May 2019

Funding Call for Digital Technology and Soils Projects

Central to Ensemble’s vision is to encourage and facilitate further research into digital technology and environmental change. Having focused on floods and biodiversity, the team will soon be turning their attention to digital technology challenges faced by those working in the soils domain. Therefore, we are now launching applications for seed-funded projects in the area of digital technology and soils. We have two grants, each of £7,500 available.


The work of Ensemble and subsequent grants has been funded by the UK EPSRC as part of the Senior Fellowship in the Role of Digital Technology in Understanding, Mitigating and Adapting to Environmental Change grant no: EP/P002285/1.


Some ideas

The team have the following suggestions to inspire your project ideas, however it is by no means limited to these:

  • How can we use soil data to gain a better understanding of droughts and other extreme events? 
  • What data science techniques can we use to identify potential tipping points in soil ecosystems? 
  • Can we combine data on differing spatial and temporal scales to improve estimations of agricultural yield? 
  • What is the respective role of process models and data models in understanding and managing our soils? 
  • How can different data sources be usefully combined to enhance this understanding, for example satellite data, citizen science data and/or data from sensors in the ground? 
  • Can we apply techniques such as sentiment analysis on citizen science data to reduce uncertainty? 
  • What does an environmental Internet of Things look like? And what does a virtual lab for soils look like? Can these systems be usefully combined in a single ‘systems of systems’ architecture? 
  • How can we exploit computational biological approaches (DNA, eDNA) as an aid to understanding soil science processes? 
  • How do we visualise and communicate the complexities and uncertainties associated with soils data? 
  • How do we encourage digital naturalists of the future through our means of communication and presentation of STEM? 



  • Applications must be submitted by 5pm on 28thJune 2019 
  • Decisions are expected to be announced by mid July 2019
  • Funding will start in autumn 201and ideally will be spent by June 2020


A few important finance details

  • All proposals must be led by an organisation that is eligible for UKRI funding
  • The staff member leading the bid must have a contract that exceeds the length of the proposed research.
  • Please note that for applications from universities, only directly incurred costs will be funded. Costs may include staff time for postdoctoral research associates (PDRA), travel and subsistence, and consumables and equipment for the project
  • More details are available in the guidance notes (see bottom of page)


Previous Projects

Read more about some of the projects we have funded previously.

iCaptureFLOOD project

Revealing the Mill Race

Biodiversity Dilemmas: can online participation platforms help?



Download Guidance Notes

Download Application Form (updated 18/6/19)



For more information please contact Esther:


Image by Alexsander-777 from Pixabay