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20 April 2018

Welcoming look for new Campus entrances

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 10:30 am

As work on the entrances to the Colchester Campus nears completion, Rob Davey, Head of Sustainability and Grounds tells us more about the project.

Entrance pic weekly

Artist’s impression

Tell us about the overarching strategy for the project?

The Campus Entrance Improvement Project covers four main elements:

  • Arrival Experience. The aim is to create an arrival experience befitting a world class university. We want people to know when they enter our Colchester Campus and that they have arrived. We want this to be both physical and visual and we are doing this with fencing, hedging, thresholds, new signs and landscaping.
  • Boundary Definition. As a landowner we have duties and we need to discharge these appropriately. The project will clarify our boundaries at our entrances. By installing thresholds in the roads and new fencing and hedging, not only will we be properly defining our boundaries but also creating a defined arrival experience.
  • New Signage. At present the signage at both our entrances is a little disjointed and unclear. The proposed signage aims to rectify this with a new sign at both the Colchester and Wivenhoe entrances. The design is in keeping with the university’s brand toolkit and we hope will reduce confusion for visitors coming to campus and being clear on which entrance to use.
  • New Landscaping. The Colchester Campus is blessed by being set within an historic parkland. We are therefore installing some new landscaping, but just enough to let the new signs sit comfortably in their setting. We believe the existing historic trees and views should be the focus landscape wise.

Tell us more about the thresholds? 

The thresholds are a key part of the overall project, not only creating an arrival experience both physically and visually but also to assist defining our boundaries. By using a natural granite sett the feature will be robust while also offering longevity.  The threshold is a fairly standard feature within highways and roads and is used widely.  There are two different types of granite setts – a slightly undulating unit and a smoother unit. The smoother unit is being used for the areas nearest to the kerbs  to allow for cyclists which was a key consideration. They, of course, meet industry standards and are slip resistant.

As they highlight when you arrive on campus, we hope that, to some extent, the thresholds in the roads will clearly signal when you have entered a 20 mph speed limit zone.

Who has designed the work?

The thresholds have been designed by The Landscape Partnership and are being installed by Rose.

Who has been consulted to ensure safety?

Due to the location of the threshold works we are very conscious of safety. We have therefore consulted with Highways on the impact our work may have on local roads and had a specialist traffic management company design the warning signage and traffic management. Only one carriage at a time is affected to limit the impact on our community. A conscious decision was also  made not to use traffic lights for the works as these were deemed too rigid for our traffic patterns.  Instead a priority system is in place whereby priority is given to traffic entering the campus in the morning and leaving in the evening.

What are the benefits of this work?

We believe that once the project as a whole is completed, it will really give us entrances to be proud of for current staff and students as well as visitors and future students.

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29 March 2018

British Council Newton Fund calls opening in early April

Filed under: Latest news — Sarah Calver @ 11:50 am

The Newton Fund (NF) builds research and innovation partnerships with partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth. The fund has a total UK government investment of £735 million up until 2021, with matched resources from partner countries.

All known details of participating countries and priority areas for the upcoming Spring 2018 British Council Newton Fund calls are listed below. This round of calls are due to open the week commencing 9 April, for around 8 weeks. All details will be confirmed when the calls officially open.

 

Institutional Linksgrants to facilitate research tackling local development challenges:

Egypt: TBC – but as a minimum, one of the NF priority areas as listed for Egypt

Indonesia: All NF Indonesia priority areas, plus Social Humanities – Art of Culture – Education – Identity – Art and creative economic development – Community life

Latin America regional call: Biodiversity call to open to applicants from Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Peru and Argentina (non NF country)

Mexico:

  • Energy
  • Agritech
  • Future Cities

Peru:

  • Water
  • Health
  • Biodiversity

Philippines:

  • Health and Life Sciences
  • Improving environmental resilience
  • Improving energy security
  • Future cities
  • Agritech
  • Digital, innovation and security

Thailand:

  • Big data, Artificial Intelligence
  • Innovation-oriented education research for capacity building
  • Demographic change, and rural / urban development
  • Governance, society and conflict
  • Innovative and Sustainable Competitiveness in Food & Drink Technology
  • Health & Life Sciences
  • Energy

Turkey:

