School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

28 March 2011


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News from Head of School

School Plan for 2011                                                                                                      

Several drafts of the school plan for 2011 have been circulated, and a few changes have been made since the last one.  The plan is available from:




This contains actions on a wide range of people, and progress against these will be monitored throughout the year at School Leadership Team (SLT) meetings.  If you are not on SLT and are associated with a named action, the action shouldn’t be a complete surprise to you, and you are likely to be asked for updates from the relevant Head of Function.

Project Supervision Loads                                                                                          

The Duties Allocation process is now underway, and we expect to be circulating the outcome in mid-April. Iain Hart has made a collection of improvements to the software that supports the process.  For information, the following link provides information on staff project supervision loads for 2010 and for the previous 3 years:



Research Computing Course: Introduction to OpenMP and MPI     29 Mar 11

IT Services for Research (ITSfR) is launching a new 1 day course aimed at staff and postgraduates who wish to convert their sequential code in to a parallel code for the purposes of running faster and/or accessing more memory. This course covers the introductory material of the Shared Memory and Multicore Programming with OpenMP and Introduction to the Message Passing Interface (MPI) courses that ITSfR usually runs. It will be an intensive day with numerous practicals. Applicants need to have UNIX/Linux experience and be able to write programs from scratch in either FORTRAN or C.

More information

ICT Event ICT Challenge 1 Call 8                                                               31 Mar 11

Department for Business Innovation and Skills Conference Centre, London.

09:30 to 16:30

A major networking and learning opportunity enabling research leaders from business and academe to share and compare their strategic research and innovation aims in the three important and related areas of Future Networking, Cloud Computing and software and Trustworthy ICT.

Further information

A systems approach to cognition in robotics                                           6 Apr 11

Dr Jeremy Wyatt. University of Birmingham

14:15, Lecture Theatre 1.4, Kilburn Building

Seminar information


Funding Opportunities

The Royal Society Brian Mercer Award for Innovation                         4 May 11

Aim:  The Brian Mercer Award for Innovation provides funding for individuals or groups to develop an already proven concept or prototype through to the creation of a near-market product for commercial exploitation, i.e. to a stage where an approach for venture capital becomes a reality. 


If the idea or concept is at an earlier stage of development (i.e. proof of concept/early prototype not yet developed) you should apply for the Brian Mercer Feasibility Award which provides initial support to test the feasibility of a project. They enable holders to investigate the technical and economical feasibility of commercialising an aspect of their scientific research, possibly in conjunction with a third party, and to such a point where an industrial or commercial collaboration can be established.


Subjects covered:  The award is designed to promote possible commercial exploitation of existing research in the built environment, energy, clean technology and nanoscience/ nanotechnology and is intended to fill the funding gap between the scientific research and the exploitation of the idea through venture capital.


Eligibility:  The awards are open to applicants of any nationality who have a PhD (or are of equivalent standing in their profession), who hold a substantive post in a UK university and will be in post at the host organisation for at least the duration of the project.  The project must commence within three months of the date of notification.


Applicants may make only one application to each closing date.  Applications from individuals or groups who already have established contacts with industrial or commercial collaborators are particularly encouraged.


Important changes: The time from the application closing date to decision has been significantly reduced.  In order to make this possible, the application process has been reduced to a single stage. 


Length of tenure:  The award can be held for a maximum of 2 years.


Place of tenure:  The award must be held in a UK University or not-for-profit research organisation.


Value:  Up to £250,000 (this figure includes VAT where applicable).


Number offered:  Two per year on average.


Closing date:  4th May 2011

More information