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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Monday, 22 May 2017

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Kilburn room changes/improvements for next academic year

    Please be advised of the following Kilburn room changes:

    LF15 will change from a teaching room to a new "PGR Home" space, and will be refurbished. This will serve as the initial home for newly-arrived PGR students, and to be a long-term base for all PGR students, providing PCs, hot-desking, and social space, to help build a PGR student community. The loss of a teaching room will be mitigated in part by finer-grained timetabling of 2.15 and 2.19.

    LF17 (the MacLab) will become an overspill UG lab with 15 PCs to help with the larger-than-usual UG second year in AY17.

    G102  (ground floor) will be replaced by a new refurbished room G41 (most recently home to the IT Services Helpdesk, and slightly larger than G102) furnished Collab-style for UG/PGT teaching. G102 will continue to be used as it is now, until G41 becomes available (probably post-Jan 2018). G102 will then become more IT Services space.

    G23 (ground floor) is being repainted and will have 15 extra PCs.

    LF8 (the John Malkovitch suite, opposite Byte Cafe, currently the CDT room) will become a general bookable meeting room.

    LF7 will be used by the Web Ergonomics Lab.

    LF31 will have a new carpet, and the PC desks will be rewired.

    Tootill 0 has new desks, Tootill 1 will have 3 new PCs, and both rooms will have new arms for the monitors.

    Room 1.8 (the Quiet Lab) will have 11 new PCs.

    gravatar Karen Corless

    Head of School's coffee morning - Thursday 15 June

    We are starting a series of monthly Head of School’s coffee mornings. The aim is to provide staff with opportunities to meet informally with the Head of School, Deputy Head of School and Head of School Administration and for staff across the School to socialise and raise some money for charity. 

    You are all invited to the first coffee morning at 10am on Thursday 15th June in the staff common room.

    Colleagues are invited to bring in cakes (either homemade or shop bought) which will be on sale for a donation to charity, a different one each month. Our first charities will be Animals Asia and Nowzad Dogs for whom Karon Mee (ACSO) is doing a sponsored Mount Snowdon trek in September. If you would like to learn more about the charities or sponsored trek Karon will be very happy for a chat. Suggestions for future charities are welcome.

    gravatar Liz Caine

    Computer Science teams win university award

    The Computing At School team has won a university Social Responsibility award. At the “Making a Difference” ceremony on Wednesday 10th May, the award was presented to Dave Ames, Carol Murray and Sarah Zaman for their outstanding contribution to "Widening Participation”. This is great recognition for a year of intense activity in schools across the Northwest of England, supporting teachers and involving schoolchildren in computing, and also working at the national level to determine how best to provide computing support for schools nationwide. Congratulations to the CAS team, and thanks from the School for this splendid work promoting Computer Science education in Primary and Secondary schools.

    Also, the #BritainBreathing team were Highly Commended for their "Outstanding Public Engagement" Initiative.  The team is Sheena Cruickshank, Andy Brass, Jennie Evans, Lamiece Hassan, Hannah Hope, Caroline Jay, Jon Kudlick, Natasha Little, Indira McClean, Markel Vigo (Infection, Immunity & Respiratory Medicine, FBMH and School of Computer Sciences, FSE).  The team, together with colleagues from the British Society for Immunology and the Royal Society of Biology, have created an exciting new citizen science project that aims to engage the UK public to act as 'citizen sensors': participants use a purpose built app to track their symptoms and activities which helps scientists discover more about seasonal allergies such as hay fever or asthma and, at the same time, helps participants to monitor and learn more about their symptoms.

    Congratulations to all those involved. 

    gravatar Karen Corless

    [ top ]News and announcements

    PG Cert in Higher Education

    From the School of Environment, Education and Development:

    We welcome applications for the PGCERT in Higher Education for 2017/18

    The PG Cert in Higher Education is aimed at academic staff and senior PSS colleagues at the University of Manchester. Its aim is to help you think more critically about your contribution to the University, as well as to develop a better understanding of the sector-wide changes in the Higher Education landscape. The programme is coordinated through Manchester Institute of Education and delivered by colleagues from around the University.

    The programme is free to University of Manchester staff. Full details and an online application form are available on the PgCert HE website.

