School of CS newsletterPublished: Tuesday, 13 November 2018
Weekly newsletter for the School of CS
[ top ]News from Head of School
Nominations are open for who appears on the new fifty pounds note. The Bank of England web site at
is where you can nominate the person you wish to appear on the fifty pounds note. the Web site says the following:
"You can nominate as many people as you like. But anyone who appears on the new £50 note must:
* have contributed to the field of science
* be real – so no fictional characters please
* not be alive - Her Majesty the Queen is the only exception
* have shaped thought, innovation, leadership or values in the UK
inspire people, not divide them"
There has been a deal of discussion about this person being Alan Turing, but there are, of course, lots of other splendid people that fit this profile.
A reminder that there is a talk entitled:
"Revealing the Enigma: X-ray imaging the machine that Turing cracked"
Next Wednesday, 14 November in Alan Turing Building – G107
The EventBright link for signing up is:
The observant among you may have noticed that the printer called Vortex is no longer in the lift foyer on the second floor. This area is a fire refuge area and the printer has been moved at the request of the Fire Safety Office. Vortex is now inside the old Goods Inwards room (KB 2.71A), which is next to the lift. The door is unlocked, but the door must be left in place for reasons of fire safety.
As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, we know that this is a particularly concerning time for staff from non-UK European countries. That is why we’re pleased to be able to announce that we are part of a new pilot scheme from the Home Office which will allow staff to apply to continue to live and work in the UK after 2021.
The University has also decided that the £65 application fee which the Home Office has stipulated will be refunded to staff.
From 15 November, University colleagues who are resident in the UK and are either non-UK EU citizens, or non-EU citizens currently in the UK as a family member of an EU citizen, are being invited by the Home Office to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. This is part of a pilot before the scheme is rolled out to all resident EU citizens and their family members across the UK in March 2019.
The EU Settlement Scheme will allow EU citizens and their family members to continue to live, work and study here in the UK after June 2021. It will mean that they continue to be eligible for:
- public services, such as healthcare and schools
- public funds and pensions
- British citizenship, if they want to apply and meet the requirements.
To be eligible for EU settlement, you will need to be an EU citizen (or a relative of a UK-based EU citizen), resident in the UK by 31 December 2020. The application process will consist of verifying your identity and residence in the UK, and a criminality check. Once confirmed by the Home Office as eligible, you will be granted either settled status (if you have been resident in the UK for five years or more) or pre-settled status (if you have been resident in the UK less than five years).
To take part in the pilot exercise, you will need to be in possession of a biometric EU passport or ID card, or a UK-issued biometric residence permit (BRP), which you will scan using an Android device (smartphone or tablet). You will provide proof of residence by supplying your National Insurance number, or if this is not available you will scan and submit other supporting documents.
You will then be given an indicative outcome of your application (pending checks) and if you agree with that you will then pay the fee for processing your application. The University will refund this fee. The method for doing this is currently being arranged and will be communicated when the scheme opens next week. Alternatively if you disagree with the indicative outcome, you are given the opportunity to supply further information online.
After checks have taken place, you will receive an e-mail containing a letter confirming your status, and also be given access to your online status which you can share with future employers and service providers, when this becomes a requirement after June 2021.
To take part in the November pilot, you will need to register your interest with the Home Office. We will provide you with the contact details to register when we have these – we expect to receive them from the Home Office early next week. These will be published on StaffNet and our website and non-UK EU staff will be contacted directly at the end of the month.
We know that this is an unsettling time for our colleagues from non-UK EU countries and we will support you as much as possible during this period. This is why we have agreed to refund the Home Office fee.
The University will continue to make representations in support of our staff and students and collaborators who are affected in different ways by the consequences of the referendum vote.
In the meantime, if you want to read more about the pilot scheme, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions and the Home Office website. We will also be updating our EU website for staff as soon as new information becomes available.
Director of Human Resources
[ top ]Events
There will be a reception prior to this in School 14:30 – 15:30, to which you are invited.
If you wish to join the Graduation Procession details of how to register attendance and order gowns are at: http://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/news/display/?id=20948 The deadline for registration is Friday 23rd November 2018. A good presence of academics in their finery is much appreciated by all the students and their families, so do please come along and join the Graduation Procession “
[ top ]Research Funding Opportunities
The next Innovation Lab on the FinTech theme will be held on 23rd January at the MSP Tech Incubator, Manchester Technology Centre, Oxford Road.
We are still looking for researchers to participate on the day. These events are a great opportunity to establish new relationships with business partners and open up new funding opportunities, with this workshop being of particular interest to Early Careers Researchers looking to expand networks and project opportunities.
If you would like to participate or have questions about the Innovation Lab series please contact Chris.Hepworth@manchester.ac.uk
Who are the partners?
We hope to have 3-5 businesses participating, these will be teamed with mixed discipline groups of researchers and will follow a facilitated process to develop tangible research project plans that can help address business questions whilst providing academically interesting and impactful projects, seed funding is available for the best project ideas with businesses asked to match fund. We currently have an asset management firm and car finance lender and are in talks with a number of banks.
What is an Innovation Lab?
If you’re unfamiliar with this format these events seek to facilitate the development of collaborative research projects based on business questions/problems/opportunities presented by the industry partners, seed funding is available to kick-start the best projects. These labs are a fantastic opportunity to develop new relationships that can unlock funding opportunities and demonstrate positive economic and social impacts from our research expertise. This short video was produced at the Lab focusing on Data Analytics held in April and gives a useful overview of how the day works and the value both academics and industry participants take from it: https://app.frame.io/v/74eb5a95-2e8a-495e-b8d0-5d1b8db217ee
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is announcing the Grand Challenges Explorations Round 21 awarded grants and highlighting grant opportunities that are still open for seven challenges under Round 22 and one request from the African Academy of Sciences, our Grand Challenges Africa partner organization.
Grand Challenges Explorations is an initiative that awards initial grants of USD $100,000, and successful projects are eligible to receive follow-on funding of up to USD $1 million. Proposals are solicited twice a year for an expanding set of global health and development topics. Applications are only two pages, and no preliminary data is required. Applicants can be at any experience level; in any discipline; and from any organization, including colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations and for-profit companies. The next application round of Grand Challenges Explorations will be in February 2019.
Please inform the Research Support team if you intend to apply.
[ top ]Tech Support News
Operational downtime for Student Support Systems and Research NFS file store (and VMs / web services)
A major network router in Kilburn needs to be upgraded by IT Services before a reported memory leak causes it to crash. We cannot predict when this router will fail, with services going down in an uncontrolled manner, hence the urgency. The School have agreed that this upgrade can happen at 6am on Thursday 15th November 2018. Currently, many of our virtual machine based support systems, and others, cannot operate without this router. (This configuration will be changed, but not in the next week or so.) We need, therefore, to shut down the Kilburn second floor machine room systems from 6pm on Wednesday 14th November 2018. They should be back up by approximately 9am on the 15th.
The actual router upgrade will start at 6am on the 15th when the whole of the network, Kilburn and IT Building, will be down until at least 6.30am with a contingency period until 9am. This will obviously impact all services, but we hope for only a short time.