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Welcome back to all readers following the LU Text August break. To view previous editions see LU Text Archive.

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Flexible Benefits - If you are thinking of choosing a bus pass, parking permit, Sports Centre membership or any of the other benefits available, now is the time to decide. You can make your submission in a variety of ways. You can log into employee self-service, using your standard University login details: Alternatively, you can contact the Flexible Benefits Helpdesk on extension 10614 or by email: or you can pop in to see the Helpdesk in person - the Helpdesk can be found on the ground floor of the Human Resources Building. For further information about Flexible Benefits, please visit the HR website. The deadline for enrolment is 5pm, Friday 14 September.

| 7 September 2012 | Issue 578

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


Why women live longer than men

Women outlive men by about five to six years but why? By age 85 there are roughly six women to every four men and by age 100 the ratio is more than two to one. Now scientists think they may have found the answer in the aptly named “Mother’s Curse”. Published in Current Biology, research led by Dr Damian Dowling and Florencia Camus of Monash University in Australia, together with Dr David Clancy from the Faculty of Health and Medicine, shows that a set of DNA inherited only from the mother can be harmful to males and speed up male ageing. Full story.

Environmental sciences at Lancaster are in world top 25

Lancaster University has been ranked joint 23rd in the world for environmental sciences by the 2012 QS World University Rankings by subject. The result ranks environmental sciences at Lancaster fourth within the UK behind the University of Oxford (7th), Imperial College London (joint 11th) and University of Cambridge (13th). Full story.

Pakistan partnership discusses next steps

One of Pakistan’s most senior politicians met with representatives from Lancaster University and COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan, this week to celebrate the growth of a pioneering partnership between the two institutions and discuss the next stage of development. Full story.

Cyber Security Challenge UK announces first Cyber Camp at Lancaster University

Some of the UK’s most talented young cyber security enthusiasts have been selected for a first-of-its-kind five-day training camp at Lancaster University. This year’s Cyber Security Challenge UK, which runs from Wednesday 5 September to Sunday 9 September, will give talented amateurs a priceless opportunity to learn about cyber defence from seasoned professionals. Full story.

Island students visit Lancaster University

Two hundred students from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man have been visiting campus to find out more about life at university. This is the third annual residential trip for year 12 students organised as part of the Islands Project, a direct partnership between schools from the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey and Lancaster University. Full story.

Heart patients to benefit from technology pioneered in the aviation industry

Researchers in the North West are investigating whether tools pioneered in aviation security can be used to help prevent complications after surgery. A team from the Academic Surgery Unit at the University Hospital of South Manchester led by Professor Charles McCollum is collaborating with Lancaster University to develop new technology for healthcare based on an aviation security system designed to give pilots maximum information about the health of their aircraft and advance warning of problems. Full story.


Lancaster University physicist Dr Mick Denton was invited to the launch of the NASA Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on August 30. He holds a joint £400,000 NERC grant together with the British Antarctic Survey to perform supporting observations from Antarctica during the RBSP mission. Full story.

Professor Aristotle Kallis (History) is shortlisted for the title of Most Innovative Teacher of the Year at the annual Times Higher Education Awards, where LUMS is also shortlisted for the title of Business School of the Year. The awards ceremony will be held on November 29 in London.

Lancaster University Chancellor and mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington has completed a charity abseil from the top of the tallest building in Western Europe. Full story.

Congratulations to Dr Arthur Bradley (English and Creative Writing) who has been awarded a Readership.

The Royal Society has appointed Kenneth Wilson, Professor of Evolutionary Ecology at the Lancaster Environment Centre, as one of only seven new Senior Research Fellowship holders. Full story.

Professor Brian Wynne (Sociology/CesaGen) is the co-author of a Comment article in the August 23 edition of Nature about the future direction of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The article was also discussed in a Nature editorial in the same issue, which endorses the Comment’s argument.
The Comment article results from an interdisciplinary natural science-social sciences collaboration originally established between the Natural History Museum and Lancaster’s Centre for the Study of Environmental Change, also involving Dr Claire Waterton (Sociology) and Dr Rebecca Ellis (LEC). Such interdisciplinarity and policy-relevance is an unusual achievement for social sciences in a Nature publication, as the editorial itself acknowledges.

The Director of Lancaster University Management School's successful leadership development programme for SME owner-managers has shared the secrets of business success with Olympic coaches from all over the world. Dr Sue Smith delivered three sessions in London to coaches from across the globe, illustrating to the world's top sports coaches, how management and business thinking can help achieve their objectives. Full story.

