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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.

See the Press Office news and events pages here

| 27 April 2012 | Issue 564

Greetings to our readers who celebrate Ridván between 21 April until 2 May.

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


Lancaster highly rated in Complete University Guide 2013

Lancaster is ranked ninth out of UK universities in the Complete University Guide 2013, published on 24 April 2012. Full story.

Lancaster Teaching Award

Two lecturers have both won Lancaster Teaching Awards nominated by students. Dr Christine Shirras from the Division of Biomedical and Life Sciences and Dr Catherine Fritz from the Department of Educational Research were chosen from a total of 34 by a panel of Lancaster University and LUSU representatives. The nominations described how the teachers communicated their subject and inspired the students to do well. Full story.

Student accommodation ranked second in the UK

Accommodation at Lancaster University has been ranked second in the UK in the Times Higher Education Student Experience survey. Full story.

Research into the environmental implications of artificial life

New research seeks to inform a United Nations debate on whether to call a temporary halt to the release into the environment of artificially created organisms. Synthetic biology combines biology and engineering and enables scientists to create new living beings and components not found in nature. Dr Paul Oldham and Dr Stephen Hall (Cesagen) have published an article in PLOS One that maps the international scientific landscape for synthetic biology. The article combines corpus linguistics, geographical mapping and network analysis approaches with advances in interactive data visualization using an online Tableau workbook. The research was conducted as part of a collaboration with the Institute of Advanced Studies at United Nations University. The research aims to inform upcoming debates at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity on a potential moratorium on the field release of synthetic organisms, genomes and components. Full story.

Battle of the Roses 2012

Lancaster University will be hosting the 48th annual battle of the Roses sporting challenge against York University on Friday 4 – Sunday 6 May. This involves over 120 fixtures, nearly 1,500 athletes and approximately 5,000 spectators. The competition weekend covers the full range of sports and also includes dancing, bar sports, a University Challenge competition and the all important croquet match between our respective Chancellors and Students’ Union Presidents. Staff and families are very welcome to come and support our teams at any events. The full programme can be found at

The Sports Centre will be a key facility for the event therefore the sports hall and studio will be closed throughout the weekend so there will be no classes. The swimming pool will only be closed on the Saturday to accommodate the swimming gala. The gym and climbing wall will remain open but please bear in mind the centre will be very busy.

Road closure during Roses

From 6 am on Saturday 5 May until 4.30 pm on Sunday 6 May, the University’s main entrance will be closed from just after the Sport Centre at Bigforth Barn up to the main roundabout. Access to the Sports Centre will be maintained from the A6.

Bus arrangements and car parking – from 6am on Saturday 5 May until 4.30pm on Sunday 6 May all buses will enter and depart the campus using the Alexandra Park entrance off Hazelrigg Lane. All buses will serve the Chaplaincy Centre as normal. Please note that both bus stops outside the Sports Centre will be closed during these times as bus services will not be using Bigforth Drive at all during the period of the Roses road closure. There will be a limited number of car parking spaces at the sports centre as some of the car park will be closed off for the food court. Parking will still be available next to the tennis courts.

Curate the Campus arts festival

Live at LICA’s second annual Curate the Campus arts project features a host of local and international artists putting on unusual projects in unusual locations. The festival opens on May 1 with musicians from the Lancashire Sinfonietta attempting a “cliff-face concert” at the Sports Centre at noon. Major artists involved in this fortnight of activity include: Tim Etchells and Ant Hampton, with whispered text The Quiet Volume (8 – 12 May) taking place in the hush of Lancaster University’s reading room, and the world premiere of internationally acclaimed visual artist Franko B’s new performance Because of Love on Friday 11 May in the Nuffield Theatre. As part of the festival Live at LICA are running a Family Activity Day on Saturday 12 May. Full story.

Tropical Festival

A two week long festival to promote the diverse, world class research being carried out in the tropics at the University, which attracted over 250 people, has facilitated links between Lancaster’s Dallas Road Primary School and the Tropical Research Group in LEC. Organised by a group of PhD students from LEC between 24 February - 9 March and held at the Gregson Centre in Lancaster, the event was designed to demystify the tropical rainforest and give Lancaster University’s 15 researchers working in the tropics a chance to discuss their field work in places from Africa to the Amazon. Local people were treated to a concert featuring tropical tunes from Brazilian drumming to a Bossa Nova band, and workshops, talks and a photo exhibition. Hannah Griffiths, a member of the group, visited the school to talk about tropical ecology to the year four students who were studying rainforests. In return the children contributed to the photo exhibition by creating imaginary tropical animals for the walls of the Gregson Centre to sit alongside the photos from the group.

