Leading International Data Science Experts Confirmed for The Data Summit

A host of internationally-acclaimed leaders in the field of data science have been confirmed as speakers for the upcoming two-day international conference, Data Summit. Leading the programme are ‘Weapons of Math Destruction’ author Cathy O’Neil and former NASA astrophysicist turned data scientist, Kirk Borne.

Data Summit will take place at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh on 22nd and 23rd March with the theme of ‘data driven innovation’ and a special focus on collaboration. It forms a key part of DataFest18. Over 2,000 participants attended DataFest17 in March 2017, ranging from school children to politicians, academics to key industry players.

DataFest18 will build on 2017’s success with even more world class speakers and an aim to increase international participation and academic involvement. The target is to boost attendees by 500 – 25 per cent.

Gillian Docherty, CEO of The Data Lab, said: “In this second year of DataFest, we’ve pulled together a compelling programme of international speakers, all of whom are at the cutting edge of data technology across numerous industries. Their involvement within the event clearly demonstrates Scotland’s place as a key player on the global data stage.

“The Data Summit is a great opportunity for attendees to hear about others’ data experiences through sessions on how to lead successful programmes, communicating with data as well as compelling examples of transformation and future trends and much more.”

World-leading speakers joining the festival’s line-up also include Dr Hannah Fry, UCL and presenter of BBC TV’s The Joy of Data, Alex Depledge MBE, entrepreneur and rising-star of the British start-up scene and Eddie Copeland, director of government innovation at Nesta.

The programme of confirmed speakers for Data Summit 2018 includes:

– Cathy O’Neil, US based mathematician, blogger and author.

– Dr. Kirk Borne, Principal Data Scientist and Executive Advisor at Booz Allen Hamilton

– Dr Hannah Fry, UCL and presenter of BBC TV’s The Joy of Data
– Marios Michaelidis, Research Data Scientist. H2O.atechnology
– Erin Akred, Lead Data Scientist, DataKind

– Alex Depledge, Co-founder and former CEO Hassle.com

– Chris Speed, Chair of Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh

– Orsola De Marco, Head of Startups, Open Data Institute

– Dr. Iain Brown, Lead Data Scientist, SAS

– Mhairi Aitken, Research Fellow, Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences & Informatics, University of Edinburgh

– Eddie Copeland, Director of Government Innovation, Nesta

– Stefaan Verhulst, Co-founder and Chief Research and Development Officer. The Gov Lab

– Warwick Beresford-Jones – Founder & Joint CEO, Merkle Aquila

– Shakeel Khan – Data Science Capability Building Manager, HM Revenue & Customs


Ticket prices for Data summit will go up to final release prices on 2nd March.

To buy tickets and find out more click here: https://www.datafest.global/

SICSA Launches the Cyber Nexus Virtual Innovation Hub

As part of the recent Scottish Government funding for the SICSA Cyber Nexus, we have recently launched the Cyber Nexus Virtual Innovation Hub.  This funding programme will support innovative research in Cyber Security that has commercial potential.

The main aim of this initiative is to help researchers to develop their technologies into a proposition that can either be licensed to existing companies or spun-out into a new start-up venture. Up to £3K is available for each successful applicant.

We are now accepting applications from researchers at SICSA member institutions.  For more details and to apply, please visit our Cyber Nexus Virtual Innovation Hub page.

If you have any questions about this funding, please contact admin@sicsa.ac.uk.

How to do an Informatics PhD Workshop – Call for Registrations

University of Edinburgh are running a workshop on how to do an Informatics PhD, which is open to students at all SICSA member-institutions.  Details as follows:

Tuesday 17 April 2018, 13:30 – 16:30 – Please note the new date due to planned strike action at the University

University of Edinburgh – Room 5.3 Lister Building, Lister Learning And Teaching Centre, 5 Roxburgh Place Edinburgh, EH8 9SU

Course Description:
We will explore the nature of Informatics research and the diversity of methodologies that it employs. In particular, we will investigate the forms of hypotheses or claims that an Informatics research project establishes, and the ways in which such claims can be evaluated.

List of Learning Outcomes. By the end of this workshop, students should be able to:

  1. Describe the nature of Informatics research and the methodologies that it employs
  2. Identify the forms of hypotheses or claims that an Informatics research project establishes and the ways in which such claims can be evaluated

Pre course work – Students will be required to bring a 1000 word summary of their research project to the course.  Guidance will be sent out prior to the course.

