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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. To view previous editions see LU Text Archive.

| 11 February 2011 | Issue 511

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


North West becomes largest centre for PhD training

The largest centre in England for social science postgraduate training has been established at the Universities of Lancaster, Manchester and Liverpool. The North West Doctoral Training Centre (NWDTC) is one of 21 in the UK, created by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and will provide PhD students with access to quality research training in social science disciplines. Lancaster, Manchester and Liverpool are now guaranteed a total of 63 new postgraduate studentships per year to support research and training at doctoral level each year. This will amount to more than £15 million of investment over the next five years. Full story.

Wellbeing at Work Survey

Throughout February, presentations and discussions will take place on the results of the Wellbeing at Work Survey in Faculties and Departments, Central Service Divisions and all other areas of the University. The overall results highlight a number of positive themes and some concerns for the University to address.

The main objectives for conducting the survey were to measure wellbeing, engagement and health related outcomes, as well as understanding the nature and location of issues affecting wellbeing.

In overall terms, the survey results for Lancaster University staff are typical of and in line with those of most organisations across the public and private sectors. However, the results for Lancaster University staff are significantly more positive than typically found in other higher education institutions. Particularly positive scores include high levels of commitment to the University and how positive people feel about the different aspects of the job that they do. Measures of health also show that Lancaster University staff take their health very seriously.

Overall, the main concerns were identified as being: job security (which was seen by some staff groups as a potential source of pressure) and ‘not having enough time to do my job as well as I would like’ (also seen as a source of concern). Next steps are to identify priority areas for staff to form “Solutions Groups” to improve our understanding of the results and to develop potential solutions to our identified issues.

View the Summary Report of survey results and the Vice-Chancellor’s presentation here.

Banned pollutants discovered off the African coast

A researcher from LEC says there are relatively high levels of harmful organic pollutants off the African coast possibly due to toxic waste. Dr Rosalinda Gioia’s research, reported in Nature, revealed the presence of high levels of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) which have been banned in Europe and North America because of their adverse effects on human health and ecosystems. Dr Gioia, an atmospheric pollution researcher, is the lead author of the report published in Environmental Science & Technology. Full story

Festival for LICA launch

Spring 2011 sees a new era for Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA) as it celebrates the official opening of its £10m purpose built accommodation. A launch festival will mark the opening of the building with contributions from Lancaster staff and students as well as members of the local community.

The LICA launch festival will take place from 29 March until 02 April, and will include the following:

For further information on the LICA Launch Festival visit the website or contact Nicky Sarjent:

PSU achieves quality kitemark

The Project Support Unit (PSU) has been recognised for its excellent quality management system and can now display the BSi Kitemark. This means that their quality system is systematically assessed, assuring customers of their commitment towards maintaining the highest possible standard of service. The European standard is an industry standard, recognised certification demanding only the very best and requires proven testament and third party validation in a number of highly-prescriptive areas. Based in the Research & Enterprise Services Division, the PSU supports the University's knowledge exchange programme. See more information here.


Last week we referred to the Pro-Chancellor as Sir Bryan Gray, this should be Mr Bryan Gray CBE, DL.


Dr Paul Hayward (History) has been awarded a prestigious full-year membership at the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton. This award will enable him to spend the 2011–2012 academic year at Princeton University, where he will undertake research on the ways in which the study of the liturgy has influenced the evolution of European historical thought and practice. The project will investigate the interest in the origins and development of Christian worship that emerged in diverse parts of Europe in the eleventh century—a phenomenon that casts light on the reception of the papal reform movement and the ways in which medieval scholars understood the process of historical change.

Sylvia Ratcliffe (International Office) would like to thank all friends and colleagues throughout the University for providing her with such a wonderful 'send off' last week. She is very touched by the number of very kind and warm messages and for the very generous gifts she received.

Lancaster in the news

Contributions to the media this week include Professor Paul Sparrow (LUMS) quoted in the Sunday Times about incoming and outgoing chief executives, and also Dr Rebecca Catto (PPR) was interviewed on BBC Radio Lancashire, about her one year study investigating atheism and the digital generation. Follow link to see a list of people in the news.


Scheduled power and water outages

Road Repairs - Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th February

Contractors will be carrying out road repairs this weekend from the Chaplaincy centre clockwise to the North East Drive & InfoLab21 and anti clockwise to South East Drive. We apologies for any disruption this causes. Please contact Facilities Senior Project Manager Peter McMullen if you have any questions about the work

LICA drainage works – starting Monday 14th February

Work is due to start on a drainage project outside the new LICA building this Monday. The bin stores will also be improved as part of the work. Eight parking spaces will be taken out of use to allow for the work and the LICA car park will also remain closed. The project is expected to be completed in May 2011. If you need further information about the work please contact the Facilities Helpdesk on 93333.