  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
  • Energy Efficiency Technologies
  • Health Technologies
  • Transportation
  • Agriculture: Precision Agriculture and Precision Horticulture
  • New Approaches and Methods in Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Education: Teacher Education and Learning Outcomes
  • Economic development, family studies, urban studies and living together
  • Optics, photonics, laser, semiconducting technologies
  • Environmental Management and Policy

Vietnam: TBC- but as a minimum, one of the NF priority areas as listed for Vietnam

 

Researcher Links - travel grants and funding for workshops:

Newton partner country to UK only

Peru:

  • Water
  • Health
  • Biodiversity

Philippines:

  • Health and Life Sciences
  • Improving environmental resilience
  • Improving energy security
  • Future cities
  • Agritech
  • Digital, innovation and security

South Africa: NF South Africa priority areas

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28 March 2018

Knowledge Gateway – our growing research and technology park

Filed under: Campus news, Latest news — Communications, CER @ 4:58 pm

The next phases of our Knowledge Gateway research and technology park is taking shape next door to our now thriving Parkside Office Village.

Our new Innovation Centre is is taking shape.

Our new Innovation Centre is is taking shape.

The next phase of Parkside – just beside the current site – will be ready for autumn 2018 and the level of interest from potential tenants is already high.

Across the road, our £12m Innovation Centre is taking shape thanks to a £2m grant from Essex County Council plus £2m from South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund.

We’re on track to open the Innovation Centre in spring 2019 and it will provide a home to more than 50 start-ups and fast growing hi-tech businesses.

The success of our Start-up Hub at Parkside which has seen our team help establish 20 registered companies is also giving us confidence about what we can achieve at the Innovation Centre.

We’ll share more detailed plans soon including our proposals for a state-of-the-art digital suite which can build on our artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Our partners are sharing our excitement.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, told us: “Essex is leading the UK on start-ups of new enterprises and Essex County Council’s investment of £2million into the Innovation Centre at the University of Essex demonstrates our commitment to support these businesses by providing the right types of workspaces.

“We also recognise the importance of Colchester as a digital cluster and this investment will help to further enhance Colchester’s presence in this sector.”

The businesses and organisations now at Parkside have given us a solid foundation to build on.

We’ve invested a total of £50m so far in creating our Knowledge Gateway research and technology park to bring together great infrastructure, talented academic researchers, space for start-ups, and opportunities for anchor tenants to establish new regional centres on our campus.

Our long-term vision is to create more than 2,000 high-value jobs within 15 years by offering a home to more start-ups, SMEs and global businesses.

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27 March 2018

Zero tolerance of sexual violence, harassment or hate crime

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 3:33 pm

The University of Essex does not tolerate any acts of sexual violence, harassment, or hate crime.

Zero tolerance means that we will take action, and that the action will be proportionate to the circumstances of the case.

We recognise that the issue of sexual violence, harassment and hate crime is a global problem, but we are doing what we can to tackle it here – and are working hard to put a stop to it in our community.

Every member of our community has the right to feel safe, and to be empowered to report any instance of sexual violence, harassment and hate crime, and know that the university will take action on every report that is made.

In March 2017 our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anthony Forster, set out our commitment to being an inclusive community with a zero tolerance of hate crime and sexual violence.

In October 2017, we updated you of our progress on the Tackling Sexual Violence, Harassment and Hate Crime Project.

In November 2017, Susie Morgan, our Director of Human Resources, introduced our work on improving reporting.

Since then, work has progressed, and our new ‘report and support’ system will be launched in the summer term.  This will provide a single route for people to report incidents of sexual violence, harassment, or hate crime. This new system allows for anonymity and signposts individuals to relevant internal and external support. It will be accessible to everyone at the university, whether they are a member of staff, one of our students or a visitor at one of our campuses.

To report an incident in the meantime, contact itendsnow@essex.ac.uk for information and support. If an incident has just taken place and you are not in a safe place, feel at risk, or have any injuries that require urgent attention, call the emergency services on 999.

If you are on campus, please follow the guidance available online about emergency contacts.

If you are living in university accommodation on the Southend or Colchester campuses, Security can alert senior on-call Residence Life staff.

Read our guidelines for dealing with harassment and bullying.

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23 March 2018

Staff pennies add up to award winning scheme

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 12:02 pm
A piggy bank

Penny Pig

Our Donate your Pennies scheme has gone from strength to strength, and has now been recognised with an award for its success. Since the scheme launched in July 2016, 663 staff have signed up to donate their pennies, contributing a combined £292 a month towards student scholarships – a total of nearly £4,000!

