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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Monday, 06 February 2017

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    The School of Computer Science makes things better

    You'll have read in a recent Newsletter that we proposed four School activities for the Faculty Better World Awards. I am delighted to say that all four cases were successful. These awards are a nice reward for the hard work and innovation shown in these activities and they also put the School into a very good light. Congratulations to all involved.

    The activities and people are:
     - Britain Breathing  ( - Caroline Jay, Andy Brass, Markel Vigo, Lamiece Hassan  and Sheena Cruickshank.  
    - Computing at Schools (CAS) ( - David Ryderheard, Carol Murray, Sarah Zaman and Dave Ames.
    - Schools Animation Competition ( - Toby Howard.
    -  Manchester Deaf Centre Hackathon ( - Bijan Parsia, Benjamin Hammersley, Megan Finnis  (School of Law) and Rachel Kenyon (FoH).

    The first two came top in their category and the second were highly commended in their categories. Again, congratulations to all.

    gravatar Robert Stevens

    Research hub returns to the School of Computer Science

    I am pleased to announce that the research hub will be moving from the School of Mathematics to the School of Computer Science. The research hub office will be on the 2nd floor near to the other academic support offices; details of exact location and date to be given as soon as possible. 

    gravatar Robert Stevens

    Staff Survey launches 6th March 2017

    All staff will receive an email when the University Staff Survey launches on Monday 6th March. The survey will be open until 18th April. It is really important that your views are heard so please do take the time to complete the survey. It should only take around 15 minutes.

    The aim of the survey is to find out staff feel about various issues and this feedback is used to inform actions plans. Within the School, feedback from the last survey was considered by the Staff Development Committee (SDC) and translated into a number of actions, which included:

    • Improved transparency by circulating SLT agendas and minutes
    • Undertaking review of duties, with the aim of reducing academic workload
    • Subsequent surveys undertaken by SDC to better understand staff morale and wellbeing
    • Establishment of the Early Career Researcher network – regular informal lunches and team activities to create a cohort effect and encourage mutual support
    • Local small-scale best practice sharing and training on Blackboard, with an emphasis on using it for exams
    • ​Improved induction procedure for new members of staff
    • ​Investigations into bullying & harassment, close collaboration with the University’s equality and diversity group to improve understanding of these and related issues
    • Increased collaboration with Estates to improve temperature regulations in offices and labs
    • Changes to the school’s workload model
    • Improved processes to ensure that PDRAs receive suitable career development support and have the opportunity to gain teaching experience

    We do genuinely want to hear feedback from staff, so would encourage everyone to complete the survey. As added incentives staff will be able to choose a charity to receive a donation from the University on their behalf, and there is also a prize draw for a £250 voucher towards a mini-break.


    gravatar Robert Stevens

    [ top ]News and announcements

    Nominations for staff and students in 2017 BBSRC Innovator of the Year Awards

    Closing date: 5 February 2017


    It only takes 5 minutes to make your nomination. The only criteria is that nominees must have been BBSRC-funded in the last 6 years

    This year there are four award categories:

    Commercial Impact will recognise researchers who have driven impact from their research in a business context including working with companies, creating spinout...

    Social Impact will recognise researchers who have used the outcomes of their research to make a positive impact on society including Policy, public engagement…

    Early Career Impact (new for 2017) will recognise early career researchers who have driven the impact of their research, either in a commercial, social or international context in the 6 years beyond their PhD or prior to securing a permanent research positions (please see the website for full eligibility details).

    International Impact (new for 2017) will recognise those researchers who have driven the impact of their research, either commercial or social, in an international context by working with international partners such as companies, charities or foreign policy makers or governments.

    Winners of each of the four categories will receive a £10,000 award, with a further £10,000 for the overall BBSRC Innovator of the Year. The awards will be presented at a high-profile event in London on 24 May 2017, in front of an invited audience of leading figures from the worlds of investment, industry, government, charity and academia. Shortlisted applicants will also receive significant publicity both during and after the event.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Could you supervise a sixth form student this summer?

