SICSA Launches new Education Short-Theme: Supporting and Recruiting Women in Computing

The SICSA Directors are happy to announce a new SICSA Education Short-Theme on Supporting and Recruiting Women in Computing.  The theme will initially run for 12 months and it is intended to act as a network for women at all levels who are involved in Computing in Scotland.  The theme will focus on supporting SICSA institutions in their Athena Swan applications and will also feature a lively programme of events and meetings. The theme will be led by Dr Ishbel Duncan of the University of St Andrews and Dr Alison Pease of the University of Dundee.  For more information on this theme and to join the mailing list please visit Supporting and Recruiting Women in Computing.

SICSA opens call for SICSA Research Challenges

Further to recent calls for Short-Term Knowledge Exchange and Short-Term Research Themes, the SICSA Directors have recently launched a new Research Challenge initiative.  We would now like to invite researchers working across SICSA to submit proposals for a Research Challenge that will initially run for 12 months.   SICSA has funding for two Research Challenges, at a value of £6000 per challenge.  Full details of the recent call below.

SICSA Research Challenge Call – October 2014
The SICSA Directors are keen to invite proposals from researchers working within SICSA institutions for specific Research Challenges. The SICSA Research Challenges will complement the already established Research Themes and are expected to have the following characteristics:

• They are driven by a problem or issue whose resolution will have impact on the world outside Informatics and Computer Science research.
• They require the combination of research from different areas within SICSA and ideally beyond the SICSA remit by involving other Research Pools or researchers in other disciplines.
• They may involve interaction with one or more Innovation Centres (ICs).

The SICSA Directorate feels that “Challenge-based” research can provide a route to impact and, through interaction with problem holders, can stimulate new fundamental research. In addition, the focus on problems with societal impact may open up interactions with the Innovation Centres. Therefore the Directorate has allocated a total of £12K (2 challenges at £6K each) for 2014-15.

Potential challenge topics could include:
• Critical Infrastructure Protection
• Health Promoting Environments
• Smart Transportation
• Energy Efficient Environments
• Smarter Tourism
• Creative and Cultural Industry Support
• Rurality
• Identity in the Digital World
• From Digital Experience to Evidence
• Secure Societies
• Digital Inequality
• Urban Informatics
• Disaster Management
• Environmental Change
• Manufacturing Informatics
• The Internet of Educational Things
• Blending Education and Experience
• Learning to Program

Funding can be used for:
• Meetings that bring together the relevant research communities.
• Interactions with relevant stakeholders to assess and characterise the nature of the challenge.
• Interaction with policymakers over the policy relevance of the challenge.
• Joint work with ICs on identifying innovation potential in the challenge area.
Criteria for applying:
• Challenges must be led by at least one academic working within a SICSA School. However, partnerships with academics from disciplines outside of Computer Science are encouraged.
Challenges should have a clear set of outcomes – detailed within the proposal. These could include:
• Road mapping and policy input to policy.
• Clear linkage to impact in the challenge area.
• Joint publications.
• Consortia bidding projects into funding lines.
• Knowledge exchange via the Innovation Centres that have potential for translation.

How to apply:
To apply for SICSA Challenge funding, please send a proposal of no more than two sides to admin@sicsa.ac.uk. The proposal should cover the following topics:

1. Who is involved? The names and affiliations of the proposers, with a brief description of their background in the proposed area. You should include a justification for why you feel the proposers have the relevant background to tackle the proposed challenge.
2. What will be done? A summary of the planned events, which academics, research groups and user groups will be involved within SICSA and from outside Scotland. Provide names of potential Distinguished Visiting Fellows who could contribute to the Challenge. Document the world-class track record of the key SICSA groups cognate to the proposed area.
3. Why now? What is the opportunity being addressed? Is this an intellectual opportunity, as a new topic is emerging? Is it a funding opportunity where government, commercial or research council priorities are changing and SICSA institutions need to better understand how their research strengths can play a role?
4. What outcomes do you plan to achieve? (e.g. Joint papers, grant proposals, technical implementations, government policy changes etc.)

Please submit the proposal by 4pm on 30th November 2014 to Steven Kendrick, SICSA Executive Officer. If you would like to discuss the proposal in advance, please e-mail the SICSA Director, Stuart Anderson.

 

SICSA opens call for Short-Term Research Themes

We are pleased to announce that a further call for SICSA Short-Term Research Themes is now open.  We have funding available for two such themes.  Full details of the call are included below:

SICSA Short-Term Research Theme Call – October 2014
As SICSA develops, we need to adapt to changes in technology, theory, funding opportunities and the interests of the SICSA academic communities. As such we have allocated funding for two new short-themes, which will run for an initial period of 12 months. A total of £4K has been allocated for each of the two new short-themes.