    The deadline for applications is 30th June 2017. We will let applicants know if they’ve been successful in July.

    gravatar Liz Caine

    Contacting the research office by phone

    The research support team now have phones. All staff are once again available on our original phone numbers as per the staff directory. Updated hardcopy contact sheets are available outside KB2.7.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Reminder - peer review

    Remember that proposals at any stage can be reviewed in the School through or, either for specialist or lay-review.
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Spring Research Newsletter out now!

    The 9th edition of the School's Research Newsletter is now available in hardcopy outside KB2.7 and online via (shortly).

    Read about where our colleagues and their work have recently been featured and find out about MAMBO - the lowest overhead dynamic binary instrumentation tool for ARM.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Events

    EPSRC eFutures Academic Community Event

    Event: 24 May 2017, 10:00 – 16:00 (Queen’s Hotel, Leeds)
    Good for Early Career Researchers. The EPSRC will be present to talk about how to apply for upcoming calls
    Funding is available to cover reasonable travel expenses
    The themes for this year’s Annual Community Event are the EPSRC Cross-ICT Priorities: Cross Disciplinarity and Co-Creation and Future Intelligent Technologies, with speakers from industry and academia:
    • Prof Asen Asenov (Glasgow University)
    • Matt Horsnell (ARM)
    • Jonny Wray (e-Therapeutics)
     REGISTER HERE to book your place at the event.
    JOIN the network & be eligible.
    Presentations will cover the broad landscape of electronics research, from the physical layer through circuit architecture and up to applications and we will cover gaps where new research is needed and discuss how you can get involved.
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Staff Ambassadors wanted:

    The University is putting on Community Festival 2017, which will take place on Saturday 17th June.

    The intention of this event is for the University to open it’s doors to members of the local communities so that they can see some of the research the is undertaken here, and how it can effect the wider world. Researchers from across the University will be showcasing hands-on activities for everyone to get involved with, but we still need your help.

    We are looking for staff ambassadors to help us put on this event. More information can be found here -

    It would be lovely if you could help out, even if it’s just for a half day!

    gravatar Karen Corless

    Graduation Registration 2017

    Our School’s Graduation event is scheduled for 12:15 hrs on Friday 14th July 2017. The University is asking members of staff who wish to take part in the Procession to register on-line: . Please note that the registration deadline is 23rd June 2017.

    Gill Lester

    gravatar Karen Corless

    [ top ]PGR News

    New CDTs your Input Needed!

    In a meeting between the University and the RCUK, courtesy of Ann Webb,  a new EoI/Call round for 18 new CDTs in autumn 17/spring 18 respectively, places to start autumn 19 was discussed.

    As a School, we are conducting both a top-down and bottom-up appraisal of the kind of CDTs we may want to apply for. Our new CDT pathway for the updated PhD (more at a later date) will have all of the 'good stuff' the EPSRC likes built in. What we need from you are any CDT themes which you may like to see adopted.

    Send me a page or so outlining:

    1. Title;
    2. Overview;
    3. Outline the  'Added Value' over Standard PhDs;
    4. Other Schools / Faculties involved in co-Creation;
    5. Industrial Partners;
    6. Evidence a 'National Need';
    7. Discuss how this will 'Meeting EPSRC Strategic Objectives';
    8. Evidence how 'Students will Becoming Agents of Change';
    9. How might this CDT 'Enhanced Student Expertise' (not so critical as we already have this covered); and
    10. Describe your plan for 'CDT Sustainability'.

    Everything in 'quotes' was used by the EPSRC to evaluate the effectiveness of the last set of CDTs so is here as a good indicator as to how they may evaluate new proposals.

    Icons made by Freepik from is licensed by CC 3.0 BY
    gravatar Simon Harper

    New PGR Progression Arrangements - You need to read this!

    The School has recently agreed on a new PGR progression practice with the aim of transferring trust to Supervisory Teams (but responsibilities include quality and logistics). Cutting workload for staff and students and to not hinder progress of successful students with false hurdles. Streamline the process. Assume (as the data suggests) that most students will be successful, create safety for exceptional cases.

