Lancaster University

SciTech bulletin

FST Wins Seven New Studentships

A consortium of FST departments, lead by Biological Sciences, has been successful in winning an award of seven PhD studentships under the BBSRC Doctoral Training Grant (DTG) scheme. This success is great news for the two research arms within Biology as they move forward into the new initiatives in the Lancaster Environment Centre within FST and Biomedical and Life Sciences within the new School of Health and Medicine.

The award, which covers the period for student entry in 2009-2011, is based on Lancaster's ability to deliver genuinely interdisciplinary research and training, centred on the Biological Sciences but incorporating related skills from other parts of FST including the departments of Environmental Science, Mathematics and Statistics, Medicine and Psychology, and the LEC Centres for Sustainable Agriculture and Chemicals Management. Such an interdisciplinary approach to training is vital to produce biological scientists who combine a solid foundation of subject-specific expertise with a genuinely multidisciplinary skill set.

Dr Paul McKean, who led the bid from Biological Sciences, said:

"We are sure that being able to offer a genuinely interdisciplinary approach to training in the biological sciences was the key to the success of our bid. It really does address the core aspects of BBSRC's science vision and strategy, and recognises that biology in the 21st century must address an unparalleled range of challenges, from human health to global change. At Lancaster we can train students with the breadth to experience to address major BBSRC strategy areas, including 'Integrative and systems biology', 'sustainable agriculture' and 'healthy organism', all of which require researchers who can work at the interface between biology and other disciplines."

All the studentships will be genuinely multidisciplinary with one supervisor being a biologist, and the other a scientist from the collaborating department. A minimum of two of the studentships will be DTG CASE studentships and, again, Lancaster is well-placed to deliver industrial collaborations, especially through the LEC Enterprise Business Centre.

Dr Nigel Paul, Head of Biological Sciences, said:

"We believe that we are in a good position to deliver more than just two CASE studentships. The award provides us with a real opportunity to work with colleagues in other departments, and external partners, to bring more than just the minimum of seven studentships, and provide exciting training opportunities that address a wide range of major issues for the biological sciences and related disciplines".

Faculty Picture Competition

Got a good picture of your research or of life around campus? Faculty staff and students can now enter the SciTech picture competition online. There's a first prize of £100 in each of two categories.

For details of the competition and how to enter online go to

The deadline for entries is Friday 6 June.

Faculty Research Grant Awards

The awards have now been made for Faculty Research Grant funding from the 14th March deadline.

Research grants of up to £1,000 per award were available to staff across the faculty. Grants awarded this time include:

Katie Alcock - Psychology
Validation of a parent administered cognitive and language test battery
Jos Barlow - Biological Sciences
Devising effective strategies to conserve the endemic avifauna of São Tomé and Príncipe
Kanchan Mukherjee - Mathematics & Statistics
Resampling Financial Time Series
Elena Luchinskaya - Engineering
Using Problem-based and Peer-assisted Learning in Teaching Mathematics to University Students: Focus on Competence Development
Saskia Vermeylen - Geography
The legal spaces of energy and ownership; exploring the role of property relations in the development of sustainable energy systems
Mike Kosch - Communication Systems
High cadence imaging of the aurora
Joe Whittaker - Mathematics & Statistics
A feasibility study of dynamic graphical models for online market basket analysis

The next call for application will be announced in the SciTech Bulletin in the new academic year.

Short-Term Japanese Fellowships

The JSPS Short-Term Award provides the opportunity for European and North American pre- and post-doctoral researchers to visit Japan for 1 to 12 months to undertake cooperative research with leading research groups at Japanese Universities and Institutions. The programme is designed to provide researchers with first-hand experience of the research and living environment in Japan.

Researchers from all fields of sciences including humanities and social sciences are eligible to apply for the programme. The closing date for applications is Friday 30 May, 2008 and the successful applicants are asked to start their fellowship between November 2008 and March 2009.

Doctoral Development Programme

The SciTech Doctoral Development Programme, which runs courses and events for faculty postgraduate research students and contract researchers, has announced several new courses which will run during the Summer Term.

Some courses are clearly designated for PhD students or CRs. Otherwise, the courses are open to both groups. Topics covered this term include careers workshops, a LaTeX course and a scientific writing clinic - see the website for details.

News and Events

Inaugural Doug Shepherd Memorial Lecture

The Computing Department are pleased to announce the Inaugural Doug Shepherd Memorial Lecture, which will take place on Tuesday 20 May at 4.00pm in The Management School Lecture Theatre 1.

The lecture will be given by one of the world's leading experimental computer scientists: Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.

More details

From LU News:

First Prize for mobile phone developers in Monaco

A Lancaster computing project was one of the winners in a competition at the 2nd European NFC developers summit in Monaco