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| 21 September 2012 | Issue 580

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

2012-13 Pay Negotiations

This is a challenging year for all organisations and businesses in the UK, particularly so for HEIs, which are continuing to adjust to reductions in public funding and policy changes which at Lancaster and elsewhere have contributed to significant uncertainty about admissions in 2012/13 with the total admissions to English HEIs falling, which has been considerable in some disciplines.

Lancaster University is one of 151 HE institutions which participate in the New JNCHES (Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff) negotiating process to determine pay rates for most of its staff.

The New JNCHES meetings for 2012-13 concluded with the employers making a final offer of 1% on all pay points from August 2012. This was against the background of the HE trade unions’ (EIS, GMB, UCU, Unison and Unite) joint claim for an increase on all pay points of 7% (RPI as 3.7% in February 2012 plus an additional 3.3%), a commitment to a ‘Living Wage’ and further work on equality issues.

However, all trade unions rejected the employers’ offer and are preparing to ballot for industrial action.

Whether or not you are a union member, there are some important considerations I want to bring to your attention as we move, I hope, towards an amicable conclusion to these talks that seeks to preserve both our reputation and our business:

Mark E. Smith


'Fingerprinting' breakthrough offers improved brain tumour diagnosis

Scientists have made a breakthrough in a new method of brain tumour diagnosis, offering hope to tens of thousands of people. Researchers, led by Professor Francis Martin from LEC, have shown that infrared and Raman spectroscopy – coupled with statistical analysis – can be used to tell the difference between normal brain tissue and the different tumour types that may arise in this tissue, based on its individual biochemical-cell ‘fingerprint’. Full story.

Three HR stars at Lancaster University Management School

Lancaster University’s Centre for Performance-Led HR has three professors listed among the top 15 thinkers in the field of HR. Every year HR magazine compiles the Most Influential List of directors and thinkers who have the greatest influence in the field of people strategy. Professor Cary Cooper CBE, Distinguished Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health, is ranked at number four; Mike West, Professor of Organisational Psychology at number five; and Professor Paul Sparrow, Director of the Centre for Performance-Led HR, jointly at number 14th. Full story.

Local people design their own public space

Researchers at ImaginationLancaster are helping local people to get involved in shaping the future of part of the historic city centre. Hundreds of people have so far taken part in the Beyond the Castle project which aims to create a high-quality public space around Lancaster’s castle and priory. Dr Leon Cruickshank of ImaginationLancaster is the UK project leader of Beyond the Castle, part of the PROUD EU INTERREG developed in close collaboration with Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council. The next event Just Imagine The Shape of the Park is on 22 September. Full story.

Honour for Lancaster poet

Professor Paul Farley (English and Creative Writing) has been included in a new piece of civic architecture in Liverpool that gathers together the names of writers associated with the city. The Central Library held a topping out ceremony last week, unveiling a 20 metre high granite panel displaying the names of writers chosen by public vote. The literary panel is part of a £50m scheme – that began in the autumn of 2010 – to completely redevelop and renovate the city centre library, which reopens next year. See the story in the Liverpool Echo.

Flexible Benefits 2012/13

Annual enrolment has now closed and the benefits choices are currently being processed. The process for travel selections is as follows:

Launch of new Student Portal

ISS have launched a new Student Portal which provides a single access point for students to a wide range of information and services including access to their virtual learning spaces, email, timetable and Library information. The student portal is accessible at A short video has been prepared to show staff what students will see when logged into the student portal.


Congratulations to Dr Michael Ginger (Biomedical and Life Sciences) and Dr Judit Kormos (Linguistics and English Language) on their award of a Readership.

Professor Andrew Binley (Lancaster Environment Centre) is the 2012 recipient of the Frank Frischknecht Leadership Award for his long-term contributions to the field of near-surface geophysics, and in particular hydrogeophysics. This award is jointly presented by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) and the Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society (EEGS) and was established “to recognize an individual who shows extraordinary leadership in advancing the domain of near-surface geophysics".

From 16 - 30 September eight ImaginationLancaster students and Professor Stuart Walker are participating in an Erasmus Intensive programme. The programme is entitled: “Emerging Theories, Methodologies and Applications in the area of Design: Sustainability & Service Design”. The programme, hosted by the University of the Aegean, brings together students and professors from four European universities. The programme will also be offered in September 2013. Further details can be found here.

