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News from 2018

Greenline Mile

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Can you walk the Greenline Mile this week to be in with a chance of winning an Amazon voucher and improve your health and wellbeing?

As part of this week’s Wellbeing Events co-ordinated by Health, Safety and Wellbeing, if you walk the Greenline Mile which runs through our campus, and can answer some questions about what you see on the route you could be in with the chance of winning an Amazon voucher.

Why not get together with a group of colleagues and step out for some fresh air one lunchtime this week. You can obtain route details, and the question and entry form by emailing, or pick up an entry form from the Living Streets/CityConnect Walking stand at the Wellbeing Fair in the Richmond Atrium on Tuesday 24th April between 10:00 and 15:00. You have until 5pm on Friday 27th April 2018 to do the walk and submit your entry; the draw will take place the following week.

Free one day access to Unique Fitness and Lifestyle for University staff

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Free one day access to Unique Fitness and Lifestyle for University staff As part of this week's Wellbeing Events co-ordinated by Health, Safety and Wellbeing, Unique Fitness and Lifestyle are pleased to offer free fitness suite and swimming pool access to University of Bradford staff on Tuesday 24th April 2018 to allow staff to experience the facilities.

Staff must bring their staff ID card to gain free entry on the day, and will have to register some details and complete a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire prior to using the facilities, but this should only take a few minutes.

If you plan to use the fitness suite a drinking bottle and hand towel is required, and a padlock is needed if you wish to use the lockers.

Free lunchtime Yoga Session

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Free lunchtime Yoga Session : Tuesday 24th April 2018 As part of this week's Wellbeing Events co-ordinated by Health, Safety and Wellbeing, a free lunchtime yoga session is being offered to staff on Tuesday 24th April 2018, 12:20 to 1:30 in Horton A room 1.01 (Movement lab)

Led by Amanda Tate, the session is designed to be practiced by people of all abilities, all fitness levels and all age groups. Dru Yoga is a graceful and potent form of yoga, based on flowing movements, directed breathing and visualisation and works on mind, body and spirit providing a fresh, positive and fun approach to health and wellbeing.

You will need to wear loose clothing and bring a blanket and a non-slip yoga mat. A drink of water is recommended and you should not practice yoga for at least two hours after a heavy meal or one hour after a light snack, so it’s best to leave eating lunch until afterwards. You must also wear soft shoes or remove outdoor shoes when entering the Movement lab where the session is being held in order to protect the flooring.

Places are limited so please sign up for the session on Eventbrite.

Would you like support to stop smoking?

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Would you like support to stop smoking? Stopping smoking is the single biggest thing you can do to improve your health. Research shows that two thirds of smokers want to quit, and you are more likely to stop smoking with support than quitting on your own.

As part of this week’s Wellbeing Events co-ordinated by Health, Safety and Wellbeing, Paul Rossiter will be in the Richmond Atrium between 10:00 and 15:00 on Tuesday 24th April 2018 to provide information and help on how to quit smoking. You will be able to:

  • Talk about previous quit attempts and identify areas of weakness/strength to build upon.
  • Discuss addiction and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Obtain advice on stop smoking aids and treatments available, and discuss which options may be most suitable for you.
  • If you are currently a smoker you can obtain help to devise a personal stop smoking programme.
  • Take away free literature and self-help materials.
  • Smokers and non-smokers can be tested for carbon monoxide levels, one of the toxic substances inhaled through smoking, raised CO levels may also result from exposure to second hand smoke.

Would you like to grow your own food?

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Would you like to grow your own food? Might you be interested in an allotment? Did you know we have allotments available on campus that can be used for free to grow your own food to harvest and eat?

As part of the ‘Love Your Garden’ event organised by Health, Safety and Wellbeing, a tour of the University allotments is taking place at lunchtime on Thursday 26th April 2018. Meet at 13:00 at Richmond Reception or 13:05 in ‘Library square’ (if you know where that is) to join a quick tour of the allotments, find out more and ask any questions you may have.

'Love Your Garden' Event

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'Love Your Garden' Event : Thursday 26th April 2018 Pottering in the garden is a great antidote to the stresses of life while connecting with nature is good for mental wellbeing.

