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  • Department of CS newsletter

    Published: Tuesday, 21 December 2021

    Weekly newsletter for the Department of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of Department

    Festive Message

    It's been a long, hard time this semester and, as usual, the Department has risen to the occasion. After settling down to something that resembled normality, there's that sense of déjà vu all over again as the Omicron variant pushes us into a period of uncertainty again.

    We've been working very hard; lots of students; dual delivery for teaching and learning, along with all the other things we still have to do. As far as I am concerned, the Department of Computer Science is top and our staff and students are the people that make it top. 

    I hope as many of you as possible manage to have a rest and return at least a little refreshed. For me there is much tea to be taken and good cheese to be consumed.


    gravatar Marion Morris

    Festive email address changes as HR becomes People and Organisational Development

    As HR become People and Organisational Development the following email addresses come into play. Note that PCM and NAF for appointments of contract researchers still need to go through the Research Office; don't try and deal  directly with People and Organisational Development



    New HR email addresses:   

    ·         HR Services will become People and Organisational Development Operations:
    ·         Staff Learning and Development will become Learning and Organisational Development
    ·         Heads of HR will become Heads of People and OD and HR Partners will become People and OD Partners
    ·         Change of email address: will change to
    ·         There will also be two new, dedicated addresses for the processing of new colleagues joining our University to ensure these urgent transactions can be identified and responded to faster: - for all new appointment forms, new starter paperwork, and queries regarding on-boarding including relocation and pre-employment checks - for all paperwork for casual staff including CAS forms, new starter forms and timesheet queries.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    [ top ]News and announcements

    Update: Wood Street Mission Christmas Charity drive

    JustGiving page:

    Dear Melanie,

    Hope you are well?

    My name is Steph and I am a fundraiser here at Wood Street Mission – it’s great to have support from your team in the School of Computer Science, through your JustGiving page. Thank you so much for thinking of Wood Street this Christmas. It usually takes a few weeks for JustGiving to send the funds to our charity bank account, so I will contact you again in the New Year when we have received everything to say a big thank you to all who have contributed.  Just a quick update from us – we are now over halfway through our Christmas project and we have helped over 840 families so far which is just amazing. We have received some fantastic donations of toys and gifts, so we are looking forward to helping even more families over the next week. The money you raise will give us the flexibility to refill the stock in our Christmas Shop according to demand, and ensure we are providing the same opportunities to families who visit at the beginning and the end of the project.

    Many thanks again for your generosity. Wishing you all a very happy and relaxing Christmas.

    Best wishes, Steph Steph Edgar Fundraiser Wood Street Mission 26 Wood Street Manchester M3 3EF T: 0161 834 3261 M: 07944 745 982 @woodst_mission Registered Charity No. 1078337

    gravatar Karon Mee

    Farewell from Michelle Fox, Deputy School Operations Manager

    As I finish in my role next week, I would just like to say a big thank you for kind messages and also the lovely John Lewis gift card I received.

    I have been in the Department for 2.5 years and faced many challenges in that time. The pandemic brought the biggest impact to all of our lives. The ability of staff to adapt to working from home was amazing, then changes to processes which created restrictions never seen before. I would like to thank you for your support throughout my time as DSOM.

    My new role working on SEP is a secondment for 12 months, so in theory I will be back….

    I would like to wish you all a restful break and all the very best for 2022.

    Kind regards


    gravatar Karon Mee

    [ top ]Wellbeing

    Wellbeing Wiki

    gravatar Karon Mee

    [ top ]Events

    Atlas Talk on Wednesday 12th January 2022

    Please see details of our forthcoming Atlas Talk in the Department of Computer Science to be held on Wednesday 12th January 2022 (online)

    Join Zoom Meeting

    Meeting ID: 929 5583 8416

    Passcode: 445464

    Host: Professor Angelo Cangelosi

    Title: Mission Planning with Uncertain Models

    Speaker: Dr Nick Hawes Oxford Robotics Institute, University of Oxford

    Abstract: Mission planning for long-horizon tasks requires the planning agent to use a model to encode its interaction with its environment. In most robotic tasks some parts of this model are known with certainty, whereas other parts may only be known with uncertainty at design time, and must be updated via learning either between missions (“offline") or during execution (“online"). In this talk I’ll give a high-level summary of our recent work on mission planning with such uncertain models. This will range from planning in Markov decision processes (MDPs) with a Gaussian process prior over a single state features, to planning in uncertain MDPs and Bayes-adaptive MDPs where the true model cannot be known with certainty.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    [ top ]Research News

    Horizon Europe Update - Association Delays - UK Govt financial safety net

    UK Government has announced  (29 November 2021) a new financial safety net mechanism that aims to provide certainty for successful Horizon Europe applicants, as the association delays continue. Under this new mechanism, successful UK applicants for Horizon Europe grant awards will be guaranteed funding regardless of the outcome of the UK’s efforts to associate to Horizon Europe.

    The funding guarantee will be delivered through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which will publish further details about eligibility, scope and how to apply in the coming weeks.

    As announced at Spending Review 2021, in the event that the UK is unable to associate to Horizon Europe, the funding allocated will instead go to UK government R&D programmes, including those to support international partnerships.

    The government looked at the practicalities of handling such a situation in 2020 and developed a detailed set of alternative plans, which included continued support for international research, innovation collaboration and domestic research support.  This work is being refreshed and we remain ready to implement these plans should they become necessary.

    Please note that the guarantee announced today is a short-term measure intended to cover the first wave of calls until the EU formalises the UK’s association, as was agreed under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.  The UK remains committed to securing this outcome so that research collaboration can continue, and we stand ready to formalise our association.

