New SICSA Research Themes Announced

During recent months, the SICSA Directors have been working with the SICSA Committee and SICSA Member Institutions on a comprehensive review of the SICSA Research Themes, with a view to aligning them more closely with today’s research and funding landscape.  The SICSA Directors are now pleased to announce the new SICSA Research Themes, which will come into effect from August 2016.

From August 2016 the new SICSA Research Themes will be:

  1. Human-Computer-Interaction: SICSA already has a well-established HCI theme.  This continues to be an important area of work in Scotland.  As digital technologies become more and more pervasive there is a continuing need for a focus on modes of interaction between people and machines.  As the depth and scale of the digitalisation of our societies continues apace we will see the emergence of more complex interactions involving complex assemblies of people, digital technologies and infrastructure where effective interaction is essential to the delivery of essential services in a safe, secure and resilient fashion.
  2. Networking & Systems the digital infrastructure has become a critical aspect of modern society. We have reached the stage where many politicians and others see good access to the Internet and other digital services as a basic human right.  But research across Networks and Systems continues to ensure that the infrastructure is safe, secure, resilient, accountable, neutral, transparent, manageable, scalable, predictable, …  and is ready for the challenge of supporting waves of innovation such as the Internet of Things.
  3. Data Science: Covers the management and analysis of data to provide the basis for the creation of new knowledge about the phenomena captured by the data.  A key aspect of this work is also the research into how these techniques can help build a secure society while ensuring that the rights of people to privacy, accountability and transparency are preserved. This theme recognises that there is a large body of researchers in Scotland working in Data Science both in the development of fundamental new techniques in the management and analysis of data and in the application of Data Science across a broad range of application domains.  In particular the close association of SICSA with The Data Lab Innovation Centre focuses attention on the Digital, Financial, Health and Energy sectors as key areas for the exploitation of these techniques.
  4. Cyber-Physical Systems: This theme studies systems that are embedded in the world and are intended to sense and change the environment via actuators of one sort or another. There is a well-established robotics activity in the SICSA Universities, and a growing interest in the Internet of Things (IoT).  IoT development will be critically influenced by the need for cyber-resilience as more and more of our physical surroundings become imbued with behaviour that is determined by software interacting with a host of other such embedded things.  Research on security and resilience will be a key feature both as a research challenge and as a major factor in the acceptance of IoT.  This theme is the main link point for the CENSIS Innovation Centre.
  5. Theory, Modelling and Computation: This research theme encompasses work on Theoretical Computer Science (including algorithms, cryptography, security, database theory, verification), Programming Languages, Logic and Mathematics. Here we will see the emergence of new results and techniques that will help drive long term development such as new privacy techniques, new approaches to distributed ledger technologies, program verification tools and techniques and new programming languages that are better adapted to the modern development and deployment environment.
  6. Artificial Intelligence: There is a strong group of Artificial Intelligence (AI) researchers in Scotland working both on gaining a deep understanding of the nature of intelligence using computational thinking as a basis and in the application of AI techniques in a range of domains. This theme will provide a clear platform to further develop their work.  AI techniques are becoming ever more pervasive.  In particular the use of algorithmic techniques to interpret data and assist in the coordination of human and machines in an intelligent manner.  This area of work in particular has a considerable impact on the resilience of our societies and understanding the full effects of the embedding of AI in human activity is a key area of work for this theme.

All of the themes listed above have a key role to play in understanding how we can build a secure and resilient Digital Economy and Society.  In order to coordinate this work, each theme will designate an individual to help coordinate the cybersecurity aspect of the theme and as a group these individuals will help to coordinate work on cybersecurity and will interact with the cybersecurity network integrators.

Each theme will be led by one or more SICSA Research Theme Leaders.  Recruitment for these positions is now open and applications can be made via our Vacancies page.





Funded Places available for CIBB2016, Computational Intelligence methods for Bioinformatics and Biostatistics 

CIBB2016, Computational Intelligence methods for Bioinformatics and Biostatistics

will be held in Stirling on 1st, 2nd and 3rd September 2016.