Whether you enjoy gardening or just appreciate the efforts of others why not come along to the Health, Safety and Wellbeing ‘Love your Garden’ event on Thursday 26 April 2018, 11:00 to 14:00 in the Richmond Small Hall. There’s lots to see and hear including:

- A plant swap (all types welcome – indoor, outdoor, young plants, seed packets, plant books, etc.)

- Match The Veg competition with a chance to win National Garden Gift vouchers (can be used at most garden centres)

- ‘Show Gardens’ photographic display of staff members gardens, allotments, ponds, plants etc. (there’s still time to email your photograph to include in the display)

- Top Tips board – come and add your top gardening tips

- Our Hedgehog Survey

- Plus more information and puzzles on all things garden related

We’ll also have some lunchtime talks – just come along to listen to whatever interests you, although seating may be limited!

12:00 – 12:20 Planting seed potatoes (claim your free seed potato and instructions after the talk – limited supplies, first come first served), talk by Shaun Gagie

12:20 – 12:45 The How And Why of Home Compost, by John ‘Compost’ Cossham. John is well known in sustainability fields and is passionate about composting and reducing waste

12:45 – 13:00 Plant Q&A. Problem plant….? Bring your questions along and our colleague Shaun Gagie will do his upmost to answer them, sharing his hidden talents more usually heard on BBC Radio Manchester!

13:00 - Campus allotments tour

National Gardening Week is 30 April to 6 May 2018, so let’s get ahead of the game with our own Gardening Event – hope to see you there!

Wellbeing Fair

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As part of this week's Wellbeing Events co-ordinated by Health, Safety and Wellbeing there will be a Wellbeing Fair in the Richmond Atrium 10:00 to 15:00 on Tuesday 24th April 2018.

Pop along and browse a range of stands including the Bee-Keepers with their ever popular honey giveaway made by our lovely University bees. The Honey will be given away at 12 noon and 1pm, limited supplies available so first come first served (a small donation to cover the cost of the jars would be welcome).

Sodexo, which operate My Sustain Rewards staff discounts will be running a prize draw on the day. There will also be the opportunity to have your blood pressure tested, find out how to incorporate more walking into your day, discuss support if you look after someone who relies on you, talk to our University Physiotherapy Clinic team, sign up to a healthcare scheme and much more besides.

Do come along, we look forward to seeing you.

Wellness for Life Academy

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Providing a place for people to learn more about how to improve and manage their emotional health.

The Wellness for Life Academy is a partnership venture between the University of Bradford Well-being Centre, Faculty of Health Studies and multiple NHS and third sector health and social care services in conjunction with service user participation.

It is a project aimed at establishing a shared learning community that grows and develops to meet the needs of the community.

Further information is available.

University awarded the Meningitis Aware Recognition Mark (MARM)

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We are delighted to inform you that the University was awarded the Meningitis Aware Recognition Mark (MARM). This shows that we are a Meningitis Aware university and reflects our commitment in raising awareness of meningitis to both staff and students.

The MARM demonstrates that the University of Bradford is:

  • Raising awareness of meningitis amongst students and staff
  • Promoting Men ACWY vaccine uptake
  • Planning ahead – being prepared for a case(s) of meningitis or meningococcal disease on campus

The MARM demonstrates the hard work undertaken by staff members in the Student Medical Practice and the Health, Safety and Wellbeing team.

If you would like more information on this scheme and the efforts being taken to raise awareness, please contact the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Team.

Walk Friendly Workplace Accreditation

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The University of Bradford has been working towards and finally achieved its Walk Friendly Workplace accreditation.

As part of our commitment to wellbeing we want to encourage staff and students to be more active and reduce car use wherever we can. We’ve worked with CityConnect Walking and Living Streets to offer Walk Doctor sessions to staff and students at wellbeing events, we’ve had Walk Leader Training so staff and students can lead walks for others, we’re working with CityConnect Walking and Living Streets to map lunchtime walks around the campus as well as regularly promoting the Greenline Mile, and we’re training our wellbeing champions so they can give key messages on the benefits of walking to their colleagues.