A team from across Central Services has reached the finals of the National Management and Leadership Awards held in association with the Chartered Management Institute. The Customer Service Excellence Team has been shortlisted for The Management Team of the Year award, the winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 4 October.

Dr Peter Yeandle (History) was invited to contribute to the opening panel at the ‘Britain and the Sea’ conference (4 September); an event which forms part of the Plymouth Marine City Festival and is a policy-geared occasion where speakers include academics, Royal Navy representatives and civil servants from the Ministry of Defence.

Lancaster in the news

Genetic research co-authored by Dr David Clancy (FHM) has received global media coverage from yahoo news – the largest news site on the internet - to the People’s Daily in China which has over 3 million readers. Professor Garik Markarian (Computing and Communications) is also quoted in The Engineer on aircraft technology and healthcare.

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


College advisors

There has been excellent feedback about the recent changes in the College Advisor system and the new training workshop for Advisors. We are very keen to recruit additional Advisors to join the existing College teams in the next academic year. You don't need to be experienced or have any particular skills - the key qualities are the ability to listen, to give sensible advice, and to enjoy helping students to succeed.

From October, you would be allocated a reasonably small number of first year students in an undergraduate College and you would help them settle in. The role is not over-demanding or time-consuming - but it is infinitely rewarding to be part of the system of support that makes Lancaster unique and the student experience memorable. You would need to attend a short training workshop, which covers all aspects of the Advisor's role. Within the College there is a Senior Advisor who provides guidance, materials and a structure and there are also plenty of opportunities to socialise in your College, get to know your students socially. and meet other Advisors.

If interested, you need to get in touch - either with Ali Moorhouse who is Senior Advisor for County College and who will be co-ordinating responses for all colleges (you don't have to join County!), or contact the Administrator of any college you're interested in. Please do this now: during the next couple of months there will be opportunities for you to meet college staff, find out how the role works, and to have your own Freshers from the start of October.

Strategic Forum website Ghana

On the discussion website for the Strategic Options for the University we have posted a series of documents regarding the Ghana proposal which sets out information for the establishment of a teaching partnership in Ghana (these have been posted under the Discussion Forum area). This proposal was approved at a Finance Committee meeting held on 21 August 2012. Please feel free to submit your comments on any of these.

Inaugural conference to launch the Collaborative Partnerships Initiative

Lancaster University is launching a major strategic initiative to support its collaboration with the public and private sector in research, knowledge exchange and professional development across all fields of health, medicine and social care. To mark the inauguration of the Collaborative Partnerships initiative, the Faculty of Health and Medicine will hold a launch conference on September 18 at the Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts (LICA). The conference will involve senior level representation and input from all relevant sectors, partner organisations and other key stakeholders. Guest speakers include Dr Louise Wood, Head of Innovation and Industry at the Department of Health and Professor David Croisdale Appleby OBE, the Chairman of Skills for Care. Participation in the Conference is open to all University staff. There is no charge, but to book your place, please complete the registration form. In addition presentations will be streamed live on the day for viewing via your PC on campus.

Information day – EU Projects

Judith Litjens, of UKRO (the UK Research Council’s jointly funded office in Brussels), will be visiting Lancaster University on Wednesday 26 September. Judith will be giving a presentation to provide detailed information about the European Commission’s final calls under the FP7 research funding programme, including Co-operation, Marie Curie Actions and the European Research Council (ERC), followed by a short presentation on the next framework programme - Horizon 2020. The presentations will be between 9.30 - 11.30 in Conference Centre Meeting Room 2. Judith will also be available for individual/small group surgery sessions between 12.00 - 12.30 and 14.15- 16.15 in B16, University House. These sessions provide an opportunity for individuals or small groups to discuss in more detail any aspects of the Framework Programme.

If you are interested in taking part in this visit, please contact the Research Support Office at by Monday 24 September stating:

Friends programme funding available in December

Please see details and application form here Please ensure that applications have been submitted for authorisation by 5pm Friday 16 November 2012. Deadline for all applications to be submitted to the Alumni & Development Office: 5pm Friday 23 November 2012. Enquiries to Rachel Newbury in the Alumni & Development Office on ext 92904 / email

Campus accommodation

Rooms are still available on campus, if you are aware of anyone who is interested in campus accommodation please direct them to their College Residence Officer, or for one bed-roomed self contained flats on campus, please contact the Flats Residence Officer Rosemary Doyle on or extn 93365.

The Base and CEEC reopen

On Tuesday 11 September at 2pm The Base and CEEC are moving back to their newly refurbished space on the ground floor of University House. As part of the remodelling project new doors have been added from Alexandra Square where the Post Office was situated. Please use these doors to access The Base and CEEC and help direct students accordingly.

