SICSA is now Recruiting for 2 Director posts

We are pleased to announce that we are now recruiting for the following Directorate positions within SICSA:

  • SICSA Deputy Director / Knowledge Exchange Director
  • SICSA Director of Education

We invite applicants who are currently employed in academic/teaching positions at any SICSA member institution.

Both posts are equivalent to 0.2FTE and the duration of the posts is 2 years.  These posts are not directly funded by SICSA and are considered part of the institutional (“in-kind”) contribution to the pool.  Potential applicants are advised to discuss this with their Heads of School prior to applying.

The closing date for both positions is 13th January 2017.

For further information and to apply, please visit

Enterprise Campus: Supporting Postgraduate Entrepreneurs

Are you a postgraduate? Do you fancy being your own boss or have a brilliant business idea?

If that sounds like you, then you may be eligible for support from Enterprise Campus! A joint initiative between the universities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Strathclyde, Enterprise Campus is Scotland’s postgraduate business support programme.  No matter where you study in Scotland, through Enterprise Campus you can access free advice, workshops, events and event funding to help support your high-growth business idea.

What does Enterprise Campus do?:

  • Provide funding to help postgraduate students turn their ideas into high-growth business opportunities
  • Provide expert business advice from a dedicated team of business advisors
  • Run events that help student entrepreneurs get to the next level with their business idea. From business bootcamps and workshop series, to sector specific networking opportunities – the team puts on events that are specific to business needs.

Who do they support?:

Masters and PhD students, as well as early career researchers, from any subject area and any University in Scotland.

How does Enterprise Campus work?:

The team consists of expert business advisers, each with their own areas of expertise; plus communications and events specialists. By signing up to Enterprise Campus, postgraduates can access funding that could help progress the formation of their company, as well as support, advice, and a programme of free events. Enterprise Campus is a FREE and impartial service, and they help postgraduate businesses at all stages.

To get in touch with a business advisor to discuss your idea, please email or visit their website for more information:


The Data Lab Online Learning Funding Call

Over the last five years there has been an explosion in the number of educational courses provided online. This is no surprise when you consider the potential benefits to the learner. You can learn what you want. You can learn at home. You can learn at your own pace. Online courses have the potential to open up new exciting career opportunities to anyone who has access to the internet.

Scotland needs more people with the skills to manipulate, organise and analyse an ever increasing amount and variety of data. This demand is not confined to traditional computing industries. Data skills are required in agriculture, tourism, construction, energy and most industry sectors.

To achieve The Data Lab’s vision to showcase Scotland as an international leader in Data Science, and to train a new generation of data scientists, they are looking to fund the development of online courses which contribute to the requirement for more flexible high-quality data science training and education. These may take the form of MOOCs or closed application online courses.

The Data Lab will provide between £30,000 and £50,000 for the development of up to three online courses for this call. These must be delivered fully online, which means there should be no mandatory in-person requirement for the learner. You can select one of the following three course types:

MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) – Typically delivered for free using a pre-existing popular MOOC platform (up to £30k)
Online Training – Paid for learning content that is focused on equipping Scottish Industry with the data science training they need (up to £30k)
MOOC and Online Training – A combination of 1 and 2. This could be a MOOC with additional paid-for advanced learning content that meets the data science training needs of Scottish Industry. Here is an example. (Up to £50k)

If you are interested, please complete and submit the online Expression of Interest form at The Data Lab web site. You must submit your completed application form by 17:00 on Monday 13th February 2017.

Before submitting your Expression of Interest please read our application guidance.

Further online guidance on how to build a MOOC can be found online thourgh many different sources. Here are some examples that might be useful from The University of Glasgow, The University of Edinburgh and

This article is based on a piece at The Data Lab web site here

Welcome to the new SICSA Cyber Security Network Integrator!

The SICSA Directors are pleased to welcome a brand new member of staff to the SICSA team.  The SICSA Cyber Security Network Integrator, Mr Alan Settery, commences on 21st November 2016 and he will be based at the University of Glasgow’s School of Computing Science.  This post is initially funded until November 2017 and has been made possible by investment in Cyber Security by the Scottish Government and Scottish Funding Council.