For this call we invite researchers working within the following areas (this is not intended as an exhaustive list) to submit a short proposal to Steven Kendrick, SICSA Executive Officer:

– Internet of Things
– Novel Ideas for Radically New Technologies
– Cyber-Security
– Cyber-Physical Systems
– Social Computation (e.g. Social Collective Intelligence, Collective Awareness Platforms, Collective Adaptive Systems)
– Responsible Research and Innovation

The proposal should cover the following topics:
1. Who is involved? The names and affiliations of the proposers, with a brief description of their background in the proposed area.
2. What will be done? A summary of the planned events, which academics, research groups and user groups will be involved within SICSA and from outside Scotland. Provide names of potential Distinguished Visiting Fellows who could contribute to the Theme. Document the world-class track record of the key SICSA groups cognate to the proposed area.
3. Why now? What is the opportunity being addressed? Is this an intellectual opportunity, as a new topic is emerging? Is it a funding opportunity where government, commercial or research council priorities are changing and SICSA institutions need to better understand how their research strengths can play a role?
4. What outcomes do you plan to achieve beyond the research meetings? (e.g. Joint papers, grant proposals, technical implementations, government policy changes etc.)

Please submit the proposal by 4pm on 30th November 2014 to admin@sicsa.ac.uk. If you would like to discuss the proposal in advance, please e-mail Stuart Anderson (SICSA Director). It should be noted that there may be scope for proposals to be refined, especially if there are multiple bids in related areas.

SICSA Data Science theme: Call for bids to support Data Science activity

Researchers across SICSA are invited to bid to the Data Science theme for funds in support of events, workshops, and/or other activities that will make a significant contribution to their data science research agenda(s).

The Data Science theme is particularly interested in supporting activities that meet three or more of the following criteria:

• bringing together ‘enabling technologies’ in data science (e.g. analytics, security, HPC) and ‘data owners’ (e.g. from industry, society, or other areas of science);
• demonstrating the potential benefits of bringing together separate groups of data science researchers within SICSA from different sub-areas of data science;
• relevance to SICSA data science interests, as characterised by the results of the theme launch activities: http://www.well-sorted.org/explore/SICSADataScience/
• relate strongly one or more key research questions in one or more areas of data science;
• the event/activity already receives significant support from elsewhere (e.g.: perhaps the event is to be attached to a conference that contributes venue and other costs; or perhaps the event is standalone and is co-funded from another SICSA theme, or a research grant)

This call is open to workshops, hackathons, team-forming meetings, activities relating to specific challenges, and so forth. Innovation in the format/style of activity is encouraged, but not particularly necessary.

Submitting a bid:

Destination: Please email bids to both dwcorne@gmail.com and a.storkey@ed.ac.uk

Timing: There are no deadlines; however we expect to make the first round of funding allocations in early February 2015, and thereafter about every three months.

Format: A bid should be at most 1 page (at most 400 words), and attached to your email as a PDF. It should explain clearly:

• How much is requested from the Data Science theme;
• how and when you intend to use the funds;
• details of matching/other support already obtained;
• how the outcome(s) will be reported to the SICSA community (and other relevant
communities);
• how your plans fit with the ‘Data Science Theme Preferences’ indicated above.

Budget: We anticipate that awards will be made to bids that ask for £200—£500, and around 5 or 6 awards will be made per annum.

David Corne dwcorne@gmail.com
Amos Storkey a.storkey@ed.ac.uk

SICSA Early Career Industry Fellowship – Call now open

The SICSA Directors are pleased to announce that a further call for the SICSA Early Career Industry Fellowship (ECIF) is now open.

The ECIF programme has been designed specifically for Early Career SICSA academics who wish to work on a collaborative project with industry; and it aims to provide successful candidates with valuable experience of working directly with industry and opportunities for building long-lasting collaborations. The Fellowship is open to all early career researchers working in Informatics/Computing Science within SICSA member institutions. Successful candidates would be expected to undertake the fellowship for a period of up to one year full-time or two years part-time and SICSA will contribute a percentage of salary and research costs (up to £35,000) for successful applicants.

The deadline for applications is 30th November.

Please see Early Career Industry Fellowships for full details and to download an application form.

The Data Lab: Call for Projects Announced

Total funding of £150,000 is available to fund three initial projects up to a maximum of £50,000.  Funding will be awarded to projects with a defined market need or commercial opportunity.

This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the first wave of projects funded by The Data Lab and successful applications have the opportunity to become part of the first series of projects.

Key Dates

  • Expression of Interest Deadline:  Monday 6th October 2014
  • Application Deadline:  Monday 27th October 2014

Things to consider:

  • Projects must be led by a company (or public sector partner).
  • The applicants will be required to demonstrate match funding from industry and/or public sector partners either in cash or in kind contribution.
  • The Data Lab funding will only be paid to cover the costs of University Partner(s) involved in the project.
This Call for Projects is designed to fund collaborative projects between SMEs (Small to Medium Sized Enterprises) and universities in Scotland.   Larger companies and public service organisations may apply but the application must demonstrate a clear economic or social benefit to Scotland. Proposed projects should lead to new products or services that will ultimately be deployed by the industry or public service partners.The call deadline has now passed.

