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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Tuesday, 20 June 2017

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Release for the Review of FSE School Structure

    The review of the school structure in FSE, chaired by keith Brown, will be presented to Senate on 28 june. Senate papers become accessible, to anyone with a UoM user name and password, after the Senate meeting; the publication is usally the day after the Senate meeting. The link by which you can find the Senate papers is:


    gravatar Karen Corless

    First HoS and HoSA "Coffee Morning"

    On Wednesday 14 June we had our first Head of School and Head of School Administration coffee morning.  The intention of these events is to provide an opportunity to meet colleagues informally.  We had a good showing of staff in the School and I think a good time was had by all.

    The following cakes and goodies were provided by attenders:

    Cherry pound cake, Blueberry muffins, Green tea cake, Orange and white chocolate cake, Caramel squares, Raspberry and pumpkin seed cake, Raw chocolate/coconut balls, Lemon cake and cookies... and very nice they were too!  £105.78 was raised from cake sales for a charity trek up Snowdon by Karon Mee from ACSO.

    The next coffee morning will be on 27 July.  We will use this slot to hold the next Computer Science Bake Off - details will follow.


    gravatar Karen Corless

    [ top ]News and announcements

    Changes to EPSRC First Grants scheme

    EPSRC has agreed to a revision of this scheme to remove the caps on value and duration, recognising that these constraints could adversely affect both the quality and ambition of the research proposals submitted.  The new scheme, to award grants called “New Investigator Awards”, will be implemented during July 2017.  Further information will be disseminated as soon as it is made available by EPSRC.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Events

    Gender Equality in HE talk

    The University Athena SWAN Network are pleased to announce the forthcoming seminar by Professor Paul Walton, School of Chemistry, University of York. Paul was the Head of School when his Department of Chemistry was awarded the first Athena SWAN Gold Award in the UK. Paul is internationally known for his work on gender equality issues in science. His many distinctions in this area include serving on the Irish HEA's review group into gender equality in Irish HE institutions, many international keynote lectures, the Royal Society's inaugural Athena Prize 2016 (runner up), and being shortlisted for the WISE campaign's Man of the Year Award 2016.

    Gender Equality in HE? Now, Sometime, Never?
    Professor Paul Walton, School of Chemistry, University of York
    Wednesday 28 June 2017, 13.00 – 14.00

    Over nearly all scientific organisations, across every country and across time one finds that the progression of women in science is significantly hindered when compared to men. Such a universal truth represents a enormous loss of talent from science, one that can ill be afforded. Recent years have seen some progress in understanding the principal factors behind this phenomenon and there has been some progress in new schemes which are designed to address the lack of women in senior scientific positions. These schemes have also met with some resistance which, in itself, has been revealing of the reasons why there is such a difference in the progression rates of men and women in science. This presentation discusses some of those resistances, why they arise, what can be done about out them, and what they reveal about gender (in)equality in science.

    To register for the talk, please visit

    gravatar Liz Caine

    From Pacemakers to Codebreakers: Risk, Privacy, Security & Trust in the World of Today

    Event: 05 Jul 2017, 12-4pm (MANDEC, 3rd Floor, University Dental Hospital, Higher Cambridge Street)

    The University is rallying its research talents to tackle the global challenges of managing risks and maintaining privacy, security and trust in today’s digital world.
    You may well be able to propose new and improved ways of tackling them and there are significant opportunities for research present, with £1.9bn of government funding over 5 years earmarked for addressing these very broad issues. The University has prioritised this area as a focus for engagement with the city in response to strong interest from Manchester city-region government, industry, academia and GCHQ in exploring cross-sector collaboration.
    Registration required. Details of guest speakers will be circulated in the coming weeks.
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]PGR News

    Computers and PGR Students

    Currently, supervisors order computers for their students and this computer comes from PGR School resources.

    Logically with the new PGR space, we'd buy desktops for all desks, students would then move to their 'home lab' after their first semester, where a supervisor ordered machine would be waiting.

    Now we have a decision; we can continue as described above so not many changes.

    However, we wondered if it would be better to give each student a vanilla Dell laptop 15 inch or so and OK spec (a general work machine) which they would then take with them to their lab - then the supervisor has nothing to do.

    Or we could give each student a standard desktop which they take with them (I'm presuming we could get a better desktop for the same price as the laptop) the monitor might stay in the PGR space with just the workstation going with the student.

    We could add a caveat that if a better spec machine was required after they have arrived, they could give us back the basic machine (and we would pass it on) and the price of the basic machine would be credited to the higher spec machine, otherwise it would stay in the student's account for travel etc.

    I'm presenting these as either-or because it is simpler to distribute one type of machine, and because we would order in bulk, so we would not know the percentage of each type to have on hand at any time.

    So we have the choice of:

    1) Status Quo

    2) Laptop

    3) Desktop


    A) Don't Trade in

    B) Trade in


    Now all you need to do is respond with something like 3B to register your choice. Or give me a better way of providing computers.

    gravatar Simon Harper

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    H2020 ERC Synergy Grants 2018 update

