October Update

Last month’s British Science Festival was undoubtedly a great success. The academic impact has been huge with some very high profile exposure for some of our academic work. It was very gratifying to see some of the projects staff are working on – from new cancer therapies to lie detectors – receive such fantastic coverage.

It served to demonstrate the very high quality of the research work here at Bradford, research which is vital to the reputation and standing of the University. I do hope that we are able to use the momentum of the Festival to show our students how important it is to learn in a research-rich environment.

Attendance at the range of events was higher than anticipated and the events in the city and for young people were really positive for Bradford. My thanks once again to everyone involved in making the event such a success. We will be talking to the British Science Association about bringing the Festival back to Bradford on a regular basis.

In the news – British Science Festival in focus

The important work being undertaken by our researchers at the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics received a large amount of coverage across the globe – including many UK national papers such as the Financial Times, Independent , The Guardian and the Daily Mail. Our researchers were interviews for radio programmes in Canada, Germany and Ireland, and were interviewed by the BBC and ITV news teams.

Professor Hassan Ugail and his team’s work on an improved emotion sensitive lie detector was another international news hit, receiving coverage on Sky News and CNN, as well as the BBC News and ITN news websites.

The launch of our brilliant new student accommodation also received coverage; it’s world’s highest sustainability rating drawing yet more coverage from the BBC News website, as well as international online journal the Huffington Post.

Finally, Professor Eleanor Bryant’s research into the psychological tendencies which can lead to addictive behaviours received notice, as did the announcement by Dame Ellen MacArthur of a new degree course launched in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the University.

Staff giving

I was recently forwarded the following email from one of Bradford’s current scholarship students:

“I noticed on the web, a team who finished the Three Peaks to raise money for scholarships and bursaries. I hope you would pass on my congratulations and thanks. I was unaware some of the finances came from activities like this and I am proud that we have such a supportive and thoughtful community at Bradford Uni. Thanks again and well done to the team!!”

As I’ve mentioned previously, the team to which she refers was made up of almost 30 University staff and supporters, who raised around £2,400 by climbing the Yorkshire and UK Three Peaks earlier this year to support our Staff Fund for Scholarships and Hardship. Sponsored challenge events are not the only way in which colleagues support our activities. Some staff, including myself, make a monthly payroll gift to the Staff Fund for Scholarships and Hardship. Others choose to make a single gift, perhaps on a date special to them or at a particular time of year. Colleagues who are also alumni have made gifts to The Braduate Fund, our annual alumni appeal, or to the School / Department where they studied. Colleagues wishing to pay tribute to a staff member who has passed away have donated to specific commemorative funds and others pledge a legacy gift in their will.

We are enormously grateful for all this support and each gift makes a tangible difference to Bradford. If you are able to make a regular or single gift, of whatever size, or would like information about how you can make your Will free-of-charge, through our new free-wills scheme, please contact Carol Vickers, Development Manager, on 6493, c.vickers@bradford.ac.uk or visit our staff giving page.

National Student Survey

I hope that staff have had the opportunity to look at the results for the National Student Survey released last month. Overall we are continuing to improve and our students are indicating increased confidence and satisfaction with what we do here. I’m especially pleased to see the steady improvement in how they rate our academic work and am grateful to staff for their continuing support and effort to provide a first class academic environment for our students.

The city

The University works closely with the city to try to ensure a positive image and environment for the district. I know that a number of you were involved in the recent Positive Bradford events, and that involvement and commitment is important. The completion of the City Park development in the next few months will help make the city centre a more attractive place. I know that negotiations about recommencing work on the Westfield retail site are progressing well and I hope that work on the site may recommence in the next 6-9 months.

Many staff across the University work closely with local communities through their work as School Governors and in other roles. Such work reflects well on our commitment to the district and demonstrates what we are able to do in fulfilling the important ‘public good’ role that we are able to play. That role will be more challenging as the higher education funding environment changes but I believe it is essential that it is maintained.

Research centre in focus -Applied Social Research

The Centre for Applied Social Research (CASR) is a key entity within the School of Social and International Studies. It is a centre of excellence for the promotion, execution and dissemination of social scientific research and for the application of that research excellence in a wide range of practical areas, having specialised focus on globalisation, health and livelihoods, identity and social diversity; and families, personal lives and social care. The Centre’s expertise is based around systematic small to medium scale studies, which are fully developed in close consultation with commissioners to ensure that findings become valuable in terms of policy, services, and practice development.

Since its launch, CASR has developed a strong national and international profile by leading strategic projects such as Living Apart Together (ESCR) and The Determinants of Child Labour in Conflict Settings (ILO). Its profile has also been strengthen with the publication of high quality outputs in well recognised journals such as Third World Quarterly, Review of International Studies and International Affairs.  Centre staff have also participated in influential conferences and events and provided advice to the United Nations, DfID and Ministries of Health, education and social services across a range of developing countries.  Nearly £2m worth of income has been generated through the centre’s activity.

Celebrating success

Colleagues from the Centre for Educational Development, Peter Hughes and Ruth Whitfield, and Engineering, Design & Technology, Roz Halliwell and Ray Sheriff, recently led workshops at the recent Outduction national conference at Kew Gardens.  The conference marked the conclusion of the three-year collaborative project with Kingston University London exploring the final year experience. It attracted a wide audience from across the HE sector giving a clear indication of the project’s significance and value.

A collaboration facilitated by Escalate between the School of Health Studies and Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has been shortlisted for the annual Health Service Journal Awards under the workforce development category.  The awards take place at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on 15 November.

60 bursaries, funded by the United States Department of State have been used by the University’s Bradford Disarmament Centre (BDRC) team to raise awareness amongst life and associated scientists of the potential biosecurity implications of their work. The Biological Engagement Program (BEP) used Blackboard Collaborate to deliver the online distance learning module on Applied Dual Use Biosecurity Education.

Mostafa Mohamed, Alma Schellart and Simon Tait of the Centre for Sustainable Environments have received 282,000 Euro investigating the dissipation and recovery of thermal energy from sewer and drainage systems. It is part of an EU funded project with 11 partners into the development of Innovative Energy Recover Strategies (INNERS) in the urban water cycle.

Dr Jon Purdy from the School of Computing Informatics and Media has recently delivered a keynote address, “Serious 3D games – The application of stereo 3D in the treatment of lazy eyes” at the International Conference on Serious Games and their Applications in Lisbon.

A research team led by Anant Paradkar, Professor of Pharmaceutical Engineering Science, has been awarded £495,364 by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for a project which aims to generate greater knowledge about how the co-crystallisation process works in a new production method, something that will significantly impact the pharmaceutical sector.

Congratulations to all. You can read more about research and knowledge transfer news and successes on the University’s new research blog.

Monday, October 17th, 2011 in News