The main objectives for the post will be to:

  • Help to develop a balanced critical mass of Cyber Security and Resilience researchers in Scotland;
  • Work with the academic community to ensure training and programmes are available that help ensure the supply of appropriately trained labour for the Scottish Economy;
  • Develop effective Knowledge Exchange mechanisms that engage the academic Cyber Security and Resilience community with businesses, the public sector, UK and Scottish Governments, among others.

The post coincides with the start of a new SICSA Research Theme in Cyber Security, led by Professor Chris Johnson (University of Glasgow) and Dr Mike Just (Heriot-Watt University).   You can find more details of this at

The Data Lab Launches UK’s First Data Festival – DataFest17

The Data Lab is bringing the UK’s first ever week-long data science festival to Scotland in partnership with Sainsbury’s Bank. The inaugural DataFest17 will be a celebration of innovation and will showcase Scotland’s leading data science capabilities, attracting international experts in data science to Scotland.

Gillian Docherty, CEO of The Data Lab, said: “We are at the beginning of the data revolution: data innovation is disrupting all areas of our lives from business to public services and beyond.  The theme for the festival is #DataChangesEverything and the programme will explore current and future innovation.

“Scotland is a world-leader in data science and, in launching DataFest17, we will promote and grow our position on the international stage. The potential benefit of data to Scotland is colossal and by awakening business and the public to the possibilities of data, we can create significant social and economic impact.”

World renowned data experts, including Dr Hannah Fry, UCL and presenter of BBC TV’s The Joy of Data, and Marc Priestley, former McLaren F1 pit stop crew and expert in British racing technology, will lead the DataFest17 line up. The festival programme will have five elements:

1.Data Summit

  • Dr Hannah Fry, UCL and presenter of BBC TV’s The Joy of Data
  • Marc Priestly, former McLaren F1 pit stop crew and expert in British racing technology
  • Tim Harford, The Undercover Economist, More or Less
  • Alex Bellos, science and maths writer

2.Data Talent Scotland

A one day event bringing together over 500 attendees linking data talent from 15 Scottish universities with industry and public sector organisations

3.Executive Dinner

A dinner for senior leaders considering expanding, or creating, a business presence within Scotland

4.Fringe events

Events around Scotland exploring/hacking/debating data innovation.  Events will include meetups, hackathons, debates and public engagement


A programme of training events from practical data science to leadership

Marc Priestly, former McLaren F1 pit stop crew and expert in British racing technology, will be addressing a group of Chief Technology Officers in Edinburgh this evening. He’ll relay his experiences working with drivers including Mika Häkkinen, David Coulthard, and Lewis Hamilton and said: “In Formula One, getting split-second decisions right under pressure can be the difference between success and failure.

“Instinct and experience can get you so far, but finding the crucial marginal advantages over the opposition may not always be obvious to the ‘naked eye’. In F1, data analysis uncovers the opportunities that help teams win races. It is the difference between winning and losing. Data has the ability to change everything, to inform critical decisions and impact lives. It’s really exciting and important that we help realise the true potential of data and I’m pleased to be supporting DataFest17 and can’t wait to see what it brings.”

Mark Hunter, Chief Data Officer at Sainsbury’s Bank, said: “At Sainsbury’s Bank, data is vitally important as it’s the way we understand our customers, therefore having talented data people is crucial to our business. As lead sponsor of DataFest17, we’re helping to bring together the growing data community in Scotland with an exciting opportunity to learn from international speakers.”

For more information, please visit the DataFest17 website:

For information on Sponsorship opportunities, please download our sponsorship guide.

The Data Lab PhD/EngD Call – now open!

The Data Lab is supporting up to twelve new industrially relevant PhD or EngD projects. Funding for up to 50% of the PhD cost will be provided, with the remainder to be matched by an industry (or public / third sector) partner.  We are currently looking for applications from academic supervisors who have either a proposed project with an agreed industry and/or public sector partner, or who are actively engaged with a partner to define a project.

To find out more read our guidance document.

To apply, please complete the PhD / EngD Project Application form.

The closing date for this round is 17:00 on Friday 6th January 2017. If you miss this, don’t worry. A second round will start in February 2017.

If you have an idea for a PhD or EngD project but you do not yet have a University Partner or an Industry Sponsor, we can help match you with possible partners.