    Every year, the University of Manchester hosts sixth formers participating in the Nuffield Research Placement scheme ( Last year we were proud, once again, to have hosted more students than any other institution in the UK. In 2016, almost half of these opportunities were offered to students who met our widening participation criteria.

    Nuffield Research Placements are a fantastic way of working with talented young people from local schools and colleges who have a strong interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths (STEM) or quantitative Social Sciences and giving them an insight into research as a career. There are more details on the scheme below.

    We are now looking for staff who would be willing to host a Nuffield Research Placement in summer 2017.

    If you are interested in offering a project for 2017 or would like more information on how it works, please e-mail who will put you in touch with the Regional Coordinator, Sarah Fenton.

    gravatar Karen Corless

    Temporary immigration restrictions

    On 27 January 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order suspending immigrant and non-immigrant entry to the USA for people from Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for a period of 90 days (i.e. until 27 April 2017)

    Excluded from the temporary measures are those travelling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas. 

    The University has confirmed with the US government that British nationals who hold dual nationality with one of the seven countries mentioned above and who are travelling on a British passport to the USA from one of those countries, should expect additional security checks on arrival in the USA. No other restrictions are in place for British passport holders under these temporary measures.

    If you’re unsure whether you’re affected by these new measures, you should contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate for advice.

    gravatar Karen Corless

    Research Fish

    Researchers who have had RCUK funding may have had emails from Research Fish prior to their Submission Period (deadline for reporting necessary awards: 16th March 2017).

    It is important to note that these emails will be sent out by Researchfish themselves on behalf of the 7 Research Councils (EPSRC, BBSRC etc.). They are not spam so please check your junk folders.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Events

    Data Science Club #7: Text Mining

    Monday 27th February 2017
    CoLab Kilburn Building, 2-3.30pm

    Focusing on the theme of Text Mining this event will involve keynote talks from Prof. Sophia Ananiadou, Director of the National Centre for Text Mining (NaCTeM) & Steve Naylor from the Health and Safety Laboratory.  Registration required.

    If you would be interested in giving a 5-10 minute flash talk on your research in Text Mining at this Data Science Club please contact 

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    Royal Academy of Engineering opportunities

    Research Chairs and Senior Research Fellowships
    Strengthens the links between industry and academia by supporting exceptional academics in UK universities to undertake use-inspired research that meets the needs of the industrial partners.

    Award Value - up to £225k

    Deadline - 4pm 6 March 2017
    Contact - Lucy Wheeler

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Royal Society Opportunities

    International Exchanges

    Deadline: 7 March 2017
    If you are a scientist based in the UK and you want to stimulate new collaborations with leading scientists overseas, you might qualify for up to £12K:

    • up to of £3,000 for one-off travel lasting up to 3 months
    • up to £6000 for multiple visits to be completed within 1 year (including a maximum of £1000 for research expenses)
    • up to £12,000 for multiple visits to be completed within 2 years and cost share projects fixed at 2 years (including a maximum of £2000 for research expenses)

    If you intend to collaborate with partners in Taiwan, France, Ireland, Japan, China or Russia, your proposal can also be considered as a cost share application. This entails the UK applicant submitting a proposal to the Royal Society for up to £12,000 and the overseas applicant simultaneously submitting a proposal for an additional amount up to/equivalent to £12,000 to a partner organisation, with whom the Royal Society has a funding agreement.


    JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship (Long Term)

    Deadline: Tuesday, 7th March 2017


    Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) is the leading research funding agency in Japan, established by the Japanese Government for the purpose of contributing to the advancement of science. Our Postdoctoral Fellowship for Foreign Researchers (Long Term) provides the opportunity for researchers based outside of Japan to conduct collaborative research activities with leading research groups at Japanese universities and research institutions for visits of between 12 to 24 months. Fellowships must be started between 1st September to 30th November 2017

    Eligible applicants should be citizens of the UK or EU and be currently based at a UK university or research institution. The applicant needs to have finished their PhD at the time of applying to start their fellowship in Japan or have obtained their PhD after 2nd April 2011.


