LU Text Banner and logo

13 September 2013 | Issue 623

To view previous editions see LU Text Archive

Contents: News| People| Lancaster in the news| Campus Investment| Food & Drink| Training & Courses|


Largest ever study of culture and behaviour in the NHS

A lack of clearly defined goals, a surfeit of box ticking and regulation, and highly variable staff support are stifling the almost universal desire to provide high quality care in the English NHS, finds the largest ever analysis of its culture and behaviours, led by Professor Mike West of Lancaster University Management School and published online in BMJ Quality & Safety. Full story.

Diabetes drug reverses Alzheimer’s and could be available in five years

A commonly prescribed diabetes drug could reverse memory loss and the build-up of plaques on the brain linked to Alzheimer’s, according to research published in Neuropharmacology. Results from the Alzheimer’s Society-funded study, led by Professor Christian Hölscher, now at Lancaster University, show that the drug liraglutide might be able to reverse some of the damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, even in the later stages of the condition. Full story.

Statisticians to give public talks in local schools

Experts from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics are continuing to give free public talks in local schools as part of the 2013 International Year of Statistics. They will explain how a knowledge of statistics can help with everything from drug safety to flood defences and renewable energy. The second set of talks start on 25 September at 7pm at Central Lancaster High School where Dr David Lucy will explore how statistics are used and misused in forensic evidence. Other talks include: Hello, how do you queue? by Dr David Worthington on 9 October at 7pm at Ulverston Victoria High School and Renewable Energy - How statistics can help mitigate intermittent generation by Dr Rebecca Killick on 13 November at 7pm at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School. Tickets are free but registration is required at or call 01524 593067.

QS World University Rankings 2013

Lancaster ranks 156, a rise of 7 places from last year’s position of 163. See here for full listings.

Work starts on leading engineering school's new home

Construction began on a brand new, state-of-the-art engineering building at Lancaster University on Monday (9 September). The decision to invest and build the new high profile centre of excellence is set against a backdrop of a thriving global engineering industry.

New Engineering building presentation - 26 September 1.00 - 2.00pm, Engineering Lecture Theatre 1

Staff and students are invited to a presentation about the construction of the new Engineering building by the building contractor, Eric Wright and Lancaster University Facilities Senior Project Manager, Stuart Foy. If you would like to attend please email Caroline O’Connor Facilities Administrative Assistant.

Undergraduate Visit Day: Saturday 22 September

Thank you to all staff and students across campus who supported the August Undergraduate Visit Day. Feedback from the event, via social media and the online questionnaire, has been positive with 70 per cent of visitors rating their visit as ‘very good’ and a further 94 per cent stating they will ‘definitely apply/probably apply’ to Lancaster. Preparations are under way for the next event, Saturday 22 September, and at present 8,200 students and visitors are booked online to attend. Briefing notes to all involved will be circulated early next week but if you require any further information please get in touch with Kathryn Lambert in the UK Student Recruitment and Outreach Office x 93724 -


Dr Paul Iganski delivered a public lecture last week at Sunway University, Malaysia. The lecture, titled 'How hate hurts. The justifications for 'hate crime' laws', was delivered as part of the Jeffrey Cheah Distinguished Speaker Series and attended by an audience of more than 300 students and representatives of governmental and non-governmental organisations and the media. The lecture was scheduled during a visit by Dr Iganski and Law School colleagues Professor Alisdair Gillespie and Dr Stuart Kirby to explore the establishment of criminology courses at Sunway University.

A new way of diagnosing skin cancer through changes in blood flow is being investigated by PhD researcher Gemma Lancaster (Physics) who earned the best poster prize at Lancaster University’s Postgraduate Conference organised by Graduate College with support from FASS and LUSU. Full story.

Lancaster in the news

Dr Claire Hardaker (Linguistics) is quoted widely in the national press including The Telegraph and Times on children’s language; Professor Mike West (LUMS) who led the largest ever study of NHS behaviour and culture writes in The Guardian.

To see other news items featuring colleagues follow the link.


UG Admissions

The UG Admissions Project aims to enhance applicants’ interactions with the University by providing a responsive and fast turnaround time for applications.

To achieve this, the UG Admissions team has been expanded for the start of the new admissions cycle with the addition of three Admissions Officers and three part-time seconded Admissions Officers. Each Admissions Officer will be partnered with a number of academic departments and will be responsible for making ‘offer’ decisions for those departments (with the exception of the Management and Medical Schools).

