SAP and Cabinet Office Hackathon Event – calling student participants

SAP, in conjunction with the Cabinet Office, is organising a Hackathon on Friday 27 November in London and are looking for two to three students from Oxford to participate.

The event is part of a Cabinet Office project looking at reducing fraud across two government departments – HMRC and DWP.  Students from across the UK with a good technical or mathematical background will participate in the hackathons. The initial event will kick off at noon on Friday and continue through the night to 2pm on Saturday.  SAP are providing accommodation in a nearby hotel. The Cabinet Office will provide the data structures for one of their repositories that holds around 8 million records.

For this exercise the students will take the data structures, gain some basic understanding of one of their systems called Hana Cloud Platform and build a concept that would enable the Cabinet Office to detect fraud more effectively using an analysis of household composition.

Winning teams will go through to a second event in February where the Cabinet Office will be asking them to build a technical demonstration.

For more information about how to participate please contact Martin Gollogly who is organising the event.

Oxford Comic Con 2016 – call for papers

Not the usual call for papers …

Oxford Comic Con is inviting abstracts for its 2016 Conference which will be held at Examination Schools, 5-6 March 2016.

The conference will be exploring academic subjects relating to popular comic books, science fiction movies and other forms of popular culture.  It aims to use these media to convey academic research to the public in a fun and engaging way.Papers can take the form of short presentations, panels or debates and possible subjects include scientific debates behind the Force, Ant-Man, the Incredible Hulk, etc.  The choice is yours!

Facebook page:

Please send proposals and brief bio to Head of Knowledge Michael Serafian at

The deadline for abstracts is 15 December 2015

Alan Turing Fellowships

The Alan Turing Institute Fellowship Call is now online:

The Fellowships are for early career researchers and are for 3 years, with a possible additional 2 years of support. The deadline for application is 15 December 2015.

This is a unique opportunity for early career researchers to join The Alan Turing Institute, based at the Institute in the British Library, London. The Alan Turing Institute is the UK’s new national data science institute, established to bring together world-leading expertise to provide leadership in the emerging field of data science. The Institute has been founded by the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, UCL and Warwick and EPSRC and  the ATI fellowships will be awarded to individual candidates and fellows will be employed by one of the joint venture partner universities.

Alan Turing Fellowship applications can be made in all data science research areas. We have been advised that the ATI is particularly keen for women applicants.  Remuneration is described as “competitive with research fellowship pay scales” with an additional London living allowance.

Successful candidates are expected to have:

  • A PhD in a data science or adjacent subject (or to have submitted their doctorate before taking up the post)
  • An excellent publication record and/or demonstrated excellent research potential such as via preprints
  • A novel and challenging research agenda that will advance the strategic objectives of the Institute
  • Leadership potential.

In addition to the open call for the Alan Turing Fellowships, there are two specific fellowship programmes in data-centric engineering, and data-analytics and high-performance computing.  For further details of these particular programmes, please contact

Horizon 2020 Work Programme Changes


The UK Research Office  (UKRO) has published some useful information outlining how the recently published Horizon 2020 Work Programme for 2016-2017 differs from the 2014-2015 Programme.

Nine focus area calls have been set for 2016-17 designed to provide stronger integration on key areas of political relevance and societal concern across the different Work Programme parts (areas 7,8 and 9 below are new to 2016-2017):

  1. Automated Road Transport
  2. Digital Security
  3. Energy Efficiency
  4. Competitive Low-carbon Energy
  5. Blue Growth
  6. Sustainable Food Security
  7. Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy
  8. Internet of Things
  9. Smart and Sustainable Cities

A novelty in Horizon 2020 was the introduction of an open research data pilot aimed at improving access to and re-use of data generated by projects. The data pilot concerns selected core areas within Horizon 2020 and the number of these cores has been expanded in the 2016-2017 to cover:

Future and Emerging Technologies; Research infrastructures (including e-Infrastructures); Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies – Information and Communication Technologies; Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, and Biotechnology: ‘nanosafety’ and ‘modelling’ topics; Societal Challenge: Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy Societal Challenge: Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw materials – except raw materials; Societal Challenge: Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective Societies; Science with and for Society; and Cross-cutting activities – focus areas – part Smart and Sustainable Cities.

The list of types of action has been expanded to include European Joint Programme (EJP) Cofund actions, designed to support coordinated national research and innovation programmes.

The wording on the aspects to be taken into account when applying the award criteria has also been updated: under ‘Excellence’, reference is now made to `interdisciplinary’ approaches (previously ‘trans-disciplinary’) and use of stakeholder knowledge; under ‘Impact’, the impact statements in the work programme topic descriptions have been given slightly more prominence; and under ‘Implementation’, it is now clearer that each partner should have a valid role, resources to match its tasks, and that over-inflated work-packages may be penalised.

Finally, for two-stage proposals, ‘dynamic’ thresholds for the first stage have been introduced whereby the overall threshold will be set such that the total requested budget of proposals admitted to the second stage is as close as possible to three times the available budget.

For further information about the changes to Horizon 2020, please contact Kelly or myself in Research Support.

Cyber Security Pre-Call Announcement

ESRCA pre-call announcement for collaborative interdisciplinary research projects on Society, Integrity and Cyber-security has been issued by NordForsk, together with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), within the Nordic Societal Security Programme.

The funding of 4.2 m EURO is available to fund up to five projects.  The call will be issued in December with  an application deadline 15 March 2016.

Proposals are invited for joint projects under the following priority themes:

1.   Governance, norms and regulatory approaches
2.   Understanding behaviours
3.   Surveillance, privacy and data protection

More information can be found at:

Full details will be available in December please come back to the Research Support team if you are interested in putting in an application for funding.