Data Intensive Science Centre in the South East Physics Network, DISCnet

World class skills for handling huge data volumes, rates and complexity

Data intensive science has a huge, and rapidly growing, potential to influence the economic and societal health and wealth of the UK and the wider world. With the expertise in handling large volumes, complexities and rates of data to address real questions, the STFC community has a huge amount to offer. This potential has been clearly recognised by the universities, industries and businesses that have come together to form the Data Intensive Science Centre in the South East Physics Network, DISCnet.

DISCnet capitalises on our existing long-term collaborative and business engagement experiences through the South East Physics Network, SEPnet. It exploits the established and close interdisciplinary links between five UK-leading universities with expertise in STFC science: the Universities of Southampton, Sussex, Portsmouth, Queen Mary University of London, and Open University.

DISCnet is an STFC Centre for Doctoral Training, providing a platform upon which we can train a new generation of post-graduate data intensive scientists – around 50 PhD students over two initial cohorts.


Our students will be trained in the latest skills required for the rapidly growing data economy including: programming, big data handling, data analytics, and the latest statistical and machine learning techniques that underpin artificial intelligence. These skills will be honed on some of the most challenging big data science questions in particle physics and astrophysics.

Our vision is to form a sustainable centre of innovative education, training and research in data intensive science for postgraduate students with a physics-related background. This vision is strongly supported by the commitments from our universities and business partners.