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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Monday, 09 November 2015

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Education Green Paper - plans for universities

    The Government has published a Green Paper setting out proposals for consultation on future arrangements for universities, a summary is provided here. The consultation period will run from 6th November to 15 January 2016 with online feedback and a number of national consultation events in London and Sheffield, with details available soon.

    The Green Paper proposes a new Office for Students (OfS) that would bring together existing functions on quality, teaching excellence, market entry and social mobility, including by merging the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Office for Fair Access (OFFA).

    For teaching the Green Paper proposes a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) that will use measures such as student satisfaction, student retention rates and graduate job prospects. Higher education institutions providing high quality teaching would be able to increase tuition fees in line with inflation. Those that fail to meet expectations would risk losing additional fee income. The quality of our teaching and the way that we prepare our students for their careers have always been important to the School but in future, as well as affecting our ability to recruit the best students they will affect our income.

    For research the Green Paper expresses commitment to the retention of the dual support system as part of a reshaped research funding landscape whose form will depend upon the outcomes of a review of the seven research councils that is being conducted by Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society. It is likely that the REF will continue with the next REF probably running in 2020.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Annual Research Student Awards

    The annual School Research Student Prizes were awarded at the research symposium last week.

    The best paper prize was awarded to Fan-Lin Meng for "A Pro_t Maximization Approach to Demand Response Management with Customers Behavior Learning in Smart Grid", Fan-Lin Meng and Xiao-Jun Zeng, accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid 2015.

    Runner up for the paper prize was Viachaslau Sazonau for "General Terminology Induction in OWL", Viachaslau Sazonau, Uli Sattler, and Gavin Brown, published in the 14th International Semantic Web Conference, 2015.

    The best thesis prize was awarded to Georgios Kontonatsios for his thesis "Automatic Compilation of Bilingual Terminologies from Comparable Corpora", 2015. The thesis resulted in nine peer-reviewed publications, the main supervisor was Professor Sophia Ananiadou.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    President’s annual visit to the School

    The President's annual visit to the School will take place on Wednesday 17 February 2016 at 2.30 – 4.00pm. The visit will include an open meeting for students at 3:00 and an open meeting for staff at 3:30pm.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Double the fun: Graduation and the School Christmas Party

    December Graduation will be at 10:00 on Wednesday 16th December with a reception for Graduates, friends and family afterwards. The School's annual Christmas Party will be at 3pm on Wednesday 16th December.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Children in Need 2015 Auction

    The annual School Children in Need 2015 Auction is Live! Get bidding for all the many wondrous items - the auction closes on Friday 13th November at 4.30pm. Find the auction here.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    [ top ]News and announcements

    Find out about MACE research

    The new Autumn MACE research newsletter will shortly be available through:

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Register for an ORCID iD

    ORCID reference numbers are becoming increasingly important. You can sign up for your own ORCID very quickly through

    ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    ARTEMIS Technology Conference - report back from Kung-Kiu

    Kung-Kiu Lau attended the ARTEMIS Technology Conference, 6-7 October,Turin, Italy thanks to School funding. ARTEMIS Industry Association ( is the association for actors in Embedded and Cyber-Physical Systems within Europe. As a private partner, the association represents its members - industry, SMEs, universities and research institutes - in the ECSEL Joint Undertaking (

    The conference presented results from previous and existing ARTEMIS/ECSEL project, as well as future challenges and roadmaps. There were also previews of forthcoming calls: ECSEL in January 2016 and H2020 in April 2016.

    Contact for more information.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Events

    Guest lectures - various dates

    You are invited to attend any of the guest lectures below to be held in 2.19, Kilburn building.

    Please email Daniel Dresner for further information.

    COMP60721 IT Governance, 2.19 Kilburn Building, Oxford Road, University of Manchester, M13 9PL



    11:00 ‑12:30

    Colin Williams
    University of Warwick
    Meat the Machine

    16:00 – 17:00

    Royd Whittington
    IT Governance




    15:30 – 17:00

    Tim Armit
    Clifton Risk Management
    Business continuity

     23 Nov

    11:30 – 12:30

    Sarah Clarke
    Straightforward Security




    11:30 – 12:30

    Gerry Pennell
    University of Manchester
    Leadership – Delivering Change




    11:30 – 12:30

    Will Roebuck
    GRC Legal

    16:00 – 17:00

    Royd Whittington
    Barclays – Q&A


    COMP61421 Cyber Security, 2.19 Kilburn Building, Oxford Road, University of Manchester, M13 9PL



    12:00 – 13:00

    Jon Noel – McAfee
    Malware evolution




    12:00 – 13:00

    Paul Vlissidis
    NCC Group
    Ethical Hacking




    12:00 – 13:00

    Keith Cottenden
    Digital Forensics


    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    EPS Mentor Training

    • Thursday 12th November 2015, 1-4pm in Room 1, Staff Training & Development Unit (STDU), Humanities Bridgeford Street Building
    • Friday 27th November 2015, 10am-1pm in the Seminar Room, STDU, Humanities Bridgeford Street Building
    • Friday 4th December 2015, 10am-1pm in Room 1, STDU, Humanities Bridgeford Street Building
    • Thursday 10th December 2015, 1-4pm in Room 1, STDU, Humanities Bridgeford Street Building


