Students Staff

17 April 2019

A message from East 15’s Director, Leon Rubin

Filed under: Loughton — Tags: , , , , , — Laura Mathias @ 8.17 am

I rarely write more than a few words for our blog as I am too busy chasing around, collaborating with many friends and colleagues. However, as many of you know, I will be stepping down as Director of East 15 Acting School on Tuesday 23 April 2019. I planned this over a year ago and have been gradually organising everything for my successor. April 23 is, of course, a special day as it is Shakespeare’s birthday, although according to the records of the time, it could actually be April 22- also my birthday!

Professor Leon Rubin

So, it seems like the right time, after 12 years, to make a change. It has been the happiest role in my life so far and it is an amazing school full of extraordinary students and staff. It was named the number one school for drama in the UK this year in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide and so it is the right time to hand over.

No, I am not retiring and never will; I am fortunate enough to be among the few in this world who love my work.

I now have a two-year sabbatical to focus on directing and writing and will travel around the globe to do this. I also have a commissioned book to write and other projects to pursue. I will remain part of the team at East 15 and will return here to teach and research after the sabbatical.

So, thank you to all of you across the world who have made the last 12 years so rewarding, stimulating and life-enhancing and I will see many of you on my travels in the UK and overseas. I cannot express the pride and joy I have reading and hearing about all the alumni careers and, as always, I will follow the stories as they continue to light up the sometimes dark skies around us.


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

5 April 2019

Meet the winners of our PGR Interdisciplinary Conference Fund Competition

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 9.14 am

We meet the winners of our first PGR Interdisciplinary Conference Fund Competition to find out more about their winning proposal and the upcoming Essex Cross-disciplinary Experimental Methods conference.

How do you feel after winning the competition? Can you tell us more about your winning conference proposal.

The team behind the conference

The team behind the conference

It’s really exciting to win the competition and have the means to put together this interdisciplinary conference on Experimental Methods. We are a team that spans two faculties (Social Science, and Science and Health) and five departments (Economics, Psychology, Computer Science, ISER, and Government), which highlights the interdisciplinary nature of our collaboration.

The first edition of the Essex Cross-disciplinary Experimental Methods conference will take place in June, with three keynote speakers and two interactive workshops on using eye-tracking and game theory in research. There will also be presentation and networking opportunities for participants.

How did you come together?

Our project manager, Elisabetta, gathered the group through EssexLab’s researcher network. Most of us have used the lab at some point in our research, and we were all inspired by the idea of sharing our different approaches to experimental methods. Hence it made a great pitch for the interdisciplinary conference. Plus, we all shared the enthusiasm to get more students on board to produce interdisciplinary research. There’s no better starting point than an event like this one.

Has it been difficult to work across disciplines and collaborate across faculties?

Collaborating across the five disciplines has certainly been an eye-opener, and we have already benefited from understanding differences in how each discipline organises events. We had to accept different perspectives on how things should be run, but everyone on the team is open to new ideas. Having a common purpose and a deadline also helps immensely in moving things forward.

When and where will your conference take place?

The conference will be here at Essex, over June 20-21 and registration is open now.

What do you think would be the benefits of your event for the larger University of Essex communities?

We think the conference will greatly benefit the PGR community in three key areas:

  1. As research students, learning about cross-disciplinary experimental methodology can help provide a novel perspective on our own research;
  2. Understanding different methods improves our competitiveness in the academic funding and job market;
  3. The conference provides an excellent opportunity to network with researchers from other disciplines.

We also welcome participation from undergraduate and Masters students, who might be considering joining our research community. They could benefit from learning about the type of work they might be doing as a research student. Staff are also welcome, and we hope that the conference can foster greater inter-departmental and interfaculty collaborations in Essex.

In addition, thanks to funding from the Eastern Academic Research Consortium (Eastern ARC), we will be able to offer travel support to postgraduate researchers from the University of East Anglia and University of Kent to attend. We’re excited to have this chance to support collaborations among the local research community.!

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