School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

27 July 2009


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News from Head of School

Ursula Confirmed in Post

This may not have been widely obvious, but Ursula has been “acting up” as Head of School Administration for the last year, a mechanism by which both employee and employer can try out a role assignment. Anyway, the trial having provided a positive outcome from both perspectives, Ursula is now Head of School Administration on a permanent basis.

Research Profiling

The university is about to carry out a Research Profiling exercise, which is intended to be annual, whereby staff are rated on the basis of their research outputs, grant expenditure and research student submissions. The outcome will be a score for each member of staff, and as a result, a profile for subject areas. It is likely that outcomes will inform decision making at different levels in the organisation (e.g. in identifying subject areas for (dis)investment), and thus it is important that the information submitted for staff in the school provides as positive an impression as possible. Details on the process are expected to emerge shortly, and some information will either have to be checked or provided by individual members of staff. Further information is available at:

National Student Survey

The results of the National Student Survey, which obtains feedback from final year undergraduates under a range of topics (the teaching on my course, assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources, personal development, and overall satisfaction) are now available to the university, and comparative national figures are expected to be published shortly.


For Computer Science, our Overall Satisfaction score has increased from 74% to 80%, and there are significant improvements in Organisation and Management and more modest improvements in other areas. The questions with scores of 50% or less are “Feedback on my work has been prompt”, “I have received detailed comments on my work” and “Feedback on my work has helped me clarify things I did not understand”, so attention needs to be given to feedback mechanisms in the new second and third year programmes.


An initial reaction is that the results are more of a relief than an indication of a positive trend – the results worsened significantly for the school in 2008, most likely on the back of an unhappy cohort of informatics students who had been messed around by organisational restructures. This year much of the ground lost has been regained, and it will be interesting to see where we stand against our peers in due course.


The university’s overall satisfaction score has dropped from 81% to 77%; this is a concern, as the university was previously not especially well placed in the Russell Group.


Funding Opportunities

Carbon Trust Call for Applications                                                   17 September

The Carbon Trust has doubled the size of grants available under its flagship Applied Research Scheme from £250k to £500k.
Applied Research Grant funding is available to businesses, research institutions and other organisations and aims to support the development and commercialisation of technologies which have the potential to reduce UK carbon emissions. As such the carbon trust are endeavoring to encourage and support the progress of low carbon technologies towards large-scale deployment.

The deadline is 17 September 2009.

Further information



Fellowship of the Higher Education Academic - An Individual Route for Experienced Academics                                                                                               

                                                                                                                      7 September

A lunchtime session to explain the UK Professional Standards Framework and how participants can apply for Fellowship (Level 2) Status.  Participants will be taken through the paperwork and advised about the types of evidence assessors are looking for regarding expertise in teaching and learning.

The session will be on Monday 7th September from 11:45am – 13:45pm (including lunch) in the Council Chamber, Sackville Street Building. 

For further information please see the Higher Education Academy website.

If you would like to attend please reserve a place by contacting Rosemary Tomkinson.