WFW Certificate

Pool Lifeguard Course

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We are now taking bookings for the next Pool Lifeguard course.

The RLSS National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) is the most widely recognised lifeguard qualification in the UK and will provide you with the opportunity for employment at most swimming pools

This qualification is valid for 2 years and is usually the minimum requirement for all lifeguards who work in swimming pools across the UK. Pre-requisites:- Prior to the start of the course you MUST be able to swim 50m in less than 60 seconds, be able to tread water for 30 seconds and be able to surface dive and retrieve a brick from 2 metres depth and climb out of our pool unaided.

For more infomation email firstaid@bradford.ac.uk or to book a space see www.bradford.ac.uk/first-aid/courses-on-offer/national-pool-lifeguard/

£240 per person

Course 1 -

Saturday 26th, Sunday 27th May, 9.00am to 5.00pm, Tuesday 29th May, 9.00am to 6.00pm, Friday 1st June 9.00am to 6.00pm, Saturday 2nd June, 9.00am to 5.00pm, and Sunday 3rd June 9.00am to 3.00pm

Course 2 -

Monday 2nd to Friday 6th July, 9.00am to 6.00pm, Sunday 8th Jul 2018, 12.00pm to 3.00pm

Swimming Lessons

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The next course of swimming lessons is planned to start Saturday 1st September 2018

Courses of lessons run for a ten week period. Over this period there is one lesson per week every Saturday, which is approximately 30 minutes long.

For further details please follow the link or contact reception. http://www.brad.ac.uk/unique/swimming/swimming-lessons/

Current major issues analysed

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Staff in the School of Social Sciences are heavily involved in the analysis of major current issues, including the conflicts in Afghanistan, Gaza and Iraq. They publish frequently in international web journals such as Open Democracy and The Conversation, with readerships in the tens of thousands.

Recent and current examples are:

Netanyahu’s Corbyn problem

Gender training for Brazilian police

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Brazil is one of the most violent countries in the world, with some 60,000 people murdered annually. One under-acknowledged aspect of this epidemic is gender-based violence. Dr Fiona Macaulay, Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at the University of Bradford, has partnered up with the Brazilian Forum on Public Security (FBSP) to deliver a very different and more effective form of gender training to police.

Gender-based violence

In 2015 the police recorded over 45,000 rape cases and in 2016, 4,657 women were killed, the majority by persons known to them.

However, despite the introduction in 2015 of a new law creating the specific crime of murdering a girl or woman for motives connected to their social gender roles, only ten per cent of these killings are registered as ‘femicides’.

While there are dedicated police officers and units working to prevent and prosecute gender-based violence, neither police forces as a whole nor the criminal justice system are yet equipped to deal effectively with it.

Absence of human rights and gender issues

One problem is training. Human rights and gender issues are either absent from basic and ongoing training, or squeezed in and taught in a very old-fashioned and didactic way (officers sitting in rows and listening to a lecturer).

An effective form of gender training

Dr Fiona Macaulay has partnered up with the Brazilian Forum on Public Security (FBSP) to deliver a very different and more effective form of gender training to police.

Dr Macaulay does this by bringing together her 25 years of research into human rights, gender issues and criminal justice institutions in Brazil and the award-winning pedagogy that she developed for teaching gender to the students in the Division of Peace Studies and International Development.

 Brazil police gender training

With colleague Juliana Martins, experienced in training the Brazilian police on human rights, she piloted three highly interactive and reflective one-day training sessions in 2016 and 2017 for civil and military police officers.

British Embassy support enabled the project to expand into two-day programmes designed to create multiples in the states of Piauí and Goiás in November 2017.

Tackling violence against women

In February 2018 Dr Macaulay will also be hosting the visit of several Brazilian police officers awarded prizes in the ‘Innovative Practices in Tackling Violence against Women’ annual competition run by the FBSP and the Avon Institute. They will visit the Metropolitan Police and talk to academic specialists in gender-based violence.

The aim of the project is to strengthen good practice, both through the Innovative Practices quality stamp, and through the use of appreciative enquiry, that is, looking at what police already do well, rather than focussing on the ‘deficit’ side.