    For PhD: The long report may not be required based on the outcome of the Research Progress Review (month 9). Only one Examiner will be present for the 1st year progression, and progression will be a collaborative decision between the team and the Examiner. The supervisory team will assess, justify, and record second year progression.

    For CDT: The first year rules are unchanged. The long report may not be required based on the outcome of the Research Progress Review (month 21). Only one Examiner will be present for the 2nd year progression, and progression will be a collaborative decision between the team and the Examiner.

    In a little more detail...

    1st to 2nd year
    If you have a CDT student progressing from 1st to 2nd year - nothing changes, they submit a report and have to pass their exams.

    If you have a PhD student progressing from 1st to 2nd year - the 9 month Research Progress Review happens similarly to now, however in this case the Assessor can choose 'satisfactory' and no long report is required for progression, or 'additional work' by default this is the long report but may also be any other reasonable work (critical review, technical report, paper, etc).

    At progression any additional work must be complete, an interview occurs with only one (pseudo-randomly assigned examiner). The supervisor(y team) personally arranges with the allocated examiner a time date location suitable to all, and the examination progresses in much the same way as present.

    2nd to 3rd year
    If you have a CDT student progressing from 2nd to 3rd year - the 21 month Research Progress Review happens similarly to now, however in this case the Assessor can choose 'satisfactory' and no long report is required for progression, or 'additional work' by default this is the long report but may also be any other reasonable work (critical review, technical report, paper, etc).

    At progression any additional work must be complete, an interview occurs with only one (pseudo-randomly assigned examiner). The supervisor(y team) personally arranges with the allocated examiner a time date location suitable to all, and the examination progresses in much the same way as present.

    If you have a PhD student progressing from 2nd to 3rd year - a short report is required as currently, but the examination is conducted by the supervisor(y team). The results recorded on eprog as now.

    3rd to 4th year
    If you have either a CDT or PhD student they will submit a detailed plan for completion, and discuss this with the supervisory team (recorded via eProg). At the request of the Supervisor or the Director of PGR the student will also have a 1 to 1 interview with the Director of PGR (or their nominated representative), also recorded via eProg.

    At month 42 all students who have not yet completed a 'Notice to Submit' have a 1 to 1 interview with the Director of PGR also recorded via eProg.

    There is some procedural detail which can be found at:

    We are currently scaffolding the process via eProg and manually via SSO.

    *Icons made by Roundicons from is licensed by CC 3.0 BY
    gravatar Simon Harper

    MRC Studentships Available in Digital Technologies and Informatics for Health

    We're am pleased to announce that the University have been awarded 9 additional PhD studentships as part MRC’s allocation from the NPIF. MRC have stipulated that we must recruit to projects within two of the four MRC-relevant areas of the Industrial Strategy, namely Digital Technologies and Informatics for Health and Precision Medicine and Diagnostics (see attached document for more details).

    These studentships must commence in October 2017, so we will have to move quickly in order to secure students in a timely manner.  The process will be overseen by the MRC DTP Management Board and will follow our standard project review and interview procedures; however, studentships will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis providing the nominated students meet the quality threshold. If necessary, we will prioritise projects with a confirmed industry partner.

    If you have a new project or if you have a project with a student already allocation (funded or not) please submit a case, as we can transfer the funding this replaces to a different student who is waiting in the queue.

    Therefore, if your project fits at least one of the themes outlined above, please e-mail request the forms from PGR CompSci at Manchester and return to  Michelle Ringwood ( and Jessica Bowler ( no later than 10am, Monday 22 May 2017.  Please indicate in your email whether you have a student in mind (include their name) or if you would wish to advertise the project. We will then review projects and contact you about the next steps in relation to student interview/selection and advertising.  Please note that these studentships won’t be badged against the NPIF in any advertising material due to restrictions relating to the forthcoming general election.

