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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Thursday, 02 April 2015

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Computing At School At Manchester!

    The School has been made a regional centre for Computing At School (CAS), which is a tremendous recognition for all the work that staff and students have put into helping secondary schools come to terms with the new Computer Science curriculum. This development should further help to ensure that schools encourage stduents into the discipline and see Manchester as a leading university for Computer Science.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Staff Survey

    If you haven't had a chance to complete the staff survey yet please try to find time before it closes on April 20th.

    The survey is run by Capita, an external provider,  and is completely confidential. You should have been emailed a link to  your survey by Capita. If there are any problems please contact

    A donation of £1 is made to charity for every completed survey that is submitted, and you will be entered into a weekly prize draw to win an iPad.

    Once The University has the results of the survey the School will be required to formulate an action plan addressing the issues raised.

    More information can be found here:

    gravatar Jim Miles

    [ top ]News and announcements

    PhD student Farideh Jalalinajafabadi: 3MT People's Choice award winner

    The Three Minute Thesis ®(3MT) competition challenged PhD students to present a compelling spoken presentation of their research topic and its significance in just three minutes.

    From 61 applicants, 46 presenters and 12 finalists, final year Computer Science PhD student, Farideh Jalalinajafabadi was awarded the People’s Choice prize. The audience chose Farideh's presentation, entitled '3MT: Computerised measurement of voice quality conforming to the GRBAS scale,' as the People's Choice and a £100 prize. Farideh said:

    'The competition gave me the opportunity to learn that any PhD topic can be demonstrated in three minutes for an audience who is not familiar with the research area.'

    Farideh's full thesis title is 'Objective voice quality assessment using digital signal processing and machine learning conforming to the GRBAS scale' (supervised by Dr Barry Cheetham and Dr Mikel Lujan).

    You can see the finalist’s performances here:

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Research Professional survey for academics

    Research Professional are carrying out the following survey in exchange for a £50 voucher:


    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    European Consultation on Seventh Framework Programme - have your say

    Deadline for responses: 22 May 2015.

    The European Commission is evaluating the success of its most recent research funding programme, Framework Programme 7. They want to hear from those who have received funding from the programme, or have views on its impact. You can fill in the questionnaire.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    CodeBug: The cute, programmable, light-up wearable for everyone

    CodeBug is a fun, engaging, entry-level introduction to coding and physical electronics. In just a few clicks you'll program the versatile little CodeBug computer to display your own message. You're sure to get everyone's attention as you show off your coding skills when you pin your customised, wearable CodeBug to your clothes.

    CodeBug is the work of Andrew Robinson, Tom Preston and Tom MacPherson-Pope, the people behind Pi-Face who many of you will already know through their connections to the School of Computer Science. They are looking for backers on Kickstarter to get their product off the ground. Please consider pledging your support (and find out more) at CodeBug on KickStarter.

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    [ top ]Events

    Royal Society events

    Consumer data: what’s in store for you?

    Event: 15 April 2015

    Join us on 15 April to hear what your weekly supermarket shop can reveal about you, and discuss the safeguards that should be in place. Speakers will include Giles Pavey, Chief Data Scientist at dunnhumby, the company behind supermarket loyalty cards; ethicist and Royal Society fellow Baroness Onora O’Neill and the Director of the Centre for Health, Law and Emerging Technologies in Oxford, Professor Jane Kaye.


    Conference on Machine Learning

    Event: 9am-5pm 22 May 2015 (London)

    This conference is the first in a new series of conferences which will bring together industry, academia and government to address the major scientific and technical challenges of the next decade. Join the event to discuss the current and future technical, social and economic impacts of machine learning and their potential policy implications.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Vice President and Dean's Faculty Open Meeting

    Steve Flint is hosting his next Vice President and Dean's Faculty Open Meeting on Wednesday 22 April from 12pm - 1pm, in the Stopford Building, Theatre 2.




    The meeting is open to all staff and an opportunity for you to learn more about Faculty developments and ask the Dean questions.

