9th & 10th of July


Developing Adaptability and Resilience 

Audience at a conference

About the event

Developing Adaptability and Resilience

This year, the focus of the SICSA Conference will be on developing adaptability and resilience. Building on last year’s programme addressing interdisciplinary challenges, the 2024 SICSA Conference will focus on resilience and adaptation in computer science research.    Increasingly, research focus and funding is led by societal challenges that are of international concern. 

Students and researchers at all career stages face challenges and constraints but these circumstances can also present unexpected opportunities for growth, connection and innovation.  The aim of this conference is to expose research students to tools and strategies for navigating difficult or unexpected circumstances with composure, curiosity and creativity. 

The conference will include keynotes from high-profile speakers on the challenge-led research landscape, as well as workshops on research programme road mapping and interdisciplinary collaboration. Students will have opportunities to practice these skills in small teams drawn from the diverse fields of our discipline, in order to develop their own collective research visions

Speakers and Organising Committee

Meet our speakers and organising committee

Tim Storer

SICSA Deputy Director

Tim is a Senior Lecturer in Computing based within the School of Computing Science at the University of Glasgow.

Stuart Anderson

SICSA Director

Stuart Anderson is a Personal Chair in Dependable Systems in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh.

Andrei Petrovski

SICSA Graduate Academy Director

Andrei is a Reader within the School of Computing Science and Digital Media at Robert Gordon University.

Matthew Barr

SICSA Education Director

Matthew is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing Science at the University of Glasgow.

Debbie Meharg

SICSA Deputy Education Director

Debbie is Head of Applied Informatics at the School of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment at Edinburgh Napier University.

Juliette Lang

SICSA Project and Events Officer

Juliette is based in the School of Computing Science at the University of Glasgow.

Aiden Durrant

SICSA Conference Local Chair

Aiden is a Lecturer in the School of Natural and Computing Sciences at the University of Aberdeen.

Rebecca Potts

PhD Student Committee Lead

Becca is a PhD student in the School of Natural and Computing Sciences at the University of Aberdeen.

Gerardo Aragon Camarasa

Candidate - Reverse Viva

Gerardo is a Senior Lecturer in Computing Science at the University of Glasgow.


Marianne Wilson

Education Session Panellist

Marianne is a Researcher PhD student at Edinburgh Napier University


Dr Jason Adair

SICSA Conference Academic Chair

Jason is a Lecturer in Data Science at the University of Stirling.

dejice jacob

Dejice Jacob

Keynote Speaker

Dejice is a post-doctoral researcher in the Systems theme at the School of Computing Science at the University of Glasgow.

Elizabeth adams

Workshop Facilitator

Elizabeth is an external consultant with expertise in researcher development and research culture.

Simon Fowler

Candidate - Reverse Visa

Simon is a Lecturer in Programming Language Foundations at the University of Glasgow

Janette Wark

Dr. Janette Wark PhD, RTTP

EPSRC’s Head of Regional Engagement

Janette has more than 25 years of experience as a researcher, academic, and entrepreneur, working with a broad range of stakeholders from across Scotland and the UK.


Ike Nkisi-Orji

Workshop Facilitator

Simon Burnett PhD

Professor Simon Burnett PhD

Workshop Facilitator


Vast number of different speeches and activities

9:00 – 9:30 | Reception area and Silver Glen Room

Registration and Coffee

9:30 – 9:50 | Blair Atholl Lecture Style

Welcome to the SICSA Conference 2024

Introducing the theme of the conference – setting research agendas.

The state goal of the workshop is to develop their own research roadmap for a collectively identified topic.

9:50 – 10:50 | Blair Atholl Lecture Style

Keynote Speaker: The CS and Informatics Research Challenge Landscape

10:50 – 11:20 | Silver Glen Room

Coffee Break

11:20 – 12:30 | Blair Atholl Lecture Style

Interactive Ice-breaker for small groups

12:30 – 13:30 | Restaurant


13:30 – 15:30 | Parallel Sessions

Workshop | Iona | Working in multidisciplinary teams

Workshop | Blairlogie | Horizon Scanning

Workshop | Ochil | Collective paper authoring, challenges, practices, tooling

Workshop | Hermitage | Building a Research Roadmap

Meetup | Mull | SICSA Education Panel & Meetup

15:30 – 15:50 | Silver Glen Room

Coffee Break

15:50 – 17:15 | Various Breakout Rooms

Team reporting back, initial brainstorming, sketching roadmaps, workshop facilitators, new academics, and directors on hand for advice and guidance.

