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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Tuesday, 05 May 2015

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Pass scheme success

    Four of our final year students received awards for their outstanding hard work and their contributions to the School’s PASS scheme at the University Peer Support Evening last week. Congratulations to Zac Hamid (Y3, CMwIE), Sarah King (Y3, CMwIE), Matt Akerman (Y4, CSE4) and Dan Underwood (Y3, CS).


    gravatar Jim Miles

    Faculty Distinguished Achievement Awards

    On Monday 27th the Faculty of EPS held a distinguished achievements award at which Andy Brass was nominated for the Teacher of the Year award, Mustafa Asan Mustafa was nominated for Postgraduate Research Student of the Year and Matthew Akerman was nominated for Undergraduate Student of the Year.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Staff-Student Coding Competition

    For the first time in history a staff team has won the annual staff-student coding competition! Congratulations to everyone taking part, and of course to the winning teams: 1st Prize went to team "[bell character]" -- Dave Lester and Jonathan Heathcote (PhD); 2nd Prize to team Breaking Bad -- Hikmat Hajiyev (Y1,CS) and Ramin Jafarov (Y2, CS); and 3rd Prize & Best 1st Year Team Prize to team Sandy -- Andi Zhang (Y1, CM) and Qingyang Feng (Y1, CM).

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Duck productivity up 18%

    Despite the lack of natural water the Kilburn Building has once again proved to be the holiday destination of choice for the Duck family. Mrs Duck has demonstrated a proper understanding of the University’s 2020 vision and this year she is rearing 13 ducklings compared to last year’s 11.  Thanks to everyone who has helped to make our visitors welcome by transforming the courtyard into the most luxurious duck hotel to date. We look forward to an even more productive visit next year!

    gravatar Jim Miles

    [ top ]News and announcements

    EuroScience - call for scientific programme ideas for ESOF 2016

    Deadline for submissions: 10am 01 June 2015

    ESOF event: 23-27 July 2016, Manchester

    The ESOF 2016 (EuroScience Open Forum) theme is ‘science as revolution’.


    Held every two years, ESOF is a pan-European meeting dedicated to scientific research, education and innovation which aims to showcase the latest advances in science and technology, as well as promoting a dialogue on the role of science and technology in society and public policy.

    A core question throughout ESOF 2016 will be: how do we foster excellence in science as an agent for positive and transformative change, whilst also ensuring responsible research and innovation? Respondents to the call for proposals are encouraged to bear this in mind when applying, as well as ensuring that their proposal sits under one of the nine headline themes:

    1. Healthy populations
    2. Material dimensions
    3. Sustaining the environment
    4. Turing's legacy - data and the human brain
    5. Far frontiers
    6. Living in the future
    7. Bio-revolution
    8. Science for policy and policy for science
    9. Science in our culture

    Standard sessions are 1h 15min long and can take on a variety of interactive formats e.g:

    • Traditional panel discussion: maximum 3-4 speakers (maximum 15 minutes each) followed by extended discussion with audience.
    • Interactive round table(s): a flexible format with brief presentation and space for questions, answers and reactions.
    • Workshop: a flexible format, led by a speaker experienced in stimulating exchanges of views and using practical exercises.
    • Pro and con debate on a controversial topic.
    • Innovative formats e.g. hackathons, Ted-type talks, 3 minute Thesis style sessions

    Useful information is available through 'Call for Scientific Programme Submissions'

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    New Open Access requirements affecting REF compliance

    HEFCE’s new Open Access (OA) Policy comes into effect in April 2016, which will affect
    submissions to the next REF.
    From 1st April 2016 the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) of all peer-reviewed journal and
    conference papers must be deposited in Manchester eScholar or an acceptable subject repository within 3 months of acceptance, and must be made OA within 12 months of publication. Papers that do not meet these requirements may not be eligible for the next REF.