    The ERC Synergy Grant scheme, which ran under two pilot calls in 2012 and 2013, will be re-launched in the ERC Work Programme 2018.  
    It is expected that the call will be published on 19 July 2017 (subject to the adoption of the Work Programme 2018 by the European Commission), with a deadline of 14 November 2017 - the deadline might change depending on the actual date of adoption of the Work Programme.   
    The perspective is to fund 25 to 30 projects in 2018, with grants of maximum 10 M€ for up to 6 years.
    The aim of Synergy Grants is to address ambitious research questions that can only be answered by the coordinated work of a small group of two to four principal Investigators and their teams, bringing together their complementary skills, knowledge and resources in unprecedented ways.  The ultimate goal of the scheme is to give support to a close collaborative interaction that will enable transformative research at the forefront of science, capable of yielding ground-breaking or even unpredictable scientific results and/or cross-fertilizing disciplines.  The ambition is of course to open the way to results that are more than just the sum of the Principal Investigators' individual contributions.
    The scheme is open to all researchers from anywhere in the world, based in Europe or in an Associated Country.  Each Principal Investigator must be hosted by and spend 50% of their total working time in an institution established in an EU Member State or Associated Country.  They shall spend a minimum of 30% of their total working time on the ERC project.  There are no other specific requirements other than high scientific quality and ambition enhanced by the synergetic collaborative aspect of the project.  
    Only exceptionally competitive proposals are likely to be funded.
    Depending on the evaluation result, reapplication rules will apply to all Principal Investigators participating in a proposal, which may affect their application possibilities to all ERC calls under the 2019 ERC Work Programme.
    As soon as we have further information on this call and the adoption of the 2018 Work Programme we will circulate more details.
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    RAEng Research Fellowship opening soon

    Deadline: 04 Sep 17
    The RAEng Research Fellowship application round for 2017/18 will open on Friday 30th June 2017. Please note: Although there will be two reviewer stages, all proposal information will be obtained in just ONE application and not two stages as in previous years.
    Normally there's an internal review process - more details to come.
    The scheme is for outstanding early career researchers who are about to finish their PhD or have been awarded their PhD in the last four years. The scheme provides funding for five years to encourage the best researchers to remain in the academic engineering sector.
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellowships

    Deadline: 02 Oct 17
    The scheme supports academics of all experience levels as well as recent graduates as the founders and leaders of tomorrow’s high-tech companies. The awards provide money-can’t-buy bespoke support and one-to-one mentoring from the Academy’s Fellowship, which is composed of some of the country’s most successful engineers from across academia and industry.
    Fellowships are available to both university-based academics of any experience level who wish to spin-out a company, and also to recent graduates wishing to create a company.
    Prior experience of commercialisation activities is not essential, the desire and capability to succeed is more important and we will equip you with the necessary skills through a programme of training and mentoring.
    Awardees receive:
    ·         Up to £60,000 funding
    ·         12 months mentoring
    ·         Business skills and training
    ·         Lifetime Hub Membership
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    EPSRC Prosperity Partnership - coming soon

    We expect the next call for industry let EPSRC prosperity partnership projects in July 2017 or soon after that.  Each project is around £4-6M, with 50% funding from industry and the universities.  Track records of existing collaborations are essential.

    There will be two stages: Expression of Interest submitted by the leading company and full proposal submitted by the academic institutions.

    Please let know asap if you may be interested and the company names. Here's last year;s call:

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Reminder - Faculty Funding Scheme Planner

    The faculty provide a Funding Scheme Planner for information on upcoming calls which is available on the Research Support web pages

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    NaCTeM most influential paper

    Congratulations to the NaCTeM group for being listed as having one of the most influential articles of 2016 for Systematic Reviews, according to

    'Using text mining for study identification in systematic reviews: a systematic review of current approaches'

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Carole Goble speaker at the EC European Open Science Cloud Summit

    Carole was a speaker at the EC European Open Science Cloud Summit on the 12th June in Brussels representing FAIRDOM. Carole spoke on the 'Adoption and implementation of FAIR data principles' and also on behalf of SSI.

    The summit was a key moment for Europe in committing to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and generating a number of concrete EOSC Statements for implementation by 2020. Every Research infrastructure was in attendance and there was even a waiting list.

    The webcast is available through:

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Tech Support News

    Two Factor Authentication (2FA) on Apple Macs

    Toby Howard and I have now successfully installed 2FA on our Macs. However, the current instructions from IT Services are far from clear. Comments and recommendations for changes have been sent to IT and acknowledged. Feel free to ask me (Ian) for help if you would like to try it on your Mac before IT update their HOWTO.

    (We haven't tried the Windows variant, but at a glance the instructions look a little clearer. Linux 2FA is not yet available.)

    UPDATE: We have just learnt that unless your desktop is using the University's central Domain Name Servers (which are and the GlobalProtect system will treat you as being "off campus". IT are aware that the School can use its own name servers.

    gravatar Ian Cottam

    IT equipment procurement – year end deadline

    From Staffnet:

    Any IT equipment to be funded from this year’s budget, including Apple equipment must be ordered before the end of June

    University procurement rules state that goods must be delivered to the University and receipted within the financial system by 12 noon on Monday 31 July 2017 to count towards this year’s budget.

    Purchases of IT equipment need to be approved (within the Oracle system) by the budget holder, and a purchase order sent to the vendor no later than Thursday 29 June. Requests approved after Thursday 29 June may not make the 12 noon delivery deadline on 31 July and may not be funded from this year’s budget. Some items may need to be approved before then due to supplier delivery times.

    As a rough guide, most laptops, desktop computers and workstations may take up to 20 working days to be delivered, and in some cases longer. Non-standard equipment such as Apple MacBook laptops, iMacs or iPads may take 4-6 weeks, although none of these lead times can be guaranteed. Also, non-standard hardware requests can be affected by supplier or component shortages at any stage.

    This affects any non-stock IT equipment and peripherals purchased on individual account codes (including 'R' and 'P' codes).

    All IT equipment requests must still be processed by the Hardware Validation and Lifecycle team, who will endeavour to process any request as quickly as possible.

    To avoid the risk of missing this deadline, we recommend that staff procure their equipment when needed, to avoid the rush at year end.

    For further information about this please contact:

    gravatar Liz Caine

    gravatar Karen Corless
Generated: Friday, 10 April 2020 11:14:15
Last change: Tuesday, 20 June 2017 11:22:17