If you are a University seeking to collaborate with an Industry Sponsor, please complete and submit our Academic application form.

If you are an Industry Sponsor seeking to collaborate with a University, please complete and submit our Industry application form.

If you have any questions, please contact Joshua Ryan-Saha – Skills Manager

Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day

Ada Lovelace Day (ALD) is an international celebration day of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and, in doing so, create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.

SICSA institutions are celebrating Ada Lovelace Day as follows: 

Friday 7th October

Robert Gordon University
Ada Lovelace Day

Tuesday 11 October 2016

The University of Glasgow
Ada Lovelace Day celebration: Evening Social with Inspiring Mini-Talks

The University of Edinburgh
Wikipedia edit-a-thon to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day 2016.

Heriot-Watt University
Ada Lovelace day celebration – Gender equality: have we fixed it yet?

Please contact the individual institutions if you would like to join any of the above events.

SICSA PhD Conference 2017 – Now recruiting for student committee members

We are pleased to announce that the 2017 SICSA PhD Conference will take place on 27 & 28 June at the University of Dundee.  Our last conference which took place in June was a great success and it was mainly down to the hard work and dedication of the student committee members.  We are now recruiting for the next organising committee so if you are a PhD student in Informatics/Computer Science, working in a SICSA institution why not apply to be part of the 2017 SICSA PhD Conference.

Being part of the SICSA Conference Organising Committee can be an immensely rewarding experience – you will have the opportunity to work closely with PhD students and academics from around Scotland, gain experience of all aspects of organising a high profile academic event and contribute to the success of a conference that is becoming more popular year upon year.   This is also a great addition to your CV.

To apply, please complete the application form and return to by Friday 7th October

SICSA Launches New Research Themes

The SICSA Directors are pleased to formally announce the 6 updated SICSA Research Themes.  During this phase of SICSA, until at least 2020, the SICSA Research Themes are:

  • Artificial Intelligence – led by Professor Emma Hart (Edinburgh Napier) and Professor Leslie Smith (Stirling).
  • Cyber-Physical Systems – led by Dr Subramanian Ramamoorthy (Edinburgh) and Dr Katrin Solveig Lohan (Heriot-Watt)
  • Data Science – led by Dr Amos Storkey (Edinburgh) and Professor Mike Chantler (Heriot-Watt)
  • HCI – led by Dr Martin Halvey (Strathclyde) and Dr Miguel Nacenta (St Andrews)
  • Networking and Systems – led by Dr Dimitris Pezaros (Glasgow)
  • Theory, Modelling and Computation – led by Dr Ekaterina Komendantskaya (Heriot-Watt) and Professor Neil Ghani (Strathclyde).

You can discover more about the SICSA Research Themes at and to stay in touch with theme events and activities you can join the Research Theme mailing lists at

We would like to take this opportunity to heartily thank all of the previous SICSA Theme Leaders for their hard-work and dedication over the years.

SICSA DEMOfest 2016 – Delegate Registration now open!

Demofest 2015


Why should academics, researchers and postgrad students attend?
SICSA DEMOfest is the biggest event of its kind in Scotland, creating a unique environment for industry and academia to come together to explore opportunities for collaborative innovation, commercialization of research and relationship building.

The event will provide an opportunity to explore some of the great research taking place at SICSA institutions; talk to familiar and not-so-familiar faces in Scottish Computer Science; and network with businesses large and small.  We expect up to 200 industry delegates this year.

 The event will feature: 

  • Keynote talks on Cyber-Security (Professor Bill Buchanan, Director of the Cyber-Academy, Edinburgh Napier University) and Big Data (Dr Craig MacDonald, University of Glasgow)
  • Research Exhibitions from all 14 SICSA Institutions
  • Exhibitions from key stakeholders
  • Plenty of time for informal networking, drinks and food!

Research Themes at DEMOfest 2016
Selection for research stands is currently taking place, but this year research exhibitions will be broadly focused on the following areas:

  • Big Data
  • Cyber-Security
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Robotics and Autonomous Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Networks and the Cloud

Register now
We have a limited number of places for non-exhibiting academics, researchers and postgraduate students this year.  Please register for FREE at t  to secure your place!

DEMOfest 2016 is supported by The Data Lab and organised in association with ScotlandIS.