What's on

All lectures and seminars and talks will now be listed on the LU News events webpages. Please send any entries for these webpages to Laura Mitchell in the Press Office.


An article written by Dr Fiona Measham and Dr Karenza Moore (Applied Social Science) based on surveys near pubs in Lancashire towns as part of their Lancashire Drug and Alcohol Action Team project, has won an award for ‘Outstanding Paper’ of 2011 in the journal Drugs and Alcohol Today. The paper Mephedrone, Bubble and Unidentified White Powders: The contested identities of synthetic legal highs was chosen at the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2012. The research has been featured by the BBC online and the Guardian.

Dr Ellie Hamilton's (LUMS) paper Entrepreneurial learning in family business: a situated learning perspective, published in the Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, has also been chosen as a winner at the Emerald Literati Network Awards. Dr Hamilton's paper contributes towards understanding how entrepreneurial learning might be understood as being socially situated, and embedded in everyday practice in the context of family business.

A PhD student Pauline Anthonysamy (School of Computing and Communications) is a finalist for the highly competitive Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarships for 2012. She has been invited to a selective Google Scholars' Retreat which will host around 100 people and will be made up of Scholars from the Europe Scholarship for Students with Disabilities, Scholars and Finalists from the EMEA Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship and Zawadi Scholars. Pauline's PhD focuses on privacy management in online social networks.

Dr Fiona Measham (Applied Social Science) has been appointed by Lord Henley the Minister of State for Crime Reduction and Anti Social Behaviour, to serve a second three-year term of office as member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). The ACMD is one of the oldest and most prestigious of scientific advisory bodies to government established in 1971 under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Dr Measham also continues as Chair of the ACMD Polysubstance use working group and member of the ACMD Novel Pschoactive substances and khat working groups, as well as being appointed to the Temporary Class Drug Orders review panel established in the 2011 Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act.

Thursday 29 and Friday 30 March saw the first in a new schedule of start-up boot camps being run by the Enterprise Champion project. A mix of 17 current students and recent unemployed graduates came together at Grizedale College to get some hands on practical support to develop their business ideas into commercial opportunities. With guest contributions from 12 local businesses, many of which are entrepreneurial alumni, the boot camp gave participants a fantastic grounding to build the foundations of their new enterprises.

Professor Paul Farley (English & Creative Writing) has been shortlisted for a national book award. The 2012 Foyles Best Book of Ideas highlights those books published last year which are deemed to have presented new, important and challenging ideas, which are rigorously argued, and are engaging and accessible. Edgelands: Journeys into England’s True Wilderness (co-authored with Michael Symmons Roberts) is one of six titles shortlisted this year; other books include works by Steven Pinker, Simon Baron-Cohen and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman. The overall winner of the prize is announced at a ceremony in Bristol in May.

Professor Ruth Wodak (Linguistics) gave the keynote address at The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) on 17 April at an event called Declining Europe? The Challenge of Populism, East and West.

Professor Cary Cooper (LUMS) has been recently featured on the Online Schools website, in a list of the “top 50” psychology professors to follow on Twitter.

Richard Carter, Emeritus Professor in the Engineering Department, was a Visiting Professor at the University of Rome, Tor Vergata, from 14 to 21 April. During the visit he presented a Lecture entitled "Technologies for Radio-Frequency Acceleration of Charged Particles" at the invitation of the Rome Chapter of the IEEE.

Professor Martin Conyon (Accounting and Finance) presented findings on the restructuring of CEO compensation in China and contemporary changes in China's equity markets at an international workshop held in Hangzhou, China this month, which brought together labour economists and corporate governance specialists to present new evidence on the effects of changes in CEO compensation and governance structures in China. The workshops included representation from the World Bank, Harvard University and Oxford University and was organised jointly with the national Institute for Economic and Social Research in the UK.

Lancaster in the news

Professor Jeffrey Richards (History) was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today programme about the history of children’s names and Dr Hilary Simmons was quoted in the Times Higher Education, following Lancaster’s success in the THE Student Experience Survey 2012.

Follow link to see a list of people in the news.