Campus work

To view the latest campus work updates including a map of the road works taking place over the next couple of weeks please visit the Facilities news page.

Main drive closure

The main drive is closed until 21 September from the entrance on the A6 in both directions to the pedestrian crossing outside the Sports Centre. Both stops outside the Sports Centre will be temporarily closed. All buses will continue to serve the underpass as normal, entering and departing the campus from the Alexandra Park entrance off Hazelrigg Lane. National Express will serve the underpass as normal. Please note: The road will be fully open for the University Visit Day on Saturday 22 September. We apologise for any inconvenience this work may cause you. If you have any problems please contact the Facilities helpdesk 01524 93333.

Bus improvements for 2012/13

In partnership with Stagecoach, the University is delivering a number of additional improvements to University bus services for 2012/13. These include brand new buses on the 2, 2A and 42 routes with free on board Wi-Fi. Information on all the bus improvements is available here. The University is continuing to heavily subsidise staff annual Unirider bus passes. These are available through Flexible Benefits until 14 September.

Sports Centre membership

If you’d like to join the Sports Centre or renew your current membership you can do so through flexible benefits or directly through the Sports Centre. To view the membership options and prices click here.

Training and courses

Postgraduate programmes

CETAD is enrolling now for part-time, work based Postgraduate programmes starting in October. Successful completion can lead to a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or a Masters Degree. It maybe be possible for payment to be made via flexible benefits, for further details on this contact Jean Bennett. For futher details on the courses click on the links below, call Mary on 593318 or email:
Postgraduate Certificate in Management
Postgraduate Certificate in Organisational Change
Negotiated Work Based Learning

Staff IT Training

Upcoming free IT training sessions run by ISS, in the Library Training suites. All training sessions require booking, unless otherwise stated, please book online

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

Microsoft Office 2010 Roll-out

ISS have now completed deployment of Microsoft Office 2010 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc) to central teaching and lab spaces. The installation on central labs and teaching space machines did not include Microsoft Outlook, but Microsoft Project 2010 and Visio 2010 was deployed on those machines. (There are no plans to deploy Office 2010 to Windows XP machines.) Those staff who already have access to the latest version of Microsoft Office and those wanting training and information resources on what is in Windows7 and Office 2010 can access more details from the staff ict training web pages. Mac users wanting Office 2011 should contact the ISS Service Desk.

Organisation and Educational Development

Staff Development Guide

For all your training and development needs, plus the names and numbers of people who will be able to help you plan your future careers, please visit the new staff development guide online by clicking here.

College Advisor Workshop – 14/09/12, 17/09/12 and 28/09/12 - 10.00-12.00. This one day course will be run 3 times in September to try to ensure that all new college advisors or people who would like to be college advisors can attend. For more information please visit the OED website To book please email OED.

Making Professor Event – 25/09/12 – 9.30-16.15. This event is aimed at all academic and research staff that are interested in equality and diversity in academic career development. For more information please click here. To book a place please email OED.

Supporting Learning Programme

This course is for associate teachers, in particular postgraduates and researchers that teach. For more information please click here. The deadline for the SLP is 14 September so if you are interested in attending please get your application in no later than this date.


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

Heritage days

Lancaster University is taking part in Heritage Open Days, the annual event where thousands of properties open their doors to the public. Both Bailrigg House (Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September from 10-4) and the Ruskin Library (Sat 10-4) will be open.

Beyond the Castle

People are being asked to share stories about a historic part of Lancaster to help shape plans for a new public space. Beyond the Castle is a project that will involve local people in shaping the future of the site on Castle Hill. There will be a drop in event on Saturday 8 September from 12 noon to 3.30pm, meeting outside Lancaster Priory, where volunteers and designers will help record stories about the area. There will also be a second event looking at the ecology, history and accessibility of the area on 22 September from 2pm to 4.30pm, or 6pm to 8pm. The Beyond the Castle project was initiated by Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council, and is supported by a co-design challenge led by Lancaster University through PROUD, an EU INTERREG project. For more details, visit:

Spectrum Connect Conference

On 19 September, The Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research will be holding its first Spectrum Connect Conference at the Lancaster University Conference Centre. We have 40 places available for people to attend our free Spectrum Connect Conference. For more information please see the attached flyer. To book your place or for more information or to receive regular updates on the conference please contact Jayjay Sanson, Research Secretary on 01524 593756 or Please note that places are limited to 40 only and will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.


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Contact Victoria Tyrrell on (01524) 594120 with items for LU text, LU News or for external publicity.
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