SciTech bulletin

Faculty lecture: The Social Brain

The second faculty lecture of 2009/10 will take place on Wednesday 10 March, 1600-1730, Lecture Theatre 4, Management School Building. This will be given by Christopher Frith, FRS, who is Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychology in the Welcome Trust Centre for Neuro-imaging at University College, London, and Niels Bohr Visiting Professor in the Interacting Minds project at the University of Aarhus, Denmark.

The lecture will address the theme of the social brain, see here for the abstract and further details:

Professor Frith, FRS, is one of the pioneers in applying brain imaging to the study of mental processes. He is known especially for his work on agency, social intelligence, and on understanding the minds of people with autism and schizophrenia. In 2009 he was awarded the European Latsis Prize for contributions to understand the human mind and brain and the Fyssen Foundation Prize for work on Neuropsychology.

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SciTech Vision Prize for Excellence in Teaching: call for nominations

Nominations are now invited for this faculty prize which aims to reward and incentivise inspirational teaching at either an undergraduate or postgraduate level. The 1000 prize is open to individual or small teams of early career staff in FST who are within their first five years of appointment to a lecturing post (full-time or part-time staff). Applications should be based upon a record of teaching and supporting learning within the Faculty of Science and Technology at Lancaster University.

Further details of the prize and the process for application can be found at

All applications should be submitted to Lucy Thorne by Friday 26 March 2010.

Faculty Forum Financial Presentation

Top of the agenda at last Wednesday's Faculty Forum was a talk from Lancaster University's Director of Finance, Sarah Randall-Paley, on the subject of the university's current and future financial position. Slides from this talk can be downloaded from:

LU Staff prizes

Lancaster University Staff Prizes have changed!

Do you know someone who has gone the Extra Mile? Each prize is worth 1,000 and a certificate of achievement will be presented at a special awards ceremony in June.

Anyone can make a nomination for themselves or others and the process is very straight forward. Further information is available on the HR website:

The closing date for Nominations is Friday 19 March.

SciTech Graduate School

Research Development Programme

Research Development Programme courses are available to all postgraduate researchers in the Faculty of Science and Technology. For more details of these and other courses go to:

Creativity and Change Conference - 20th March 2010

This free, campus-based event is a fantastic opportunity for you to present your work and your PhD experience to other PGR students from across the university.

Submissions are welcome from any discipline, in any stylistic form: from conference papers, posters and to small exhibitions. The theme of the conference - Creativity and Change - should be an element of your submitted piece of work. How you choose to relate the theme to your submission however, is up to you.

Have a look at the website for further details on how to submit your abstract

Funding Roundup

Alona Armstrong and John Quinton (LEC) have been awarded a NERC Connect A grant for 5000 to host a workshop focusing on peatland management and carbon cycling. This will bring together several LEC researchers (both university and CEH) and representatives from Yorkshire Water, United Utilities and Defra. The aim of the workshop is to identify industrial and policy research needs, highlight relevant existing LEC research and generate new research projects.

Enrico Rukzio from Computing has been awarded 210,000 for MULTITAG II, a two-year project funded by DOCOMO Euro-Labs. The goal of the project is to develop new methods, applications and interaction techniques for touch-based mobile interactions with multi-tagged objects.

Gillian Lancaster from Mathematics and Statistics has been awarded funding from the National Institute for Health Research for the project 'the impact of combined modality positron emission tomography with computerised tomography scanning (PET/CT) in the diagnosis and management of pancreatic cancer'. The Centre for Cancer studies Liverpool University, Centre for Economics and Policy in Health Bangor University, Department of Public Health and Epidemiology Birmingham University and several participating hospitals in London and Leicester, have received 947,161 in total for this three year grant.

Previous work has found that positron emission tomography (PET) has a similar accuracy to that of computerised tomography (CT) for imaging pancreatic cancer but does not provide additional benefit to that seen with CT alone. PET/CT provides an exactly fused anatomic and metabolic image which is significantly more accurate in staging solid tumours than PET alone. The additional value and role of PET/CT in the diagnosis and management of pancreatic cancer has yet to be determined in a large prospective series of patients. This prospective study aims to investigate the incremental value of PET/CT in addition to standard practice in the diagnosis, staging and treatment of these patients.

Royal Society Grants and Schemes Talk

All are welcome to attend this two-hour talk from the Royal Society on Wednesday 24 February, which will cover all their grants and schemes, with informal input from a University Research Fellow, and the RSO and time to ask questions.

It provides an opportunity to find out about small grants that can help early career researchers build up a record of funding and opportunities for exploring overseas collaborations, as well as the prestigious fellowship awards.

Booking is essential. Find out more at

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.

Free Media Training

The Science Media Centre will hold a free Introduction to the News Media session on Friday 12 March at the University of Edinburgh from 15pm.

These sessions are for scientists who have not had much/any media experience before, and deal with news journalism so will be most relevant to scientists who work on a 'hot' topic that is likely to hit the headlines.

If you wish to attend then please send your name and contact details to:

News and Events

Statistics master Class

The Postgraduate Statistics Centre (CETL), Department of Mathematics and Statistics are hosting a Master Class on New Bayesian Methods for Model Comparison, to be held on 29 March 2010.

For full details and booking information, please go to: or contact Deborah Stewart, PSC Secretary.

School Children Get A Taste For Web Design At InfoLab21

Cutting edge web design is the hot topic of the day for children at Arkholme C of E Primary School following a recent visit to NuBlue Digital Solutions, based at InfoLab21. Read more

International Marine Energy Workshop at Lancaster

Lancaster University Renewable Energy Group (LUREG) is hosting a week-long Marine Energy Doctoral Training workshop this month for 40 PhD students from the UK and overseas. Read more

Lancaster Researchers talk sustainability with the Prince of Wales

Members of Lancaster University's Renewable Energy Group (LUREG) were among the guests invited to the launch of a major new sustainability initiative by HRH The Prince of Wales at The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester this month. Read more