School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

8 December 2014


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News from Head of School

REF results next week

The REF results will be made public next week. They will be made available to staff as soon as possible, probably on the afternoon of Wednesday 17th December. There will be a meeting for academic staff in IT407 at 9:30 am on Thursday 18th December where the result will be discussed.


News and announcements

Two SSI Fellows awarded to Computer Science

Natalie Stanford and Robert Haines have been awarded Software Sustainability Institute Fellowships for 2015!  Their profiles, amongst the other Fellows, can be found here.


SSI aimed to create 15 Institute Fellows for 2015 but due to the quality of applications and intense competition we had to increase the numbers of places available to 19.

SSI Press release

Success in the 2014 i2b2 shared task in NLP for Clinical Data

A team from Computer Science has once again achieved excellent results in the top international annual shared task in clinical text mining, which is organised by the i2b2 (Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside), an NIH-funded National Center for Biomedical Computing. This year one of the two tasks was de-identification of clinical narratives, and our team (Azad Dehghan, Aleksandar Kovacevic, George Karystianis, John Keane and Goran Nenadic) won the 2nd place.

Discover Computer Science day

The School ran its first ‘Discover Computer Science Day’ last Wednesday, which saw 50 Year 12 students and teachers on campus. It was an opportunity for A-level students who are seriously considering Computer Science at degree level to see first-hand the interesting research and activities that happen in the School.  These Discover Days are supported by the central Widening Participation Team and we aim to run them twice a year. 


We like to thank our two speakers Dr Gavin Brown and Dr Steve Pettifer for their fascinating talks on Making Computers Think and Phantom Limb VR research, and also to our PhD students, Francis Southern and Fabio Papacchini for running an engaging and challenging workshop on logic and reasoning.


The day proved very popular with the students and teachers, with Glyn Johnson from Fallibroome School saying all his pupils “Really enjoyed the day, felt welcome at the University and were very positive about the experience.”


If you are interested in getting involved in our next Discover Computer Science day then please email the team at

Research support team welcome and thanks!

Welcome to Dr Steve Owen who will be working in the research support team as Research Support Manager (RSM) for Maths in the new year. Vinod Verghese will be moving to the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science as RSM. Thank you to Vinod from the School for all of his hard work over last couple of years in his role as lead RSM. From next year, Sarah Chatwin will be taking on the lead role whilst remaining located in the Kilburn Building.



EPSRC workshop notice and info

If you are interested in the EPSRC workshops detailed below please let Robert Stevens know and remember funding may be available from the School to attend these (see Robert).

Using OWL and RDF at the European BioInformatics Institute       10 Dec 14

14:00, lecture theatre 1.4, Kilburn building.

Dr Helen Parkinson, European Bioinformatics Institute.

Part of the School Seminar series

Seminar homepage

REMINDER - EPSRC ICT Perspectives on Big Data Analytics Workshop 

Closing date: 16:00, 15 December 2014

Event: 03 March 2015, Birmingham


The EPSRC ICT Theme is inviting Expressions of Interest to attend a one-day workshop to engage in discussion, to identify research challenges and to initiate new collaborative working partnerships in the area of Big Data Analytics. We would like to build up a picture of the research challenges in Big Data Analytics, from the perspective of the ICT community. The EPSRC are looking to build up a picture of the research challenges in Big Data Analytics, from the perspective of the ICT community.

More info

Reminder: CS Christmas party                                             Thurs 18 Dec 14

The party will start at 3pm on Thursday 18 December with a short toast to the School to mark its 50th birthday. As usual there will be pizza, some drinks, and amazing music.  DJ Jazzy Jezmas returns to the decks and 2014 will mark the third year of the legendary Christmas quiz hosted by Chris Farrington and DJ Jezmas.

REMINDER - EPSRC Future Intelligent Technologies Workshop: Call for Expressions of Interest 

Closing date: 07 January 2015

Event: 24-25 February 2015, Oxford


Intelligent technologies can be considered to have the capacity to replace, augment or complement human activity. This workshop will be delivered as a cross-theme event, with representation from the ICT and Engineering capability themes as well as the Manufacturing the Future challenge theme. It will provide an opportunity for researchers with an interest in the broad area of intelligent technologies to engage in discussion, consider the future challenges and opportunities presented and encourage the formation of new connections that may begin address the research challenges identified. Output from the workshop will be presented as a report which will feed into EPSRC's strategies regarding intelligent technologies over the course of the next Delivery Plan.