SICSA has 3 free weekend tickets to Product Forge this September to give away

SICSA has 3 free full weekend tickets to give away to Product Forge this year which will be held in Edinburgh on the 19 – 21 September.

Those wanting to participate should register here and select the ‘Weekend – Informatics & CS Students’ ticket. These are on a first come first served basis so don’t delay!

Eligibility: Tickets are open to PhD students studying Computer Science or Informatics within a SICSA department.


Product Forge weekends are an opportunity for you to develop your career through practical experience. Our events bring together entrepreneurially minded designers, developers and product managers to nurture their skills, broaden their network and develop new ideas.

Participants form small cross-functional teams who work on a product concept over a weekend. Anyone is free to pitch an idea and everyone receives mentoring, meals and 24 hour access to the venue.

The top ranking teams win prizes to help them develop their career further. But however your team ranks you’ll have a new piece of work to add to your CV or portfolio, dozens of new contacts, and maybe even an interview or two lined up with one of our sponsors!

For more details please visit http://productforge.io

 


 

New SICSA Web Site and Experts Finder launched

Throughout this year SICSA has been working closely with Glasgow-based web and graphic design agency, Red Empire, to develop a brand new SICSA web site; which launched on 13th August.  The project came to fruition as a result of a communications review in late 2013 – at that time the SICSA Directors agreed that the pool required a high quality web site, befitting of a world class research cluster.

Alongside the new web site, Dr Iadh Ounis and Dr Craig MacDonald of the University of Glasgow developed a new SICSA Experts Finder search engine, which has been integrated into the new site. Of the search engine, Craig MacDonald said: “SICSA builds upon the number of excellent researchers working in close proximity in Scotland, and by working cooperatively we can develop and extend Scotland’s research position in Computing Science and Informatics. However, knowing who to cooperate with in SICSA can sometime be challenging. Often people ask themselves or others: who is it that has done research about a similar problem?”

To address this challenge, Iadh and Craig developed the SICSA Experts Finder search engine. The search engine allows you to enter a query, and receive a ranking of SICSA academics who are predicted to have relevant expertise, based around their recent publications. So far, they have collected 23,000 publications for 1585 academics across the SICSA institutions. So, when you’re looking for someone in SICSA to help you with ‘mobile search’, ‘information retrieval’ or anything else, then check out the Experts Finder!

Special thanks go to the team at Red Empire – Adam and Scott; Steven Kendrick (SICSA Executive Officer); and Nicola Hogg (SICSA Executive Assistant) who have put many hours of hard work and creativity into the project from beginning to end. Thanks also go to the Experts Finder developers, Craig MacDonald and Iadh Ounis and their team at the University of Glasgow.

SICSA welcomes incoming Directors

From August 2014 SICSA will be bidding farewell to three Directors and welcoming their replacements, who will be in post for the next 2 years.

We say goodbye and thank you for all of the hard work and commitment to Professor Rod Murray-Smith, outgoing SICSA Director; Professor Aaron Quigley, outgoing Deputy Director and Director of KE; and Professor Jon Oberlander, outgoing SGA Director. All three outgoing Directors have been instrumental in driving SICSA forward in a time of changing landscapes; and in securing a sustainable future for SICSA beyond the end of its original funding period. We wish all of the outgoing Directors a hearty thank you and the very best for the future.

The incoming Directors will be in position from 1st August 2014. Read more about them below:

SICSA Director – Professor Stuart Anderson
Stuart will be replacing Professor Roderick Murray-Smith as overall Director of SICSA. Stuart is a Professor of Dependable Systems at Edinburgh. He is particularly interested in socio-technical systems, resilience of such systems and how Social Science and Informatics provide a unique perspective on the conception, design, deployment and operation of computer-based systems. Stuart is also interested in Social Computation and Collective Adaptive Systems and recently worked on the development of the Digital Health Institute.

SICSA Deputy Director and Director of Knowledge Exchange – Dr Iadh Ounis
Iadh will be replacing Professor Aaron Quigley as Deputy Director and Director of KE. Iadh is the leader of the Terrier Team at the University of Glasgow, where he and his team are developing and evaluating novel large-scale text information retrieval techniques and applications. Iadh has extensive teaching experience at all undergraduate and postgraduate levels, covering both general Computing Science topics (e.g. Database Systems) and specialised research-driven courses and is currently the Director of the Computing Science PGT programmes at Glasgow, overseeing Masters programmes. He is also an outreach champion for the School of Computing Science.

SICSA Graduate Academy Director – Dr Ian Miguel
Ian will be replacing Professor Jon Oberlander as SICSA Graduate Academy Director.  Ian is a Professor of Computer Science at the School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews, where he is a member of the Constraints Group. His research interests are in automated constraint modelling and constraint solver design. He gained his PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2001. Following post-doctoral research at the University of York, in 2004 he received a Research Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering, which was held concurrently with his first appointment at St Andrews.