Your support has won us a Silver Award for staff participation from the company that provides our Donate your Pennies software. Essex was one of only 8 UK organisations to win a silver award, and 2nd among all UK universities for highest percentage of staff sign-ups. A truly fantastic result, and an amazing total to help Essex students.

To celebrate this milestone, and to say a heartfelt thank you, this week we have been handing out special presents to those staff that have been part of the scheme for 12 months or more. Penny Pig is a desktop piggy bank, perfect for storing odd coins until the need for emergency caffeine arises! Penny will be arriving at the desks of 280 Essex staff over the coming days, so look out who in your office has got their hands on their very own Penny – and you can follow Penny’s adventures by following the #thislittlepiggywentto hashtag on Twitter. Who knows where Penny will turn up?

If you’d like to join the scheme, help our students and maybe one day get a Penny Pig of your own, all you need to do is fill in a short form.

 

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22 March 2018

Celebrating Excellence

Filed under: Latest news, Sport — Heather Leathley @ 4:24 pm
Services Awards 64 weekly

The winners

Congratulations to all the winners at the first Estates and Campus Services Staff Excellence awards held in the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall this week attended by about 200 members of staff who celebrated in style. Chris Oldham, Director of Estates and Campus Services said: “It was a great opportunity to say thank you to everyone who puts their heart and soul into making sure Essex runs smoothly throughout each and every year.”

The Essex Professional Award – recognises an individual who displays outstanding positivity and professionalism at all times.

Winner: Elisa Aylott, Event Essex

Shortlist:

Hannah Langwith, Print Essex

Jan Long, EMS Helpdesk

Mark Smith, Event Essex

The Going the Extra Mile Award – recognises an individual who consistently goes beyond the call of duty.

Winner: Imelda Wyatt, Domestic Services

Shortlist:

Ceri Gibbins, Essex Food

Louise Ratnage, Event Essex

John Wakeman, Accommodation Essex

The Team Award – recognises a team that provides the highest level of performance

Winner: Event Essex

Shortlist:

Accommodation Essex

Domestic Services

Patrol Officers

The Newcomer Award – recognises an individual employed in their first year and already adding considerable value

Winner: Adam Endean, EMS Helpdesk

Shortlist:

Nikaela Charman, Essex Food

Roisin O’Hara, UECS Marketing and Communications

Jack Watkins, Estates Electrical

The Projects Award – recognises a team who have delivered a project that has significantly enhanced their service

Winner: Sustainability and Grounds

Shortlist:

Essex Sport

UECS Marketing and Communications

Wivenhoe Park Day Nursery

The Customer Service Award – recognises an individual that delivers outstanding customer service

Winner: Ann Little, Essex Food

Shortlist:

Hannah Langwith, Print Essex

Jan Long, EMS Helpdesk

Imelda Wyatt, Domestic Services

The Unsung Hero Award – recognises an individual that is always generous in what they give for the greater good of the team.

Winner: Allan Godfrey, Domestic Services

Shortlist:

Graham Kerridge, Sustainability and Grounds

Judy Murray, Essex Food

John Wakeman, Accommodation Essex

The Longstanding Service Award presented to an individual who has made a longstanding and exceptional contribution to the University.

Winner:

Donna Forsyth, Wivenhoe Park Day Nursery

Shortlist:

Wendy Connelly, Essex Sport

Angie Flynn, Accommodation Essex

Pauline Gawler, Accommodation Essex

The Registrar’s Award

Karl Ravenhill, Sustainability and Grounds

The Tony Rich Memorial Award for Outstanding Performance

Tracy Hyam, Essex Sport

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21 March 2018

Meet our User Support and Training team

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 6:01 pm

In what we hope will be the first of a few ‘meet the teams’ from UK Data Archive, we spoke to User Support and Training about how they help researchers around the world to make breakthroughs in social science.

Our User Support Team

Our User Support Team

What does the UK Data Archive do?

It’s the UK’s largest collection of digital research data in the social sciences and humanities. We acquire and curate the data, and provide access for researchers who want to understand how we live – here and across the world – from birth through education, employment, our social lives and on to old age.

We’re the lead organisation in the UK Data Service, which includes data experts at other institutions across the country, and trains and supports researchers to make the best use of the collection.