EPSRC FIT workshop info


Funding Opportunities

Research Support Office

Please contact us through

There is information about support for grant writing, submission and successful examples at and through EPS. The EPS blog The Word contains features News, Events and comment relevant to Postgraduate Researchers, Research Staff and Supervisors or PIs.


Important: Changes in EU Funding Opportunities

More detailed information is available now that for Horizon2020 has started (the successor of FP7 EU programme). EU research funding is important for the School and it’s important to understand what’s available


EU funding-related documents are placed by the University's EU team at:
The easiest way to find these documents is to search using the keyword: 'Horizon 2020'


A great resource recommended by the ICT National Contact Point is, which also provides handy overview documents.


Coming-up: RAEng Industrial Secondment Scheme                            Jan 15

The Industrial Secondment Scheme provides a valuable opportunity for academics to undertake collaborative research with industry. The secondment allows the awardee to gain knowledge and first-hand experience of current industry working practices, enabling them to improve the quality and industrial relevance of their teaching. The next round of applications will be announced shortly with a submission deadline in January 2015. For further queries, please email

Industrial Secondment Scheme

REMINDER: Fellowships for the future of manufacturing: challenges from the Manufacturing Foresight report                                                      09 Dec 14

Closing date: 16:00, 09 December 2014


The Manufacturing the Future Theme is looking to establish a number of established career Fellowships that will act as a response to the Manufacturing Foresight report. Areas could include:

  • Information and communications technology (ICT) - Modelling and simulation integrated into all design processes, together with virtual reality tools will allow complex products and processes to be assessed and optimised, with analysis of new data streams
  • Sensors - The integration of sensors into networks of technology, such as products connected to the internet, will revolutionise manufacturing. New data streams from products will become available to support new services, enable self-checking inventories and products which self-diagnose faults before failure, and reduced energy usage
  • Advanced & functional materials
  • Biotechnology
  • Sustainable/green technologies


Directors of Research (Robert Stevens) will have more information on this shortly.

REMINDER: Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security     12 Dec 14

Closing date: 16:00, 12 December 2014

On behalf of partners across the UK Government, EPSRC is inviting applications from UK Universities who would like to be recognised as Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACEs-CSR.) This is the third and final call in the initial phase of this scheme.

REMINDER: The ESRC Transformative Research Call                    15 Dec 14

Intentions to bid (to include a one page summary of the proposal and the names of a potential reviewer) by Monday 15th December 2014.


This is a major research funding call which aims to provide a stimulus for genuinely transformative research ideas at the frontiers of the social sciences, enabling research which challenges current thinking to be supported and developed.


Only two applications can be submitted by each eligible research organisation and the Faculty of Humanities will coordinate this process, with the final submission being endorsed by a peer review panel led by the Deputy Dean for Research, Professor Colette Fagan. Please ensure that intentions to bid are submitted to Gillian Whitworth (cc Jared Ruff) by Monday 15 December. Further details of the review process will be communicated when we have a clearer idea of the number of applications involved, after the intention to bid deadline. The timeline for the peer review process will be as follows:


·       Drafts to be submitted by Friday 16 January 2015

·       Drafts to Reviewers by Monday 19 January 2015

·       Comments back from Reviewers by Monday 2 February 2015

·       Decision-making panel to meet between 2 and 5 February 2015

·       Decisions to applicants by 6 February 2015

·       ESRC Deadline 16:00 Thursday 19th February 2015

More information

REMINDER: EPS Faculty Teaching and Research Strategic Fund   04 Jan 15

Closing date: 04 January 2015


In line with the University strategy we continue to develop, and maintain, a small fund to further support our research and teaching activities across the Faculty.  As with previous years if you wish to access this fund can you please send Pauline Morgan (Head of Faculty Finance EPS, with a copy to Nuala Gansler) your two page proposals as outlined in the email sent 27/12/14. Contact Sarah Chatwin for the email details.

RAEng Engineering Leadership Advanced Awards – now open

Closing date: 16:00, 26 January 2015


This programme aims to provide support and motivation to some of the most exceptional engineering undergraduates in UK universities. These awards help ambitious and inspiring engineering undergraduates, who want to become leadership role models for the next generation of engineers, to undertake an accelerated personal development programme. Recipients will get the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to fulfil their potential, helping them to move into engineering leadership positions in UK industry soon after graduation. For further queries, please email Ms Jacqueline Clay.

