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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Tuesday, 15 November 2016

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Agenda and Minutes for the School Leadership Team meetings

    The School Leadership Team (SLT) is beginning to act upon issues raised in the surveys run by the Staff Development Committee (SDC). One issue raised is on the transparency around what the SLT is doing. As a result, the SLT has decided to make the agenda and minutes of the SLT meetings available. I hope this increased transparency enables people in the School to gain more insight into some of the issues under discussion. For future SLT meetings I’ll attempt to make the agenda available in the Newsletter prior to the SLT meeting. I’ll make the minutes available as soon as practically possible thereafter.

    While we get the website set up, here’s the agenda for the SLT meeting held on Wednesday 9 November 2016 and announced in the last Newsletter:

    1. Apologies for absence
    2. Minutes of the last meeting (5 mins)
    3. Matters arising from the minutes RDS (10 mins)
    4. AOB
    5. Health and Safety - TMcD (15 mins)
      1. Report from TMcD
      2. Matters arising from other committees
      3. Out of hours access.
    6. Progress on School Plan – RDS (5 mins)
    7. Report from staff Development Committee – UMS (15 mins)
    8. P and DR RDS (5 mins)
    9. Degree attainment SRP/TLJH   (20 mins)
    10. Programme Review – SRP (10 mins)
    11. Dean’s visit – RDS (5 mins)
    12. Consulting staff on workload – RDS (10 mins)

    The topic of degree attainment will be discussed during the Dean’s visit this week (Wednesday 10 a.m. in the Atlas rooms). There is something about consulting staff about workload below.

    gravatar Robert Stevens

    Consulting Staff about Workload

    Reducing workload is one of my aims for my time as Head of School. To that end I am consulting staff on how we reduce workload involved in the things the School asks staff and students to do.

    The email address: will enable you to email your suggestions for reducing the workload of those working in the School.

    The School has a list of duties that may be seen at: but think of all the things we do in the School. Think of the task or duty itself, but also think about how we do that task or duty.  You may propose things to stop doing or do differently to achieve the same outcome, but with less effort – suggestions are welcome.

    Your email will be circulated to the academic members of the School Leadership Team (SLT) that look after duties within the School. Input will be compiled and  considered. We will then feedback to staff with actions to be taken, together with supporting commentary. 

    There is no strict deadline, but the next duties allocation round is in the New Year and SLT need time to reflect upon input.

    gravatar Robert Stevens

    Academic Staff Recruitment

    The School’s Profs and the academic members of the School Leadership Team are discussing appointments of academic staff. There may be the possibility of more recruitment (note the emphasis). I’d appreciate input from staff in the School as to which areas we should recruit to. A brief (less than one page of A4) describing the following will do:

    • The research area.
    • What appointments are needed, including capabilities.
    • Why it will be strategically important.
    • How it may generate wider activity in the School and wider University.

    Do put more than one name to a proposal if appropriate. Please send proposals to me by the end of November. We will look at proposals; make some decisions and then feedback on what we propose and, eventually, what we get back from faculty.

    gravatar Robert Stevens

    Children In Need - CompSci online auction

    We are in our 11th year of running this online 'Ebay style' auction - to raise money for Children in Need.  We are adding new items all the time so next time you sit down with a coffee - check it our and get bidding!

    The auction will close at 16:00 on Friday 18 November 2016. If you have won an item you can collect it afterwards from ACSO, Room 2.127 Kilburn Building.

    All proceeds from this auction will go to Children in Need.

    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    [ top ]News and announcements

    10,000 Actions on StaffNet

    Last Thursday saw the launch of 10,000 Actions, the staff engagement programme for Environmental Sustainability, see On the 10th November you should have received an email with details of how you can access this programme - in a nutshell, we are after actions plans to improve Environmental Sustainability and for every action plan produced, £1 will be provided to support the planting of an oak woodland in Manchester.

    gravatar Karen Corless

    Safety and Security Advice

    Staff and students may find it useful to take a look at the crime reduction and security advice on the Security Services webpage. This provides advice on personal safety, cycle security and property security. Ian Halliwell is the University's Crime Reduction Advisor.

    If you ever need to report a security concern the 24-hour control room can be contacted on 69966 (0161 306 9966). This number is also on the back of your University ID card.

    gravatar Liz Caine

    Graduation Ceremony Sign up and Gown Reservations

    The School’s next Graduation ceremony is scheduled for Thursday 15th December 2016 commencing at 4.45 p.m.  There will be a reception in the School beforehand.  Academic staff will be receiving invitations from Ede and Ravenscroft to sign up for the event and order gowns.  If you have not received one yet, please email the University’s Graduation Team in the Student Services Centre to request a user account.

    gravatar Karen Corless

    [ top ]Events

    Statistics in research talk - 16 Nov

    I am giving a talk about the importance of statistics in research on 16/11, 2-3 pm in room B8 of the George Begg Building. This is part of a seminar series in MACE. It will not be a technical presentation and I will even give some famous examples of people misusing Statistics (some are horrible and some are funny). If you are interested please join us.

    Best Wishes,
    gravatar Karen Corless

    IEEE CIBCB Manchester August 2017 - Deadline for presentation submissions

    Deadline for submission of oral and poster presentations: 31st March 2017

    IEEE International Conference on Computational Intelligence in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology 2017 will be held in Manchester, UK, 23-25 August. Having been held annually since 2004, 2017 marks the year where CIBCB will be held for the first time in Europe as a stand-alone conference.

