Students Staff

23 March 2015

Survey on academic freedom

Filed under: Latest news — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 1:38 pm

How well protected is your academic freedom? Academic staff at the University are invited to take part in an EU-funded online survey as part of research into the knowledge, experience and opinions of higher education academic staff with regards to academic freedom.
The survey will analyse the extent, character and strength of informal protection for academic freedom which operates at institutional and departmental level. The research recognises that legal protection for academic freedom is limited or poorly defined in many countries and seeks to establish what policies and protocols exist within universities and departments to protect this universal right.
The EU has funded two Marie Curie Fellowships at the University of Lincoln to undertake the research, which covers all EU states and African nations.
Take part in the survey, which runs until 31 May. It is anonymous and designed to be easy to complete. The results will be reported in the academic press and disseminated via other media.

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17 November 2014

Five top tips on making an impact

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 2:18 pm

New training courses are being launched to support our researchers to show how their research is having an impact.

To coincide with the launch of the courses, our Research Impact officers Matt Bennett, Richard Gunn, and Daniel Williamson offer their top tips.

  1. Start to think about the potential impact of your research as early as possible.
  2. Be creative and innovative in writing about impact in grant applications. Funders are really interested in novel ways of generating impact.
  3. Make a plan to track and collect evidence of your impact.
  4. Take advantage of financial support for impact offered by funding bodies, especially the Research Councils.
  5. Make use of the University’s resources and experience with impact. Consult your faculty’s impact officer and attend the new impact training for researchers courses.

Our Research Impact team can offer you guidance and training on all aspects of research impact, and they can provide assistance in collecting evidence too.

Further information is available on the University’s research impact webpage.

Upcoming training includes:

  • Wednesday 26 November, 3pm to 5pm – Introduction to impact
  • Wednesday 10 December, 3.30pm to 5.30pm – Writing about impact in grant applications

Full details on the Learning and Development website

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26 March 2014

Changing world of crime

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 1:19 pm

Criminology: A sociological introductionA new edition of Criminology: A Sociological Introduction, written by an internationally-renowned team of academics from the Department of Sociology, has been published. 

Building on the success of the second edition, Criminology: A Sociological Introduction offers a comprehensive overview of the study of criminology, from early theoretical perspectives to pressing contemporary issues such as the globalisation of crime, crimes against the environment and state crime.

Acclaimed by academics across the globe, the book offers an essential grounding in how to think sociologically about crime and is seen as essential reading for criminology students looking to expand their understanding of crime and the world in which they live. This new edition has increased coverage of psychosocial theory, as well as on emerging areas such as green crime, state crime and cybercrime.


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17 March 2014

Essex in the media

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: — Communications Office @ 12:02 pm
Essex Babylab

Essex Babylab

Several Essex academics were in the media last week, either showcasing their research or talking about their areas of expertise.

These included:

  • Dr Silvia Rigato from the Department of Psychology being interviewed by BBC Look East about the new Babylab at the University’s Centre for Brain Science.
  • Professor Simon Lucas from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering talking about the 25th anniversary of the internet on BBC Essex (forward to 13mins)
  • Professor Sabine Michalowski from the School of Law talking about the debate over assisted dying on BBC Essex’s Breakfast Show.
  • Dr Murray Griffin and Dr Matt Taylor from the School of Biological Sciences in the Daily Mail about their latest Wii-Fit research

Check out the University’s Scoop It page for the latest Essex news making the headlines.

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17 February 2014

Assessing the Breaking Bad factor

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: — Communications Office @ 2:40 pm
Professor Dick Hobbs

Professor Dick Hobbs

The drugs trade around methamphetamine – made famous by the American  TV hit show Breaking Bad – is the focus of a major inquiry in Australia where Professor Dick Hobbs was recently asked to give evidence.

Professor Hobbs, from the Department of Sociology, was asked to give evidence via Skype to the “Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the use and Supply of Methamphetamines, in particular  Ice” due to his award-winning book Lush Life (Oxford, 2013).

Based upon interviews and ethnographic material gathered over a 20-year period, Lush Life is about how organised crime is an activity no longer limited to the underworld, especially of the drugs trade where almost anyone can be involved.

As part of the inquiry, Professor Hobbs was questioned for 45 minutes on drugs and organised crime in the UK, specifically about methamphetamine and its current status within the UK drug market, but also about how organised crime has evolved in the UK, and the adaptability of criminal entrepreneurs to new opportunities. He also talked about drug cultures and differing prices as methamphetamine is currently very expensive in the UK and is regarded as a drug associated with  affluence, whereas in Australia and the USA it is a drug associated with poverty.




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24 January 2014

What do you think about our draft Education and Research Strategies?

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact, Student experience — Tags: , , — Communications, CER @ 3:12 pm
Have your say on our draft Education and Research strategies

Have your say on our draft Education and Research strategies

Some major strategies are being produced that will affect how we do things here at the University, and we want to know what you think about them.

New Education and Research Strategies are both being developed, both supporting the Strategic Plan. At the same time a new Tariff of Expectations is also being developed for academic staff.

Formal consultation on these strategies began at Senate on 22 January and is now being extended to all staff and students. When everyone has been consulted the final version of the strategies will be considered for approval by our Council in May.

