SciTech bulletin

Christmas Conference 2009: Impact

Impact is the theme of this year's SciTech Christmas Conference.

Lesley Thompson, Director of the Research Base at EPSRC will give a lecture on impact in EPSRC grant applications. Our second guest speaker, Paul Hubbard, is Head of Research Policy at HEFCE and will discuss impact and the REF.

Speakers from departments are currently being identified - watch out for the full conference programme which will be published in the next issue of the bulletin.

Overseas Partners Officer

Assistant post to the Associate Deans for Undergraduate Teaching and Postgraduate Studies

FST has recently increased the number of its overseas partners, and there are plans for further increases. This means that the number of meetings, quality assurance tasks and so on, has escalated and we now need to appoint an overseas partners officer to work with the Associate Deans for teaching.

The role will be an assistant one working closely with the teaching deans, and will cover faculty relationship management with overseas partners, understanding the details of student numbers, fees, and resources, and the ability to understand and assess proposals for degree programmes and other schemes delivered both at Lancaster and elsewhere. The overseas partners officer will represent the faculty on some university partnerships groups, reporting back to the associate deans.

This position will be a 20% buy out from a department for two years in the first instance, but it is likely to be extended, if successful. The position would suit a member of academic staff with good experience of quality assurance mechanisms at department level, and an interest in overseas activity. Experience with overseas students is desirable, but not absolutely necessary for someone who is prepared to find out more.

Applications will be considered from members of academic staff in any department in the faculty. If you are interested, please talk to your HoD before you take this further. HoD approval will be necessary before anyone can be considered for the position. Informal approaches can be made to Jane Taylor and Pete Sawyer for more information. Applications should be submitted to Lucy Thorne by Friday 27 November. There is no form; the application should consist of a statement of interest in and suitability for the post, and a brief CV.

SciTech Grad School

RCUK Business Plan Competition

RCUK has announced the 2009/10 Business Plan Competition. Winners will receive training on developing business plans to exploit research results at an RCUK-run workshop somewhere in the UK. Successful teams may proceed to further rounds of training and the overall winners will get a £25,000 prize.

There are a limited number of spaces available on the Business Plan Competition. All entries will be vetted by RCUK with only the best teams and ideas offered places at the training workshops. FST is offering two teams assistance with travel to one of the workshops if invited by RCUK, and with travel to subsequent events if successful. To qualify, you should submit your proposal using the RCUK Business Plan entry form to Pete Sawyer by Friday 20 November.

Faculty Christmas Conference Poster Session

All research students and contract research staff are encouraged to present a poster at the SciTech Christmas conference. Cash prizes will be awarded to the best posters in each category.

The deadline to submit an abstract and title is next week - Friday 20 November.

Guidelines and online submission can be found on the SciTech website:

Research Development Programme

There are still places available on the following courses:

For more details of these and other courses go to:

SciTech Grad School Forum

Do you have any ideas for new courses for the Research Development Programme? Do you want more from the SciTech Grad School? If so, join the SciTech Grad School forum and have your say! Being an active member of the SciTech Grad school forum will count as three training credits. If you are interested please contact Liz Hurrell.

Funding Roundup

Plamen Angelov from Communication Systems has been awarded funding for two projects - £24k from BAE Systems and £10k from NWDA (in co-operation with Autonomous Vehicles International (AV-i) Ltd.).

The BAE Systems project ‘Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Passive Sense, Detect and Avoid Algorithm Development – phase 1’ will support their on-going research and development efforts on Autonomous Systems and Future Capability which are part of the multimillion innovation work on mission systems and unmanned autonomous systems.

The second project ‘A novel system for autonomous object detection and tracking from uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs)’ is for knowledge transfer between the InfoLab21-based team and AVi Ltd. The development of this new system would create a new product for AVi Ltd, subsequently opening up new market opportunities and the ability to gain increased market share. Upon the successful completion of this project AVi Ltd would envisage a significant increase in revenue and increased employment at the company.

Your Grant News

Send details of successful grants to Katherine Gill with a two-sentence summary to go in the Bulletin as well as information about the funder, amount awarded, title and a link to provide further details if appropriate.

Researcher Development Opportunities

Several HR-run courses aimed at research staff are on offer in November and December. To book, email Professional and Leadership Development stating course title and date. A complete calendar of 2009-10 activities is available at

Leadership Course for Technical Staff

The Leadership Foundation for Higher Education's Leading Your Technical Team course (14-16 April 2010, Stirling University) is intended for chief/principal technicians, laboratory/workshop managers, recently appointed departmental superintendents or senior colleagues from UK universities and colleges, who might now or in the future, have managerial responsibilities and are interested in developing their basic management/leadership skills. For more details go to

News and Events

Free Workshop: Experiment as Event in the Arts and Sciences

19-20 November 2009, Institute for Advanced Studies, Lancaster University

Part of the Institute for Advanced Studies' Experimentality Research Programme - this workshop will focus on experimental practice in the arts and sciences. Info and registration.

Hong Kong calling for Lancashire Eco Companies

North West businesses have been to Hong Kong as part of a Lancaster University project bringing the UK and China closer together - both in the boardroom and in research labs. read more