This approach, which is being applied in the British criminal justice sytem by Dr Victoria Lavis, our colleague in Psychology, was particularly well-received, and the police officers shared many moving accounts of the work they had done in rescuing and supporting victims of abuse, and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Training manual

Dr Macaulay and her colleagues are working on a training manual for police to use with their own colleagues to increase understanding of gender relations, and hence of gender-based violence and what this implies for effective policing.

Current major issues analysed

Published:

Staff in the School of Social Sciences are heavily involved in the analysis of major current issues, including the conflicts in Afghanistan, Gaza and Iraq. They publish frequently in international web journals such as Open Democracy and The Conversation, with readerships in the tens of thousands.

Recent and current examples are:

Netanyahu’s Corbyn problem

The Hague Study Visit

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In January we had the wonderful opportunity to travel to The Hague-Netherlands in a study visit with the University.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Our journey began in the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) where we were able to see how this important organisation works, to meet students from other parts of Europe and ask interesting questions about outcomes related to the control and destruction of these types of weapons. We were able to analyze the cases, such as that of Syria, while we explored the different challenges that come with weapons treaties.

Humanity House

We visited Humanity House, an amazing building where different organisations work everyday to make our world more peaceful. Here we met with Anton Petrenko, the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, who talked about the conflict in Moldova and explained the importance of inclusion of different kinds of minorities (religious, racial, ethnical, etc) in the policy-making process and in society in general. After dinner together, we had a fun quiz, which tested our knowledge about peace, music, climate change and conflict.

International Criminal Court

The next day was one of the most incredible days in my life. At the International Criminal Court (ICC) we had the opportunity to observe the trial against Dominic Ongwen, accused of war crimes in the conflict in Uganda. It was a dream that finally came true for me personally - witnessing how the court works and developing my understanding of the complexities of the law, its multiple interpretations and tension points was one of the best opportunities I ever had in my life.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Afterwards we went to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), where we had a tour through the Public Gallery and the Courtroom Ms. Rada Pejic-Sremac, a member of the prosecution team, talked about processes, the difficulties of trials and the different emotions they are exposed to everyday.

She showed us a video of criminals confessing their crimes and telling the truth to victims, which was one of the most painful things I have ever seen in my life. I had a mix of feelings during this whole process - on the one hand I was thinking about the importance of international organisations that work on behalf of victims, how in my country, Colombia, our victims are waiting to finally know the truth and for their aggressors to ask for their forgiveness, and that, even though international trials take many years, at least something is being done.

On the other hand, I felt happy to be part of an amazing group of students and with people who are working really hard to make a better world, to promote peace and find ways to prevent terrors like the ones we were witnessing.

Students visiting The Hague

Delivering real change

Finally we had the chance to see how all our theories, ideals and knowledge can deliver real change.

Two young women from the Clingendael Institute and the Secretariat of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict talked to us about their different professional fields, the kind of roles where we could put our learning into practice.

They worked in field research, policy-making and project funding in almost every region in the world. They showed us how our work can apply to different territories and communities, and how we can impact the process of policy-making to have better and more sensitive policies that benefit the most vulnerable and conflict-affected communities.

Making life-changing impacts

Making this long journey short, we were able to understand the importance of what we are doing, to see that our efforts in every essay or piece of research has a meaning and will have an important and life-changing impacts. This was an incredible opportunity, where we were able to enjoy a beautiful city and to learn from extraordinary people that every day dedicate their energy and knowledge to build a more peaceful and just world.

Natalia Gutierrez Trujillo (N.GutierrezTrujillo1@bradford.ac.uk)

Oslo visit

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From 18-21 January 2018 the Bradford Rotary Peace Fellows joined with the Uppsala Rotary Peace Fellows in a visit to Oslo, Norway and its peace-focused institutions, hosted by the Norwegian Rotary International District 2310.

Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

On the first day we visited the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and met with Mr. Espen Lindbaeck, Deputy Director to learn more about the Norwegian government's policies and efforts towards achieving Peace and Reconciliation in countries like Colombia, Guatemala and the Philippines and how they build their international relations on this matter.