If you are a SICSA member and not matriculated at the University of Edinburgh you will need to register for an EASEfriend account before completing the booking: https://www.ease.ed.ac.uk/userdocs/friend.html

More information here: http://www.ed.ac.uk/institute-academic-development/postgraduate/doctoral/courses/course-list#proxy_How%20to%20do%20an%20Informatics%20PhD

If you have problems booking on this workshop please email louise.mckay@ed.ac.uk

Looking for an expert in Computer Science? SICSA can help!

The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) represents a broad range of expertise in Computer Science and Informatics.  We have 14 member-institutions across Scotland, comprising over 500 academics and around 750 PhD research students; covering the whole of the discipline.

So if you are looking for advice on a specific aspect of Computing or wish to collaborate on a project, we are able to signpost you to an expert in any area.

In the first instance, please contact our knowledgeable and friendly team at admin@sicsa.ac.uk or telephone 0141 330 8626.

Furthermore, The SICSA Research Themes cover all core elements of the Computer Science discipline.  The themes represent clusters of expertise in specific areas and organise a programme of events and activities throughout the year.  Please see individual Research Theme pages for information and contact details for our Research Theme Leaders.

Data for Marine Science & Technology – Industrial Doctorate Funding Call 2018

The Data Lab in collaboration with the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) is supporting Industrial Doctorate projects.

Funding for up to 50% of the project cost will be provided for up to three and a half years, with the remainder to be matched by an industry, sector or voluntary sector partner. They are currently looking for applications from academic supervisors who have a proposed project with an agreed industry partner, or who are actively engaged with a partner to define a project.

MASTS aims to enhance the Scottish marine research environment. They are looking to fund Industrial Doctorates related to marine science which could concentrate on research areas such as:

  • Dynamics and Properties of Marine Systems
  • Productive Seas
  • Marine Biodiversity, Function and Services

They hope that by applying novel data science methods to the challenges outlined in MASTS’ key research themes, valuable new insights can be gained for the benefit of Scotland.

For an Industrial Doctorate project to be eligible for The Data Lab and MASTS funding, it must be hosted at a MASTS Partner University with at least 2 academic supervisors from MASTS affiliated institutions and be sponsored by an Industry Sponsor that has an operational base in Scotland. Furthermore, the student will be a member of theMASTS Graduate School and will enrol as part of the MASTS Postgraduate Certificate.

To find out more details about the application process, please read the guidance document..

To apply, please register and complete the Industrial Doctorate Application form.

The closing date is 17:00 on Friday 6th April 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact Joshua Ryan-Saha at skills@thedatalab.com

Data Science Industrial Doctorate Funding Call 2018

The Data Lab is supporting up to six new industrial doctorate projects. Funding for up to 50% of the programme cost will be provided, with the remainder to be matched by an industry (or public / third sector) partner. The Data Lab are looking for applications from universities that have a proposed project with an industry or public sector partner.

For an Industrial Doctorate project to be eligible for The Data Lab funding it must be hosted at a Scottish University and be sponsored by an Industry or public sector Sponsor that has an operational base in Scotland.

To find out more details about the application process, please read the guidance document.

To apply, please complete the Industrial Doctorate Application form.

The closing date for the first quarter is 17:00 on Friday 6 April 2018. If you miss this quarter, the next reviewing date will be in July 2018.

If you have an idea for an Industrial Doctorate project but you do not yet have a University Partner or an Industry Sponsor, The Data Lab can help match you with possible partners:

  • If you are a University seeking to collaborate with an Industry Sponsor, please complete and submit the Academic application form.
  • If you are an Industry Sponsor seeking to collaborate with a University, please complete and submit the Industry application form. Please have a look at the list of project opportunities, to find out if you could collaborate on one of projects already suggested by academics at Scottish universities.

If you have any questions, please contact Joshua Ryan-Saha – Skills Manager at The Data Lab.

SICSA Knowledge Exchange Update

by Alistair Lawson, SICSA KE Director
9 January 2018

Bliadhna Mhath Ùr! / Happy New Year!

KE Blog Pic 2It has been a busy few months since I took over the role of SICSA Knowledge Exchange Director at the end of April 2017. Planning for Demofest 2017 was already in hand at that stage, and thanks go to Steven Kendrick and Aileen Orr for their organisation and co-ordination of the event which was a great success at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, attracting 2 main sponsors (Toshiba Medical and The Data Lab); 10 event partners; 280 delegates (including a number of investors); 52 academic exhibitors; and two keynotes speakers (Gillian Docherty – CEO of The Data Lab and Shirley Anne Somerville MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science).  Plans are underway for DemoFest 2018, which will take place at Our Dynamic Earth is likely to be in November 2018.  We will be in touch when details are finalised.