    Anybody mentoring probationary staff is invited to attend these training sessions - please  register for one of the sessions with Kadie (

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Upcoming KTN H2020 events

    A variety of H2020 events are available through including:

    • Horizon 2020 ICT Topics 2016 - Cloud Computing & Software Technologies
      • 20th Nov, London
    • H2020 Future & Emerging Technologies (FET) Workshop
      • 28th Nov 2015, London

    Remember... the School has funding to cover attendance at EU events if you feedback knowledge to the School afterwards. Contact for more information.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Save the date: Big Data Information and Networking Days

    Event: 14-15 Jan 2016, Brussels (Albert Borschette Congress Center)

    Big Data Information and Networking Days, organised by the Unit Data Value Chain (CNECT G3), will inform and guide prospective proposers preparing project proposals, to facilitate sharing of ideas and experiences. It will give participants the chance to network and to find partners for their projects.

    The event will focus on call for proposals H2020-ICT-2016-2017 addressing the following topics:

    • ICT-14: Big Data PPP: Cross-sectorial and cross-lingual data integration and experimentation (also know as "Innovation Spaces")
    • ICT-15: Big Data PPP: Large Scale Pilot actions in sectors best benefitting from data-driven innovation (also known as "Lighthouse Projects")

                    IMPORTANT: If this is your main interest, please join us on the 1st December in Brussels for the Info Day specialy dedicated to H2020 ICT-15. The registration for that event is already open.

    • ICT-17: Big data PPP: Support, industrial skills, benchmarking and evaluation
    • ICT-18: Big data PPP: Privacy-preserving big data technologies

    Due to a big interest and limited number of places the participation will possible only upon confirmed online registration.


    Remember... the School has funding to cover attendance at EU events if you feedback knowledge to the School afterwards. Contact for more information.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    HEFCE Social innovation fund for pilot projects

    Closing date: 16.00 18 Nov 2015

    HEFCE has allocated  £40k min. to support a number of projects to pilot novel practical approaches to creating social innovations.

    HEFCE, in association with the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), has launched a call to support a number of such projects. They will take existing research and knowledge and apply it to a social issue in order to improve social outcomes for people. The pilots will be developed during a 2.5-day ‘sandpit’ event taking place 12-14 Jan 2016 in the South West of England.

    Participants from all publicly funded English higher education institutions at any stage of their career (after completion of academic training), or who are employed by the HEI as a practitioner, can apply to attend the event. We also welcome interest from participants from the other UK nations and from outside HEIs, although successful applicants will need to join a project led by an HEI based in England.
    If you have any queries, please contact:

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    EPSRC ICT, Healthcare Technologies and Digital Economy proposals

    Expressions of Interest for Briefing Event: 17:00 13 Nov 2015
    Event: 03 Dec 2015, London

    Outline Submission deadline: 16:00 05 Jan 2016


    The EPSRC Information Communication Technology (ICT), Healthcare Technologies and Digital Economy Themes are inviting outline proposals which look towards the development of reliable and intelligent technologies to support collaborative care in the community. Proposals are invited which address the need for new technologies which can reliably and intelligently interpret multiple inputs from multiple sources and initiate actions as appropriate to support the self-management of chronic health conditions.

    Through this call EPSRC wishes to support fundamental research, primarily relating to, although not limited to, reliable, intelligent software, to enable the development of such technologies. The development of feasible solutions may also require developments in other areas from across the ICT portfolio such as, but not limited to, low power microprocessors and signal processing systems, lightweight, portable, long life power supplies, HCI, pervasive and ubiquitous computing and minimally invasive sensors.

    Funds of up to £10M are available, which is expected to support 5-7 research projects, subject to the quality of the proposals received.

    This is a multi-disciplinary call. Proposals are expected to include relevant experience in both the healthcare and ICT domains.

    The event will provide an opportunity for potential applicants to clarify the scope and requirements of the call and for networking with other potential applicants within both the health and ICT domains. There will be presentations by EPSRC on the call scope and the Healthcare Technologies Impact and Translation Toolkit. There will also be presentations by researchers and health professionals who have worked successfully at the interface. EPSRC welcomes attendees from across the ICT and healthcare domains but attendance at the event will not be a pre-requisite for submission to the call.

    If you have any questions regarding the call or briefing event please contact:;;

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Materials for Demanding Environments - CDT proposals

    Closing date: 18 Jan 2016 N.B. early submission is encouraged

    The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in “Materials for Demanding Environments” is now inviting proposals for projects. However, this time we intend to review and approve proposals on a weekly basis in order to start recruitment as soon as possible (in previous years it has been a challenge to recruit good students in sufficient numbers).