    Steve will be presenting a Faculty update and thirty minutes of the meeting will be reserved for colleagues to ask questions.

    If there are any topics you would like Steve to cover, or any questions you would like to ask, please email Satnam Kaur.




    Please note the meeting will be filmed for colleagues who cannot make the session. We sincerely hope this will not deter you from asking questions but if you feel uncomfortable just ask for your question to be edited out of the final film.

    You can also pre-submit your question to Satnam Kaur and it will be asked anonymously.

    A video of last Vice President’s and Dean's Faculty Open Meeting which took place in January is available to view online:

    We hope to see you at the Faculty Open Meeting on Wednesday 22 April, in the meantime please remember to complete your staff survey and let us know your views.

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life Joint Programming Initiative (JPI HDHL)

    Pre-proposal application deadline: 15:00 28 April 2015 

    The JPI HDHL has launched a joint transnational call for research proposals on intestinal microbiomics. Multidisciplinary transnational research consortia should submit research projects which propose a mechanistic approach to investigate causal relationships between diet, intestinal microbiota and health.

    The call will be supported in the UK by cross-council funding from BBSRC and MRC of up to €0.5M, out of an international total of around €7M.

    Multidisciplinary research consortia should submit research projects addressing data sharing and data integration amongst other things.

    There is an International Human Microbiome Consortium (IHMC) that is focused on generating a shared comprehensive data resource that will enable investigators to characterize the relationship between the composition of the human microbiome (or of parts of the human microbiome) and human health and disease. However, there is a need for joint research activities in the area of intestinal microbiomics with the aim to share and integrate data for performing meta-analyses and standardise methods to analyse and understand the human diet-gut microbiome interaction

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    IMPORTANT: EPSRC Healthcare Technologies Challenge Award internal process

    Internal expressions of interest deadline: 09 April 2015

    EPSRC has published its first funding call under the new Healthcare Technologies Strategy. Healthcare Technologies Challenge Awards are intended to create a cohort of the most promising future leaders who will develop new research capabilities across the EPSRC portfolio to address unmet healthcare needs. Applicants must have held a permanent academic position for 8 years at most. Because applications will need institutional support, the University will be coordinating submissions. If you are interested in applying, please send your CV (including publication list) and a one page (max) expression of interest covering:

    The internal deadline for expressions of interest is 9th April. Feedback to applicants is planned by Monday 20th April, and the University will provide support (e.g. help with finding clinical collaborators) for strong candidates in preparing their proposals.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Other EPSRC research funding opportunites

    Quantum Technologies Strategic Capital Investment Call

    Closing Date:           16:00 02 June 2015

    The National Quantum Technology Programme wishes to augment its existing network of capability through further capital investment. Proposals for capital funding are invited that will contribute to the expansion of the UK's quantum technology capability in one or more of four areas of strategic focus:

    1. Building technical capability;
    2. Manufacturing tools;
    3. System / subsystem design; and
    4. Acceleration of innovation.

    Important: each institution can only submit one bid - please contact if you are interested in this.


    Training and Skills Hubs in Quantum Systems Engineering: invitation for proposals

    Closing Date:           16:00 02 June 2015

    EPSRC intends to augment the UK's existing research, innovations and skills investments by inviting institutions, or consortia of institutions, to submit proposals for Training and Skills Hubs in Quantum Systems Engineering. Hubs will contribute to the development of quantum technologies by delivering a coherent package of skills training, co-working and mobility, and career development initiatives to develop high-level skills in quantum engineering.

    Quantum technologies are those that enable the creation, control and manipulation of sensitive and fragile quantum effects within single systems. In recognition of the transformative potential of these new technologies, the multi-stakeholder UK National Quantum Technologies Programme was established in 2013 following a £270 million investment by government. The Programme's investments include the establishment of a national network of Quantum Technology Hubs by EPSRC and funding for EPSRC CDTs in quantum technologies. EPSRC intends to augment the UK's existing research, innovations and skills investments by inviting institutions, or consortia of institutions, to submit proposals for Training and Skills Hubs in Quantum Systems Engineering. Hubs will contribute to the development of quantum technologies by delivering a coherent package of skills training, co-working and mobility, and career development initiatives to develop high-level skills in quantum engineering.

