School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

13 April 2009


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News from Head of School

HEFCE QR Allocation within Faculty

Following on from the article in the newsletter of 16th March, the formula to be used for allocating HEFCE QR funds within the faculty to schools has now been decided. The formula allocates funds using a 7:3:0:0 multiplier on the percentages of 4*, 3*, 2* and 1* outputs. This favours schools with good quality profiles, and is more generous to Computer Science than the HEFCE 7:3:1:0 multiplier assumed in the newsletter of 16th March. In essence, the state of play is:


Allocation in 2008/9

Allocation in 2009/10

% Change c.f. 2008/9

Computer Science




To put this in context, the change in QR is around 8% of our core income (e.g. not including (in particular) research income that is then directly spent on research staff). This will lead to pressure to increase income and reduce expenditure over the next few years, so, for example, we are unlikely to be able to replace staff at the rate they leave, and we will be looking to increase research, overseas student and CPD income. This may not be straightforward in the current economic climate.

Funding Award for New Masters Programmes

The school is to receive 155K from the university Collaborative Training Account (CTA) panel towards development costs of the new pathway-based masters programmes, which will be delivered for the first time in 2010/2011. In particular, this includes funds to:

-          develop the concurrency and software engineering themes; and

-          redesign the research skills and professional issues course unit.

Congratulations to Uli Sattler and Alex Walker who submitted the bid, who in turn would like to thank Alice Blackmore, Liping Zhao, Kung-Kiu Lau, Len Freeman, John Gurd, Graham Riley, Amanda Banks and the Student Support Office.

Changes to Out of Hours Building Access for Events

A consultation document Out of hours procedures has been circulated by Estates concerning use of university buildings for out-of-hours events. If you have comments on this, please pass these on to Ursula by 23rd April, and we will seek to respond with an overall position from the school.



Spikes and Computation in Sensory Systems 15 Apr 09

Dr Simon Thorpe, CNRS.

14:15, Lecture theatre 1.4

IBM Smarter Planet Jam 21 Apr 09

IBM is organising a world-wide on-line discussion with universities on the Smarter Planet agenda. Beginning 12:00 AM EDT on April 21st and continuing for a 72-hour period, there will be an on-line conversation on important topics such as the vulnerability of global supply chains for food and medicine, the environmental and geopolitical issues surrounding energy, how to adapt our education system to help students acquire the skills to compete in an interconnected, intelligent and instrumented world, and more.  The IBM Smarter Planet University Jam is  being held on April 21-23 to coincide with Earth Day.


To take part you need to register online as soon as possible at using your university e-mail address.


New Funding and Award Opportunities top

None this week


Research Awards top

From text to pathways: text mining techniques for reconstructing signalling pathways

Funding Body: BBSRC
PI: Sophia Ananiadou
Award Amount: 34,049


Funding Body: EC
PI: Carole Goble
Award Amount: 654,360