SICSA HCI Sustainable Challenge Fund

The SICSA HCI Theme is proud to announce the 2022 HCI Sustainable Challenge Fund. This fund intends to bring together researchers involved in work surrounding the UN Sustainable Development Goals that involve HCI methods and thinking. We anticipate that this fund will be helpful for researchers interested in running a series of events that will culminate in larger, multidisciplinary research applications.

In this first round, we anticipate funding a maximum of two challenge bids and have £3,000 to support this. Funding can facilitate a series of events linked to a specific challenge theme, and we would encourage applicants to be creative in their approach to this. We also encourage applicants to reach outside of the HCI theme and find collaborators from other academic areas that would add value to their application.

The first round of this funding closes on Friday, 29th April. We will communicate decisions to applicants by 13 May, and all budgets must be spent by the end of July 2022.

Any applications should follow the SICSA Research Theme Event Sponsorship Guidelines.

Applications should be made to and should detail:

The application should be a maximum of 2 sides of A4 paper and should detail:

  • The team involved in the bid (including affiliations),
  • The specific UN Sustainability Goals that the work links to, and how the work promotes these goals,
  • An outline of events planned as part of the Challenge Fund,
  • A brief breakdown of costs for the application

Potential applicants can send any questions surrounding the 2022 HCI SCF Fund to Mary-Ellen Foster  and Michael Crabb.

SICSA AI Research Theme – Call for Small Research Grants

The SICSA Artificial Intelligence Research Theme invites proposals to support Scottish AI researchers in carrying out research activities over the summer of 2022. We anticipate applications for three types of activities (or a combination):

  • Travel/networking (max £250)
  • Equipment including cloud credits (max £500)
  • Studentship (max £1000)

While there is no restriction on the topics, we encourage applications to research into new AI-related areas and those that are difficult to find funding for. We are particularly keen to support proposals that also align with the emerging SFC challenge areas of:

  • Future Health and Wellbeing
  • Tackling the Climate Emergency and the Just Transition to
    Net Zero
  • Transition to a Sustainable economy

Projects can also be topped up by host institutions. Total funds are limited so we will have a preference for projects that show good value for money, and we don’t expect to award more than 2 summer studentships.

The closing date for this call is 29 April 2022.

Please send questions on the scheme to Dimitra Gkatzia and Sandy Brownlee.

SICSA AI Small Grants Sponsorship Guidelines.

SICSA AI Small Grants Application Form.

SICSA and EIT Digital Boost Scottish European Student Exchange Programme


SICSA and EIT Digital partner to deliver Scottish Funding Council Saltire Scheme

Scotland & Brussels, March 2nd, 2022:

The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) have partnered with EIT Digital to deliver on a £75k SFC investment in renewing and strengthening Scottish – European research collaborations.

The “Saltire Emerging Researcher Scheme” is part of a £6.75m Programme funded by the Scottish Government to support international and EU activity and collaboration including boosting support for international research collaboration and talent attraction, increase scholarship offering to include EU students and support the effective use of alumni globally.

SICSA, in partnership with EIT Digital, has been awarded funding within the Saltire Scheme to reinforce and build new research partnerships while developing individual researchers’ networks with European partners across the Computer Science discipline. The scheme will fully fund incoming and outgoing exchanges of up to six months to both enhance the training experience for PhD Students and support Early Career Researchers in developing their networks and collaborations across Scotland and Europe.  The partnership leverages the reach of EIT Digital’s extensive network across Europe in research intensive institutions and SICSA’s strong network of partnerships across Scottish Computing Science.

Professor Stuart Anderson, Director of SICSA said “Informatics and Computer Science researchers in SICSA do have strong and vibrant links with researchers across Europe.  However, BREXIT has had a severe cooling effect on funding channels because of complex and protracted negotiations on funding.  The Saltire awards give our PhD students and Early Career Researchers an immediate boost in reinforcing existing and building new collaborations.  These will form the foundations of new long-term collaborative research across the EU.”

Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Higher and Further Education said: “I am delighted to see funding under the Saltire Emerging Research Scheme has enabled this partnership between SICSA and EIT Digital. This partnership has increased the reach and opportunities for exchange and collaboration for both Scottish and European researchers, to help them deliver a better digital future.”

Morgan Gillis, EIT Digital’s UK director, commented that: “EIT Digital is very pleased with the take-up of its programs in Scotland and delighted to be deeply involved in the international development of Scotland’s digital economy across a range of sectors. We much appreciate our close collaboration with Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Funding Council as strategic partners in making this success possible.”

Stuart Fancey, Director of Research and Innovation at the Scottish Funding Council, said: “Forging strong international links is a crucial part of maintaining and enhancing Scotland’s world-class reputation for research and innovation. The Saltire Emerging Researcher Scheme is therefore an incredibly important investment in the future. The partnership between SICSA and EIT Digital demonstrates the energy and commitment that will make the scheme a success for everyone involved. I am sure all those taking part in the SICSA/EIT Digital exchanges will benefit considerably from the experience.”    

