 per FTE per year, 50% of which will be recoverable by the university.
  • 20% VAT is applicable to these secondments. 
  • Eligible costs include:
    • Salary of personnel working directly on the project – this could include, for example, PIs, postdoctoral research associates, research assistants, data managers, data scientists or software engineers. 
    • Travel and subsistence for project researchers (e.g., attending conferences, travelling to/from the Turing/other collaborators).
    • Conference or event attendance fees (where conference/event is directly applicable to the research project).
    • Cloud computing or other high performance computing costs.
    • Other costs which are specifically justified for the project e.g., books, meeting room or catering costs, specific laptops (laptops will be provided by Turing for researchers 100% FTE seconded to Turing and do not need to be costed in).
    • Open access publications.

Please note, the budget requested may not be funded to the maximum requested amount. Reviewers/leads may work with applicants to build collaborative projects which may involve updating costs for projects.

As secondees, researchers can request to receive access passes to use the Turing office space and meeting rooms.

Apply now

For any queries, please contact [email protected]

Funders and collaborators