LU Text Banner and logo
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. To view previous editions see LU Text Archive.

Travel Disruption - Volcanic Ash – Guidance for Managers
The University is monitoring the situation regarding travel disruption and members of staff. For staff travelling on University business, please see the Strategic Purchasing page page regarding travel.
For staff who are expected back from annual leave/personal travel and who cannot return to the UK immediately, it has been decided that the University is willing to cover half the period they are away e.g. If someone is trapped for a week, the University will allow them 2.5 days of emergency leave. The remaining leave should be covered either by annual leave, unpaid leave or making up the time. This can be discussed with the staff member on their return. If you have any immediate issues relating to staff absence please contact your HR Partner.
Please continue to notify the University regarding people who are affected by this by forwarding details of any staff or student who have indicated that they are unable to return to the University due to the airspace restrictions. The details we require initially are: Name, Location, Personal or Business, Staff or Student. This includes all staff on business or personal travel. Please forward the information to as soon as possible.

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


Volcano experts in the headlines

A Lancaster University PhD student has been giving an eye witness account of the volcanic eruption in Iceland. Laura Hobbs witnessed the Eyjafjallajökull eruption while on a research trip with the British Geological Survey. She was studying volcanic deposits on the ice and staying about 150 km/90 miles away in Svinafell on the day the volcano erupted.

Lancaster volcanologists Dr Jennie Gilbert and Dr Hugh Tuffen from the Lancaster Environment Centre have given expert comment in local, national and international media. Dr Gilbert is part of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies advising the Cabinet Office on the current volcanic eruption and its impact on the UK. To view full story

Showcasing the latest research from Lancaster University

Thursday 29th April 2010, 10 a.m. – 3.45 p.m., Lancaster Leadership Centre

The 2010 Ideas Festival will feature presentations by 14 recently appointed Professors. Staff are welcome to attend any or all of the presentations. This whistle-stop tour of some of the latest ideas and research at Lancaster will deliver insights into topics including the latest internet research, the fight against tropical disease and how society might care for an ageing population. The Festival celebrates the vision and expertise across the disciplines of arts, the social sciences, science and technology, health, medicine, management and leadership, which has earned Lancaster University an international reputation for research quality. For more details and to view the programme, please visit Enquiries to the Ceremonies and Events Office on 01524 592190.

Project Sophia – Research Information

The Sophia project will implement a new “umbrella” IT system that will link together existing systems such as pFACT, Agresso and EPrints in order to provide a single authoritative source of research data. By consulting with all of the faculties, the project aims to deliver an ISS Service for the whole institution. There should be many benefits delivered by the project including:

  • Reducing the administrative burden on academic staff
  • Improving the visibility of Lancaster University’s research on the web
  • Reducing the effort required to report to external surveys such as the upcoming REF

For more details on the project, please refer to the Sophia website:, or contact Alison Sharman

Bumblebee research

Native British bumblebees have been made available to soft fruit growers for the first time thanks to the efforts of a team led by Professor Felix Wäckers (Lancaster Environment Centre). To view full story

Soil erosion - the forgotten player in the global change debate

Research published in Nature Geoscience claims that we have seriously underestimated the role that soil erosion plays in global change. To view full story

New Sharepoint site

A new website has been created providing information on several University working groups (UWG) currently underway. The UWG site can be found at
Groups can use their Sharepoint pages to organise meetings, hold discussions and share/ edit documents within a private workspace. However, the site is intended as an information point for all staff. Therefore, per group, you will find details of membership, terms of reference, consultation methods and (as each concludes) details of a group’s recommendations and any resulting documents. For instance, for the Anonymous Marking and PhD Submission Rates groups, you can access details of recommendations, reports and/or revised guidelines. A number of other groups expect to complete their work and report to Senate during May 2010 and updates to those pages will likewise be made.
The Sharepoint service is accessible on and off campus – when accessing off-campus, a VPN connection will be necessary (details at
In time, it is expected that the UWG site will develop to provide an archive of past groups and information for public web-pages. As new groups are launched in the future, details will appear here as soon as possible – this will provide an opportunity for colleagues to contact a group’s Secretary to seek further information on membership (or any other matters) and provide early comments. Jackie Hughes, Secretariat, or tel: 5-92987.

