SICSA Education Director Recruitment: Deadline Extended

We have extended the deadline for applications for the SICSA Director of Education position to 31st January 2017.  We invite applicants who are currently employed in academic/teaching positions at any SICSA member institution.

The post is equivalent to 0.2FTE and the duration is 2 years.  This post is not directly funded by SICSA and as such it is 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 is 31st January 2017.

For further information and to apply, please visit


Future Health Product Forge Hackathon

A room full of entrepreneurially minded data scientists and analysts, clinicians, designers, and software engineers spending 3 days and 3 nights side by side developing new product ideas for patients, front line staff and the wider NHS..sound good?

Product Forge is running a competitive healthcare hackathon at CodeBase in Edinburgh from Thursday 19th January until Sunday 22nd.

Regardless of whether you already have an idea that you would like to prototype, or don’t and would just like to make new connections, you are invited to come along and meet talented people with a shared interest in the future of health care.

Participants form small cross-functional teams to work on a product prototype with support from industry experts in the NHS and the wider technology community. Participants will have access to health data released by the NHS Information Services Division, as well as scientific medical imaging data.

For more information and to register, visit:

Inspiring teens to become Scotland’s cyber defenders of the future

 *Press Release from Hot Tin Roof  about forthcoming Cyber Security Lectures

Scottish secondary school pupils are being inspired to become the first line of defence against a global cybercrime epidemic through a week of events kicking off on Monday 12 December.

Cyber security is a growing concern across the economy, with business activity such as payments, shopping and trading increasingly conducted online. Around 13.8 million people – almost one quarter of the population – were affected by cyber crime in the UK last year, an annual increase of 10 per cent.

The risks for businesses are clear; data loss can have an immediate effect on reputation, result in legal action, influence competitive positioned and shareholder value, with an average cost to large UK firms of £4.1 million per incident.

The cyber threat affects SMEs as well as large organisations so demand for skilled experts is growing across the whole economy and it is more important than ever that Scotland fosters a workforce of cyber security professionals for the future.

The annual Cyber Security Christmas Lectures series aims to address this need by making young people aware of career opportunities in the industry and the realities of cyber crime. The tour will visit Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, from 12 – 16 December.

In their fifth year, the lectures are bigger than ever, with over 2700 pupils around the country set to attend the events hosted by five top universities. The event will also welcome its first international guest – Amalie Wedege, a security risk management expert from Danish firm Zero Alpha.

Amalie will be joined on the tour by experts including Police Scotland’s Eamonn Keane, NCC Group’s Rory McCune, and Andrew Cumming of Edinburgh Napier University, who will deliver an intriguing lecture, “Keeping Secrets with Pure Mathematics”.

Brian Higgins of (ICS)2, an international non-profit association focused on inspiring a safe and secure cyber world, will once again close proceedings in his own inimitable style with a fast paced, interactive competition where anything could happen (and often does).

Martin Beaton, Cyber Security Network Integrator for Scotland, says: “Surprisingly, digital native millennials have been shown to be among the groups most vulnerable to online crime and loss of personal information. Our Christmas Lectures bring cyber security to life in a fun setting, helping pupils to understand the risks they face as well as the opportunities available if they choose a career in the sector.

“Scotland is a global leader in protecting and educating businesses and the wider population about cyber security, but we need to make sure that we have a pipeline of new talent to ensure we can thrive online in years to come.”

The events are supported by Digital World, an initiative developed by Skills Development Scotland in partnership with industry, which inspires and supports people to go into digital technology careers.

Claire Gillespie, key sector manager for ICT and Digital Skills at SDS, said: “The digital technologies sector offers plenty of well-paid and interesting job opportunities and cyber security is one of the fastest growing specialisms. More than 10,000 school pupils have taken part in the lectures since 2011 and it’s fantastic to see the tour going from strength to strength.”

Maggie Morrison, Vice President Public Sector at CGI in Scotland, the main sponsor of the event, said: “One of our core aims in Scotland is to ensure that we have a digitally skilled nation in place, which can drive, deliver and protect businesses as we continue to embrace the online universe. Opportunities like this, which allow us to educate and engage with pupils at a point where they are making career choices and planning their futures, are therefore incredibly valuable.”

The lectures are part of a wider cyber security awareness programme, which includes the Scottish Cyber Awards, exciting cyber security competitions (both virtual and face-to-face), GCHQ women in cyber security day and secondary school residential cyber camps being held throughout the summer months.

This year’s supporters include SICSA, PwC, CGI, Education Scotland, Scottish Business Resilience Centre, Scottish Government, SQA, Scottish Enterprise, Police Scotland, Skills Development Scotland, the Digital World campaign, and a multitude of industry representatives that will provide the inspiring mix of talks.

To find out more visit


Cyber security statistics

  1. 8 million people affected by cyber crime in the UK last year –
  2. £4.1 million cost per cyber crime incident for large UK organisations – HPE 2015 Cost of Cyber Crime Study –


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.