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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Monday, 16 November 2015

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Children in need auction raises £260

    The annual Children in Need auction raised £260 with a spectacular range of items available. Pledges to make truffles and stollen went particularly well. A few items remain unsold, if there are any here that you missed the chance to bid for they can still be obtained from ACSO for a reasonable contribution. 

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Annual IET-BCS Turing Lecture, February 24th

    This year's IET-BCS Turing Lecture will be "The Internet of me: It’s all about my screens" presented by Robert Schukai, Head of Advanced Product Innovation, Thomson Reuters.

    The lecture will explore our future in this hyperconnected environment, and how our lives will seamlessly drift into a work-life blur based on a “dayflow” of activity.

    Robert will describe the digital trends that are driving this from both a consumer perspective as well as from the service provider and will paint a picture of what this means for our 21st century lives.

     The lecture will take place in four locations across the UK and Northern Ireland, including University Place, Manchester University at 17:30 on 24th February 2016. Book here for the Manchester lecture.

    Please encourage students to attend.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    BP Annual Lecture: Energy Science and Technology at the Frontiers

    The BP Annual Lecture will be "Energy Science and Technology at the Frontiers" delivered by BP’s Head of Downstream Technology and Chief Scientist, Dr. Angela Strank. Dr Strank will look at how collaboration is advancing energy technology, with particular reference to the University of Manchester’s contribution to innovation as the hub of the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials.

    The lecture will be 5pm – 7pm, Tuesday 24th November 2015 in C2, Renold Building, Sackville Street Campus.

    Book here.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    [ top ]News and announcements

    SET for BRITAIN- Call for applications

    Closing date: 21 Dec 2015 at 17:00
    Event: afternoon 07 Mar 2016

    We would like to invite you to participate in SET for BRITAIN 2016 (high profile poster competition for early career researchers) which will be held at the House of Commons. The annual event is run by the House of Commons Parliamentary and Scientific Committee (PSC) and the ‘Engineering’ session is supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

    The competition provides an opportunity for 60 early-career researchers (PhDs and postdocs) to present their posters and the winners receive Gold (£3,000), Silver (£2,000) or Bronze (£1,000) Awards. The overall aim is to encourage, support and promote Britain's early career researchers. To enter, simply fill out the online application form, an abstract of your work, and provide a reference. Details on eligibility and how to apply can be found on the webpage:

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Helpers needed for Software Carpentry Workshop for Women in Science and Engineering

    Event: 14-15 Dec 2016

    We're looking for helpers who could help run the first UK Software Carpentry Workshop for Women in Science and Engineering on 14th and 15th December 2015. The workshop will take place in Kilburn Building. The event is hands-on training for female researchers who want to upgrade their software skills. If you know a little bit of Shell and/or Python and/or Git and would like to give us a hand, please contact You don't need to be an expert!

    To learn more about the event:

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Events

    School Seminar: Challenges for learning health systems

    Date: 18th November 2015

    Time & Location: 14:00, Kilburn Lecture Theatre 1.4


    Title: Challenges for learning health systems

    Speaker: Dr Niels Peek. Health eResearch Centre

    Host: Goran Nenadic




    Health systems are under pressure to deliver better care for more people from fewer resources. The worldwide economic crisis has shrunk the resources available for healthcare but the growth in demand for care services continues unabated. There is an opportunity to create smarter, "learning" health systems by utilizing the information infrastructure provided by electronic health records (EHR) systems. The data this is collected through this infrastructure can be used to efficiently evaluate healthcare services in real time, compare the effectiveness of different treatments in real-world populations, and discover novel disease subtypes for high-resolution medicine. Moreover, EHR systems can be used as a delivery platform to give feedback and advice to clinicians at the point of care. However, there are many challenges that need to be tackled before we can actually realise this vision. The data that are routinely collected in EHRs are a by-product of healthcare: Making sense of these data requires new  tools that reach beyond traditional analytical concepts. Furthermore, clinical computerised decision support systems have mostly led to "alert fatigue" rather than improving care. In this presentation I will describe the current state of the art in this field, and address existing scientific, analytic and engineering challenges.

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    Utilising Horizon 2020 Funding to Produce Excellence in Research

    Event: 10 February 2016 (Central London)

    Utilising Horizon 2020 Funding to Produce Excellence in Research

    The European Commission aims to strengthen excellence in research and science through Horizon 2020, with a budget of almost £60 billion (€80 billion). The funds are allocated through a competitive process with over 14,000 UK applications submitted so far and competition is stronger than last year as the average success rate is 12.9%, down from 18.5% in FP7.

