SICSA Research Challenges – Call now open – £10K Available

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

Potential challenge topics could include:
• Critical Infrastructure Protection
• Health Promoting Environments
• Smart Transportation
• Energy Efficient Environments
• Smart Tourism
• Creative and Cultural Industry Support
• Rurality
• Identity in the Digital World
• From Digital Experience to Evidence
• Secure Societies
• Digital Inequality
• Urban Informatics
• Disaster Management
• Environmental Change
• Manufacturing Informatics
• The Internet of Educational Things
• Blending Education and Experience
• Learning to Program

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 policy input to policy.
• Clear linkage to impact in the challenge area.
• Joint publications.
• Consortia bidding projects into funding lines.
• Knowledge exchange via the Innovation Centres that have potential for translation.

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.)

Please submit the proposal by 4pm on 10th December 2015 to Steven Kendrick, SICSA Executive Officer. If you would like to discuss the proposal in advance, please e-mail the SICSA Director, Stuart Anderson.

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