In addition, in September 2014, a new web-based IT system will enable paperless processing of applications. The new system will draw its data from LUSI and its introduction will coincide with UCAS’ withdrawal of paper copies of application forms.

The project will also deliver tools and support to strengthen recruitment and conversion activities across the Institution.

More details about the project and the partnership of departments and Admissions Officers can be found here.

Agenda and papers for Senate

As part of the outcomes of the Senate Effectiveness Review last year, it was agreed to make the papers for Senate meetings available to all staff in advance of the meetings. This will mean staff will have greater opportunities, not only to be informed about the business and decisions of the University, but to play an active part in shaping them. We have created a SharePoint site for Senate, which members of staff can access using their University user name and password, which can be found here

In addition, the membership of Senate can be found here.

The agenda and papers for the first annual strategy meeting of Senate, to be held on 24 September 2013, are now on the Senate site.

Fiona Aiken, University Secretary

LU win an extended contract with the National Institute for Health Research

The National Institute for Health Research’s Research Design Service North West (RDS NW) is hosted by Lancaster University in the Division of Health Research. It has now won an extended contract with the National Institute for Health Research until October 2018. In the past year alone the service has advised on over 250 new research ideas and helped people with over 150 submissions to a range of funding schemes in applied health and social care research. RDS NW welcomes people working across the NHS, higher education, social care and the third sector. For more information and to request advice visit the RDS NW website.

Lancaster Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe) pump priming funding

As one of the Lancaster University Research Centres, the Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe) is pleased to invite applications for pump priming funding up to the value of £1,000. Applications for smaller sums are particularly encouraged. We expect to make several awards in the region of £500 each. Further details are available here.

LUSU has moved

All Students’ Union services located in Slaidburn house and those temporarily in Ash House have moved into Bowland West Wing, accessible through Bowland Main quad or at the University House end of the Learning Zone. There is also a new fax number (01524) 594029 LUSU Shops and LUSU Living are unaffected by the move. Contact details for all LUSU staff can be found at

Lecture Capture Pilot

During the last academic year, more than 800 lectures across 14 venues and 100 courses were captured by ISS in a pilot project over the preceding two terms. Once approved by the lecturer, the captured content is made available to students via Moodle. Feedback has been positive and the trial is to be extended during the new academic year. Lecture capture equipment has now been added to all centrally bookable teaching spaces on campus. Further information is available here.

Training courses are also available during September to provide more information on the technology and how to use the system to assist and enhance the student experience. Visit here to book.

Campus Investment

Further information about all the following work and other work on campus is available on the Facilities news webpage, or by contacting the Facilities helpdesk, 01524 593333.

Partial campus power shutdown

On Saturday 14 September, there will be a partial campus power shutdown to enable contractors to undertake work on the primary sub-stations. For further information visit the Facilities news page.

Re-opening of underpass

The underpass will reopen at midnight Friday 20 September ready for the Visit Day on Saturday 21 September. Information about travel and traffic arrangements are available on the Facilities news page.

Food & Drink on Campus

Information on university run food and drink outlets - Food and drink during the summer vacation

Training & Courses

Staff IT Training

The following FREE IT taught training sessions run by ISS are available during the summer. All training sessions take place in the Library Training suites and require booking online, unless otherwise stated.

Interested in gaining Microsoft Office Specialist qualifications? Please see our MOS webpage for details. More information is available on the ISS Staff IT Training pages.

Organisation and Educational Development

Please find below forthcoming staff development opportunities that may be of interest. For further opportunies later in the year please visit the OED website or email directly

What's On

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

UKRO Information day – EU Projects

Dr Sobia Aslam, of UKRO (the UK Research Councils’ jointly funded office in Brussels), will visit Lancaster University on Thursday 26 September. Sobia will be giving a presentation to provide detailed information about the European Commission’s new research funding programme Horizon 2020 and how it differs from FP7, followed by a presentation on how to write proposals for European funding.

The presentations will be between 10.00am 12.30pm (H2020) and 2.00 - 3.00pm (European proposal writing) in Conference Centre Meeting Room 2. If you are interested in taking part in this visit, please contact the Research Support Office. Please advise if you intend to attend both presentations.