Building closures for Alexandra Square lift delivery

On Saturday 19th February between 8am and 5pm the installation of the structural steel to the lift pits in Alexandra Square will take place. This will involve closing the underpass road and University House, for the erection of a crane that will tower over University House and manoeuvre the structural steel into place above the lift pit in the underpass and up into Alexandra Square. For your health and safety the following areas will be temporarily closed and diversions in place; the Post Office (closed all day), the underpass and University House. The Learning Zone will remain open but will only be accessible from the entrance opposite LUSU Involve. There will also be diversions in place for the buses. Extra security and a team of staff will be managing the delivery and subsequent closures as and when required during the day. Facilities apologise for any inconvenience caused. If you need further information please contact the Facilities helpdesk on 93333

Advance notice of Bigforth Drive closure

On Saturday 26th February Bigforth Drive (main University access road) will be closed in both directions between 07:30 and 17:00 to lay new HV cables to supply the University campus. Therefore traffic (including buses) will be diverted through the Alexandra Park entrance. Traffic management will be in place on the main road. If you have any further questions about this diversion please contact the Facilities helpdesk on 93333 More information about the diversion of the bus services will be provided in LU Text next week.

Smarter Driving Training

CEH is putting on a “smarter driving” training session via the Energy Saving Trust at CEH with a qualified instructor running from 7 - 18 February. Contact Sarah Harris in Facilities on 92243 for further information, or follow the link.

New Development Opportunities for Staff

The Spring/Summer edition of Development Opportunities for Staff, which outlines the development programmes available on campus is now available here. Our online version provides the latest information and contains dates of events running between now and Sept 2011. If you have any questions regarding the new publication please contact

IT Training

MyPGR Forum: Thursday 24 February, 12.30pm - 2.00pm, FASS MR2/3
This brief lunchtime event is primarily for PGR Directors, Supervisors and PG Administrators and provides an opportunity to learn more about the role of the MyPGR tool, explore the opportunities it provides and contribute to its future development. The forum will also include three short presentations:

Introduction to Adobe Photoshop CS4 (4 sessions): 14, 15, 21, 22 February, 10am – 12:30pm, Training Suite 1, Library
Learn about manipulating photographs and some graphics for use in publications or web sites. Confident use of computers required.
Book Photoshop Training

Video Conferencing: Monday 21 February, 2pm - 3pm, Training Suite 2 - Library Building
Learn how to use video conferencing for conferences, lectures, interviews and meeting, and how to book and use the video conference equipment.
Book Video Conferencing Training

Friends programme funding available

Application forms are available from the Alumni and Development Office for funding through 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 May 2011.

All applications are to be submitted to the Alumni & Development Office by noon Friday 1st April 2011. Please note: Department/Faculty, College and LUSU applications MUST be authorised before submission. Please ensure that applications have been submitted for authorisation by noon Friday 25th March 2011. Please see the Guidance Notes for Applicants for more details. For further information and an application form, please download the details from the web page or call Rachel Newbury in the Alumni & Development Office on ext 92904 / email


For a full list of all events, please see Events.

Live at LICA event

Concert Thursday, 17 February 2011 at 19:30
Xuefeu Yang Guitar
This concert is dedicated to the memory of former Vice Chancellor, Philip Reynolds.

Carbon Awareness Roadshows

If you missed the Carbon Awareness Day you can still view the information at one of the roadshows taking place on campus over the next few weeks and talk to the University’s Environment and Sustainability Manager about the Carbon Management Plan, Travel Plan and proposed Wind Turbine Project. Refreshments will be provided free of charge at the roadshow.

Monday 14th February 11am - 2pm: Faraday Lecture Theatre foyer

To view the Carbon Management Plan Executive Summary click here.

To view a leaflet about the success of the Travel Plan click here.

If you are in support of the wind turbine planning application there will also be the chance to write a letter of support to Lancaster City Council at the Carbon Awareness Roadshow or you can do this online by clicking here.

MSc in Quantitative Methods for Science, Social Science and Medicine

The Applied Statistics group of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics is holding a lunch and short presentation about our Masters/MRes degree in Quantitative Methods for Science, Social Science and Medicine on Tuesday 22nd February 2011 from 1-2pm in the Postgraduate Statistics Centre on the ground floor. Please let us know (for catering purposes) if you would be interested in attending to hear more about this course by emailing Ruth Allen. Staff, 3rd year UG and PG students welcome.

In addition there are several ESRC funded places available for studying the MSc in Quantitative Methods in a 1+3 format for students interesting in going on to complete a PhD. Applications are now open for starting in October 2011. See link for more details.

Departmental Litfest at DELC

Due to popular demand, the Department of European Languages and Cultures presents its second Departmental Litfest. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - do join us at any time from 2.15 onwards as students and staff in modern languages read their favourite pieces of foreign literature (in the original and English translation). Wednesday, 9 March 2011 Time: 2.15-6.00 pm in Bowland North, Resource Centre (B 83). Free entry. All welcome!

Curry Night at Grad Bar - every Friday 5-8pm

Grad Bar presents The Sinners live - Thursday 17th Feb @9pm.


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 (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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