    Icons made by Madebyoliver from is licensed by CC 3.0 BY
    gravatar Simon Harper

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    Reminder - New IAA scheme

    Deadline: 14 June 2017
    EPSRC has awarded The University of Manchester over £2.4M to deliver an Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) that aims to increase and accelerate the impact of EPSRC research outputs from the university through a range of knowledge exchange activities. IAAs must be based on EPSRC-funded research and runs until March 2020, with 3 calls planned per year. Here is the first call:
    • Relationship Incubator Scheme (Open call) Fostering new relationships between industry and academic researchers, creating opportunities for collaboration and exchange of knowledge and skills
    • Proof of Concept Scheme Support for the very early stage of transforming research outputs into commercial opportunities
    • Secondment Scheme Flexible support for secondments between The University of Manchester and businesses and other organisations
    Initial contact should be made via
    Further information, application forms and individual scheme guidance can be found at
    SCS has been successful with these in the past.
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Internal expression of interest for the Royal Society Wolfson Laboratory Refurbishment Grant

    Internal deadline: 22 May 17

    The Royal Society have issued details of the 2017 Wolfson Laboratory Refurbishment Grant call and the focus for this year is ‘Infectious Disease’. The number of applications per institution is limited, and the University of Manchester Research Strategy Group has requested that we undertake a coordinated approach to our response to the call.

    In the first instance, we would therefore request that anyone who definitely intends to submit a proposal informs the Strategic Funding Team (via of their intent to do. Please include the following details: the title; names of the PI & Co-Is; max 500 words summary of the proposal; the funding requested; and proposed matched funding.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Academy of Medical Sciences 3rd Round Springboard Scheme 2017

    Eligibility check deadline: 26 June 2017
    Deadline for full applications: 21 August 2017

    The Academy of Medical Sciences has launched this year's Springboard Scheme to provide funding for biomedical researchers in their first independent post. For more information please go to the Springboard website:

    We would like to encourage eligible individuals to apply.

    Eligible individuals will:

    • Hold a research-active academic post.

    • Be within 3 years of appointment to an independent post.

    • Have sufficient time remaining in their contract to complete the 2 year project.

      They must NOT:

    • Hold a clinical contract.

    • Be in receipt of funding as PI or CoI exceeding £75,000 p.a. (excluding personal salary).

    The University of Manchester will select three individuals of the highest calibre, who will be invited by the Academy of Medical Sciences to put in full applications. Interested individuals should contact Connie Funke-Dooley ( for more details on the scheme and internal deadlines.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Huawei Innovation Research Programme Open

    Deadline: 15 June 2017

    The company Huawei are inviting proposals for innovative approaches and solutions to 140 topics PLUS wildcards are invited.

    This link also provides the application template and programme FAQ. For more information contact

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    Danny Dresner on BBC Radio 5 Live

    On Monday 15th May Dr Daniel Dresner from the School of Computer Science spoke to the BBC Radio 5 Live’s Stephen Nolan in a wide-ranging interview on the cyberattack and related cyber security issues. You can listen to the full interview on BBC Radio iPlayer.

    Danny also appeared on the BBC News Channel to discuss the issue on 16th May.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    #Britain Breathing new app

    After last season's success, the #Britain Breathing citizen science project has launched the second version of their app. Through the new app, available for Android and iOS, citizen scientists with allergies will be able to report their symptoms and the severity of these symptoms. Also, users can keep track of their symptoms to increase the awareness about their condition.

    The ultimate goal of the project is to find correlates between environmental factors such as weather and pollution, and the incidence of respiratory allergies. The role of the #Britain Breathing app is to obtain a dataset of geolocated and timestamped symptoms.

    The #Britain Breathing team members are Andy Brass, Caroline Jay, Markel Vigo (School of Computer Science), Sheena Cruickshank (Division of Infection, Immunity & Respiratory Medicine)and Lamiece Hassan (Division of Informatics, Imaging & Data Sciences).

    Google Play:
    iOS App Store:

    #Britain Breathing were 'Highly commended' in the UoM Making a Difference Award 2017 ceremony on 11th May. Congratulations!

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Tech Support News

    HTCondor – High Throughput Computing (operated by Research IT)

    HTCondor, or just Condor for short, is the UoM High Throughput Computing pool available to all staff and research students. Chris Paul ( can set you up an a/c, often just by return email. Just recently the pool has clocked over 3,333 compute-years of research results produced. There is no contributory charge for using this resource. The odd taught student project may also be allowed access by special arrangement. Contact me if you are interested.

    gravatar Ian Cottam

    gravatar Karen Corless
Generated: Friday, 10 April 2020 10:22:16
Last change: Monday, 22 May 2017 11:04:03