    In preparation for the new policy it is essential that all authors fulfil the new OA requirements with immediate effect.
    The Library has developed a pilot project running from 1st May 2015 until 31st July 2015, including the School of Computer Science.

    During the pilot authors within the School of Computer Science should follow these steps each time a paper is accepted for publication:

    1. Go to 
    2. Use the drag and drop interface to attach the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM)
    3. Select the date the paper was accepted
    4. Click submit

    On receipt of the paper the Library will complete the deposit to Manchester eScholar, ensuring that all necessary metadata is recorded and that any embargoes required by the publisher have been applied correctly.
    Throughout the pilot project, the Library will also monitor publication databases to track the levels of REF OA compliance within the School and will contact authors directly where the AAM has not been deposited to Manchester eScholar. for FAQ and the new HEFCE OA Policy.

    Further help is available from the Library:
    Tel: 0161 306 1517 (internal: x61517)

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Events

    School Seminar: Two-variable logics and trees

    6th May 2015, 14:00, Kilburn Lecture Theatre 1.4

    Speaker: Prof  Witold Charatonik, Wydzial Informatiki Uniwersytet Wroclawski

    Host: Ian Pratt-Hartmann


    Two-variable logic (FO2) is one of the most prominent decidable fragments of classical first-order logic. It is particularly important in computer science because of its decidability and connections with other formalisms like modal, temporal or description logics and applications in XML or ontology reasoning. Unfortunately, even very simple properties, like being a tree, transitivity or connectedness are not expressible in FO2. Therefore it is natural to consider extensions where distinguished predicates are interpreted in a special way, like representing a tree. In this talk I will present some of the recent results in this area. In particular I will discuss several extensions of two-variable logic with trees and some of their applications, e.g. in program verification.

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    EPSRC Systems Integration of Energy Supply and Demand Scoping Workshop

    Deadline for EoI: 4pm 22 May 2015
    Event: 24 June 2015 

    As part of its contribution to the RCUK Energy Programme, the EPSRC is inviting Expressions of Interest to attend a one-day workshop to identify research challenges in the area of systems integration of energy supply and demand. The outcomes of this workshop will feed directly into a subsequent £5 million call for proposals for a single multidisciplinary Research Centre in the area. The following topics could be considered:

    • How we can tackle the rebound effects associated with increased electrification of vehicles as well as domestic and commercial heating systems?
    • The scope of existing system models and exploring the need for and possibility of creating one framework and provided analytical tools for the whole energy system in the UK
    • Optimisation of demand side management and supply matching in self-contained power systems as well as large-scale grids
    • How can heat and electricity be integrated into the energy system
    • Consider the best structure for the subsequent Centre which would be able to address the challenges identified at the workshop, be that a multi-institution consortium or hub and spoke model
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    SAMSUNG Global Research Outreach (GRO) Program

    Deadline for applications: 01 June 2015

    SAMSUNG (Samsung Electronics & affiliated Samsung companies) annually invite world-class university researchers to submit innovative research proposals to foster collaborative relationships.

    Selected proposals will receive financial support up to $100k per year. Awards may be renewed up to 3 yrs, based on research outcomes and necessity for further research partnership driven by SAMSUNG.

    For 2015 Samsung are seeking proposals in 24 Research Themes:

    • Machine Learning & Recognition
    • Security & Privacy
    • Data Analytics
    • Biometrics
    • Next Generation Computing
    • Soft Robotics
    • 2D Materials/Devices
    • Quantum Information
    • Next Generation Battery
    • Fast Charging Material/Structure
    • Smart Textile
    • Next Generation Display
    • Big Data & Next Generation Network
    • Mobile Healthcare
    • Sensor Technology
    • Autonomous Driving
    • Intelligent Assistant
    • New Photonic Sensors/Sources
    • Nano Electro Mechanical System
    • Remote Wireless Charging
    • Functional Material
    • Organic Sensor Materials
    • New Opportunity Exploration

    Full details of the call are available at

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    MRC Experimental Medicine Challenge - call for outlines