LICA artworks

Lancaster Square and the site hoardings around the fast-growing new LICA building have been used for a series of large-scale photographic artworks, commissioned by the Public Arts on campus, in collaboration with Imagination Lancaster and Facilities. The works give a hint of some elements of the creative research activity that will take place in the building, as well as an increasingly dynamic use of the arts across campus. The hoardings are designed to be composite, moveable artworks in their own right, that can be recombined and relocated elsewhere on campus in future. link to view the hoardings

Bailrigg House renovation project

The University is investing in a renovation project to restore and refurbish Bailrigg House. The Grade Two listed building at the north of the campus will undergo external fabric refurbishment which will include making good external areas that are damaged or worn through age or erosion and aesthetic improvements to the building to restore the building’s character. The work will be done in two phases, phase one starts in May and is a 15 week external refurbishment programme. For more information visit.

New dining facilities

The Facilities - Project Delivery team start work next week on a new dining facility for students, staff and visitors on the ground floor (north and east wings) of County South. The project will be delivered in two phases. The first phase will see the completion of the contemporary dining area in time for this year’s Graduation Ceremonies. Phase two will involve the student dining area for which work will start after Graduation Week and be completed for the new academic year in October 2010. From the 26th April 2010 it will be necessary to temporarily remove approximately 12 car parking spaces from the perimeter road and the overspill car park directly opposite County Avenue for use by the contractor carrying out the ground floor dining area works to use as their main site. It is hoped that these will be reopened within a couple of weeks. For more information visit.

Lancaster in the news

Lancaster in the news - The Press Office monitors all media coverage and this is a selection of stories from the past week, including PhD student Laura Hobbs on BBC news online and Dr Fiona Measham in New Scientist.


ESRC funded research by Professor Bart Lambrecht and Dr Grzegorz Pawlina (LUMS) has recently been awarded the highest grade (outstanding) by the Economic and Social Research Council’s review panel. The £302,835 grant funded research on the “Investment and Financing Policy of Corporations and Households” is for a 3 year period. The research has resulted in 8 papers, of which one is already published in the Journal of Financial Economics, and which was featured in conferences and presented in seminars or workshops at over 30 institutions across the world, including ESRC funded workshop at the London School of Economics.

Dr Nicholas Gebhardt in the Department of Media, Film and Cultural Studies, is part of a group of researchers awarded just under €1 million to undertake a three-year research programme entitled Rhythm Changes: Jazz Cultures and European Identities. The ground-breaking project, the first and largest of its kind for jazz in Europe, has been funded as part of the Humanities in the European Research Area’s (HERA) theme ‘Cultural Dynamics: Inheritance and Identity’. Dr Gebhardt will be collaborating with colleagues from the Universities of Salford, Amsterdam, Birmingham City, Copenhagen, Graz, and Stavanger to study the European jazz scene and the ways in which the music and the culture of Europe are changing.

Dr Nayanika Mookherjee from the department of Sociology has been invited as a member of the Economic and Social Science Research Council’s (ESRC) Peer Review College for 4 years from July 2010 to July 2014.

Paul Blackmore, Director of CEEC, is leaving Lancaster to take up a new post at Exeter University. On Thursday 29th April from 3.30pm onwards in CEEC there will be an informal get together, with nibbles and drinks for anyone who would like to wish Paul well.

Dr Mark Butler and Professor David Sugarman of the Law School have been awarded a 39,000 EURO contract to write a handbook on Discrimination Law that will be used to train judges, prosecutors and lawyers at both European and national level across the 47 member states of the Council of Europe. The contract was awarded by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in conjunction with the European Court of Human Rights and following competitive tender.

Research on peatland carbon cycling by Dr Sue Ward (LEC) and Professor Richard Bardgett (LEC), in collaboration with Dr Nick Ostle at CEH Lancaster, is featured on the front cover of the Spring 2010 issue of Planet Earth, NERC's free magazine aimed at non-specialists with an interest in environmental science. The cover relates to an article written by Dr Sue Ward on the setting up of a NERC-funded field experiment at Moor House National Nature Reserve to find out how climate warming and changes in plant diversity influence the fate of peatland carbon.