A book by Dr Jo Warin (Educational Research) called 'Stories of Self; tracking children's identity and wellbeing through the school years' has been reviewed favourably in the Times Higher Education 'What are you Reading? column. The book is published by Trentham Books.

New College Principal needed

Would you be interested in a part-time role as a College Principal, with your department receiving a buy-out for the loss of your time? We are seeking a new Principal for Cartmel College from 1 January 2013. The Colleges are regarded as one of Lancaster’s distinctive features. As a Principal, you would play a role in leading the College team and shaping the life of your College for both staff and students. The role is both challenging and rewarding and you would be ably supported by the existing team of officers. You would need:

Lancaster in the news

The Financial Times has an article on entrepreneurs-in-residence at LUMS and writer Sarah Maitland from the Department of English and Creative Writing is interviewed for The Telegraph.

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


Friends programme funding available in December

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 and Development Office on ext 92904.

Building projects across campus

To view a summary of recently completed projects, and projects currently underway across campus visit the Facilities website.


The Sports Centre will be running free 6 week coaching courses for 18-25 year olds, thanks to the Lottery funded programme Sportivate. Courses will lead to a National Indoor Climbing Achievement Scheme (NICAS) award. Courses will run every Wednesday from:

Spaces are limited so book now by contacting the Sports Centre reception on 01524 510600. For further information visit

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 by Monday 24 September stating:

Please note that there are only two individual session slots still available and these will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Moodle - The new teaching VLE

Moodle is replacing LUVLE as the standard VLE supported by ISS from September 2012. Please visit the Moodle Support Website for information about demos, lab sessions and consultation sessions scheduled between now and the start of term or to download user guides. One-to-one support is available for staff who require assistance with their Moodle module spaces which have been migrated from LUVLE. Please contact (Ruth Paterson in ISS to arrange an appointment with an eLearning Assistant.

Training and courses

Study Mandarin Chinese with Lancaster University Confucius Institute

Classes start week beginning 8 October. For further information on Beginners’ Levels 1, 2 and 3 please see here. Ten week courses cost £30 for students, £40 for staff and £45 for others. Please register and pay at the online store here. If you are interested in other levels please email.

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.

Organisation and Educational Development

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. It will be opened by the Vice Chancellor and will include invited internal and external speakers as well as break out discussion sessions. For more information please click here. To book a place please email OED.

Language courses on campus this term - for staff and students

Lancashire Adult Learning (Lancashire County Council's Education Service), in association with Lancaster University, are offering a range of language courses on campus starting week commencing 22nd October. Courses include French, German, Japanese, Italian, Russian, Spanish and British Sign Language. All courses are 6 weeks (apart from British Sign Language). The fee is £66 (£75.60 for non EU residents). British Sign Language Introduction runs for 4 weeks and the fee is £55 (£63 for non EU residents). You can enrol on campus on Thursday 4 October or Friday 5 October, 10am – 3pm both days in the Reception area of FASS (Advanced Studies Dept) on North Spine, or call 0845 600 1331.

For further details see here


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

Intro Week talks

We are running a series of general interest talks in Intro week for new students. Staff might particularly be interested in a talk on the history of Lancaster and would be very welcome - An Illustrated History of Lancaster – A vibrant student city with a fascinating and varied past by Janet Nelson - 1.00pm, Frankland Lecture Theatre Tuesday 2 October. There is no need to register, just turn up if you would like to attend.

Beyond the Castle

The Beyond the Castle project, led by ImaginationLancaster at LICA, wants to make a high-quality public space around Priory Green, Vicarage Fields and Quay Meadows in Lancaster city centre. A special drop-in session and workshop is being held on Saturday 22 September for people to share their ideas about how to improve the area. The workshop takes place from 2pm - 8pm on the Priory Green and at The Storey, where there will be free refreshments and pizza.

Object – Memory - Fine Art MA Show - LICA

Contemporary Art Research - LICA at Lancaster University, by David Ogle BA (Hons) MA and Alistair Parker BA (Hons) MA
Preview - Friday 21st September 2012
Show - Saturday 22nd till Friday 27th September 10am till 4 pm
Venue – The Installation Space, LICA Building, Lancaster University, LA1 4YW

For further information see here


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