School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

12 Sept 2011


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News from Head of School

Computer Engineering Post

John Bainbridge, whose previous connection with the school included the winning of the BCS Best Thesis competition, returned to the school as a Senior Lecturer in Computer Engineering, from 1st September.

Academic Management Tree

Various staff departures and role changes imply the need for an update to the management tree. Rather than doing this on a rolling basis, the following link is to a proposed tree for 1st November – please let me know if there are any items in this that you would prefer to see changed.

Development Structure Nov 11

Undergraduate Admissions Update

Following on from last week’s article, through a series of means (late receipt of grades, insurance offers coming through, etc), we are now closer to target than anticipated, and now perhaps expect to miss our home target by only around 5 students. This is a significant achievement given that the university has not been in clearing and that we are essentially accepting only ABB students and better.



Images of Research Photography Competition                                    19 Sep 11

Snap! Calling All Researchers! Using a single inspiring photographic image and short description can you illustrate your research to the general public? Can that image show how your research contributes to a sustainable future, how it benefits society, or how your research makes a difference?   We invite the research community at The University of Manchester to take part in the Images of Research Photography Competition. The theme of this year's competition is Visions of Sustainability and you can enter your image in one of the following categories: People, Environment, or Culture.  The image could be anything that captures attention but must be related to your research. Each submission must include a 150 word abstract including an interesting title, a description of the picture and the benefits of the research.  You must ensure the abstract uses plain English and is jargon-free.  The Public Will Decide! In the lead up to the Manchester Science Festival in October, shortlisted entries will be exhibited at the John Rylands Library Deansgate and online. The general public will be invited to vote for the best image and associated abstract. 

Prizes: First prize: £250 Amazon vouchers | Runners up per category: £100 Amazon vouchers | Highly commended: £50 high street vouchers

Who Can Enter? Open to academics, research fellows, postdoctoral research associates, postgraduate research students and research technical support staff including experimental officers across all disciplines at The University of Manchester. 

Submission DetailsSubmissions close 19 September 2011, 12pm (BST). One submission per entrant.  So get snapping, we look forward to seeing the wonder of your research. Competition Details

University of Manchester: Headstart 9                                                    11 Nov 11

We are now arranging the ninth running of HEADSTART, the University of Manchester's Leadership Development Programme. Completed applications should be endorsed by the candidate's HOS/line manager and Dean/Director as set out in the brochure link below. Applications should be sent to Emma Rygielska in STDU by 11 November. If a hard copy of this information is required, please contact Emma. If you require any more information about the Headstart programme please contact Paul Dixon.

HEADSTART Distribution Memo (doc) (pdf)

HEADSTART Brochure 2011 (pdf)



New Funding and Award Opportunities                           top

RAofE - Engineering Enterprise Fellowships                                         21 Oct 11

The Royal Academy of Engineering has launched a new scheme, Engineering Enterprise Fellowships, which provide funding and support to outstanding entrepreneurial researchers, working in UK Universities, to enable them to spend 12 months developing the commercial potential of their research.  

  • Enterprise Fellowships provide up to £85,000 seed funding, including salary support, to build a commercial enterprise at a UK University.
  • In addition to the funding, business training is provided to develop skills and masterclasses will be offered using experienced entrepreneurs to supplement the training.
  • Mentors will be allocated to each Enterprise Fellow to provide support and advice during the Fellowship.
  • Access will be given to business angels and venture capital networks through the Mentors.

Deadline for applications is Friday 21 October 2011. Further details are available here

Royal Society University Research Fellowships                                  15 Sep 11

Aims: To provide outstanding scientists, who should have the potential to become leaders in their chosen field, with the opportunity to build an independent research career. Those appointed are expected to be strong candidates for permanent posts in universities at the end of their fellowships. This scheme is very competitive with an average success rate of 7.6%.

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

Eligibility: Applicants must have a PhD or equivalent research experience by the time they apply, we will not accept applicants who have just submitted their PhD. Applicants are expected to be at an early to mid-stage of their career  (between three to eight years of research experience since their PhD) at the time the application is submitted.  Applicants must either:

• be a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA), i.e. European Union, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein; or a Swiss citizen

• or have a relevant connection to the EEA or Switzerland (a relevant connection can be established if an individual has a PhD from a university in the EEA or Switzerland, or has worked as a research scientist in a university or research institute in the EEA or Switzerland for at least the past two years, or has done so before taking up an appointment outside the EEA or Switzerland).
Persons holding a permanent post in an EEA or Swiss university will not be considered (includes UK).

Length of tenure: Initially funding is provided for five years followed by an extension of three years. In exceptional circumstances the Society can consider a further extension taking the fellowship to a maximum of 10 years. Available from 1 October 2012.

Place of tenure: Fellowships must be held in a UK university or not-for-profit research organisation (except for Research Council Institutes).