All staff and students are invited to comment on the draft University Education and Research Strategies and the draft Tariff of Expectations. The documents are available to view on the Strategy page of our website.To ensure your feedback can be considered, please send your comments by email to by the dates listed below.

  • Draft University Education Strategy – 5pm, Tuesday 25 February 2014
  • Draft University Research Strategy – 5pm, Tuesday 18 February 2014
  • Draft Tariff of Expectations – 5pm, Tuesday 18 February 2014

All comments received will be co-ordinated by the Strategic Planning and Change team and added to the other feedback received.

There will also be opportunities to provide feedback through committee meetings and an open meeting for staff and students, which is being held on Monday 17 February 2014, 12pm – 1pm, in LTB B at our Colchester Campus.

We would like to receive as much feedback as possible and are encouraging comments from everyone. Make sure your voice is heard and help shape the future of our University.

To view the documents visit the Strategy page of our website.


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20 January 2014

Research round-up

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , , , — Communications Office @ 3:10 pm
Dr Greg Brooke

Dr Greg Brooke

Research into creating a “designer” protein that could be effective at treating prostate cancer was just one of many top research stories to come out of Essex in the past week.

Working with colleagues at  Imperial College London, Dr Greg Brooke, from the School of Biological Sciences, is hoping to develop the protein into a treatment that could be trialled in patients within five years.

Other studies which received national coverage included research into what influences growth and decline in church attendances by the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER).

Quantitative sociologist Professor David Voas, based at ISER, carried out research into church attendances as part of the Church Growth Research Programme funded by the Church of England and his report was welcomed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

New research from the Department of Government, shows that the changing fortunes of the British economy are having little impact on the popularity of the Coalition government.

Whereas evidence shows that when Labour was in office, support for the party was strongly influenced by the state of the economy – as was support for the Conservatives – all that has changed, with the current Coalition feeling none of the effects of a fairly rapid growth in economic optimism which has taken place since early 2013.



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3 January 2014

The Z factor

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , , — Communications Office @ 3:03 pm
Dr Edd Codling with a zombie at ZombieLab

Dr Edd Codling with a zombie at ZombieLab

A unique experiment by the University involving zombies has been highlighted as one of the best public engagement activities in the UK over the past three years.

The research involved hundreds of people acting like zombies as part of a study into crowd evacuation techniques. Held during the three-day ZombieLab festival at the Science Museum in London, Dr Edd Codling and Dr Nikolai Bode were able to rapidly gather enough data from their ‘Horde’ crowd behaviour experiments to publish a scientific paper in a top journal.

This led to the researchers from the School of Mathematical Sciences being invited by the BBC to run a similar human crowd experiment, which involved students from East 15 Acting School and was featured on BBC Two’s Dara O’Briain’s Science Club.

The research has now been included in a new high-profile publication by Research Councils UK called Inspiration to Engage: Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research, which showcases compelling examples of public engagement practice across the higher education and research sectors. Launched in 2010, the Concordat sets out strategic principles to ensure that public engagement is valued, recognised and supported across the research and higher education sectors as a fundamental tool to increasing the impact research has on society and the economy.

Talking about the study, Dr Bode said: “Having large audiences interested in your work is incredibly motivating. It is very satisfying to feel that we have given something back and engaged people in science. Getting data was a bonus.” 

During the event at ZombieLab the participants were able to clearly see the link between the potential impact of the research by understanding human crowd behaviour and how this could feed into improved evacuation strategies from buildings.



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25 November 2013

Get to know the Women in Science Network

Filed under: Latest news, What's on — Tags: , , , — Communications Office @ 3:30 pm

The newly-established Women in Science Network at Essex is holding a special event next week for members to meet their colleagues.

The Network was set-up to provide support, informal mentoring and networking opportunities to women of all career levels working in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM).

The session on Tuesday 3 December  from 12 noon to 1pm in the Tony Rich Teaching Centre will follow a “speed-dating” format to enable members to meet their colleagues in the Network, followed by a networking lunch. Those interested will need to book at place at this session.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

12 November 2013

Essex leads the way at mapping and monitoring human rights conference

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , , , , , — Communications Office @ 1:12 pm
One of the panels from the event

Dr Andrew Fagan from the Human Rights Centre, Professor Todd Landman, Executive Dean in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Jonathan Cooper from Cyberalpha and Astrid Zweynert, Deputy Editor of Trust Organisation at Thomson Reuters Foundation

Key figures from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Amnesty International and Minority Rights Group International joined forces with the University of Essex and the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Friday 8 November at a conference aimed at promoting the mapping and monitoring of human rights protection around the world.

The event, which was held at the prestigious Thomson Reuters building in Canary Wharf, featured presentations and discussions on developments in the use of data, web resources and social media in the field of human rights.

Professor Todd Landman, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Social Sciences at Essex,  said: “The day gathered together leading experts in the use of systematic methods for measuring, monitoring and mapping human rights while promoting rich discussions that cut across academics, policy makers, journalists, and human rights activists. The event showed that there are many perils in this work and that all efforts should concentrate on the best collection of the most validated evidence possible.”

The conference was part of an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded project, Extending the Human Rights Atlas. This project is led by the University of Essex in partnership with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, The Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex, The Mackman Group and the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences – Mexico (FLACSO-Mexico).


The Human Rights Atlas website

To view the Twitter feed from the conference please go to #maphumanrights2013

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