School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

16 March 2009


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News from Head of School


Details are incrementally emerging both of the HEFCE QR allocations to universities and of the associated distributions in Manchester, following on from the 2008 RAE results. The following table describes the change in allocation to the university, and within the university to the faculty:


Allocation in 2009/10

% Change c.f. 2008/9







The university has simply allocated funds to faculties following the HEFCE model. If the Faculty follows the same approach, the following is the gloomy prognosis:


Allocation in 2009/10

% Change c.f. 2008/9

Computer Science



In essence, the application of the HEFCE model within the Faculty would lead to a change in income to Computer Science in the region of 1.7 million.

Discussions are now starting within the Faculty concerning how funds should be allocated to schools; all reasonably plausible models give CS more HEFCE QR income than any other school in the Faculty, but also lead to a significant loss of income to CS because our previous position was extremely strong due to the 5* from RAE 2001. The direct application of the HEFCE model is perhaps the worst case scenario, but it is obviously a possible outcome, and we should certainly anticipate that there will be significant medium-term financial pressure on the school.

Broadly speaking, there is no practical means of cutting costs or increasing income by 1.7M overnight, so I anticipate that the search is on for achievable medium term goals, on the grounds that a short term scorched earth policy is unlikely to be in the interests of the university. Updates will follow as the details come into place. Perhaps the next article will help to lighten the mood

EPSRC Student vacation bursaries

The EPSRC runs a student bursary scheme, under which undergraduate students in the summer before their final year can get paid to do research in some research lab or group. The money has already been allocated to the University, and we can participate in an internal competition by putting in a project. Apparently it was undersubscribed last year. The details are not that clear, but it appears have to find the student as well as the project and fill in the attached forms. The deadline is 23 May. If it is oversubscribed, a panel will be created to decide which are funded. Guidance Notes

Application Form

CASE Studentship

We have the possibility of one CASE studentship being allocated to the school. This requires finding a suitable company willing to allocate at least 22K over 3.5 years to the project and allow the student to work in the company for at least three months. If we agree to taking the studentship, we are claiming that we can find such a company. If we don't, it is one less studentship for the school.  Please let Jon Shapiro know if you have interest, a potential industrial partner and a reasonable chance of getting them to support such a studentship.

More Information

CS Does Comic Relief

Staff in the School donned their wigs on Friday 13th to raise money for Comic Relief. Over 250 has been raised so far. Further donations welcome at any time in ACSO.

Elections to the Senate

There are 5 vacancies for the University Senate that will be filled from EPS this September. The Senate has 40 elected members, and currently there is nor representative from our School. A likely reason for this is that nobody has been nominated on previous occasions. I would therefore like to encourage us to nominate at least one colleague to stand for election for the Senate.   The nomination process is simple and requires 'support' from two colleagues only (the deadline is 23 March). Please contact Goran Nenadic if you may be willing to stand for election or you would like to nominate somebody from the School.



Concepts for implementing exact real arithmetic                                  18 Mar 09

Dr Norbert Muller. Universitat Trier

14:15, Lecture Theatre 1.4, Kilburn Building

More Information

Manchester Histories Festival                                                                    21 Mar 09

The School has been invited to exhibit our photo-reconstruction of "The Baby" as part of the Manchester Histories Festival, to be held in the Great Hall of Manchester Town Hall on Saturday 21 March (full details: This is an exciting opportunity to engage with the public, and if anyone would like to join the team looking after our exhibit and chatting to visitors (you don't need any special knowledge), please contact Toby Howard as soon as possible.

PG Open Afternoon                                                                                       25 Mar 09

The forthcoming Postgraduate Open Afternoon is taking place on Wednesday 25th March between 2.15pm and 4.30pm. Thank you to those who have already volunteered to help, however, we're still looking for more volunteers to attend the meet and greet session from 4pm. If you are able to help please contact Kate:

More Information


New Funding and Award Opportunities                           top

Changes to Funding Applications and Peer Review April 2009

EPSRC and the other Research Councils are making a number of changes to funding applications and the peer review process which will be implemented in April 2009. If you are planning to submit an application please make sure you familiarise yourself with the new processes. Details can be found on the EPSRC website.


Research Awards                                                              top

None this week.