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Computing Projects

All Informatics users (staff and students) may request development effort from Computing Support. This may be to add a new service, add features to an existing service, or may be for any other changes in our provided computing facilities.

To see all our existing projects and to request development effort go to the Computing Projects web site. To propose a project you simply need to provide a reasonable description and identify the beneficiaries. You may propose a project purely for yourself or on behalf of a wider group of users.

Once a project has been proposed it will go through an internal review process. We aim to review projects within ten working days unless they have particularly complex requirements. You may be consulted during this review process. You will then be informed whether your project has been approved or rejected and why. In order to be approved projects should fall into one of our defined target prioritisation groups. These are:

a project covering work required by College, University, Head of School and/or due to external legislative changes and in some cases security related changes.
falling under one of our specific programmes in the currently presiding annual computing plan.
falling under one of our general mission objectives, see below.

Projects that cannot be placed under one of the above may still be approved in principle but are unlikely to ever be resourced unless widely supported across the School. You are welcome to advertise a proposed project (while under review or after approved) within the School to solicit support and comments. Individually submitted projects with a lot of interest across the School are much more likely to be approved and resourced sooner than those with none. You can see the list of the currently proposed projects under review at Proposed Computing Projects.

All approved projects go into a queue to wait on resourcing. You can see the list of the currently approved projects at Approved Computing Projects. The queue is prioritised first in order of the groups above (Mandatory, Strategic then Objective). Within each group projects are initially prioritised on a first come first served basis. However, mandatory deadlines, level of support across the School, technical constraints and the available computing staff at any one time may also affect prioritisation.

Once resourced, projects will start running immediately and should run to completion (or in rare cases abandonment). You can see the list of the currently running projects at Running Computing Projects. While a project is running you are encouraged to keep in regular contact with the lead developer to check on progress and discuss any evolving requirements. The developers should also be in touch with you as the finer detail of what needs to be done firms up. If at any point the project does not seem to be progressing or you want to escalate any other issue then contact the manager of the project. Beyond this (or where the manager is also the lead developer) contact the Head of Computing.

Mission Objectives

Informatics Computing serves around 350 staff (250 teaching and research), 440 research students, 715 taught postgraduate students, 1380 undergraduates, and 290 visitors and associates. The aim of the Informatics Computing staff is to ensure that members of the School of Informatics (staff, students and visitors) receive computing services necessary for their research, teaching and administrative activities. These services should be efficient, fit to users’ requirements, good value for money and use open standards.

We have five principal aims underpinning the Informatics Computing Strategy:

  • S1 Maintenance, review and update of a computing environment fit for the purposes of all members of the School.
  • S2 Providing added value over services offered by College and IS.
  • S3 Maintaining an optimum level of interoperability of Informatics Computing with College and IS services.
  • S4 Provision of expertise to support the teaching and research activities of the School.
  • S5 Engagement with international best practice.

We have specific objectives relating to the computing infrastructure and to the activities of the School: research, teaching and administration.


We are committed to providing an infrastructure that ensures that members of the School get those services that they need. These services may be provided by the School, by IS or by external organisations.

  • I1 Review and evaluate computing infrastructure change taking account of changing user needs and general computing trends.
  • I2 Development of new services.
  • I3 Provision of Informatics know-how and technologies to college and university level, and beyond.


In addition to providing a flexible, responsive environment for research in the School, we must meet the specific research requirements across our research institutes, and structure research computing support to be well-matched to the ways researchers propose and carry out research projects.

  • R1 Continued development of lightweight, responsive support for research computing that is fully compatible with full economic costing of research
  • R2 Ensuring that Informatics users get efficient, responsive access to high performance research computing and storage facilities
  • R3 Provision of support for interdisciplinary and collaborative research projects
  • R4 Development of prototype services from R&D projects


In addition to providing a stable environment for the School’s teaching activities, we shall:

  • T1 Support research-led teaching by providing support for the transfer of research tools to our standard teaching platform.
  • T2 Support appropriate assessment of students (eg online examinations).
  • T3 Provision of expertise to support teaching activities


We shall support the School business processes. We also aim to support planning and decision making through the timely and effective maintenance and provision of Management Information.

Interaction with IS

We shall focus on

  • on being early adopters of services that may or may not become commodity
  • on developing new services that are specific to, or inspired by, our environment

We shall use IS services wherever possible, unless there are sound academic or technical reasons for not doing so. However, we shall take a careful approach when considering migration from a School service to the equivalent IS service.

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