Who’s who in User Training and Support?

There are six of us all together – Hersh Mann is our User Support and Training Manager, and Beate Lichtwardt, Simon Parker, James Scott, Deborah Wiltshire and Christine Woods, are all Senior User Support and Training Officers.

…and what do you do?

We help researchers use our data, especially when they’re using data which are sensitive (Secure Lab data), because they contain information which can identify individuals and households. We train people in how to use the Secure Lab data, and do what’s known as statistical disclosure control when they’ve finished, to make sure no-one can be identified when they publish their work.

We give presentations and run workshops around the country on data services, and we work with other international research data centres to improve our services. We train academics, students, librarians and other social science researchers. We also work with others in the Archive to make access to data easier and faster.

How much data is there at the Archive?

We hold over 7,300 data collections at the moment, including major surveys and Census data, and that figure is increasing all the time, so the team has to be very knowledgeable. We have backgrounds in political science, demography, criminology, education, and sociology, and we have to be up to date with statistical methods.

What do you do outside work?

Deborah: I’m a weightlifter/CrossFitter in my spare time and have taken part in competitions across the UK.

Beate: Occasionally I run a half marathon (e.g. around Mersea Island). I used to enjoy distance swimming across lakes in Germany.

Simon: I once had a sword fight with a Paralympian.

James: I play in a hardcore punk band that plays all over the UK and recently completed our second tour of mainland Europe in support of our third album. I also sing in an Anglo-Swedish band and DJ soul and reggae from time to time.

How did people with such different backgrounds get into this line of work?

Deborah: By accident! I took a break from teaching at another university, and saw this advertised.

Hersh: My background and interests pointed to a career in data. I did all my undergraduate and postgraduate training in Government here at Essex and dealing with quantitative data sources is an essential part of that.

James: After my Sociology PhD at Essex, I was in the right place at the right time and had the skills required. It’s quite a niche field so people tend to fall into it.

Beate: I have a lot of international experience producing and analysing large-scale surveys, and in user support services. My research, professional and personal background were right to start this job while still working on my research.

Simon: My fiancée saw the role advertised and pointed out that the requirements were so esoteric that hardly anyone else would be qualified. It combines data, supporting, and teaching all of which I enjoy.

What’s your one top tip for working at the University?

Beate: Come and discover what the UK Data Archive can offer for your research and/or teaching.

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19 March 2018

Volunteer and help mark the end of Essex County Hospital

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 4:59 pm
Essex County Hospital

Essex County Hospital

This summer, Essex County Hospital on Lexden Road is closing its doors after 200 years.

History staff and students have been working with the local NHS Trust to mark the end of this important Colchester institution, as part of the Department’s longstanding commitment to engage local organisations and communities through both education and research. But we need your help.

We’re planning a Heritage Open Day for early July so that local people and former staff and patients can tour the buildings and contribute their own memories to our growing, shared history of the hospital, from the nurses home, built in 1897, right through to the present day.

So far, we’ve created a blog and set up a Twitter feed  to share information about the history of the hospital.  We’ve also digitised historical photographs chronicling the history of the site, but there’s a lot more to do to create a lasting legacy of the hospital for our community.

There are lots of different ways to help from recording oral histories and running ‘history roadshow’ stalls to creating displays and helping with publicity.

We only have one chance to capture the histories and memories of Essex County Hospital before the site is turned over to developers, so please contact Dr Alix Green to find out more.

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16 March 2018

Five easy ways to get your students to complete their student survey

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 12:08 pm

We know everyone is really busy, that’s why we’ve put together these five easy ideas to help you promote NSS and UKES to your UG students before the Easter vacation.

  1. Easily email all your UG students with our new template: Use our email template to contact all your UG students as soon as you can.
  1. Avoid confusion with our survey gateway: Make sure you always send students to our survey gateway page.  This will ensure that all of our students are directed to the right survey for them. If any of your students have any problems accessing a survey they can email surveys@essex.ac.uk and we’ll make sure they get the help they need.
  1. Talk to the students in your department: Please speak to UG students about the surveys, and encourage them to tell us what they think of their time at Essex.  Why not visit your common room or other departmental facilities and ask them to visit the survey gateway page?  Don’t forget we have a range of NSS and UKES resources on our OneDrive.
  1. Use an in-department incentives: Our School of Philosophy and Art History have been offering all students who are eligible for the NSS the chance to win one of ten £5 vouchers. All students have to do is complete their survey and email a screen grab of the acknowledgement screen for a chance to win. We’ve created everything you need to use this idea in your own department.  some steps and a template email for you to use in your own department.
  1. Plan a social event: Some departments are organising social events, inviting students to complete the and offering them some free food at the same time. This is a great way to encourage students to complete their survey and to make sure you reach your departmental target.
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13 March 2018