    Morning Keynote by Martin Penny, Head of Physical Sciences and Engineering Unit at European Commission
    'Funding World-Leading Research Through Horizon 2020'

    • Evaluating achievements and impact of the first €5.5 billion of Horizon 2020 funding given out so far
    • Tackling the major challenges Europe faces in the future through science, research and innovation
    • Understanding current and future priorities for the Commission and what application evaluators will focus on
    • Demonstrating the impact of research to Horizon 2020 in order to increase application success chances
    • Assessing what the future of Horizon 2020 will look like and future plans for the remaining funding budget

    Afternoon Keynote by Dr Jane Watkins, Horizon 2020 UK National Contact Point for SMEs at Innovate UK
    'Using Horizon 2020 Funding to Promote UK Business'

    • Supporting UK businesses to attract Horizon 2020 funding for their R&D
    • Making UK enterprises more globally competitive and encouraging growth and investment in the UK through Horizon 2020
    • Utilising the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument of €3 billion of funding to commercialise innovation and break into international markets as an SME
    • Understanding and making the most out of Phases 1-3 of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument
    • Writing applications more efficiently to reduce the time and money spent on applications to Horizon 2020

    View the Agenda

    Register Online Now

    Register by Phone: 0203 770 6580

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    MS Society 2016 Grant Round open

    Deadline: 12 noon, 8 February 2016

    Please note the following when considering submitting an application:

    • As in previous grant rounds, all applications will be organised into either our Care and Services or Biomedical research funding streams. 
    • All applications will be judged on scientific merit, relevance to MS and fit with our Research Strategy

    The MS Society has a new organisational strategy to guide our work from 2015-2019. We particularly encourage applications that support goal 7 – people with MS having greater certainty about how their condition will progress. This could include applications covering prognosis or improving our understanding of the progression of MS. 

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Reminder: EPSRC ICT, Healthcare Technologies and DE proposals

    Outline Submission deadline - 16:00 on 5 January 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.


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

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Digital Research related calls

    CHIST-ERA Call 2015

    Deadline: 13 Jan 2015 

    CHIST-ERA is looking for transformative and highly multidisciplinary research projects in Information and Communication Sciences and Technologies (ICST). They should explore new ideas with potential for significant scientific and technical impacts in the long term. Each year, CHIST-ERA launches a call for research proposals in two new topics of emergent scientific importance. In the Call 2015, two separate topics are addressed, namely:
    - User-Centric Security, Privacy and Trust in the Internet of Things (SPTIoT)
    - Terahertz Band for Next-Generation Mobile Communication Systems (TMCS)

    5G Applications & Services

    Registration closes: 20 Jan 2016, 12:00
    Closes: 03 Feb 2016, 12:00

    The forthcoming 5G Applications & Services competition is now live, Investing up to £1 million in collaborative R&D projects to stimulate innovative 5G use cases led by industry (where academics can be partners.

    Telling Tales of Engagement Competition 2015

    Deadline: 12 noon 01 Dec 2015

    The RCUK Digital Economy Theme (DET) is running a competition designed to help capture and promote the impact that your digital economy research is having. Three prizes of £10k are available to support researchers to further tell the story of research impact in an interesting and engaging way to a wider audience.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Stroke Association Project Grant Funding

    Closing date: 5pm Wednesday 3 Feb 2016

    Research funded by the Stroke Association has the ultimate aim of making stroke a preventable and treatable disease, and improving quality of life for people affected by stroke. The Stroke Association are inviting applications for Project Grants in the field of stroke. Project Grants cover the whole spectrum of stroke research - from prevention and risk factors, through to treatment and rehabilitation in a clinical setting and longer-term in the community.

    The award is for a maximum of £210k over a period of up to 3 yrs (or 5 yrs in exceptional circumstances). The grant will be awarded in July 2016.

    If you are planning to apply for a project grant, we would be grateful if you could please register your interest by emailing

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    EPSRC opprtunities

    Near-Term Translation of Regenerative Medicine Technologies for the Treatment of Civilian Blast Injuries

    EoI closing date: 27 Nov 2015 at 16:00

    This Call for Expressions of Interest arises from a partnership between EPSRC and Find a Better Way (FABW), and aims to stimulate the academic community to propose approaches to accelerate the development of regenerative medicine technologies for the treatment of blast injuries.

    Intelligent Technologies to Support Collaborative Care

    EoI closing date: 05 Jan 2016 at 16:00

    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.


