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The Bridges programme is a collaboration spanning Warwick departments, across the mathematical sciences (Departments of Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics) as well as the social sciences (Departments of Economics, Politics and International Studies, Psychology, Sociology, and Warwick Business School).

The three academic members of the Bridges management team are Thomas Hills, David Firth and Sascha Becker (see below). The pool of PhD supervisors comprises a large number of Warwick academics from many departments. Please see this year's project titles page for an indication of the possible PhD topics and primary supervisors.

The academic management team:

  • Thomas Hills

    Thomas Hills

    Director of Bridges
    Professor, Department of Psychology

    Research Interests

    Thomas Hills' research focuses on the statistical structure of language and its interaction with cognitive control. This includes using language structure to understand language learning, the evolution of language over time, the structure of memory, and the use of language to describe the cognitive states of individuals and groups. For example, language provides clues about early states of dementia, gender, psychological well-being, and economic productivity. This work involves natural language processing, machine learning, and network analyses, which together offer powerful tools for identifying structure in language and predicting behaviour.

  • David Firth

    David Firth

    Professor, Department of Statistics

    Research Interests

    David Firth works on statistical theory and methods, including design and computation; and applications, especially in the social and health sciences. His current interests include statistical models for pairwise comparison and ranking, and the use of generalized nonlinear models to study patterns of interaction in various areas of social science. He is best known for having developed the penalized maximum likelihood approach that is now widely used for logistic regression modelling in difficult contexts, and for his pioneering work on accurate exit-polling for UK general elections. David has received the Guy Medal in Silver for his research in statistical methods, and he is among the small number of mathematical scientists whose contributions to social science have been recognised through Fellowship of the British Academy.

  • Sascha O.Becker

    Sascha O. Becker

    Professor, Department of Economics

    Research Interests

    Sascha O. Becker works on Labour Economics, Education Economics, Public Economics and Economic History, often using large data sets. His current research looks into the deep roots of long-run economic development, using historic data sources. He has an interest in text analysis to capture cultural change as a factor in long-run development.
    Sascha also currently works on the labour market effects of globalization. A unifying theme in his research is the use of microeconometric methods to estimate treatment effects. Sascha is the Research Director of the ESRC Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) at Warwick.


Bridges is a Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarships programme, funded jointly by the Leverhulme Trust and the University of Warwick.

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Contact us at:

bridgesprogramme at warwick dot ac dot uk

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You are welcome to attend any of these departmental seminars

Economics Seminar Schedule

DR@W Forum

Statistics Seminar Series

Complexity Science, Maths, Systems Biology WIDER