    For further details, please visit:

    We don’t know more than this at the moment but if there are any questions please come back to me – further updates will be circulated as we have more information.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Research Funding Opportunities

    STFC Impact Acceleration Account Call for Proposals

    Deadline: 12 noon 26th January 2022

    *Academics are strongly advised to contact the Knowledge Exchange (KE) team in advance of applying to the STFC IAA scheme

    The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has awarded The University of Manchester £50k to deliver the University’s Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) that aims to provide additional support towards the increase and acceleration of impact generated through the university’s STFC research outputs

    The Knowledge Exchange Team is pleased to announce the STCF IAA 2021 call for proposals under the following mechanisms:

    • Relationship Incubator Scheme (max £10k) providing support the exploration of exploitation opportunities for the University’s STFC research portfolio to highlight areas for industry collaboration

    ·Application Form
    ·Guidance Notes

    • Proof of Concept Scheme (max £25k) providing support for the very early stage of transforming research outputs into commercial opportunities

    ·Application Form
    ·Guidance Notes

    • Secondment Scheme (£40k-may be increased with justification) providing flexible support for secondments between UoM and businesses and other organisations

    ·Application Form
    ·Guidance Notes

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    EPSRC - Build a network to enable resilient solutions for future UK systems

    Deadline:  01-Feb-22

    A NetworkPlus is a strategic investment which brings together new research communities and identifies, prioritises and develops future research challenges. The full economic cost of your project can be up to £2.25 million. ESPRC and Defence Science and Technology (DST) will fund 80% of the full economic cost (£1.8 million).

    This NetworkPlus will support a research agenda that addresses security threats and challenges facing us in the future (around 2050) by mobilising a diverse community. It will do this by bringing together existing researchers working on individual elements of this challenge and forming them into a coordinated and coherent whole. Your proposal must be multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary or both. We welcome proposals from across the range of academic disciplines, providing at least 50% of the programme falls within EPSRC’s remit.

    Additionally, this NetworkPlus will use part of its funding to create new funding opportunities. To build sustained engagement and collaboration, the NetworkPlus will provide leadership across disciplines and sectors and will deliver different activities, such as:

    • workshops
    • events
    • communications
    • funding opportunities for pilot and feasibility projects.

    This NetworkPlus is expected to:

    • build relationships between the UK defence sector, industry, and academic community (particularly those who may not typically engage with the defence sector)
    • build interdisciplinary capability, leverage existing partnerships and establish new ones
    • bring together diverse expertise across the broadest possible range of disciplines, which could include (for example) engineering, information and communications technology, mathematics, healthcare technologies, behavioural sciences and design
    • enable a coordinated and coherent landscape across disciplines and communities, and ensure high impact by working closely with important UK defence stakeholders and groups, including:
      • Defence Science and Technology (DST)
      • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (dstl)
      • the Defence Academic Pathways Steering Group (DAP SG)
      • industry and the wider research community
      • focus on a specified scenario involving a major disaster caused by state-sponsored or terrorist actors, taking place in a densely populated future urban setting around 2050
    • align broadly with the priorities and aims of the Ministry of Defence Science and Technology Strategy 2020.

    The research agenda of this NetworkPlus will focus on a predefined scenario with focus on a major disaster taking place in a densely populated future urban setting, around 2050. This might be caused by a lone terrorist actor or a sophisticated state-sponsored attack.

    Such an event might cause massive disruption to transportation infrastructure, communication networks and emergency services. In this scenario, there are multiple concurrent challenges which would need to be solved simultaneously in an evolving situation, including but not limited to:

    • how to detect and reach casualties when automated and manual transport networks are disrupted, including the need to assess and triage the status of casualties
    • how to share correct and vital information when primary systems are compromised or unavailable
    • how to establish decision-making and organisational structures
    • how to minimise additional effects through reliable, resilient and self-repairing systems
    • how to avoid further casualties and panic
    • any other relevant challenges relating to this disaster scenario.

    The principal investigator of the proposal should have a collaborative mindset alongside excellent leadership and management abilities and is expected to collaborate closely with defence government and industry stakeholders.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Reminder - Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships - internal sift

    For early career researchers (ECRs), with a research record but who have not yet held a full-time permanent academic post in the UK, to undertake a significant piece of publishable work. N.B The Trust will consider applications from candidates whose permanent post does not include any research e.g. Teaching Staff. 

    All candidates must hold a doctorate or have equivalent research experience by the time they take up the Fellowship. Here, ‘ECRs’ are considered as those that formally submitted their doctoral thesis for viva voce examination after 23-Feb-18 (excluding career breaks) and before 4pm 24-Feb-22. 

    Internal sift process 
    The Faculty invites expressions of interest (EoIs) from potential applicants for a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. EoIs should include: 
    •             a one page CV, including details of the candidate’s top 5 publications 
    •             The names and email addresses of two referees 
    •             A one page outline research proposal, which includes details on why your work is (a) an appropriate fit for this scheme and (b) a match to the research of the host department 
    This faculty level selection process supersedes any local departmental arrangements that have been in place previously. Departments will pre-sift candidates to ensure they are of a suitable calibre for this scheme, and that their proposed work is a suitable fit to the host department/institute. 
    If you are selected as one of the Manchester-supported candidates we will work with you to prepare the full application to Leverhulme. 
    Expressions should be submitted to via the department or institute (i.e. not directly from the candidate) by Friday 14th January 2022 at 12 noon. Candidates who will be supported should be notified by the 28th January. 

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    gravatar Marion Morris
Generated: Saturday, 01 October 2022 02:28:45
Last change: Tuesday, 21 December 2021 11:58:59