    Training and Skills Hubs will act as nodes within the national network of Quantum Technology Hubs, whose aim is to harness and exploit the research and training strengths that exist across the UK academic landscape, facilitate partnering with industry, and tackle the key technological challenges that need to be overcome to realise the promise of quantum technologies. Accordingly, Training and Skills Hub proposals will be required to explain their plans for working with the existing network of Quantum Technology Hubs and other large investments, to develop an integrated network of research, innovation and skills capability.

    Up to £15 million in funding is available to support three to five Hubs for a five year period.
    please contact if you are interested in this.


    EPSRC/ Living With Environmental Change (LWEC) Challenge Fellowships

    Closing Date:            16:00 10 June 2015

    EPSRC is inviting Outline Proposals for EPSRC Challenge Fellowships in the LWEC theme. Fellowships are offered at both the Postgraduate Fellowship and Early Career Fellowship level.

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    BBSRC funding opportunities

    Future Leader Fellowship

    Deadline: 04 June 2015 

    The Future Leader Fellowship (FLF) will provide support for researchers wishing to undertake independent research and gain leadership skills. The FLF will support the transition of early stage researchers to fully independent research leaders. Awards are for 3 yrs and include personal salary as well as support for travel and subsistence, training activities, and research consumables. It is expected that around 12 fellowships will be awarded (up to £300k ea).

    Applicants will have demonstrated high potential and have no more than five years of postdoctoral research experience. The call is open to current PhD students who are expected to have completed their PhD viva exam prior to announcement of the awarded FLFs (30 November 2015).


    BBSRC Standard (Responsive) Grants

    Next responsive mode application deadline: 16:00 28 April 2015

    For BBSRC priority areas see:


    BBSRC International Scientific Interchange Scheme 

    Application deadline: apply at any time (at least 6 weeks before travel)

    Funding is available for scientists add an international dimension to their BBSRC funded research by making and establishing new contacts with international counterparts through:

    • Short Term Travel Award: Normally intended as a first contact-type meeting. Allows researchers to travel outside the UK to initiate collaboration or prepare proposals with partners for international programmes (e.g. EU Framework, Human Frontier Science Program)
    • Long Term Travel Award: For researchers to travel outside the UK for periods of up to 12 months
    • Access Award: For stays of up to one month in another country to undertake a specific piece of work, access facilities not available in the UK or gain access to new techniques or materials, which would be of benefit to the BBSRC project or the UK research team

    Funding is limited to travel and subsistence costs only, and does not usually exceed £5k.

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    Daniel Dresner's research with students features in Cybertalk

    The latest Cybertalk edition (page 12) features Daniel Dresner's article 'The knowing of things'. 

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Prize and award Opportunities

    2015 UK ICT Pioneers competition

    Closing date: 16 April 2015.

    The competition is an exciting and unique partnership between Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and key stakeholders that aims to recognise the most exceptional UK doctoral students in ICT-related topics who are able to communicate and demonstrate the excellence and exploitation potential of their research. The 2015 competition is being sponsored by: Dstl, HP, EPSRC, BCS, BT, Facebook and Samsung.

    The competition has opened and we are seeking entries from students enrolled at UK research institutions in the final two years of their doctoral training. They must be undertaking research in an ICT-related subject. Their doctoral training does not have to be funded by EPSRC to participate in this competition.

    Each one of 4 category winners wins £2000 prize money and the overall winner collects an extra prize of £1000... making a total prize for this years winner of £3000!

    Details for this years competition can be found here on the call page and here on our Facebook page. Please ‘like’ it!

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    gravatar Jim Miles
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Last change: Thursday, 02 April 2015 20:59:43