Meet the cast at the Clifftown Theatre

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 5:00 pm

With performances all year round, the team at the Clifftown Theatre, home of the East 15 Acting School in Southend, is permanently on the go.

East 15 Meet the team weekly

Clockwise from bottom left. Alison Manners, Steven Owens, Teresa Zoers-Taylor, Charlotte Windley, Carlos Moral Reis and Andrea Winngrove-Dunn

 Dr Christopher Main Head of Programs

Chris Main holds an MA in Theatre Practice and a PhD in Elizabethan/Jacobean Theatre from Exeter University. He is a Certified Teacher of stage combat with the BASSC, a fight examiner for Stage Combat Germany and holds a black belt in Aikido. Crucible. Chris is in charge of overseeing the artistic running of Clifftown Theatre, including scheduling and budgeting for internal and external performances, and is manager to all Clifftown Theatre staff.

Teresa Zoers-Taylor Clifftown Theatre Manager

Teresa trained as a Theatre Director at UEA and has worked as a Director and Actor in short film and stage. Teresa has been the Clifftown Theatre Manager since October 2008. Teresa works closely with the Head of Programs to coordinate scheduling touring productions and theatre hires. She oversees the general running of the theatre building and is also the Front of House Manager in charge of the Box Office, the Foyer Bar and the Front of House staff, comprised of the Box Office Manager, Chloe Main, and sixteen East 15 student staff.

Chloe Main Box Office Manager

Chloe has been the Box Office Manager since the start of this year. She trained as an actress at Drama Studio London working in film, TV and theatre. Chloe’s role involves overseeing the management of the Box Office booking system as well as all audience bookings for productions within the theatre.

Front of House and Foyer Bar Staff

Sixteen East 15 students, each trained as ushers, Box Office clerks, and Foyer bar staff,  make up the Front of House staff. Team members stay on board until they graduate, at which point their role is opened up for other students, meaning the team changes every 12 months to allow for diversity and equal opportunity for all East 15 students in Southend. The staff are comprised of students across four Southend BA acting courses; Acting & Stage Combat, Acting & Community Theatre, Physical Theatre and World Performance.

Steven Owens Production Manager

Steve started as Senior Technician at East 15 Acting School in October 2007 being promoted to Production Manager in March 2017. Steve oversees the technical team at Clifftown Theatre, also working as the sound and lighting designer and technical operator for all East 15 productions, as well as working alongside the Theatre Manager to ensure the smooth running of all tours and hires at Clifftown. 

Carlos Moral Reis Set Designer and Master Carpenter

Carlos Moral Reis started as Set Designer and Master Carpenter at East 15 Acting School in February 2013. Carlos oversees the design and construction of all sets for East 15 productions, as well as working alongside the Production Manager to ensure the smooth running of all tours and hires at Clifftown. 

Charlotte Windley Stage Manager

Charlotte Windley trained as an actor at East 15 Acting School and has worked as an actor, agent and stage manager for many different theatre companies. Charlotte sources props and supervises all East 15 productions, assuming full responsibility of the stage, as well as working alongside the Production Manager to ensure the smooth running of all tours and hires at Clifftown. 

Alison Manners Costume Designer and Wardrobe Supervisor

Alison Manners studied fashion and went on to be Wardrobe Supervisor for many high profile theatres and also in TV at the BBC where she worked for many years. Alison designs many of the costumes for East 15 productions, and works alongside freelance costume designers and the Wardrobe Assistant to source and construct costume.

Andrea Winngrove-Dunn Wardrobe Assistant

Andrea Winngrove-Dunn has many years’ experience working for high-end tailors Jane Smith in Leigh-on-Sea. Andrea has been working as the Wardrobe Assistant since October 2011. Andrea works closely with the Wardrobe Supervisor to construct, repair, source, make alteration to and repair costumes for Clifftown Theatre productions.

 

 

 

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