17:15 – 18:45 | Stirling Court Hotel

Accommodation Check-in

18:45 – 21:00 | Restaurant

Conference Reception and Dinner


8:45 – 9:15 | Reception area and Silver Glen Room

Registration and Coffee

9:15 – 9:30 | Blair Atholl Lecture Style

Day 2 Welcome and Overview

9:30 – 10:30 | Blair Atholl Lecture Style

Keynote 2:  PhD Best Thesis runner-up. DrDejice Jacob, University of Glasgow

Building a career post-research degree

10:30 – 11:45 | Reverse Vivas

Reverse Viva 1 | Blairlogie | Software Engineering

Reverse Viva 2 | Hermitage | AI

Reverse Viva 3 | Iona | Systems

Reverse Viva 4 | Ochil | Theory

11:45 – 12:00 | Silver Glen Room

Coffee Break

12:00 – 13:30 | Various Breakout Rooms

Develop roadmap pitch presentations, facilitators, directors etc on hand to support

13:30 – 14:30 | Restaurant


14:30 – 15:30 | Various Breakout Rooms | Roadmap Pitching Parallel Sessions

Pitching Session 1

Pitching Session 2

Pitching Session 3

Pitching Session 4

15:30 – 15:45 | Comfort Break

Judges Agree Finalists

15:45 – 16:45 | Blair Atholl Lecture Style

Pitching final (4 parallel session heat winners) and awards

16:45 – 17:15 

Prizes, closing ceremony

The venue

University of Aberdeen

King's College, Old Aberdeen, AB24 3FX

The SICSA Conference 2024 will take place at the University of Aberdeen campus, which has good transport links from all Scottish cities.  PhD students and early-career researchers from universities all around Scotland can look forward to an inspiring 2 day program of talks, workshops, and events.

We will also have a drinks reception and conference dinner on the first evening of the conference.

There are no registration fees and free accommodation is provided for students who require to travel to the event. The event is fully funded by SICSA.  Overnight accommodation will be at Hillhead Halls of Residence and there is a bus service which runs to and from the Halls and main campus. 

SICSA Education Panel & Meetup


Tutoring is often the first taste a PhD student gets of teaching. Whether helping out in a lab, leading tutorials, or even delivering your first lectures, teaching can sometimes be a daunting prospect if you’ve not done it before. In this panel, chaired by SICSA Education Director, Dr Matthew Barr, we’ll hear from five seasoned tutors about their experience of teaching: Gregor Haywood (University of St Andrews), Laura Larios-Jones (University of Glasgow), Jack Parkinson (University of Glasgow), Ezra Schoen (University of Strathclyde), and Marianne Wilson (Edinburgh Napier University). The panel session will be followed by an informal meet-up and networking opportunity.

Reverse Viva


Researcher Giving a Presentation

In this workshop, an established academic has their own PhD thesis “examined” by a panel of current students in front of an audience.

The goal of this is to give students a chance to be exposed to the kind of questions and answers they will face in their own vivas. We are planning to have multiple parallel sessions, each covering one of the SICSA research themes.

Register to the event

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PhD Thesis Competition

Man with a VR Glasses set

The SICSA Graduate Academy is an integral part of SICSA. The breadth and depth of research carried out by graduate researchers across Scotland is stunning indeed. To recognise and celebrate the very best of this research, we are excited to announce the SICSA PhD Award for Best Dissertation in Scotland.

Selected from PhD dissertations awarded in the past year (2023/2024), the award is intended to recognise and honour outstanding research and exposition.

The submissions showcase the best exemplars of graduate research across Scotland, with entries from Scottish institutions. The submissions are reviewed by a selection committee consisting of senior researchers in Computer Science and Informatics and chaired by the SICSA Graduate Academy Director.

A prize of £2,000 will be awarded to the winning dissertation.

SICSA Education

Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship Programme 2023-24

Early to mid-career colleagues involved in teaching Computing Science and related subjects at SICSA member institutions are invited to apply for the SICSA Education Learning & Teaching Scholars programme.

Launched in 2022, the Scholars programme is designed to develop and support early-to-mid career CS academics with a focus on education. Successful applicants will take part in a series of online and in-person activities to develop their scholarship, culminating in the presentation of an idea that can be taken forward into a publication.

The programme will also include an online workshop on Learning & Teaching leadership, delivered by an experienced external partner. In addition, Scholars will be assigned a mentor, with whom they will meet a minimum of twice over the course of the programme. At the end of the programme, Scholars will be invited to write about their experience for the SICSA Education blog.

Applications from academics on Learning & Teaching contracts are particularly welcome. If you’re not sure if this is right for you, or if you have any questions about the programme, please contact our Education Director, Dr Matthew Barr: Matthew.Barr@glasgow.ac.uk.

two women coding on a laptop


21 August 2023 Applications open

20 September 2023 Appplications close

22 September 2023 Scholars announced