Dynamics of cardiovascular ageing study

Volunteers are invited to participate in a research study to investigate the effect of ageing on the function of the human cardiovascular system. The investigation is done by making a variety of non-invasive measurements while the subject lies comfortably on a bed in the Physics Department at Lancaster University. We seek healthy female volunteers aged between 30 and 55 years and male volunteers aged between 35 and 60 years, without history of cardiovascular diseases. If you think you belong in this group and if you would be interested in contributing to research aimed at better general wellbeing, especially in old age please contact Alan on 01524 592269, or mobile 078968882851, or email: We will be very grateful for your contribution.

Innovation for Extremes Conference 2010

ISS will be webcasting the Innovation for Extremes Conference which is taking place on the 28th April. Live coverage starts at 9:15am. This year’s conference theme is Innovation and the Outdoors: Sustainable Products, Processes and Activities. For more information about the conference and access to the live webcast go to

Roses – road closures

The northern perimeter road on campus, between the Chaplaincy Centre and the eastern roundabout, will be closed to all traffic between 10:00 and 12:30 on Sunday 2nd May. This is to provide a safe route for a series of fun runs taking place as part of the Roses Weekend. The main University access road will also be closed to traffic between 06:00 on Saturday 1st May and 19:00 on Sunday 2nd May for Roses. Diversion signs will be in place with the only vehicular access over the weekend being at Alexandra Park from Hazelrigg Lane. For more information about these arrangements please contact Philip Longton, Facilities – Operations, Travel & Environment Co-ordinator 93333.

Fire Alarm Testing

A schedule of fire alarm testing for each university building is available on the Facilities – Infrastructure website.


For a full list of all items submitted for What's On, please see Events.

Creative Arts students encouraged to get ahead in the world of business

On Tuesday, May 4, at the Storey Creative Industries Centre, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster, 20 final year students and graduates of Lancaster’s Institute for the Contemporary Arts will be given a taste of life as an entrepreneur in the creative sector. The half day course is designed to help LICA students and graduates develop ideas for their own creative companies and freelance practices. The interactive workshops sessions with Create, Grow Creative and external practitioners will teach students what it takes to get exciting things happening in the creative industries and they will also receive advice on how to turn their ideas into reality. The May workshop will also lead onto an intensive week-long workshop for enterprising LICA students later this year. Charlotte Stuart, Project Manager of Grow Creative based in the University’s Innovation and Enterprise Unit, has helped put together the event. To view full story

Charity Fun Run and “It’s a Knock Out Challenge”

LUSU would like to invite members of staff to take part in two charity events on Sunday 2nd May in conjunction with the Roses sporting tournament, which will be hosted by Lancaster this year. The first event is a Charity Fun Run in University grounds over three separate distances 10km, 5km and 1.5km. The tracks have been marked out using GPS to ensure accuracy if you are interested in posting a competitive time. The second event - ‘It’s a knock out challenge’ - is based on the popular television show. Teams of between 6 and 10 people compete in a variety of mental and physical challenges overseen by a highly experienced team of professional entertainers. This would be an event for a department or a group of friends to take part in. For more information or an application form please contact James Perrin or phone (5) 92266, or see the web page.

Faculty of Arts and Social Science Signature Lecture Series

The second Faculty signature lecture will take place on Tuesday 4 May, 18:00-19:30, Meeting Room 2/3 Institute for Advanced Studies Building. This will be given by Bahram Bekhradnia, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, London. In the summer of 2008 Bahram Bekhradnia was invited by the World Bank to undertake a review of the governance of the higher education system in Palestine. In this lecture, he will briefly describe the higher education system that he observed, but will focus on the extraordinary difficulties that the universities in Palestine face in the light of the Israeli occupation.
Please see link for further details:

St George's Day events

The Centre for North-West Regional Studies is taking part in a festival of St George-related events this weekend. Lancaster University Volunteering Unit will be holding events on campus and at the Maritime Museum, and also contributing to an exhibition at the Maritime Museum. For a complete listing of events please follow the link.


All adverts - posted by staff.

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

Design by Lancaster University's InfoLab21, an ICT Centre of Excellence