    Events: 05 May London; 06 May Leeds

    Webinar: 08 May 2015

    Deadline: 25 June 2015


    The MRC has released the third round of the Experimental Medicine Challenge call:

    A webinar on the 8th May will articulate the remit and strategic intent of the EMCG scheme (  Speakers will include Professor Stephen Holgate (chair of the EMCG panel), Professor David Lomas (MRC Board chair and EMCG panel member), Professor Steve Williams (EMCG co-PI) and Dr David Crosby (MRC programme manager for experimental medicine).   Participants will be able to watch the talks live online, and will be invited to submit questions for the speakers via email, which will be answered in real time.  The panel will address the aims of the scheme, what qualifies good experimental medicine, challenges identified from previous rounds and how successful applications were designed, reviewed and conducted.

    There will also be regional workshops on the 5th May (London) and 6th May (Leeds) for prospective EMCG applicants, which will:

    •          Describe the regulatory and ethics landscape around EM work 
    •          Highlight the resources and assistance available 
    •          Provide practical suggestions on how to successfully navigate the pathway to regulatory and ethical approval

    The workshops will involve presentations from university and NHS ethics committee members, HRA, and EMCG holders who will describe their experiences and strategies for getting EM studies up and running. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend one of these two workshops.  Places at these workshops are limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact  for an agenda and to book a place.

    The FMHS Research Deanery would be happy to offer strategic support for the development of bids to this scheme. In order for us to allocate resource could you please contact Kay Hodgson (; 0161 306 0552) to confirm your intention to submit and also indicate whether you plan to attend one of the  MRC regional workshops.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Newton funding opportunities with other countries


    British Council's Institutional Skills Development Call (Chile)

    Deadline: 08-May-15

    A grant to develop new training programmes to support researchers, or teachers in science, supported by a relevant UK partner institution (university, research institution or public agency). Applications must be led by the Chilean institution. Projects should last between 3 and 9 months, starting from 1 September 2015.


    Wellcome Trust-MRC Newton Fund Collaboration (SE Asia)

    Deadline: 20-May-15


    British Council's Newton Katip Çelebi PhD scholarships (Turkey)

    Deadline: 22-May-15


    ESRC-NSFC call for Collaborative Research Urban Transformations in China (China)

    Deadline: 28-May-15

    Joint UK-China proposals are invited for this call with costs of £500k-750k (for 3 yrs) expected for UK partners; NSFC will support Chinese partners with the same level of funding. It is expected that 4-6 proposals will be funded.


    MRC’s UK-Thailand - Joint Health Research Call (Thailand)

    Deadline: 02-Jun-15

    It is expected that funding will support up to 4 joint projects at a level of up to £389k per project for infectious diseases, and 3 joint projects at a level of up to £444k per project for non-communicable diseases (cancer).

    Infectious Diseases (to be supported by the MRC and NSTDA)

    • Dengue: basic research related to dengue vaccine development
    • Malaria: research and development related to drug resistant parasites (in particular artmesinin), detection, diagnostic kits, etc.
    • Outbreak prediction systems using mathematical models and novel data management systems (IT): particularly to inform emerging infectious disease outbreaks
    • New solutions for important emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) of pandemic threats / endemic infectious diseases: basic research, diagnostic kits, etc.


    NERC’s Increasing Resilience to Natural Hazards In Earthquake-Prone regions in China, Announcement of Opportunity: Research funding (China)

    Deadline: 09-Jun-15


    MRC’s UK-Philippines: Joint Health Research Call (Philippines)

    Deadline: 16-Jul-15

    Funding of up to £640k for 5 joint projects over 3 years (with at least one UK PI and one Filipino PI) to support the development and strengthening of new and existing UK-Filipino research collaborations. The focus of this call is research into infectious diseases of relevance to the Philippines e.g. Dengue and dengue-like illness; TB; malaria; Influenza-like illness; Leptospirosis; Sepsis; HIV; Hepatitis.