Value:  Provides funding to cover the research fellow's salary costs, estates costs and indirect costs. Under the full economic costing model, 80 per cent of these costs will be met by the Royal Society. Research expenses (up to £13,000 for the first year and up to £11,000 annually thereafter) will also be provided. The Research Fellowship provides researchers with maximum flexibility and can be held part-time, and allows sabbaticals, secondments or international experience.

More information Closing date for approved applications: 15 September 2011


Royal Society Brian Mercer Feasibility Award

Subjects Covered:  Built environment, clean technology, energy and nanoscience/nanotechnology.  One award in each round will be specifically in the general field of electrotechnology (including telecommunications and IT systems), and this award is supported by the ERA Foundation.

Eligibility:  The Brian Mercer Feasibility Award is 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 or not-for-profit research organisation and who will be in post 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 per round.  Applications from individuals or groups who already have established contacts with industrial or commercial collaborators are particularly encouraged.

Length of Tenure:  Awards are not expected to exceed 12 months in duration.

Value of Grant:   Up to £30,000 (this figure includes VAT where applicable).

Number Offered:  We have funds for 3 awards in the fields of built environment, clean technology, energy and nanoscience and nanotechnology, and one award in the field of electrotechnology. Once all awards have been made, the round will close.  More Information

Opening Information: 30 August 2011. These awards now operate on a rolling round, awards assessed on a first come, first served basis.  Once all awards have been made, the round will close.

Royal Society Research Grants

Aim:  This scheme provides ‘seed corn' funding for new projects initiated by research scientists at an early stage of their career (within the first 5 years). The objective of the scheme is to increase the availability of specialised equipment, consumable materials and services, and to support essential field research. The scheme also provides support for research in the history of science or to assist with publication of scholarly works in the history of science.
Subjects covered: All areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine. Additionally, the scheme provides support for research in the history of science and we welcome any research proposal or publication in the area of Royal Society history.
Eligibility: Applicants must be resident in the UK.  They should have postdoctoral level or equivalent status at the time of the application and have a permanent or a named limited-tenure position in an eligible organisation. An applicant who is a post-doctorate paid by a grant for which someone else is the principal investigator is not eligible. Applicants must play a major part and take a leading role in the project and not make its fulfilment more than marginally dependent on the services of postgraduate/doctoral students. For further information regarding eligibility, please refer to the 2011R2 scheme notes, which will be available on the website when the round opens.

Length of tenure: The grant is for a period of 12 months

Place of tenure: UK University or not-for-profit research organisation (except for Research Council Institutes).

Value:  For all subject categories, up to £15,000 (including VAT) is available for the purchase of specialised equipment, essential consumable materials and services.  Up to £5,000 (including VAT) is available for the publication of scholarly works in the history of science. For further information regarding admissible costs, please refer to the 2011/R1 scheme notes, which will be available on the website when the round opens.

More Information
Opening date: 30 August 2011
Closing date for approved applications:  25 October 2011

Royal Society International Exchanges Scheme

Aim: This scheme is for scientists in the UK who want to undertake a collaboration with scientists overseas through either one-off visit or bilateral travel.
Eligibility requirement: The scheme covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine.
Both the UK applicant and overseas applicant must:
■ have a PhD, or be likely to have a PhD by the time the funding starts
■ hold a fixed or permanent contract at an eligible organisation for the duration of the project (ineligible organisations include industrial, private and commercial organisations, university spin-out companies,  government bodies and research institutes and research councils)
■ be based in the respective countries at the time of the application
■ Collaborations should be based on a single project and travel can only take place between the UK and a country where the overseas collaborator is based.  In the case of cost share applications (see below), a relationship between both parties should already be established prior to making an application.
The International Exchanges Scheme is available for travel to all countries outside of the UK.
Applicants should ensure that they meet all the eligibility requirements, which are explained in the scheme notes (available on the website).
Value and tenure:
The funding available is dependent upon the length of the visit.  Applicants may request:
■up to of £3,000 for one-off travel lasting up to 3 months
■up to £6000 for multiple visits to be completed within 1 year (including a maximum of £1000 for research expenses)
■up to £12,000 for multiple visits to be completed within 2 years and cost share projects fixed at 2 years (including a maximum of £2000 for research expenses)
Cost-share programme:
Depending on which country your collaboration is with proposals can be considered as a cost share application.  This entails the UK applicant submitting a proposal to the Royal Society for up to £12,000 AND the overseas applicant simultaneously submitting a proposal for an additional amount up to/equivalent to £12,000 to a partner organisation, with whom the Royal Society has a funding agreement.  For details of countries covered, application and eligibility requirements please read the cost share programme scheme notes (available on the website). More Information
China cost-share round closing date for approved applications: 10 October 2011
2011/R2 round closing date for approved applications: 17 October 2011


Research Awards                                                              top

Integrated systems biology study of the control of protein synthesis capacity and fitness in a eukaryotic microbe

Funding Body: BBSRC
PI: Pedro Mendes
Award Amount: £14119

Enabling High-performance Statistical Computing in R on Hybrid GPU and Multicore Architectures

Funding Body: EPSRC
PI: Jack Dongarra
Award Amount: £200587