EIT Digital in Scotland is funded by our partners Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Funding Council. We are also supported by Highlands & Islands Enterprise, FinTech Scotland, Edinburgh Innovations and University of Edinburgh.

Press notes

EIT Digital’s Satellite Office, opened in Edinburgh in April 2019 by Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation Ivan McKee, has maintained strong progress within its remit to deliver impact to Scotland’s national digital economy with €6m of new investment to commercialise innovative new digital  products and the launch of three Scottish doctoral programs focussed on Fintech, Privacy and 5G/Future Wireless Communication – all domains of national strategic importance.

SICSA is a Research Pool, funded by the Scottish Funding Council and 14 partner Universities to promote collaboration in research, teaching and knowledge exchange across its partner Universities.  It is part of Research and Innovation Scotland that brings together all of the Scottish Research Pools and Innovation Centres to cooperate on multi-disciplinary challenges.

Contact details for:

EIT Digital:


New SICSA Research Theme Co-Lead for Data Science

We are delighted to announce Dr Stewart Massie, Robert Gordon University commenced in the role of the Data Science Research Theme Co-Lead today taking over the role from Professor Mike Chantler, Heriot Watt University.

Stewart is currently a Reader in Computer Science at Robert Gordon University working in the Smart Information Systems group with the School of Computing.  He has been heavily involved in SICSA in the early years with the SMART Tourism initiative and was a regular exhibitor and attendee at our annual DemoFest events.  Stewarts vision for the role as Research Theme Co-lead is to work closely with Dr Yashar Moshfeghi (current Co-Lead) to broaden the Data Science research theme’s impact within the academic environment and more widely with other potential stakeholders by encouraging the research to be more applicable, transparent and accessible.

Stewart is succeeding in the role by Professor Mike Chantler, Heriot Watt University who has been instrumental in leading /co-leading the Data Science Research Theme over many years.  Mike remains very involved in SICSA and the SICSA Directorate would like to express our huge thanks and gratitude for his support, hard-work and loyalty over the years.

Spring into Methods 2022 – Call for Proposals

The Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities, in partnership with the Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences, are collaborating on Spring into Methods to commission interactiveinterdisciplinary and innovative research methods training for our postgraduate researchers.

The Spring into Methods programme brings together arts, humanities, social science, and other doctoral researchers from across Scotland to offer sessions providing an in-depth approach to learning a specific research method for up to 15 hours.

SGSAH and SGSSS invite proposals from members of staff in any of the affiliated HEIs to provide this training which will be offered, with our support, both/either online and face-to-face. To increase accessibility, we ask for highly interactive proposals delivered either online, in person, or a blend of both (hybrid). We aim to fund 6-8 training proposals.

Our emphasis is on interactive, interdisciplinary and innovative sessions that demonstrate both expertise in methods training and leadership to involve early career researchers in delivery. Our main audience is doctoral researchers from arts, humanities, and social science, but our emphasis on interdisciplinarity means we encourage applications from other disciplines, e.g. academics affiliated with centres for doctoral training (e.g. the UKRI Centre For Doctoral Training in Socially Intelligent Artificial Agents (SOCIAL AI) or research pools (e.g. SICSA, the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance).

The deadline for workshop proposals is 4pm on Friday 28 January 2022.

Workshop proposals open
Tuesday 7 December 2021
Deadline for workshop proposals
Friday 28 January 2022, 4pm
Applicants informed of decision
Monday 7 February 2022
Applications open for students
Monday 14 February 2022
Deadline for student applications
Monday 28 February 2022, 5pm
Students informed of application outcome
w/c Monday 7 March 2022
Events take place
Monday 11 April – Friday 27 May 2022 (avoiding Easter weekend 15-18 April and Spring holiday on 2 May 2022)
Submit a Proposal

Submit a proposal via the SGSSS website here: (scroll down for the online submission form, below the timetable).

If you have any questions regarding this scheme then please do not hesitate to get in touch with Mike Crabb.

More information and guidance.


SICSA appoints new Director of Education

We are delighted to announce Dr Matthew Barr, University of Glasgow is joining us as the new Director of Education. Dr Barr (Matt) commenced in post this week taking over from Dr Mark Zarb, Robert Gordon University who stepped down following 2 years in the role.

Matt is well known to SICSA due to his active involvement within our Education Theme over the years and will join the Directorate with a great ongoing vision for the role. He has been involved with events focused on Graduate Apprenticeships and championing the urgency of gender balance in CS Education. Matt initiated and led the organisation of a SICSA supported workshop on Gender Imbalance in Computing Science Education in May 2020 which ultimately resulted in the creation of the Ada Scotland Festival.  He has also been involved in supporting his colleagues with other SICSA funded workshops over the years.

Matt has been teaching in Higher Education in some form since 2008, after leaving industry to work as a research systems developer at the University of Glasgow.  He has built an expansive network of contacts over the years with colleagues from Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Government/Scottish Funding Council as well as a range of industry partners.

