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LU Text

LU Text is published by the Press Office on Fridays during term time and aims to keep you regularly informed of the University's news and developments. Editor, Vicky Tyrrell. To view previous editions see LU Text Archive.

| 3 July 2009 | Issue 440

Contents: news; people; notices; people in the news; what's on; ads


Westminster Showcase for award-winning Volunteer project

Jack Straw has praised ‘inspirational’ young volunteers who are changing lives across the North West. The youngsters aged between nine and 21, are all part of Voltage, Lancaster University Volunteering Unit’s flagship project, which helps young people to start their own social enterprises. They went to Westminster to explain how they have tackled problems from homelessness to mounting landfill by setting up their own businesses and using the profits to make a change. The event on June 30 was hosted by Jack Straw MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, and Mr Ben Wallace, MP for Lancaster & Wyre. To view the full story

Ozone pollution link to drought-stricken crops

Ozone pollution stops some plants from protecting themselves when drought strikes, according to a new discovery by plant scientists at Lancaster University and at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. In laboratory experiments on UK upland vegetation, plant physiologists found that when atmospheric ozone levels were artificially increased some plants could no longer close their stomata. To view the full story

Nuclear Safety at the centre of new appointment

Professor Colin Boxall has been appointed to The Lloyd's Register Educational Trust (LRET) Chair in Nuclear Engineering and Decommissioning at Lancaster University, following the official signing of an agreement which will see the LRET provide £755,000 in funding over five years. The University has strong research expertise in nuclear safety and specialises in education surrounding nuclear engineering. The University has recently been awarded five fully funded studentships from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. To view the full story

Mountain Rescuers put ‘smart’ kit to the test

Mountain rescuers have been trying out prototype kit developed at Lancaster University to help them keep in touch on life-saving missions in remote areas. Researchers from the Computing Department have developed smartphone software that can track the progress of a rescue mission. Once a casualty is found, the smartphones can also transmit vital medical information, such as heartbeat, temperature readings and images of injuries, to medics on-scene or in hospital. Because many rescue missions are in mountainous regions without Internet coverage, the researchers have also created a backpack which enables rescuers to create their own WiFi network wherever they go. To view the full story

Pay - facts and figures

To help university staff understand the pay and conditions packages offered by the HE sector, UCEA (Universities and Colleges Employers Association) has updated its facts and figures briefing documents. These are: Facts and Figures Briefing - HE staffing summer 2009, which focuses on the numbers of employees in HE, the growth of staff numbers to meet student needs, HE staff turnover and the benefits of working in HE. Facts and Figures Briefing - Pay summer 2009, which contextualises HE pay rises with other public service roles, the competative salaries achieved by both academic and support staff in HE, and the above inflation pay rises in the sector since 2001.

Children in Care visit campus

12 Looked After Children from schools in Lancashire and Cumbria visited campus this week for a 3-day residential with the Department of Continuing Education. The children are aged 13 - 14 years and have the potential to progress to Higher Education but, because of their situation, may not have had the life chances that other young people of their age may have had. Participants in this summer school took part in academic tasters in American Studies, Nanotechnology and Law, as well as workshops on student finance and barriers to higher education. A highlight of the visit was the chance for the young people to talk to current undergraduates and find out about student life, and also take part in a variety of social activities such as African Drumming and using the University Sports Centre. The summer school was funded by HEFCE and the University.


Professor Bill Davies has been appointed as the first ever International Director of the Faculty of Science and Technology (SciTech). Professor Davies, who works in the Environment Centre, already has wide experience in the study abroad programme and in research links overseas. The role of the International Director will be to champion international policy, which includes plans for direct links with companies abroad, industrial placements overseas and international research partnerships.

Professor Awais Rashid has been appointed as the first Director of the Scitech Graduate School and Associate Dean for Postgraduate Studies. The SciTech Graduate School aims to offer an integrated programme of training for the next generation of leaders in science and technology, in industry, government and universities to prepare them to tackle global scientific challenges. Professor Rashid, who works at the University’s ICT hub, Infolab21, has a wide range of expertise in developing postgraduate teaching, research and professional development programmes.

Dr David Cooper (Department of English & Creative Writing) has been invited to become one of twelve national 'ambassadors' for Global Poetry System (GPS): a project - founded by the writer, Lemn Sissay, and co-ordinated by the Southbank Centre, London - to map out the poetry of place. GPS is one of the Soutbank Centre's major literature projects towards the 2012 Olympics. Using Google Maps, the interactive project website will encourage members of the public to reflect upon the relationship between poetry and everyday spaces. The aim is to chart the poetry of Britain and to generate a dynamic archive of site-specific writing; at the same time, the project will also explore the potential of GPS technology. David will be contributing a blog to the GPS website for the duration of the project.

