Lancaster University

SciTech bulletin

Faculty Plenary

Come and hear what the results from the recent staff survey say about FST!

The summer term faculty plenary will take place on Wednesday 2 July at 4pm in Conference Centre room 4. The plenary is open to all faculty members.

SciTech Graduate School

New development courses for PhDs and CRS!

On the website at www.lancs.ac.uk/sci-tech/postgraduate/ddp.php you will find details about some new courses that are available with details of how to book.

Some courses are clearly designated for PhD students or CRS. Otherwise, the courses are open to both groups. New courses include:

Coffee, Cake and Completion

If you're in the 4th year or beyond of your PhD or getting close to finishing and you'd like to have a break and chat to other people in a similar position then come along.

The next meeting is on Friday 6 June in the LEC Atrium. Refreshments are provided by the faculty.

Launch of the 2008 Concordat to support the development of Contract Research Staff

If you are contract researcher and you would like to attend this launch on Wednesday 2 July 12.30-14.30 then you can find more details at www.lancs.ac.uk/hr/development/files/conc.html.

Funding Roundup

Some recently awarded grants for Science and Technology research:

Mitigation options for phosphorus and sediment

John Quinton - Environmental Science - DEFRA - 556,482

The project will continue our work on mitigation options for sediment and phosphorus. Lancaster's component will investigate the cycling of sediment and nutrients through small ponds and wetlands. This will help us to determine the effectiveness of ponds and wetlands as a mitigation measure for sediment and phosphorus originating from field drains, and to improve the design of these features for nutrient and sediment trapping.

The project also includes partners from ADAS Ltd, Reading University and the Allerton Research and Educational Trust who will work on mitigating losses from spring crops and on the economics of the proposed mitigation measures.

MaTREx - Making Tacit Knowledge in Requirements Explicit

Pete Sawyer - Computing - EPSRC - 240,000

The project will investigate how tacit knowledge impacts on the specification and design of computer-based systems. MaTREx will seek to develop techniques for the detection and classification of unprovenanced software requirements. Uncertain provenance may signify the impact of tacit knowledge on the part of the users or the analyst. Tacit knowledge is always present and necessary, but in some circumstances it can lead to potentially damaging ambiguity about required system behaviour.

The project will draw upon the expertise of Dr Mark Rouncefield (also in Computing) in empirical studies of work and organizations and the work of colleagues at the Open University on nocuous ambiguity.

CLARIN - Common Language Resources & Technology Infrastructure

Paul Rayson - Computing - European Commission FP7 - 35,866

This project is a large-scale pan-European collaborative effort to create, coordinate and make language resources and technology available and readily useable. CLARIN offers scholars the tools to allow computer-aided language processing, addressing one or more of the multiple roles language plays (i.e. carrier of cultural content and knowledge, instrument of communication, component of identity and object of study) in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

With 32 partners in 22 EU countries in the initial consortium, the project working groups incorporate 103 members from 32 countries. Lancaster University's participation is focussed in the area of Humanities Projects. We aim to establish interactions with the research communities in humanities and the social sciences in order to support ongoing projects with help and advice on the use of language resources and thereby to find requirements for the CLARIN infrastructure.

Newton International Fellowships

The Newton International Fellowships scheme is organised by the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering and British Academy and supported by RCUK.

The objective of the scheme is to fund top-flight early stage post-doc researchers from overseas to come to the UK for 2 years and then pay them a retainer for up to 10 years to maintain their links with Britain. The scheme covers researchers in all disciplines covered by the three academies - natural and social sciences, engineering and humanities.

Funding for the fellowship consists of 32,000 per annum (subsistence and research costs) plus a one-off payment of 2000 for relocation costs in the first year. The contribution to overheads is 50% of the total value of the award. The closing date for the first round of applications is 4 August 2008.

For further details see www.newtonfellowships.org, or download the notes at www.newtonfellowships.org/PDFs/NIFSchemeNotes.pdf.

Physics Relay

The 31st annual Physics Relay will take place this year on Wednesday 18th June. Anyone can take part in this annual fun run which is open to teams of four.

The course consists of four unequal length legs making up a circuit of campus. There are four prizes on offer: Mens, Womens, Mixed and Age Corrected. Enter your team now at www.hep.lancs.ac.uk/relay/2008/.

News and Events

From LU News:

LEC Students display their work

Over 100 Masters and PhD students presented posters describing their research projects at two Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) Poster Days
http://domino.lancs.ac.uk/info/lunews.nsf/r/6f92

Lancaster Students Scoop Vodafone and Nokia Competition

Lancaster University students have taken first and third place in an international mobile web technology competition
http://domino.lancs.ac.uk/info/lunews.nsf/r/6f6a

Post Graduates Statistics Centre wins Architectural Award

The Post Graduate Statistics Centre has won an Architectural Award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) - one of only 11 projects in the North West region to do so
http://domino.lancs.ac.uk/info/lunews.nsf/r/6f52