August Update

Dear Colleagues,

I hope as many of you as possible were able to join the graduation ceremonies and celebrations this year. It has been a busy three days because we also wanted to fit in those ceremonies which were cancelled in December due to the weather. As ever staff did a fantastic job organising the events and I’d like to thank everyone involved.

It is always a really friendly event and, I hope, strikes the right balance between the formal graduation process itself and the real pleasure and joy that graduands, families and friends show at the event. It is also an important reminder of just how much higher education means to our students and their families. Events like this remind us that we are so much more than a simple business – we change people’s lives forever.

Fees

Discussion and debate nationally continues over the fees issue. Our own position has been to try and secure maximum financial support for students when they are at University rather than offering complex fee-waiver schemes which marginally reduce the 20 year debt level following graduation. If we can maximise scholarship and bursary support for living costs we think that helps our students more directly. Treasury would, of course, much prefer fee waivers which may reduce long-term Treasury costs.

The headline tables about university costs in 2012/13 usually focus only on the fee waiver schemes which government prefers. Compared to most universities the proportion of our students in need of support is very high and it is simply impossible to provide all of the support we would like but we will continue to monitor this carefully to ensure we can offer our students the best possible support.

British Science Festival

The programme and booking facilities for the British Science Festival main programme are now available online and I would urge you and your families to take look. There are a fantastic range of events on offer for people of all ages and the support from across the University has been tremendous. It will be a great showcase for the University so do please find some space in your diaries to enjoy the events on offer.

Finally I do hope you all manage to get some holiday time over the summer period. I’d like to thank you for all your support in what has been a busy and challenging year.

Celebrating Success

Congratulations to Career Development Services, who were assessed in July against the Matrix quality standard for information, advice and guidance services, and have achieved full accreditation.  The assessor praised the team for their professionalism, teamwork and dedication to students, and highlighted the range of feedback mechanisms used as well as the team’s agility in responding to feedback quickly and improving services as a result.  Congratulations to everyone in Careers on an excellent and very well deserved achievement, with particular thanks to Heather Marshall for pulling the whole assessment exercise together and to Ron Harle for his leadership of the team.

John Dermo and Liz Carpenter received the Best Paper award at the recent Computer Aided Assessment conference in Southampton. Their paper was peer reviewed and it was the review panel’s decision to give them the award.

Assessment & Learning in Practice Settings (ALPS) is a collaborative programme between the Universities of Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan, and York St John which has received a prestigious gold award from the IMS Global Learning Consortium. The Learning Impact Awards are designed to recognise the most impactful use of technology worldwide in support of learning. The University of Bradford has been a key ALPS partner in achieving this impact by providing hosting for IT systems, technical expertise as well as remote and onsite support for students across all five partners.

In the news

Professor Diana Anderson has featured in the Guardian discussing the business she recently set up to market her new invention – a blood test that predicts an individual’s genetic predisposition to cancer.

Our graduation ceremonies and the announcement of six new honorary degree holders attracted considerable coverage, particularly for Dr Trevor Higgins and Dr Zulfi Hussain, as well as Professor Sharp OBE. However, graduation is also about our students’ achievements, and the story of one of our many graduates who has triumphed over adversity was featured in the Telegraph and Argus.

A New York Times article detailed how the Bradford Dementia Group’s documentary ‘Ex Memoria’ has inspired film makers.

The pioneering work of our Archaeologists has once again received note as they work against time and tide to recover and study Iron Age remains discovered on the Orkney Islands coastline (Bradford, Telegraph and Argus).

In the wake of the Oslo bombing and shooting attacks, Professor Paul Rogers completed many interviews with BBC News, BBC World, BBC Radio Leeds and Sheffield and BBC Newsnight.

Professor Sean Gregory has commented on growing concerns in the International community about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear controls on the Global Security Newswire website.

It may all have ended for Harry Potter, but the release of the final film attracted deserved notice in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus for the contributions of many Bradford graduates to the fantastic special effects in all eight films.

The Financial Times has reported on Perspective Financial’s plans to take in students from the University’s School of Management in dedicated placements .

Finally, the Yorkshire post featured our Chancellor Imran Khan who was present to announce the opening of a nearby state of the art academy school.  The school is sponsored by the University and has seen our staff visit to assist with teaching.

To share your media coverage successes please email press@bradford.ac.uk

Research Centre in focus

The Centre for Skin Sciences is celebrating receiving £2 million in grants since its inception in September 2009. They achieved this by leveraging the wide and varied industry links that the Centre’s staff already have as well as developing new alliances through a clear offer of research support and collaboration. The dedicated efforts of the knowledge transfer staff employed by the centre have made the delivery of this work possible.

The Centre are continuing to attract research funding and industrial projects and have employed post doctoral researchers to support this. Working across the University with the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics and the Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science has resulted in two joint industrial bids and there has been significant interest in three Research & Knowledge Transfer Centres from one wound care company following a joint meeting held in January.

This month a major client has renewed their research funding with Des Tobin valued at £350,000 over the next three years and Prof Nicolaou has been successful in attracting new industrial funding worth £230,000 for two years and a Wellcome Trust bid valued at £100,000.

RKT Success

Congratulations to Professor Munro Price, School of Social and International Studies who has been awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship for 2010-11 to research a book, ‘The Fall of Napoleon’.

The Director of the University of Bradford’s Robotic Telescope (BRT) team has made a formal submission to the House of Common Science and Technology select committee. The submission report shares the unique insights the pioneering project has provided in terms of improving practical science education in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

A major collaboration has been established between the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics, and the Institute of Pathology and the Southwest Cancer Center, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, China. Both institutes have entered into a formal agreement that will provide for the combined resources necessary to identify novel anticancer molecules, with potential for inhibiting the migration and invasion of brain tumours cells with a specific focus on the stem cell niche.

The Community Engagement Team has delivered the first of a new programme of research lectures called Bradford Debates. The Born in Bradford public lecture attracted over 90 local practitioners and residents from the district and sub region. The next in the series is ‘Bradford Debates… Human Trafficking’ in November.

Phil Coates and Fin Caton-Rose, from the Centre for Advanced Materials Engineering have received a £99,301 research grant from the University of Leeds, Innovation and Knowledge Centre for smart fixation devices for soft tissue repair.

In the Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science,  Anant Paradkar and Adrian Kelly have received funding from Intelligent Formulation Ltd and Alchemy Healthcare Ltd for the optimisation of DNA vaccine formulations for intranasal powder delivery.

Leigh Mulvaney-Johnson, Adrian Kelly and Phil Coates in the Centre for Polymer Micro and Nano Technology have been working on a contract research project (£10,000) for a longevity trial study of rHDPE materials for milk bottle manufacture.

Ali Rashid, Head of Bradford Media School, has been working with Screen Yorkshire on a £1,200 contract for ‘The Pitch Factor’.

Jason Gill, Steve Shnyder, Rob Falconer, and Paul Loadman, institute of Cancer Therapeutics, have received a research grant from the Prostate Cancer Charity for £257,816 for the development of tumour-selective therapeutics for advanced prostate cancer.

Tom Franks from the School of Social and International Studies received a research grant worth £45,280 from China Development Bank for the long-term training of four China Development Bank students.