School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

20 September 2010


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News from Head of School

Time Allocation Survey

The following table shows the results of the Time Allocation Survey (TAS) that all members of academic staff are asked to complete. This survey process informs the Estates and Indirect rates applied to research grants and contributes to computing the cost of teaching a HEFCE fundable student; results are passed to HEFCE each year.



% 08/09

% 09/10

Direct Teaching



Support for Teaching



Non-externally Funded Research



Publicly Funded Research



Support for Publicly Funded Research



Supervision of Publicly Funded PGR students



Non Publicly Funded Research



Support for Non-Publicly Funded Research



Supervision of Non-Publicly Funded PGR students



Consultancy/Technology Transfer



Support for Consultancy/Technology Transfer



Professional, Management and Admin




Passing comment seems like a risky business. The reduction in direct teaching as a percentage of activity could reflect the fact that many units were being delivered for the last time in 09/10 prior to the introduction of new masters and final year undergraduate units in 10/11. It is not clear to me what change in actual behaviour might explain the increase in the percentage associated with publicly funded research.



A web-based method for improving dementia care 4 Oct 10

1 pm lunch, 2-4 pm seminar, Boardroom, Arthur Lewis Building (2.016 and 2.017).


Leading dementia researcher and clinical Professor Ken Rockwood shares his insights and experiences of using a web-based method for improving dementia care. Professor Rockwood of Dalhousie University is the principal investigator of the Canadian Research to Action Program in Dementia (RAPID), a national, multicentre project to provide better care for people with dementia by facilitating and carrying out translational research and knowledge translation. This seminar will be followed by a public lecture by Professor Rockwood on 'Facing up to frailty' at 6.30 pm, Lecture Theatre B, University Place. Events run by the Manchester Interdisciplinary Collaboration for Research on Ageing (MICRA).

Biomedical Text Mining Training event 27-29 Oct 10

A Biomedical Text Mining Training event will be held at the the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) in Hinxton, Cambridge on 27-29 October 2010.


The teaching will be done by a selection of well-reputed researchers from EBI, NaCTeM (Sophia Ananiadou), NLM (Olivier Bodenreider), and University of Zurich (Fabio Rinaldi).


The training covers the following topics:

* composition, use and exploitation of biological and medical terminological resources

* theory and practice of information retrieval and information extraction

* existing solutions for biomedical text mining (Whatizit, UIMA, )

* standard corpora, TM challenges, evaluation of TM results

* development of ontological resources, fact representation in the Semantic Web

* biomedical knowledge discovery from the scientific literature, success stories


The course has been taught on a regular basis every six months now for the past two years. This event features a larger number of speakers from different sites and is aligned with the SMBM 2010 conference at the EBI.

The training is free of charge, with the exception of a possible workshop dinner.

More information


Prize and Award Opportunities

EPS Lay summary writing competition 22 Oct 10

Open to all early career researchers (postgraduate researchers, post-docs, research fellows) in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.


Submission deadline: 22 October 2010, 4pm. Winners announced at the Manchester Beacon Summit, November 2010.


What's it all about?

As a researcher, it is essential to communicate your research to as wide an audience as possible. Through our lay summary writing competition we challenge you to write a 250 word summary of your research that is understandable to someone who is not an expert in your specialised subject field. In return you could win prizes up to 200.


So can you write a summary that...

engages, inspires or challenges the reader

communicates your research simply and directly

explains the science but avoids the jargon

shows why the work is important and relevant

gives the reader both the big picture and an understanding of the details of your research.


Why enter this competition?

Lay summaries can make a critical difference in how your research proposal, presentation, or paper is reviewed and evaluated. For example did you know that that e-thesis submissions ask for lay summaries or that grant and fellowship applications require lay summaries? In some cases the lay summary may be your only chance to make a good impression on a review panel.

So whatever kind of research you are doing it is vital that you can communicate your research simply and directly while giving the reader a reason to care.

The audience for lay summaries covers the broadest possible scope, from expert to lay person. You need to find a comfortable balance between writing a summary that both shows your knowledge and yet is still comprehensible to non-specialist readers.

The competition is open to all early career researchers in the Faculty. Last year's competition revealed that the entries submitted by postgraduate researchers and post-docs were of equal standard. So this year we have decided to combine the categories into a single set of prizes for all. So whilst it is important to show how your research is unique try also to find that hook that makes the research both accessible and relevant.


You can win Amazon vouchers to the following value:

First Prize: 200

Second Prize: 100

Third Prize: 50

More information