Norwegian Institute of International Affairs

Later that day the two classes of Fellows went to the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) where Dr. Cedric de Coning, Senior Research Fellow, explained the different areas of research the Institute is working on such as War and Peace, Economy and Development, and Diplomacy and Global Governance. He also highlighted their research on the United Nations' Peacekeeping Operations and how they build relationships with policymakers to ensure that their research has impact.

Peace Research Institute Oslo

The Fellows’ second day in Oslo took us first to the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) where Research Professor Halvard Buhaug gave a history of PRIO and its strong academic standing in the peace research community before diving into the question of the connection between environmental change and conflict.

He was followed by his colleague, Research Professor Marta Bivand Erdal, who presented her findings concerning the concept of migration and the powerful role this plays in global trade and security policy.

Many of the Bradford and Uppsala Fellows had explored these above ideas in their classes and had plenty to say during the discussion that followed the presentations!

Student on the Oslo visit

Norwegian Nobel Institute

The trip ended with a truly insightful visit to the Norwegian Nobel Institute, where we were greeted by the Director of the Research Consultants who compile the thorough background papers on Nobel Peace Prize candidates which is then provided to the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

He took us to the ceremonial room where the Nobel Peace Prize was presented for many years, and gave us the biography of the Institute’s namesake, Alfred Nobel.

He also shared instances of formative experiences the committee faced over the years that helped elevate the Nobel Peace Prize to the status it maintains today. He also showed the Fellows the room where the Committee deliberates, and candidly answered our questions about the Institute’s influence and his interactions with Nobel Peace Laureates.

It was a trip to remember!

Kate Keator (K.T.Keator@bradford.ac.uk)

Peace Studies Workshop on Peace and Security on the Korean Peninsula

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On Friday 9 March staff and students from the Division of Peace Studies and International Development at the University of Bradford held a joint workshop on North East Asia and Global Security with a delegation of academics from Hiroshima City University, in Japan.

Nuclear weapons and security

Key issues explored in the workshop included the very salient issue of nuclear weapons and security on the Korean Peninsula. Clearly, given the recent announcement of a possible meeting between Donald Trump and the leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un participants had much to discuss. Other issues covered included Japanese peacekeeping operations, Cold War nuclear politics and the approach to North Korean refugees in South Korea.

Ongoing collaboration

The workshop was organised by Professor Christoph Bluth who is an expert on North Korea and nuclear arms control, together with Prof Yoshiaki Furuzawa of Hiroshima University.

The workshop formed part of an ongoing programme of collaboration between Peace Studies at Bradford and Hiroshima City University. This also includes funding for two students from Peace Studies to attend a summer school at Hiroshima on the theme of peace, security and nuclear weapons.

The summer school also includes a meeting with the mayor of Hiroshima and a meeting to hear the testimony of survivors of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in World War Two. The two organisations are also exploring the potential for a student exchange in which Bradford students would be able to spend part of their studies at Hiroshima.

Hiroshima workshop group

From left to right, front row: Bradford research student Sadia Khan, Prof Yoshiaki Furuzawa from Hiroshima University, Prof Christoph Bluth from University of Bradford, Prof. Hyun Jin Son from Hiroshima University, Bradford research student Silvia de Michelis;
back row: Bradford research students Aslam Kan and Farouk Tarfa, Prof Neil Cooper - Head of Peace Studies and International Development at the University of Bradford, Prof Robert Jacobs - Historian of nuclear technologies and radiation technopolitics.

The Eva Pinthus Awards

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In recognition of the many contributions for peace made by Eva Pinthus, awards are offered of up to £5,000 to Quaker students studying peace at the University of Bradford in 2018-19.

Bursary support for Peace Studies students

The Eva Pintus Awards have been established by the to provide bursary support to students studying a Peace Studies course at the University of Bradford.

This is in recognition of the long contribution that Eva Pinthus has made, both as a trustee of QPST and in her support for peace studies.