The conference is on computational approaches to life sciences in a quite broad sense. Approaches based on network analysis, as well as applications to systems and synthetic biology are, amongst others, themes of specific interest this year.   The conference also features a growing list of interesting invited talks and 5+ special sessions on cutting edge topics.

The submission deadline has been extended for 4-6 page papers, which will then be revised and published with Springer. Journal publication is also under negotiation, as traditional for the conference.

Thanks to the generous support by SICSA, SEVEN GRANTS covering registration fees will be offered to  PhD students studying at SICSA universities. 

Please CONTACT us at
if you want TO APPLY FOR A SICSA GRANT – or for any information you might need. Please, include your research topic, year, and university in your e-mail.

New SICSA Research Challenges Launched

We are pleased to announce the launch of four new SICSA Research Challenges, which will run from spring 2016 for 12-months.  The Challenges will feature a number of SICSA-wide events, which will be open to researchers from all SICSA Institutions.

The four new SICSA Research Challenges are:

Exploiting Serious Games for Public Engagement and Citizen Science in Plant Health

JominiEngine: A Serious Game Engine Across Learning Domains

Next Generation Mixed-Reality Systems

Serious Games, Collaboration and Embodied Interaction 

You can find out more about the Challenges and get involved by visiting the pages above or our Research Challenges page.

SICSA now recruiting for Director and SGA Director roles – Deadline Extended!

We are pleased to announce that we are now recruiting for the roles of SICSA Director and SICSA Graduate Academy (SGA) Director.  Relevant information about both roles and application forms can be found at our Vacancies page and in the documents below.

SICSA Director

SICSA Director Job Description

Application for the role of SICSA Director

SGA Director

SGA Graduate Academy Director Job Description

Application for the role of SGA Director

These roles are due to commence on 1st August 2016 and the closing date for applications for both roles is 30th June 2016. 

Launch of new SICSA KE Short-Theme

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new SICSA KE Short-Theme in “Defining the Future of Video Game Accessibility”.  The new Short-Theme will run from April 2016 to April 2017 and will be led by Dr Michael Crabb and Dr Michael Heron from Robert Gordon University, in partnership with the BBC.

If you would like to find out more, or get involved please visit the Defining the Future of Video Game Accessibility Research Theme web page.

SICSA PhD Conference 2016: Registration now open

The SICSA PhD Conference has become one of the highlights of the SICSA events calendar, bringing together Computing Science and Informatics PhD students, leading academics, and industry practitioners for 2 days of workshops, keynote presentations and social events. The conference is an event aimed specifically at Informatics and Computer Science PhD students and is organised each year by a committee of PhD students and members of the SICSA Executive. The event is fully funded by SICSA, there are no registration fees or accommodation charges.

The 2016 conference will take place on the 27th and 28th of June, 2016 at the Technology and Innovation Centre, University of Strathclyde.  Delegates from outside Glasgow will be accommodated overnight on the 27th of June in the Chancellors Halls of Residence . More information about things to do and see while in Glasgow can be found from the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau or VisitScotland.

Registration for the conference is now open and places are limited to 150 – therefore we recommend students register as soon as they can.

The full programme is available at the SICSA Conference 2016 web site.

We are delighted to confirm that this year’s conference is being sponsored by Google and ThinkAnalytics


Research Ventures Entrepreneurship Course – SICSA funded places available

However big, however small your ideas, Research Ventures is about finding out how you can develop them into something that matters for you.

SICSA has 10 fully-funded places for research students in Computer Science to attend the next Research Ventures event, which will take place at the University of Glasgow on 16 & 17 May 2016.