Further info

RAEng Research chairs and Senior Research Fellowships               2 Feb 15

Closing date: 16:00, 02 February 2015


Industrial co-funded Professorial and Reader level appointments for five years at UK universities to develop world leading research programmes as well as strengthen industry-academia links. Please note that the application process/requirements for this scheme has recently been updated so you are advised to refer to our website/guidance notes/eligibility criteria. For queries, please contact Ms Tapsi Khambra.

More info

EPSRC IAA: Launch of Outreach Fund                                           25 Feb 15

Closing date: 25 February 2015 (confirmed)


Funding is available to develop new outreach opportunities that specifically link to EPSRC research outputs. Activities supported include engagement through events, games, online material, publications etc. The IAA Outreach Fund should not be used to support long-term activities, and therefore sustainability beyond the project must be evidenced.


Other EPSRC IAA Schemes also have this deadline: Concept and Feasibility Studies; Exploitation Secondment; N.B. Relationship Incubator has a rolling deadline.

EPSRC IAA further info

REMINDER - RCUK Digital Economy Fellowships in DE priority areas          

                                                                                                       28 Feb 15

Closing date: 28 February 2015


Awards can be up to 5 years in durations starting in Oct 2015 and applicants should request the resources they need to deliver the DE research of their proposed fellowship. Priority areas:

•         Social computing

•         Business and economic models

•         Advancing the Internet of Things for DE


Please email your intention to submit in advance. For further guidance, please contact or see fellowship website.

FET Open funding opportunities for Research projects                 31 Mar 15

Closing date: 31 March 2015


FET Open calls for early-stage joint science and technology research towards radically new future technologies in ALL technological areas. Being entirely non-prescriptive with regards to the nature or purpose of the technologies that are envisaged, this call targets the unexpected. It is open to collaborative research that satisfies the FET-Open 'gatekeepers': long-term vision, ambition of the scientific and technological breakthrough, foundational character, novelty, high-risk and deep synergistic interdisciplinary approach. FET-Open aspires to be an early detector of new and promising ideas, but also of the new high-potential actors in research and innovation (such as young researchers and high-tech SMEs) that may become the scientific and industrial leaders of the future.


FET Open also calls for coordination and support activities to turn Europe into the best place in the world for responsible collaborative research on future and emerging technologies that will make a difference for society in the decades to come. For the next call deadline, FET exchange and FET Take-Up topics are addressed.


Check also the video of the FET Open session presented at the last ICT Proposers' Day event (9-10 October 2014). More information is available on the Participant Portal.


Featured Research Outcomes


Did you know…papers featured in the newsletter also go on display in the Kilburn Building (outside finance: 2.03)? Send your new publications to Robert Stevens so that more people get to know about your research.


"Precise control of interface anisotropy during deposition of Co/Pd multilayers" C.W. Barton, T.J.A. Slater, R.M. Rowan-Robinson, S.J. Haigh, D. Atkinson, T. Thomson,  J. Appl. Phys. 116 (2014) 203903.

doi: 10.1063/1.4902826


Oral  presentation given by Smaragda Zygridou and the recent MMM 2014 conference in Hawaii: "Remote plasma sputtered L10 ordered FePt thin films."

S. Zygridou, P.W. Nutter and T. Thomson


'Descriptive document clustering via discriminant learning in a co-embedded space of multilevel similarities' JASIST, Tingting Mu, John Y. Goulermas, Ioannis Korkontzelos and Sophia Ananiadou


EU-funded FP7 project Linked2Safety (L2S) was assessed as EXCELLENT as its final review

The L2S framework enables anonymised sharing of aggregated EHR patient data between healthcare providers to support clinical trial management.

A common scheme maps data from different sites, with data represented as data cubes for analysis. Preliminary data mining of associations between genotype/phenotype data, drug profiles and adverse events has illustrated the potential of the framework and suggested areas for further work, including investigating relations that are not supported by the current literature.

The project involved SCS/MIB, SoMaths and FMHS with Ann Gledson and David Tian as the RAs at Manchester; other staff: John Keane, Goran Nenadić, Jianxin Pan, Stavros Stivaros and Xiao-jun Zeng.



Have we missed something? If you have some award news that you would like us to know about please contact Sarah Chatwin.