Professor David Archard and Dr Neil Manson have been re-elected as, respectively, the Honorary Chair and the Honorary Treasurer of the Society for Applied Philosophy.

Fiona Frank (DCE) was mentioned in the Herald and the Glasgow Evening Times last week when she collected an honorary doctorate posthumously on behalf of her aunt, Glasgow artist Hannah Frank, who died last December at the age of 100. This was the first time that the University of Glasgow had awarded an honorary doctorate posthumously.

A paper written by Julia Gillen (Literacy Research Centre) and colleagues from the Schome Park project appears in ‘The New Learning Generation’, the current issue of eLearning Papers, a key research gateway of the European Commission. This special issue of the peer-reviewed freely available online journal features summary translations into 20 languages and (soon to be available) a full version in Spanish. For this month the paper features on the front page of this website and in its first 2 days has already attracted 380 hits.

Postgraduate arts student Carla Nizzola has an exhibition at the Lancaster Environment Centre created using graphs painted onto canvas. Carla, who is an MA Contemporary Arts student at LICA, is keen to blur the boundaries between science and art with her exhibition entitled “Shift Your Point of View A Bit…” Her work portrays an abstract representation of a personal investigation of the changing tides, objects and sediments collected from locations along the Lancashire coast. Through photography, drawing, writing and painting, she recorded data and samples collected from inside a 6m square grid set up on the beach before tracing a graph based on these measurements. This became the basis for the canvases which are on display in the atrium of LEC until September 1st. More information.


Dean of Graduate Studies

There is a vacancy for the position of Dean of Graduate Studies, following the end of term of office of the current post holder. A job description and person specification for this role can be found here. The closing date for applications is Friday 17 July 2009. The post is a 40% FTE buyout for a senior colleague for 4 years; renewal for a further 4 years subject to performance review. The starting date for this post is 1 August 2009. Applicants should provide a CV and in less than 2 pages of A4 a statement on ‘the important issues for postgraduate education and how to address these issues’, to submit to the Lancaster University HR department. Please note that the standard application form should not be used for this post.

Furness College vacancies

Friends programme funding available

Application forms can now be obtained from the Alumni and Development Office for funding available under the Lancaster University Friends Programme. Departments, colleges, and individuals can apply for funding (most grants will be in the £2,000 - £5,000 category). The next round of disbursement of funds will take place in September. Applications for funding will need to tie in with the University strategy and fall under at least one of the following categories: Priority Fund, Student Support Fund, or Research & Academic Excellence Fund. Please note: applications from individuals (academic or student) seeking support for tuition, other course fees or personal maintenance costs do not fall into the criteria for Friends Programme funding. Unfortunately we can only allow one application per college.
The Friends Programme is part of the University's fundraising programme and the funds are made possible by donations from Lancaster alumni. Please note: If you are making a LUSU application (e.g. an application from a student sports group, society or JCR) it needs to be submitted via LUSU for authorisation prior to submission to the Friends Programme. For this purpose, applications must be submitted to the LUSU General Manager by Friday 31st July 2009. Please see guidelines for further details. For further information and an application form, please download the details from or call Rachel Newbury in the Alumni & Development Office on ext 92904 / email Deadline for applications: Friday 31st July 2009

Steps magazine

The latest edition of the alumni magazine – Steps - has been mailed out to approximately 60,000 alumni and distributed around campus this week. Many of you will have received your own copy but if you haven’t and you would like one, please contact Louise Johnson ( It can also be viewed on our website

Estates notices


People in the news - Media coverage for Lancaster University.


For a full list of all items submitted for What's On, please see the Arts and Seminars & Lectures LU News web pages. For some event highlights see below.

Holiday courses and activities on campus

Places are still available for adults and children (5 - 14 years) on Summer Programme courses and activities organised by the Department of Continuing Education, 27 July - 14 August. In week one (27 - 31 July) there is still availability on Alexander Technique, Shakespeare's Clowns, Georgian Country Houses, Birdwatching, Walking, Exploring Local History and more. LU staff receive a 10% discount on course fees - please book by phone to use your discount. See the website for full details including highlighted "Courses of the Week" and the Summer Programme blog:


All adverts - posted by staff.

Contact Victoria Tyrrell on (01524) 594120 with items for LU text, LU News or for external publicity.
Events information should be sent to Laura Mitchell Press Office Assistant (01524) 592103.

LU text is usually published on Fridays. On occasion it is necessary to delay publication until the following week. ITEMS FOR INCLUSION SHOULD BE EMAILED TO THE EDITOR BY 12PM THURSDAY BEFORE PUBLICATION. Adverts are limited to University members and we are unable to check incorrect contact numbers or email addresses. All attempts will be made to include adverts sent via email, but no guarantee is made. The editor reserves the right to edit copy. The opinions expressed in this bulletin are not necessarily those of the university management.

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