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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Monday, 22 August 2016

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    A summer special with some good numbers

    This is my first School Newsletter as new Head of School. As I said in my email on becoming Head of School, I'm proud to become Head of a great School of Computer Science. As you'll see from some numbers below, we are doing very well as a School and this is down to the staff and students within the School.

    People in the School work very hard and we can see the results below. The contributions made by staff are greatly appreciated.

    • NSS - Computer Science has kept its 91% score in the all-important Q.22 "overall satisfaction". This places the School very well within the wider University and in comparison to other Russell Group Computer Science departments.
    • Employment - the 2014/15 'Destination of Leavers from Higher Education' (DLHE) survey reports that 96.3% of Computer Science graduates are in work or further study, an increase of 5.2% on the previous year.
    • Student numbers - we have met our targets for the 2016/17 intake.
    gravatar Robert Stevens

    Graduation Day - 21st July 2016

    On the 21st July Jim Miles presided over his tenth and final graduation ceremony. Over the years we think this means that Jim has read out in the region of 1,500 student names at graduation ceremonies. Again, I'll take this opportunity to thank Jim for all his hard work for the School and the great contribution he has made. Below you will see a photograph from graduation day this summer - the traditional "throwing hats in the air" scene - which shows what a happy day was had by our students and their friends and family.

    gravatar Robert Stevens

    [ top ]News and announcements

    Register of Interests

    The School is currently undertaking its annual Register of Interests. This exercise requires all University staff declare any personal interest that may compromise or might be reasonably deemed to compromise impartiality, conflict with duty as an employee or could potentially result in a conflict of interests leading to private benefit. Further information can be found here: 

    All staff on Grade 6 and above (and any other staff with possible conflicts of interest) must complete an annual return (including nil returns) and update the Register more frequently if their circumstances change. Staff should have received an email about this recently containing guidance and forms. If you have not received this please contact Lynn Howarth or Liz Caine.

    Please ensure that you complete a Register of Interests form - even if it is a nil return - as soon as possible and before the end of August. Forms from academic and research staff should be returned to Lynn Howarth (2.125 KB) and forms from PSS staff should be returned to Liz Caine (2.6 KB).

    Many thanks for your help with this exercise.

    gravatar Robert Stevens

    Athena SWAN

    The School holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, which is due for renewal in April 2017. We will be applying to upgrade our award status to Silver.  Current membership of the School’s Self-Assessment Team (SAT) is:

    Uli Sattler - Academic lead and Chair
    Liz Caine - PSS lead
    Antoniu Pop - PDRA champion
    Norman Paton - Staff Promotion Committee rep  
    Vasilis Pavlidis - ECR/Probationary staff rep
    Liping Zhao - WiSET lead
    Gill Lester - Student support rep
    Cassie Barlow - Recruitment and admissions rep
    Shoaib Sufi - PDRA rep

    The role of the SAT is to analyse staff and student data, measure progress against our action plan and contribute to discussions about where further support is needed.

    We are seeking a PGR student representative to join the SAT. This is a good opportunity for networking, gaining experience of School-level committees and finding out more about how your School operates. There is a commitment to attend regular SAT meetings and contribute to the application.

    If you are interested in volunteering as a PGR rep, have any suggestions or would like to contribute to the application, please contact Liz Caine or Uli Sattler Further information can be found on our new Athena SWAN webpage which will be kept updated as the action plan progresses.

    gravatar Robert Stevens

    Making discoveries on a fossil collection through citizen science - Participants needed!

    As part of his MSc project at the School of Computer Science, Olivier Staub has developed a citizen science application that displays on a map the fossil collection of the Manchester Museum. The goal of the application is to allow the members of the community to submit the discoveries made through the exploration of the map. A discovery doesn't have to necessarily be ground-breaking but can be any regularity or irregularity found such as "in the late 50s, John Smith collected trilobites in Wales".

    See the site at

    Our goal as Human-Computer Interaction specialists is to understand how people make discoveries while they explore maps. Ultimately, this understanding will enable the development of tools that facilitate discoveries using geographical information systems. We are looking for participants so your contributions are key to the success of the project - remember you don't have to be an expert to take part!

    This is a collaborative project between the School of Computer Science and the Manchester Museum: Olivier Staub is supervised by Markel Vigo and he's working under the advice of David Gelsthorpe, the Curator of Earth Science Collections.

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    Manchester leading national drive to transform computing in schools

    There is a news story on Computing At School on the University website:   

    gravatar Liz Caine

    [ top ]Events

    UKRO Information Event for MSCA Innovative Training Networks, 16th September 2016

    The UK Research Office (UKRO), in its capacity as UK National Contact Point for the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), is holding an information event on the 2017 MSCA Innovative Training Networks (ITN) call, deadline 10th January 2017.  

    This event will be held in Manchester on  Friday 16th September 2016, starting at 10.30 and ending by 16.00. There is no charge to attend but you must register

    Further information and the link to the registration pages is available on the UKRO website at:

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    Sustainability Challenge

    The University is excited to launch the first Ethical Grand Challenges event for all 8,000+ first year undergraduates – the Sustainability Challenge

    As part of the 2016 Manchester Welcome all 8000+ first year undergraduate students will take part in the Sustainability Challenge, a 2.5 hour simulation activity, based around the fictitious University of Millchester.  Students, in mixed disciplinary groups, work against the clock to develop plans for a new campus, while global responses to climate change trigger a series of ‘game changing’ interventions.

    The Sustainability Challenge is part of the University’s Flagship Social Responsibility initiative - the Ethical Grand Challenges Programme - which aims to enable every Manchester undergraduate to engage with three key ethical grand challenges in the course of their degree: Sustainability in Year 1; Social Justice in Year 2 and Workplace Ethics in Year 3. 