You can find out more about the awards and their eligibility criteria on the Eva Pinthus Award website,

or by contacting Christy Bischoff on:

University launches funded support package for young businesses

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Ambitious young businesses across the region are being encouraged to tap into a new package of support available from the University of Bradford.

The University of Bradford Young Business Pathway offers a wrap-around service which includes specialist advice, one to one support, action learning and workshops on key topics such as sales, finance, marketing and employment law.

Places are available free of charge to eligible pre-start, new and young firms in the Leeds City Region through AD:VENTURE, an ERDF funded £12.3m programme for businesses with strong potential for growth.

Professor Zahir Irani - Dean of the Faculty of Management and Law at the University of Bradford commented,

“This is an exciting and highly practical package of support, designed to upskill young businesses in aspects of business essential for growth.”

“We welcome applications from pre-starts, sole traders, partnerships and businesses with less than three years trading experience from anywhere in the BD postcode area, as well as young buisnesses based further afield in West and Noth Yorkshire.”, he added.

The Pathway begins with a diagnostic session to identify the specific requirements of each business, before delivering a tailored package of support.

Regular small group sessions are delivered by a team of business growth specialists at the University’s School of Management on the outskirts of the city.

For more information email adventure@bradford.ac.uk or contact Suzanne Emmett on 01274 234466.

Bradford School of Management extends global business accreditation

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The University of Bradford's School of Management has extended its global accreditation in business, one of just 49 business schools across the world to do so.

The accreditation maintains the School’s position as one of a handful of business schools across the world with the coveted triple-crown of accreditations, providing engaging and innovative teaching and learning along with research, which has been recognised as making a difference to the world.

AACSB International (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) announced the accreditations following a process of rigorous internal focus, engagement with an AACSB assigned mentor, and peer-reviewed evaluation. During this multi-year path, schools focus on developing and implementing a plan to align with AACSB’s accreditation standards. These standards require excellence in areas relating to strategic management and innovation; student, faculty, and staff as active participants; learning and teaching; and academic and professional engagement.

Once accreditation is achieved, each institution participates in a five-year continuous improvement peer-review to maintain high quality and extend its accreditation.

Professor Zahir Irani, Dean of the Faculty of Management and Law, said: “We are delighted to receive commendations and the maximum period of reaccreditation from AACSB. This secures our triple accreditation status amongst an elite group of Business and Management Schools and helps confirm our strategic focus of relevance and research that has significant impact for our students, staff and society.”

Stephanie M. Bryant, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB, said: “AACSB congratulates each institution on their achievement. Every AACSB-accredited school has demonstrated a focus on excellence in all areas, including teaching, research, curricula development, and student learning. The intense peer-review process exemplifies their commitment to quality business education.”

The School of Management has been an international leader in business education, research and knowledge transfer for more than 50 years. Its MBA was first launched in 1974 and its DBA was launched in 2001.

Founded in 1916, AACSB is the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools, and the largest business education network connecting students, educators, and businesses worldwide.

Strengthening partnership ties: EFMD Deans and Directors conference

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As a leading triple crown-accredited business school, the School of Management continues to engage with the accredited business school community. The school was prominent at this years EFMD Deans and Directors conference, with Professor Zahir Irani (Dean) and Professor Amir Sharif (Associate Dean, International) of the Faculty of Management and Law attending the annual conference held at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Munich, Germany 25th -26th January.

Deans get digital

Noting the theme of the conference, Deans get Digital, Professor Irani noted the importance that business schools should place in understanding, using and developing a culture shift based upon a digital agenda. “Business schools – especially those that are accredited – need to share and transfer knowledge on how knowledge is created and shared within and across organisations. In doing so, however, we also need to be aware of the opportunities as well as risks and threats that digital technologies provide in the future workplace and in society in general. Developing a shared view of this amongst our business school peers and colleagues is vital.”

A leading accreditation body

EFMD (the European Foundation for Management Development), is a leading accreditation body that provides a range of management education accreditations - including EQUIS, EPAS, EDAF and EOCCS - to both academic as well as commercial organisations.

EFMD Deans and Directors conference a

Stimulating contributions and talks

The conference was hosted by the School of Management at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in their central Munich campus, housed in the ultra post-modern “Auditorium Maximum” building.