When notified of his appointment to the role as SICSA Director of Education, Matt said “I am delighted to be able to serve as Director of Education for SICSA. It is my intention to use this opportunity to work on improving equality, diversity and inclusion in Computing Science education across Scotland’s universities. I also hope to be able to create mentorship opportunities for colleagues engaged in teaching CS, and help to share the excellent teaching practice that I know goes on across all of our institutions!”

Matt is succeeding in the role by Dr Mark Zarb who has been the SICSA Director of Education for the last two years.  The SICSA Directorate would like to extend a huge thank you to Mark for his amazing work with CS Education.  Amongst other areas of achievement within the role, Mark has created and strengthened the CS Education community, supported a vast range of education events, and initiated the Educations Champions who produced ongoing webinars on how to adapt to on-line teaching which were a great source of support to our SICSA colleagues throughout the pandemic.  Mark’s enthusiasm, positivity and zest for CS Education is admirable and we wish him well in his new role at RGU!

Call for SICSA Conference 2022 PhD Organisation Committee Members

The SICSA PhD Conference will take place in June 2022 at Glasgow Caledonian University and remotely online. As we have in previous years, we are calling for PhD students who wish to join the PhD student organising committee. Being a part of this committee can be immensely rewarding and you will have the opportunity to work with ICT PhD students and academic members of staff throughout Scotland. You will gain experience in all aspects for organising a high-profile academic event and make a significant contribution to the success of a conference that is becoming more popular year on year.

Please note that as a conference committee member you will be required to attend videocall meetings every 4-6 weeks and dedicate considerable time and effort towards the organisation of the 2022 conference.  You will be reimbursed for any travel expenses incurred.

If you wish to be considered as a member of the organisation committee, please complete the short application form attached to this email.  If you are a PhD student in Informatics/Computer Science, working in a SICSA institution you are eligible.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with Dr Jamie Ferguson.

SICSA Conference 2022 – Organising Committee Application Form.

Recruiting a new Data Science Research Theme Co-Lead

SICSA Data Science Research Theme…. recruiting a new theme co-leader

 Applications are invited for any suitable member of academic staff within a SICSA Institution to co-lead the SICSA Data Science Research Theme.

 The role of the SICSA Theme Leaders is to coordinate activities within each of the defined SICSA themes and further develop coherent communities in these areas.

Research Theme leaders are taking on increasingly public facing roles on behalf of SICSA and are called upon to help shape and direct the theme but also to provide a face and national representation for their theme area.

Elements of Research Theme activities potentially have some emphasis on challenge-based research such as: Future Health and Wellbeing, Tackling the Climate emergency and the just transition to net zero, Developing the Blue Economy, Enhancing Cultural wellbeing and the creative economy, Transition to a Sustainable economy.   This provides an exciting opportunity for the new Research Theme Co-Lead to work alongside other disciplines and SICSA research themes to organise some cross-theme/discipline activities whilst maintaining core discipline activities

For more information on the role please refer to the Data Science Co-Theme Leader Job Descriptor.  If you would like to speak to the current Theme Leaders about the role please get in touch with Professor Mike Chantler ( and/or Dr Yashar Moshfeghi

More information on the role can be found on the role descriptor.

To apply, please complete the application form and send it to by Friday 17th December 2021.

We are now recruiting for a new SICSA Director of Education

SICSA is now recruiting a new Director of Education

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.

This role provides an excellent opportunity for the right candidate to not only shape the future direction of SICSA Education, but also the direction of the presently changing landscape in computing education as we emerge from the covid-19 pandemic.

It is expected that the candidate is seconded to this role for 0.2FTE (one day a week).

If you would like to speak informally about the role, please contact our current Director of Education, Dr Mark Zarb ( )

More information on the role can be found on the role descriptor

To apply, please complete the application form and send it to by Friday 17th December 2021.

The Coffee Break @ RIS

We invite once again participation to the Coffee Break @ RIS, an on- going opportunity to participate in short, informal online conversations with researchers from across disciplines and geographical locations within Scotland. We are joined this month by the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science, the UK’s largest facilitator of funding, training and support for doctoral students in social science. By combining the expertise of sixteen universities across Scotland, the school facilitates world-class PhD research. The school is funded jointly by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Scottish Funding Council.

Who can participate:

Any researcher (academic, postdoc, PhD student) from any of the RIS research pools, Innovation Centres and the SGSSS.

Working across disciplines is notoriously difficult in ordinary circumstances. Currently, we don’t have those opportunities for fortuitous encounters that happen in the coffee break – the kind of conversations that can, just sometimes, lead to something really interesting. Join this initiative to make connections with other researchers across Scotland, gain insights and broaden your mind.

How to participate:

You can complete the short form stating your discipline and the discipline you wish to engage with.  The RIS team will coordinate the matching of participants, schedule and set up the 15-minute zoom call.

We don’t place any expectations on these conversations … it is simply an introduction that might lead to something really interesting.

If you need more information:

Get in touch with Tim Storer (SICSA KE Director on behalf of RIS).