We’ll cover all the areas you’d expect from an entrepreneurship course (different business models, protecting your ideas, where to get funding…the nuts and bolts) but it doesn’t stop there. In two days, we get to the heart of what it means to be an enterprising researcher. You’ll meet some inspirational people and come away with new ideas, friends and collaborators, as well as a better understanding of what motivates you and how you can transform your ideas into reality

The course and the skills you will learn from it is designed to be relevant to you now, in your research environment, as well as in the future, whether you see that as being in academia or in another kind of role. The course is being run in collaboration with Enterprise Campus

Who is it for?
This course brings together early-career researchers (PGR and postdoctoral) from a wide variety of backgrounds, including physics, computer sciences, engineering, energy, chemistry and marine and earth sciences. It’s aimed at researchers with an interest in
Exploring the commercial possibilities of a research idea and how your research might attract industrial funding or be used in setting up a spin-out company
Knowledge exchange, research impact and winning funding for academic career progression
Future employment in industry
Collaboration with researchers from other disciplines

To apply for a fully funded place on this course, please email with your name, institution, year of study, whether you require accommodation on the 16 May, any special dietary requirements you may have, and also provide up to 200 words on why you wish to attend the course and how it might benefit you.

For more information please see the SICSA Events Page

SICSA Research Challenge Call Open – £10K available – Deadline Extended

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 SICSA Directorate has allocated a total of £10K for the period February 2016-February 2017 (maximum of £5K per Challenge).

 Challenge topics for this call include:

  • Cyber-Security
  • Serious Games

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 input to policy.
  • Clear linkage to impact in the challenge area.
  • Joint publications.
  • Joint funding bids/grants.
  • Knowledge Exchange/collaboration with industry

We particularly encourage applicants to consider a Horizon2020 proposal as a possible outcome to their challenge. Applicants can request additional funds up to £2k from the SICSA PEER programme to top-up their requested Challenge budget.

How to apply:
To apply for SICSA Challenge funding, please send a proposal of no more than two sides to 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.)
  5. Please provide a detailed breakdown of your proposed budget.

Please submit the proposal by 4pm on  25th February 2016 to If you would like to discuss the proposal in advance, please e-mail the SICSA Director, Stuart Anderson.

SICSA Education Induction Day

SICSA Education Induction Day 16th February 2016, University of Glasgow

This SICSA Induction Day is oriented to recently appointed Higher Education academics in Computing and related disciplines.  Established academics, school teachers, and research students and staff are also welcome.  We will cover discipline specific matters in regards to teaching computing such as:

• Teaching and Assessing Programming
• Small group teaching in a practical setting;
• Supervising and setting honours projects.

The schedule for the day is:

09:30  – Registration with Coffee
10:00  – Professor Judy Robertson, The Lazy Lecturer: how to get your students to do the thinking
11:00  – Professor Quintin Cutts, Exploring Attitudes ad Approaches to Teaching and Assessment of Programming
12:00  – Lunch
12:30  – Darran Gardner, Introduction to the Data Lab for new academics
13:00  – Dr Karen Petrie, Creating a new module based on your research
14:00  – Coffee Break
14:15  – Question & Answer Panel Session with new academics
Panel members:
Dr Rachel Menzies, University of Dundee (Chair)
Dr Chris Jefferson, University of St Andrews
Dr Julie Williamson, University of Glasgow
Dr Mark Zarb, Robert Gordon University
Dr Angela Siegel , Robert Gordon University
15:00  – Close

The Induction Day is free to attend but for catering purposes please register at the Eventbrite page

If you have any specific questions regarding this event, please contact Dr Karen Petrie, SICSA Education Director

Call for Speakers for the SICSA Education Induction Day

Call for speakers: SICSA Induction Day Tuesday 16th February 2016

We will be holding our annual SICSA education induction day on the 16th of February between 10am and 3pm in Room 423, Sir Alwyn Williams Building, School of Computing Science, University of Glasgow.

We are looking for people who are interested in leading a session at this event. We are particularly keen to have new lecturers who have perhaps attended a SICSA education induction event in the past.  What do you wish you had known when you embarked on your academic career? What could you have learned at the SICSA induction event that would have helped you?

All offers of sessions should be emailed to by Monday the 8th of February so that the programme can be finalised the week before the event.

If you have any specific questions regarding this call please contact Karen Petrie, SICSA Education Director.