There was a range of stimulating contributions and talks including those from EFMD, the Drucker Society, Google, Siemens, McKinsey & Co., and a series of workshop and facilitated breakout sessions lead by leading business school Deans and Directors from across the USA, Europe and Asia.

EFMD Deans and Directors conference b

"An essential part of the EFMD / EQUIS network"

Professor Amir Sharif, Associate Dean (International), highlighted the diversity of leading business school colleagues: “Accreditation conferences such as EFMD provide a unique opportunity to discuss and set the agenda for management education. Being able to meet, connect and reaffirm partnership ties and future collaboration opportunities with peers, as well as partner organisations is an essential part the EFMD / EQUIS network.”

EFMD Deans and Directors conference c

Professor Irani and Professor Sharif met with several Deans such as Prof. du Charlat of Audencia Business School (with whom Bradford has a deep and successful relationship in terms of the MSc in European and International Business Management) as well as Prof. Jawad Syed of the Suleiman Dawood School of Business, Lahore University of Management Science (LUMS).

EFMD Deans and Directors conference d

Bradford's online MBA programme ranked first in the UK in CEO Magazine rankings

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The Distance Learning MBA at the University of Bradford School of Management is the highest ranking UK programme in the Global Online MBA rankings, in the CEO Magazine 2018 MBA rankings.

Distance Learning MBA

The rankings place the Distance Learning MBA at 12th in the world, and 1st in the UK.

Executive MBA

Our Executive MBA was ranked 4th in the UK, a climb of one place from the 2017 ranking.

Our Executive MBA in Dubai was the only UAE-based programme to rank.

Tier One

Our MBA provision is rated Tier One in the Global MBA rankings, and in the European MBA rankings, in which it is one of only ten UK universities to feature.

CEO Magazine

CEO Magazine has been showcasing top business schools from around the globe since it first launched in 2008. In 2012 the publication launched its annual Global MBA Rankings, profiling MBA, Executive MBA and Online MBA programmes.

This year CEO Magazine reached out to business schools across North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the BRICS, and received data from over 270 programmes (56 online, 93 EMBA and 122 full-time and part-time MBA programmes).

The rankings

The rankings are based on a number of different factors, including quality of faculty, international diversity, class size, accreditation, faculty to student ratio, price, international exposure, work experience, professional development, gender parity, and delivery methods – with each factor receiving a different weighting.

MBA recruitment

We are recruiting for our MBA programmes now:

Online MBA ranked best value for money in the world in 2018 Financial Times world rankings

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The Distance Learning MBA at the University of Bradford School of Management has been highly rated in the 2018 Financial Times online MBA world rankings.

Our 2 year part-time Distance Learning MBA programme was judged:

  • 1st in the world for value for money
  • 5th in the world for career progress
  • 14th in the world overall

The Financial Times also place the programme 3rd in the UK overall, and 1st in the UK for salary increase - on average, three years after graduation, MBA graduates at Bradford have increased their salary by 36%.

The Bradford online MBA was one of the first of its kind in the world when launched in 1998, and counts numerous highly successful business leaders amongst its alumni. The School of Management is one of a handful of business schools worldwide to hold the triple accreditations of Equis, AMBA and AACSB, often referred to as the "", and this excellence is reflected in the quality of our distance learning provision.

We are recruiting now for April, July and October 2018 intakes. To find out more about the programme, and how it can help you achieve your career aspirations, sign up for one of our forthcoming MBA online events:

 

Bradford's Jean Monnet Chair invited to Moscow

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On 19-20 April Jean-Marc Trouille was invited by the European Commission to participate in the Jean Monnet Conference 'Excellence in EU Studies' in Moscow, Russia.

The conference, whose purpose was to strengthen EU Integration Studies at Russian universities, was taking place at difficult times. EU-Russia relations have seen challenging patterns of Russian behaviour, with the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, the war in Irak, Russian meddling in Western elections and referenda, and most recently the Salisbury poisoning.

