School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

8 Nov 2010


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News from Head of School

School Planning Meeting

The school plan for each year makes explicit key steps that the school will seek to take, and progress is monitored monthly at School Leadership Team meetings (so the things in the plan really do tend to be done). The plan contains the best viable ideas we have, so it is important that many people have the opportunity to contribute to its production.  This year there will be opportunities for all staff to contribute to forming the plan by participating in an open meeting, and to comment on the draft that emerges following on from that meeting.


The meeting that will inform the plan for 2011 is scheduled for 3:00-5:00 on Wednesday 1st December (venue TBC).  It will include a review of progress against the 2010 plan, ideas for the 2011 plan from the functions (UG, PGT, Research, …) and breakout groups that seek to generate new ideas or refine those presented.

National Day of Protest

A national day of protest is being planned by the UCU and NUS for 10 November.  If you have teaching responsibilities that are likely to be affected by your participation in this event, please advise students in advance of any classes that are likely to be cancelled.  Every effort should be made to ensure that alternative arrangements are in place in order that students are not disadvantaged by any such cancellations.


The Students’ Union Executive has been asked to advise students to alert teaching staff if it is their intention to absent themselves from any teaching and learning activities taking place that day.  Please try to ensure that students missing classes at least have access to material that would have been provided on the day.


Please can all PSS staff who wish to attend this event advise their managers.



What’s this article all about?  Identification of genes in scientific text                                                                                                                                                  11 Nov 10

Joerg Hakenberg, Computer Science Department, Arizona State University & Disease Translational Informatics, Hofmann-La Roche Inc.

13:00, 11 November 2010.

Room 406, IT building

Cyber Security Summit 2010                                                                      11 Nov 10

Cyber Security Summit 2010 taking place on Thursday 11th November at the QEII Conference Centre, London.

In an effort to increase the IT security skills in the UK, a Cyber Security Challenge programme was recently launched. It will set tasks, such as treasure hunts or network break-ins, for people who want to establish their information security skills.

Cyber Security 2010 Summit will help the education sector raise standards by demonstrating the value of getting involved and providing young people with a formal route to becoming a recognised and respected information security professional. With representation from the Office of Cyber Security, GCHQ, CBI, NPIA, SOCA, the Information Security Awareness Forum and CREST, this event will put you in front of the UK’s most influential speakers, policy makers and industry experts.

The event is also CPD certified so will count towards your professional development. Full conference details can be found at:

MathsJam weekend                                                                                13/14 Nov 10

The MathsJam is an opportunity for like-minded self-confessed maths enthusiasts to get together and share stuff they like. Puzzles, games, problems, or just anything they think is cool or interesting.

The event is intended to help people remember why they ever enjoyed maths at all.  Maybe you don't need reminding, but a lot of people find that they used to enjoy maths, but it became a bit hard, or a bit tedious, or a bit mundane, and it lost its sparkle.


Annual Sustainability Focus event                                                           17 Nov 10

Come along to the University's Focus on Travel exhibition on Wednesday, 17 November and learn more about what we as individuals and as a University can do to reduce the carbon emissions caused by our daily commuting and business travel.

The University is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 40% by 2020 and transport-related emissions make up a significant part of this footprint.

The exhibition will run from 10am to 2pm at University Place, Oxford Road.

EPSRC Grantsmanship Study Day                                                          25 Nov 10

A Grantsmanship study day has been organised to give university researchers who are thinking of applying to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council an overview of how the organisation works and an insight into the peer review process.


The session will run from 9am – 4pm and will typically involve:

·        Presentations – introduction to EPSRC, the peer review process and funding opportunities

·        Tips on proposal writing – first steps in Grantsmanship from Professor Hugh McCann

·        Mock panels – attendees have the chance to practice a prioritisation panel meeting with real grant proposals

·        Plenty of Q&A time


If you would like to book onto this session please at your earliest convenience email Stephanie Ball as places are limited.


Please consider the following before booking a place:

·        If you are accepted on the course but can no longer attend the study day you should Stephanie Ball immediately so that your place can be offered to someone else.

·        Please be aware that in preparation of the mock panel you will be asked to complete some work and should put aside a few hours in advance of the study day for this.