    Industry Fellowships

    Opening soon

    Are you at a stage in your academic career when you would particularly benefit from establishing or strengthening personal or corporate links between academia and industry as a foundation for long-term collaboration and development?

    Applications involving spin-offs or small companies are encouraged. You should clearly state how the fellowship will benefit the not-for-profit research organisation, especially in cases where you have financial involvement within the company. You should also state which complementary skills the employees at the company can offer.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Mon, 30 Jan 2017 16:25:37 +0000

    For more funding opportunities visit the faculty Research Support web pages

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    BBSRC International Travel Award Scheme

    Rolling submission

    ITAS awards of up to £3k are available to establish new contacts relevant to BBSRC strategic opportunities. Stays of up to 1 month can be supported.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    MRC Confidence in Concept (CiC) scheme now open: Information event 15th February 2017

    Event: 15 Feb 2017, 11am-2pm

    EoI deadline: 10am Fri 24 Feb 2017

    The University has secured funding from the fifth round of the MRC Confidence in Concept (CiC) scheme. An information event for CiC 2017 has been scheduled for 15th February to share experience from the previous rounds of the programme and provide guidance to potential applicants on how to prepare a competitive CiC proposal.

    The event will include an overview of the scheme, an industry perspective on the programme and details about the process for applications this year. The meeting will end with a networking session and the opportunity to get advice on your CiC proposal ideas from FBMH Strategic Funding Team colleagues and an industry perspective from Dr John Stageman, BioNow.

    Registration required:

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    QuantERA Call 2017 is open

    Event: 16 Feb 2017 in Malta (registration form)
    Deadline: 15/03/2017

    The QuantERA project opened a Call for Proposals in the field of quantum technologies. Proposals should include one or more of the following areas: quantum communication; quantum simulation; quantum computation; quantum information sciences; quantum metrology sensing and imaging; novel ideas and applications in quantum science and technologies.

    QuantERA is a network of 31 agencies from 26 countries, coordinated by the National Science Centre, Poland, supporting research in Quantum Technologies. With a budget of 34 M EUR, including co-funding from the European Commission, QuantERA will support international research projects in the field of Quantum Technologies.
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Reminder - Impact Funding

    Remember that funding for impact activities relating to your research proposal is available from RCUK funders e.g. EPSRC (at the time of writing your proposal). 

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Tech Support News


    Screenleap lets you broadcast the contents of your Mac or Windows PC screen. Viewers (e.g. students in our labs – or anywhere in the world) can use any modern web browser, on Linux or indeed any OS, to watch what you are doing, without the need for them to install any browser plugins or apps. The broadcasting machine must be on our wired network. Students simply browse to

    After a successful trial here towards the end of last year, Toby Howard has purchased an annual licence. This lets one academic at a time broadcast to up to 150 students. If you would like to use the technology, please book it via ACSO, where it is on the online 'room' booking system. They can tell you pass codes – please keep safe – and I can help if you want to test. Please try browsing to the aforementioned URL before you start broadcasting in case someone else still is.

    gravatar Ian Cottam

    [ top ]Sustainability and Green Impact News

    Environmental Sustainability

    As a member of staff at The University of Manchester there is a wide range of activities that you can be involved in to make a positive contribution to the environment. These have been designed so that there is something suitable for all different job roles regardless of responsibility or location.

    The main opportunities are outlined on this website but if you have any ideas or suggestions for other ways in which you can get involved then please contact

    The School of Computer Science Green Team are always available to discuss any ideas or take comments on how the department can develop its green credentials.  Please contact


    gravatar Karen Corless

    gravatar Karen Corless
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Last change: Monday, 06 February 2017 12:56:36