    IEEE CIBCB has become a major technical event in the field of Computational Intelligence and its application to problems in biology, bioinformatics, computational biology, chemical informatics, bioengineering and related fields.

    Submissions for oral and poster presentation are invited from researchers, practitioners and students worldwide. The conference will be in single session format with papers provided as either oral or as poster presentations.

    Further details can be found here:

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    Horizon 2020 Information Day: Tuesday 13th December

    Horizon 2020 Information Day University of Manchester Tuesday 13 December 9.30-16.30, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology Lecture Theatre, John Garside Building

    The University of Manchester is hosting a Horizon 2020 Information Day on Tuesday 13 December. The day will be of interest to researchers who are planning to participate in or lead a H2020 project and would like to know about the 2017 calls. The speakers are all national contact points for the different areas of Horizon 2020 and there will be an opportunity for one to one meetings with them. Participants can register for all or parts of the day here.

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    EPSRC ICT Early Career Workshops 2017

    Deadline for applications to attend: 24th November

    Please bring this to the attention of anyone who may be interested.

    EPSRC is holding two-day workshops in 2017 for Early Career Researchers who work in the area of ICT – In Sheffield on the 16/17 February 2017, and in Cardiff on the 6/7 March 2017.

    The workshops are designed to be of most value to early career researchers. Attendees will be provided with an update of EPSRC and ICT Theme strategies and policies, tips for career development, and guidance on applying for grants among other offerings. The workshops will be attended by a number of EPSRC staff but also by experienced academics from across the ICT portfolio who will provide guidance and mentoring throughout the two days. The events will include a number of facilitated sessions covering relevant topics. They will also include opportunities for networking with other ECR colleagues and the previously mentioned mentors.

    More information can be found here, along with the expression of interest form, which must be submitted by the 24th November:

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    ERC Consolidator Grant 2017 Call for Applications

    Deadline for outline applications: 9th December 2016, full applications: 9th February 2017

    ERC Consolidator Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they may still be consolidating their own independent research team or programme. Applicant Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal.

    An award maximum €2M is available for a period of 5 years.

    The Principal Investigator shall have been awarded their first PhD (or equivalent doctoral degree) at least 7 and up to 12 years prior to 1st January 2017. The PhD award date should be between 1st January 2005 and 31st December 2009. Extensions to this eligibility period can be accepted in certain properly documented circumstances.

    Please contact me asap if you wish to apply (

    As with all ERC applications, outline proposals will need to be reviewed by the the Vice President for Research and Innovation, Professor Luke Georghiou.  

    Your outline proposal should include:

    • 2 page CV – as detailed in ERC Consolidator Grant template available via the submission system of the Participant Portal
    • 2 page Track Record - as detailed in ERC Consolidator Grant template available via the submission system of the Participant Portal
    • 1 page project summary

    Outline applications will need to be sent to me by the 9th December.

    Full information is provided in the ERC Work Programme 2017.

    ERC-2017-COG Participant Portal

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    EPSRC Environmental Change Challenge Fellowships

    Deadline for outline bids: 5th January 2017

    EPSRC is inviting Outline Proposals for EPSRC Challenge Fellowships in the LWEC theme, with a closing date of 05 January 2017. Fellowships are offered at both the Postdoctoral Fellowship and Early Career Fellowship level. Applications are sought that address the challenge question:

    How can our cities, their hinterlands, linking infrastructure, rural surround and the regions they are in, be transformed to be resilient, sustainable, more economically viable and generally better places to live?

    There is about £5 million available for this activity in the 2016-17 financial year.

    • Funding is expected to be for up to 3 years for Postdoctoral Fellows and 5 years for Early Career Fellows
    • The Fellow is expected to request a package of resources appropriate for the aims of the Fellowship, the type of resources available is determined by the career stage under which you are applying see:  
    • Equipment is not available through this call

    Further details can be found on the EPSRC website.

    If you would like to apply, please contact

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    [ top ]Tech Support News

    Dropbox Business alongside a Personal (Basic/free or Pro) account

    The tricky case for setting up UoM's Dropbox Business is when you want to run it alongside your current Dropbox Personal account (Basic/free or Pro). Most existing Dropbox users will want to do this, so that they can conveniently start the process of getting UoM business folders into their Business a/c from their Personal one. A HOWTO is here Once done on one of your computers, it is then straightforward on any others you have. Thanks to Paul Nutter, Toby Howard and Steve Pettifer for being early adopters.

    At the end of the HOWTO is some further information about the issues surrounding moving shared folders from Personal to Business.

    I note that the University now believes there is no reason to store University files in a personal dropbox.

    gravatar Ian Cottam

    Research IT consultation

    The Research IT section of IT Services are offering a series of drop-in sessions where researchers can discuss their support needs.

    Details here

    gravatar Ian Cottam

    WiFi Projection in 2.33

    Meeting room 2.33 now has wifi projection capability – it is much the same as is found in other rooms with such. Full instructions are in the room, but you can contact Ian Cottam for help or further information. The normal two types of cable still exist. The only change is that, as wifi projection uses HDMI, there is a little HDMI switch box on top of the cupboard. Its default input channel 1 is for the wired HDMI cable. Switch it to 2 for Apple TV based wifi projection. Thanks to Stephen Rhodes for doing the hard work setting this up.

    gravatar Ian Cottam

    gravatar Ruth Maddocks
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Last change: Tuesday, 15 November 2016 12:14:52