·        This study day is intended for academics who will be applying to EPSRC in the future.


Funding Opportunities

Royal Society International Joint Projects                                             25 Nov 10

The Royal Society Joint Project programme is designed to enable international collaboration by providing a mobility grant for researchers and members of their research teams to cover travel, subsistence and research expenses. It also aims to provide seed money for research that will lead to further collaboration and greater funding in the future from larger funding bodies.


Subjects Covered:  All areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine.


Eligibility:  The Project Leaders must be from academia, of at least postdoctoral status or equivalent and hold a permanent or fixed-term contract in an eligible organisation which, if it is the latter, continues at least for the duration of the project. Collaborations should be based on a single project involving two teams lead by project leaders, or individuals:  one based in the UK and the other based overseas.  A relationship between the two team leaders should already be established prior to making an application and the collaboration should involve bilateral visits between the UK and the country where the overseas team leader is based.


Length of Tenure:  2 years


Value of Grant:  Up to £6000 a year for 2 years for travel and subsistence. Within the £6000 available each year, up to £1000 can be used for research expenses (excluding computer hardware).


Countries covered:  Currently Joint Projects are available to those in European and Former Soviet Union countries, China, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, IndiaGhana, Tanzania, South Africa and certain countries in Latin America. Please check appendix 1 of the scheme notes for eligible countries.


Cost-share arrangements:  Depending on which country your collaboration is with proposals can be submitted either as a ‘direct’ application (to the Royal Society only) or as a ‘parallel cost share’ application. The latter entails the UK team leader submitting a proposal to the Royal Society AND the Overseas team leader simultaneously submitting a proposal to a partner organisation (usually an Academies of Science abroad) with whom the Royal Society has cost share agreement, in which case the travel and subsistence costs are shared between the Royal Society and the overseas Partner. Please note that ‘direct’ applications are still accepted even if a cost share partner is available.  Please check appendix 1 of the scheme notes for cost share countries/partners.



Opening and Closing dates:  The 2010 round for Russia cost-share applications in conjunction with RFBR is currently open and closes on 22 November 2010.  The round for direct (Royal Society only) applications with Russia and all other countries eligible under the Joint Project scheme is also open and closes on 25 November 2010.

Royal Society International Travel Grants                                                9 Dec 10

The International Travel Grants scheme enables UK scientists to engage in collaborations with overseas scientists in order to explore opportunities for building lasting networks or  participate (excludes organising/selection committee and poster contributions) in overseas conferences, workshops and seminars which are of particular strategic importance in order to engage with scientists (available to UK scientists only).  The International Travel Grant Scheme is available for all countries outside of the UK.

Eligibility: Conference participation applications must have confirmation of their invitation or acceptance of oral paper presentation. Collaboration applications must have a letter of support from the host Head of Department. UK based scientist must hold a fixed or permanent contract at an eligible UK institution. Scientists must have completed their PhD or have extensive experience at an equivalent level. Only one application can be submitted per round.


Length of tenure:  Lasting up to 12 weeks (except in the case of UK applicants presenting at overseas conferences, workshops and seminars, in which case the maximum duration of award is 10 days).  


Value:  A maximum of £4000 is available for activities.



Opening and Closing dates: 2010/R4: opens 05 November 2010 and closes 09 December 2010.

Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships                                  11 Jan 11

The Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships were established through the generosity of the Leverhulme Trust and seek to provide opportunities for academic researchers to be relieved of all their teaching and administrative duties to allow them to concentrate on full-time research for up to one year.


Subjects Covered:  All areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine.

Eligibility:  Applicants must hold a permanent post at a UK institution and be at a suitable stage in their career when they would particularly benefit from a period of full-time research.

Length of Tenure:  Between one academic term and one year.

Value of Grant:  The fellow's employing institution will be reimbursed for the full salary cost of a teaching replacement (up to the equivalent of the minimum point on the lectureship scale as paid by the host university).  Research expenses up to a maximum of £2,500 are available to each fellow to cover the costs of consumables, equipment, travel and communicating science.


Opening date:  18 October 2010.

Closing date:  11 January 2011


Research Awards

Sagecite: citing large-scale predictive network models of disease

Funding Body: JISC
PI: Carole Goble
Award Amount: £50283