    Royal Society - EPSRC Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships
    Closing date: 12 Jan 2016 at 16:00

    The EPSRC is pleased to be working in partnership with the Royal Society to support Royal Society-EPSRC Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowships. These awards are for outstanding early career researchers who require flexible working patterns due to personal circumstances such as parenting or caring responsibilities or health issues.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    MICRA Seedcorn Funding - interdisciplinary ageing research

    Deadline: 9 Dec 2015 (midnight).

    Applications are invited for MICRA seedcorn awards for 2015 for interdisciplinary research on ageing.  Up to £6K can be awarded per project.

    This year there are joint awards with Age UK, Cheshire East Council, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester City Council’s Age-friendly Manchester team and the Dementia@Manchester network:

    •          Age UK / MICRA: up to two projects will be supported by MICRA and Age UK and must fall within the categories of ‘person-centred care’ or ‘improving later life’.
    •          Age UK/  Dementia@Manchester: up to two projects will be supported by the University of Manchester’s dementia research network and Age UK and must fall within the category ‘dementia and cognitive ageing’.
    •          Manchester City Council/ MICRA: up to two projects will be supported by MICRA and the Age-friendly Manchester team at Manchester City Council and must fall within the categories of ‘BME elders’, ‘Devo Manc’ or ‘age-friendly hospitals’.
    •          Cheshire East Council / MICRA: up to two projects will be supported by MICRA and Cheshire East Council. Proposals are invited that address one or more of the following themes:
      •     The role of technology in supporting older people
      •     How do we utilise public spaces in small towns and villages to promote independence and mobility?
      •     Identifying inventions that have proven effective in reducing social isolation for adults 65 years and over. The interventions or proven initiatives should reflect both rural and urban geographies similar in scale to Cheshire East, gender, and the needs that are associated with long-term conditions in the older population.
    •          MICRA/ Manchester Metropolitan University:  up to two projects will be supported by MICRA and MMU.  These applications must have two project investigators, one from each university. 

    The commissioning panel will meet in December with the aim of communicating decisions and transferring funds before Christmas. Funds must be spent by 31 July 2016.

     Examples of previously funded projects seedcorn projects:
    Contact for full details.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Digital Catapult Researcher in Residence Programme

    Closing date: 23:59 6th Dec 2016

    Two levels of award are available:

    -Junior residencies: for leading early career researchers to develop their existing research interests within a user-centred project in conjunction with the Catapult. Projects should be focused on impact generation or commercialisation, with award holders based in the Catapult or a relevant user organisation full or near full time

    -Senior residencies: targeted at researchers with a significant track record in areas of relevance to the Catapult. Holders will be expected to shape Catapult projects, provide leadership and drive the creation of new activities, either full time, or via a series of short secondments

    -Eligibility: Open to those with a contract of employment at a UK university, or PhD students who have submitted their thesis by the closing date

    -Funding: Up to £25K to cover expenses, including travel and accommodation

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    Ross King's robot scientist Eve in the news

    Eve, a machine at the University which is helping to develop drugs is mentioned in a Guardian story on how machines could start to take over skilled jobs.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    PhD successes

    Congratulations to the following PhD students for their recent PhD successes!

    Matt Shardlow (Main Supervisor: John McNaught)
    Thesis Title: Lexical Simplification: Optimising the Pipeline

    Mustafa Mustafa (Main Supervisor: Ning Zhang)

    Mohammad Khodadadi (Main Supervisor: Renate Schmidt)
    Thesis Title: Exploration of variations of unrestricted blocking for description logics

    Christopher Seaton (Main Supervisor: Mikel Lujan)
    Thesis Title: Specialising Dynamic Techniques for Implementing the Ruby Programming Language

    Patrick Koopman (Main Supervisor: Renate Schmidt)
    Thesis Title: Specialising Dynamic Techniques for Implementing the Ruby Programming Language

    Myrna Rodrigues Frias (Main Supervisor: Tim Morris)

    Mohsen Ghasempour (Main Supervisor: Mikel Lujan)
    Thesis Title: Workload-adaptation in Memory Controllers

    Sardar Jaf (Main Supervisor: Allan Ramsay)
    Thesis Title: The Application of Constraint Rules to Data-driven Parsing

    David Shepherd (Main Supervisor: Jim Miles)
    Thesis Title: Numerical methods for dynamic micromagnetics

    Konstantinos Sechidis (Main Supervisor: Gavin Brown)
    Thesis Title: Hypothesis Testing and Feature Selection in Semi-Supervised Data

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Newton International Fellowship for Oscar Palomar Perez

    Congratulations to Oscar for his success in the Royal Society Newton International Fellowship.

    For the full news story see: 

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    gravatar Jim Miles
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Last change: Monday, 16 November 2015 15:44:21