    As well as introducing students to the challenge of sustainability, the Welcome  event introduces students to the kind of University Manchester is: committed to making a difference, and working across disciplines to solve problems. 

    Sustainability Challenge Day is Tuesday 20th September. More than 200 staff and postgraduate research students from across the University have volunteered to help deliver the challenge. Getting students to the correct rooms at the right time is a huge logistical challenge. Students will receive personalised communications, telling them where to go and when, in the week before Welcome, and the information will also be published on personalised timetables. Schools will receive an information pack, including full detail of arrangements for September, and a range of promotional materials, in August. 

    In the meantime, if you’d like to find out more, please email or if you have any questions.

    gravatar Liz Caine

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    EPSRC Call for Large, Business Led Grants.

    EPSRC will shortly be inviting expressions of interest for the Prosperity Partnerships call. 

    • £10million is available to support existing, strategic, research-based partnerships between businesses and universities. A Prosperity Partnership should comprise co-creation of a large-scale, TRL 1-3 research programme which addresses EPSRC’s Prosperity Outcomes Framework and the strategies of the universities and businesses involved. They expect to support 2-4 programmes.
    • As a co-investment opportunity, this call requires the business and university partners to commit substantial cash contributions to the programme (matched funding, 80% FEC).
    • The call process will be in two stages, with an initial expression of interest stage, which will be led by the main business partner. EOIs will be rank ordered by EPSRC and successful applicants will be invited to submit full proposals, which will be assessed by postal peer review and a panel interview.
    • The lead business contact must discuss their intention to submit an EOI with an EPSRC contact, who will advise on the suitability of the application. These discussions must take place by 23 September 2016. Invited EOIs should be submitted by 13th October 2016

    The faculty wishes to make sure there is a joined-up approach to this bid, if you intend to submit please inform Robert Stevens or Tom Wise as soon as possible.

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    EPSRC ICT Panel

    The next panel for submissions to the EPSRC ICT Capability Area will be in early January. If you wish to submit an application that would fall within this research area, you are advised to do so by the end of September.

    If you have an project in mind, please contact the Research Office as soon as possible:

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    Newton Fund Institutional Links 2016

    The Newton Fund currently has calls open for collaboration between the UK and institutions in Russia, the Persian Gulf and Israel. If you have existing or previous research collaborations with institutions in these countries, a Newton Fund grant could help develop these partnerships.

    Please contact the Research Office if you wish to apply:

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    EPSRC Quantum Technologies Innovation Chairs

    Deadline: 12th October 2016

    This is advance notification of an upcoming Quantum Technologies Innovation Chairs call, that is aimed at attracting internationally recognised academic and industrial researchers with expertise in the innovation space, into UK academic positions to focus on innovation for Quantum Technologies to bolster EPSRC existing investments.

    The call and call document will be going live on 31 August 2016.. 

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    Royal Society University Research Fellowships 2016

    Deadline: 5th September 2016

    The Royal Society's University Research Fellowship scheme aims to provide outstanding scientists, who have the potential to become leaders in their chosen field, with the opportunity to build an independent research career. Those appointed are expected to be strong candidates for permanent posts in universities at the end of their fellowships.

    Applicants must be at an early stage of their research career and must have between three to eight years of research experience since their PhD by the application closing date.

    The scheme provides:

    • 80% of the basic salary costs up to £39,708.70 in the first year, estates costs and indirect costs. (Under the full economic costing model, 80% of these costs will be met by the Royal Society).
    • Research expenses (up to £13,000 for the first year and up to £11,000 annually thereafter).

    Initially funding is provided for five years with the opportunity to apply for an extension of three additional years. The University Research Fellowship provides researchers with maximum flexibility and can be held part-time, and allows sabbaticals, secondments or international experience.

    For more information visit:

    If you would like to apply, or if you know anyone in the school who would be a suitable candidate, please contact or as soon as possible.

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    Publication News

    A selection of recently published articles from academic staff in the school.

    'Deadness and how to disprove liveness in hybrid dynamical systems', Navarro Lopez, E., Rebekah Carter. Theoretical Computer Science, 10 Jun 2016. PURE Id: 36067237.

    'A Bi-Intuitionistic Modal Logic: Foundations and Automation', Stell, J. G., Schmidt, R., Rydeheard, D. Journal of Logical and Algebraic Methods in Programming, Jun 2016. PURE Id: 22351000.

    'Forgetting Concept and Role Symbols in ALCOIHμ+(∇,Π)-Ontologies', Zhao, Y., Schmidt, R. Paper presented at 25th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence , United States, 2016. PURE Id: 36337133.

    'Analysis of the effect of sentiment analysis on extracting adverse drug reactions from tweets and forum posts', Ioannis Korkontzelosa, Azadeh Nikfarjamb, Shardlow, M., Abeed Sarkerb ,Ananiadou, S., Graciela H. Gonzalez. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 22 Jun 2016. PURE Id: 36790123

    'Topic detection using paragraph vectors to support active learning in systematic reviews', Hashimoto, K., Kontonatsios, G., Miwa, M., Ananiadou, S. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 5 Jun 2016. PURE Id: 35594859


    gravatar Thomas Wise

    Prof. Steve Furber and SpiNNaker featured on the cover of EPSRC Pioneer #16

    Steve Furber is interviewed in depth by EPSRCs quarterly research review, discussing the development of the ARM microprocessor, SpiNNaker and the Human Brain Project. 

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    gravatar Robert Stevens
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Last change: Monday, 22 August 2016 16:40:42