One thing that we would like to do this year is to track the impact of DemoFest over a longer period of time. If you have any case studies of previous exhibitors who may have experienced longer term impact from attending the DemoFest event then please get in touch.

Another thing that we would like to do is reinvigorate some KE funding programmes which have not been available in recent years due to funding constraints. In previous years SICSA KE funding programmes included Early Career Industry Fellowships, Industrial Internships, and Distinguished Industrial Visitor Fellowships.  Over the next few months we will be exploring how we might leverage funding for future KE programmes.

Meanwhile, if there’s anything you would like us to consider in terms of SICSA support for Knowledge Exchange activity, then please get in touch with me via sicsa-ke-director@sicsa.ac.uk .

I look forward to meeting you at the various SICSA events over the coming year

£420K to support Scottish research in Cyber-Security and Cyber-Resilience

The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance is pleased to announce the launch of its new Cyber Nexus.  The SICSA Cyber Nexus is led by Professor Kevin Hammond of the University of St Andrews, who is also the Director of SICSA; and brings together key researchers from 14 Scottish Universities.

The SICSA Cyber Nexus represents a £420K 18-month investment by the UK and Scottish governments that aims to establish the nucleus of a coherent and vibrant Scottish cyber-security research and innovation community, linking academia with industry, the public sector, government and the third sector. The approach taken to deliver this vision is based on all 14 SICSA institutions operating in a collaborative fashion across several strategically important activities including:
  • Bringing together Scotland’s academic Cyber-Security capability through the SICSA Cyber Nexus.
  • Baselining and monitoring the academic Cyber-Security/Resilience capability in Scotland.
  • Raising awareness of Scotland’s capabilities in terms of Public Education, Outreach, Skills development.
  • Delivering Impact through building skills and expertise and co-operation across academia, industry and government – transferring knowledge, technology and capabilities

Professor Hammond says:

“We are excited by the opportunities that the SICSA Cyber Nexus offers.  Recent events have shown how important cybersecurity is to key national infrastructure, such as the National Health Service.  Dealing properly with this represents both a tremendous technical challenge and a tremendous opportunity to build on the world-leading work that is coming out of Scotland. The seed funding that we have obtained will bring the Scottish community together, focus attention on the key issues that need to be addressed, and create new innovation across Scotland.”.

The SICSA Cyber Nexus is UK government funded, supported by Scottish Government, in partnership with the National Cyber Resilience Leaders’ Board.

For more information, please contact Professor Kevin Hammond.

More information about the SICSA Cyber Nexus programmes is available at Cyber Nexus Funding.

The SICSA Cyber Nexus UK government funded, supported by Scottish Government, in partnership with the National Cyber Resilience Leaders’ Board.

SICSA Postdoctoral Engagement in European Research Funding (PEER) – £10K per applicant available 

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) recently awarded SICSA further funding to boost participation in European research.   SICSA is therefore able to provide support of up to £10,000 per application for researchers in Informatics and Computing Sciences pursuing participation in EU projects. We will consider proposals from all researchers working within SICSA institutions.

You can find more details for the EC H2020 Work Programme (2018-2020) here.

What can the funding be used for? 

Funding can be sought for a broad range of activities relating to any relevant EU call including:

• Travel to consortium meetings;
• Travel for establishing network connections – I.e. Travel to partner institutions; travel to EC information events etc.
• Cost of specialist consultant support for EU funding bids;
• Support for SICSA academics time to develop proposals (i.e. charging an agreed percentage of staff time to SICSA); and
• Admin time to coordinate bids and meetings (i.e. charging a percentage of staff time to SICSA).

Funding can be for any amount up to a total of £10K

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for this funding please visit our PEER information page to download an application form. There are no deadlines and you can apply at any time.

If you have any questions at all please contact admin@sicsa.ac.uk

Applications for SICSA Director of Education now open

We are pleased to announce that we are now recruiting for a new SICSA Director of Education.  Applications are welcome from any suitable member of academic staff working at a SICSA member institution.

SICSA Education has a focus on enhancing collaboration across the core activities of Undergraduate and Postgraduate education provision in Scotland. The group represents common interests to government; employers; professional and practitioner organisations; and the wider education sectors. These include resourcing for University Computing programmes, secondary school qualifications, the transition from school to University, and graduate skills.

If you wish to speak informally about the post, please telephone SICSA Director, Professor Kevin Hammond on +44 (0)1334 46 3241.

Applicants must complete an application form (see below) and submit to Steven.Kendrick@Glasgow.ac.uk by no later than Friday 1st December 2017.

Education Director Job Description

Application for the role of SICSA Education Director