    Areas of particular research interest within the infectious disease space include:

    • Genomics and molecular technologies: for novel biomarker identification, with a focus on host and pathogen ‘omics and host-pathogen interactions
    • Diagnostics: Development of cost effective diagnostic tools (point of care; differential/discriminatory; confirmatory; early detection of most severe) for priority infectious diseases, utilizing or repurposing off-patent or lapsed and/or novel technologies
    • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) / e-health: Development of user-friendly ICT solutions to accelerate the gathering and processing of health and related information for policymaking, and delivery of quality healthcare services
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Reminder: Open call for CDT in Regenerative Medicine projects

    Deadline for proposals: 29 May 2015

    The CDT is currently looking for innovative project proposals across the full multidisciplinary field of regenerative medicine. All proposals should be submitted to using the project proposal form (contact for forms).

    All projects must be cross-Faculty, with a main supervisor and a co-supervisor - and fit within the topic themes outlined on the project proposal form. Industry-linked projects are highly encouraged, with the industry partner acting as a co-supervisor. Potential supervisors do not need to have been named on the original CDT application. They must however meet the following requirements:

    • must have successfully supervised a student to completion within 4y;
    • must have external grant income (1yr minimum);
    • must not be main supervisor to a Regenerative Medicine CDT student in the previous year;

    Project selection

    The CDT students will undertake six months of formal (taught) training, before starting their projects on 1 April 2016 and will have chosen their projects by the end of semester 1 (January 2016).

    Lab experience placements

    Each proposal must contain at least one lab experience placement and CDT students will have opportunities for industry and international placements once their PhD project is underway, as well as continued professional development activities and training as part of the CDT. Further information about the CDT can be found at:

    If you have any questions about submitting a proposal, please do not hesitate to contact

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    RAEng Funding Opportunities

    Industrial Secondment scheme

    The scheme provides a unique opportunity to early and mid-career academics to gain industrial experience by working on a collaborative research project with industry for up to 12 months. The secondments are expected to result in significant improvements to awardee’s teaching activities. The award contributes to the basic salary cost of the applicant paid pro-rata against the amount of time to be spent at the industry host. Applications must be received by 4pm on Monday 15 June 2015. For further queries, please email Ms Tapsi Khambra


    RAEng Visiting Professors

    The Academy provides funding to support the appointment of senior industrial engineers as Visiting Professors at UK universities. This industry-into-academia initiative aims to utilise the experience of the Visiting Professors to enhance undergraduate and/or postgraduate learning as well as the employability and skills of UK engineering graduates. This scheme is now open with a deadline of 4pm on Tuesday 16 June 2015. For further information, please contact Jacqueline Clay


    Coming soon: Research chairs and Senior Research Fellowships

    Funding to support Professorial and Reader level appointments at UK universities, to develop world leading ‘use-inspired’ research programmes. These five year funding opportunities are co-sponsored by industry and aim to strengthen industry-academia links. This scheme will open for applications in early May. You are advised to make contact with Dr Lucy Wheeler before proceeding with your application.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    Recently funded CS Knowledge Exchange projects

    The School have been successful with Knowledge Transfer projects such as EPSRC IAA projects and KTPs, including funding for:

    • Caroline Jay with Manchester Art Gallery
    • Renate Schmidt with Klappo Ltd
    • Bijan Parsia with Elsevier
    • Sean Bechhofer with Telematicus

    see for more details

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Fri, 01 May 2015 16:38:45 +0100

    Markel Vigo, Caroline Jay and Robert Stevens.

    Constructing Conceptual Knowledge Artefacts Activity Patterns in the Ontology Authoring Process. Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: CHI 2015; 18 Apr 2015-24 Apr 2015; 3385-3394; 2015. Seoul, Korea.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    gravatar Jim Miles
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Last change: Tuesday, 05 May 2015 11:00:47