Reporting staff circumstances to be considered for REF

Lancaster University is committed to ensuring that decisions about selecting staff for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) are made in a fair, transparent and consistent manner. Details on how eligible staff will be selected for submission to the REF can be found in the University’s Code of Practice. To ensure the REF processes are fair the University is collecting data on individual circumstances for all academic staff eligible for submission and the data will be used to identify which individuals are eligible for submission with fewer than four outputs. Therefore all academic staff eligible for submission to the REF should complete either of the two Staff Disclosure Forms (on the RSO webpage) so that this information can be taken into consideration. Further details on staff eligibility can be found in the Guidance on Submissions (Part 3 Section 1: Staff details). Note: research assistants are not eligible unless they can demonstrate significant independence in their research, e.g. as a principal investigator on an awarded grant.


Articles/information required for the next edition of Steps, which will be published in June/July and mailed to 68,000 alumni worldwide. Please contact Sally Nelhams if you have anything that you would like to be included.

Alumni postgraduate studentships

Funded by donations from alumni, up to five £1000 studentships are available. Applications are invited from any student who has completed a degree at Lancaster University and wishes to go on to post-graduate study here. Applicants must have applied for a post-graduate course in order to apply for the Studentship. Further information, including an application form is available here or by contacting Trevor Duncan, telephone 01524 594109. Closing date 27 July 2012.

Refurbishment in the Base

The Base will be refurbished during the period May to August. A full time Base coordinator, Jess Walmesley, has just been appointed. She will be looking to develop the service and build links with departments and colleges. A big thank you is due to Diane Richardson, who has coordinated the Base on a part-time basis over the last couple of years, while still continuing in her CEEC role. Diane will continue to be involved in training and as a part of a Base steering group.

Change to how new students get their username/password for 2012/13

For the start of the 2012/13 academic year there will be a change to how new students receive their username/password and set up their IT account. New students will be provided with information via email in order to set up their IT account in advance of coming to Lancaster. This means that they will be able to get full access to IT resources (including their University email account) before they arrive, and will also be able to access the campus network and Internet as soon as they get to Lancaster.

We would like to ensure that any information new students receive about this process (or which is related to it) is consistent and accurate. If you provide information to new students which includes details of how they get their IT account and/or when they can start to access University IT resources or you provide information which is likely to be impacted upon by this development, and you need further information please contact Brian Green, Project Manager in ISS: Email – Phone – ext. 10090

Cycle and pedestrian warning

Due to an increase in contractor traffic around Bailrigg Lane and Bailrigg House, please ensure that you take extra care when cycling and walking in this area of campus. This includes the cycle path between the northern perimeter road and Bailrigg Lane. Additional signage will be added to warn users of the work. If you have any queries about this area please contact Senior Project Manager Helen Wood via the Facilities Helpdesk 93333.

Free sports taster weekend Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 April

Lancaster University Sports Centre has joined forces with Lancaster City Council to celebrate this summer’s Olympic Games, by providing an open weekend of free sport. Spaces are subject to availability on a first come first served basis. See here for further details. The majority of spaces are now booked up but there is still have some availability on Sunday’s Fit 4 Kids Taster session for 5-10 year olds from 1pm – 2pm. Book now by calling the Sports Centre reception on 01524 510600.

Lancaster University Squash Open 2012 Graded Tournament 23 and 24 June 2012

Everyone is invited to take part, £10 entry fee – entry form can be downloaded here. Closing date for entries is 10 June. For more information please contact

Level 1 football course at the Sports Centre

Lancaster University is working in conjunction with the Lancashire Football Association to help the development of more coaches across Lancaster. This course is designed to provide learners with an introduction to the principles and practice of safe, ethical, and effective management and coaching of football to young people and adults. See here for further details.

Lower gym open for use

Following feedback we have made improvements to the lower gym and it is now open again for use. We have created more space to train in by moving the equipment round and new weights discs and benches will be arriving shortly. We hope you benefit from these improvements and apologise for any inconvenience caused whilst the work was under taken.

Green Lancaster bike sale

Green Lancaster will be holding the first ‘Big Bike Sale’ of the summer term on Tuesday 1 May. There will be a range of bargain new bikes, with sizes and shapes for all. Prices start from just £120 for a basic mountain bike. The sale will take place in Alexandra Square between 11am and 3pm. Also on sale will be the usual range of cycle accessories, including the introductory accessory pack which is still just £20 for a helmet, lock, light set and pump. Dr Bike will also be available between 10am and 4pm, providing free bike safety checks and minor repairs. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment as we expect Tuesday to be a busy one.

Training and courses

Staff IT Training

Upcoming free IT training sessions run by ISS, in the Library Training suites. If you would like to attend any IT Training sessions please book online.

More information is available on the ISS Staff IT Training pages.


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


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.

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