    If you are thinking of submitting a proposal could you please let know?

    Each project requires industrial support, both in terms of a financial contribution (£15k per annum min., 4 yr commitment) and also R&D input (i.e. an industrial supervisor, student placements). Students will join the CDT in October 2016. The first year of the CDT mainly involves an MSc level academic programme, with the PhD projects commencing later in the year.

    Please contact for full information.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    British Academy Skills Innovator Awards: Call for Proposals

    Deadline: 02 Dec 2015 5pm

    The British Academy has announced a call for a revised scheme of research funding support within the Languages and Quantitative Skills Programme. The revised scheme, called British Academy Skills Innovator Awards, is intended to extend the Academy's support to promote innovative research methods using languages and quantitative skills, through skills development, acquisition, collaboration or dissemination.

    The scheme is intended for researchers who wish to experiment with new quantitative methods through a variety of means, or to experiment with methods and vehicles for teaching languages in higher education. The awards (up to £15k;up to 20 awards expected) will be valuable to researchers wishing to pilot new methods and approaches in order to apply for larger grants in the longer term.

    By enabling academics with outstanding ideas for the development of skills in others to have support for a wide range of activities that demonstrate innovation in the use, acquisition and teaching of languages and quantitative skills, the Academy aims to raise the quality of quantitative skills used in research and therefore the quality of research; and to promote language learning and the transferable skills that language learning provides.

    Applications are invited from applicants who will normally be within 15 years of the award of their doctorate with a current academic appointment in the UK.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Researcher in Residence Programme (December 2015)

    Closing date: 06 Dec 2015

    The Digital Catapult and the RCUK Digital Economy (DE) Theme is now accepting applications for the Researchers in Residence Programme at the Digital Catapult Centre in London.
    Open to those with a contract of employment at a UK university, or PhD students who have submitted their thesis by the closing date.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    MDC PGR Conference Travel Fund for EPS

    The Manchester Doctoral College (MDC) has granted the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences a small amount of funding to support Postgraduate Researchers attending national or international research conferences. This fund enables PhD researchers in their 2nd year or later to apply for support to attend a conference where they have been accepted to present a talk or a poster. 

    • The Fund can assist with the costs of travel (standard class), conference registration fees and accommodation expenses (not subsistence), and are intended to supplement funds from other sources.
    • Maximum funds available are £250 for UK conferences and £500 for EU/international conferences. Maximum funding will only be available if there are no funds awarded from external sources.
    • Applicants must have made an external application for conference support and be able to provide evidence of this. If complete funding is received from the external application, MDC funding will be adjusted accordingly. Alternative sources of funding can be found in the Alternative Guide to PG Funding.
    • Preference will be given to postgraduates who have no sponsored research support (e.g. self-funded) and who have no grant allocation for conference attendance as part of their PhD research support. Preference will also be given to those who are giving a talk (as opposed to a poster).


    Decisions will be made at the monthly EPS Graduate Committee meetings up until 31 July 2016 or until the Fund is fully allocated. Recipients of an award will be required to complete a short expenses claim form and submit original receipts in order to receive their award. Awards will only be available after the date of the conference. Successful applicants are required to submit a short report of 500 words no more than 1 month after attending.

    If you have any queries about the form or the travel conference fund contact:

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    Keynote talk for Science Europe

    On 27th October Prof. Sophia Ananiadou was the keynote speaker with her talk 'Text Mining for Open Science' at an event organised by Science Europe on the Importance of Content Mining for Science. The event was attended by policy makers, research funding agency representatives and some publishers.

    There are several discussions about TDM exception as part of a reform of the EU copyright directive ( 

    A relevant document

    Review of the EU Copyright Framework: European Implementation Assessment, October 2015 


    This week Sophia will be talking to the head of copyright delivery (Intellectual Property Office in London) about the impact the UK copyright exception had on research and science.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    #Britain Breathing at Manchester Science Festival 2015

    The #BritainBreathing project organised the "Platform for Investigation: Allergy Busters" event within the Manchester Science Festival on Saturday 24th October 2015. A giant nose with germs and demonstrations of how allergies and lungs work (with real lungs!) engaged more than 600 individuals. 

    Dr Markel Vigo demoed the #BritainBreathing mobile application, which not only allows citizen scientists to report their symptoms, but also provides mechanisms to keep them engaged in order to ensure the reliability of the collected data. The ultimate goal of the project is to map allergy incidence in the UK and, at this stage, the School of Computer Science is leading the design of the mentioned mobile application.

    Our school is involved in #BritainBreathing along with two other faculties (FLS and MHS), the British Society of Immunology and the Royal Society of Biology. More info at

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    New paper

    David C. Hoyle, Andrew Brass, Statistical mechanics of ontology based annotations, Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, ISSN 0378-4371.
    gravatar Jim Miles
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    Last change: Monday, 09 November 2015 09:29:12