In this highly tense context, the conference was a welcome opportunity to provide a framework for improving a dialogue based on communication and mutual understanding. It is particularly in difficult times that dialogue needs to be nurtured. This dialogue was not limited to Russian and Western academics. High representatives from the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, the EU Commission and the EU Delegation in Russia were also actively involved in the two days. Whilst participants were largely Russian academics, several members of the Jean Monnet global academic community came from Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Greece, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the US. There were no Ukrainian representatives. Jean-Marc was the sole representative from a UK university.

Participants were able to engage in a fruitful exchange of experiences and ideas on current Jean Monnet projects, learn from each other’s views, build mutual understanding, discuss potential research cooperations, and consider what unites the EU and Russia rather than what divides them. There is a need to act in the field of academic cooperation and shape a European Academic Area that comprises the whole European continent including Russia. With 91 Jean Monnet projects being currently implemented in the Russian Federation and growing academic interest in European integration studies, the wisdom of promoting academic mobility and international exchanges as a catalyst for building trust did not have to be demonstrated.

, who holds a Jean Monnet Chair at the University of Bradford and leads the Jean Monnet Network ‘The EU, Africa and China in the Global Age’, has gained a wide experience of representing the values of Jean Monnet outside the European Union, in Lebanon, Tunisia, Georgia, Tanzania, Kenya, and most recently Uganda.

Students on unique triple-country Master's arrive at the Faculty of Management and Law

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A new cohort of students on a unique Master's programme has been welcomed at the University of Bradford School of Management.

Before arriving in Bradford the group of 40 students on the European and International Business Management MSc had previously studied for a term in France at Audencia School of Management, Nantes, and in Spain at Deusto Business School, Bilbao.

The students must be trilingual before starting the course because it is taught in the language of the host nation – Spanish, French and English. For some students, none of these languages are native to them.

Whilst students come predominantly from Spain and France, there are also people on the course from other parts of the world, this year from several Latin American countries (Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Peru), Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Ghana, Morocco and China.

Triple-country Master's students

The EIBM Master’s has been running for 28 consecutive years, and this year Bradford has been on board for 25 years.

Director of this European Master's Programme, Jean-Marc Trouille said: “The students are a very dynamic group of positive young people who, according to former Bradford MBA students, really add something to the final taught part of the course, so their arrival is always something to look forward to.”

The programme is a joint award from all three institutions and is officially recognised by the Ministerio de Educación in Spain. It has a strong focus on the European context, not just in terms of language and business cultures but also on doing business in the Single Market.

The Faculty develops research and policy links in Uganda

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Recent activity in Uganda will be presented in the research showcase at Emm Lane on 17 May 2018, as well as at the IBMB research information event on 24 May, alongside similar activities previously carried out in Kenya and Tanzania.

Two important training and research events took place before Easter in Uganda, as part of a wider research project led by the University of Bradford’s Faculty of Management & Law.

The events were organised by the Jean Monnet Network; ‘The EU, Africa and China in the Global Age (EU-EAC)’ and took place in the capital city Kampala, and in Gulu (Northern Uganda). The principal organisers were Jean-Marc Trouille, lead participant of the global consortium and Jean Monnet Chair at the Faculty of Management & Law, and Julaina Obika, Associate Professor at Gulu University and Network representative for Uganda. These events were organised with the collaboration of the EU Delegation to Uganda, the East African Community (EAC), and the Ministry of East African Community Affairs (MEACA).

A dialogue of regional integration

The first event, a Training & Dialogue Session on Regional Integration, took place at the Ugandan Ministry of East African Community Affairs in Kampala. Its purpose was to engage in a dialogue on regional integration and EU-EAC cooperation with policy makers from the Ugandan Government. Moses Onyango, Kenyan Network representative, was instrumental in shaping with Jean-Marc the Network’s training programme. He said: ‘These training sessions are critical empirical components to the next phases of our research.’

Opening addresses were given by Mrs Edith N. Mwanje, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry; by Mrs Sandra Paesen, Head of Political Section, Press and Information and Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Uganda; and by Julaina Obika and Jean-Marc Trouille. After a presentation of the Jean Monnet Network, three Plenary Sessions took place with a focus on various aspects of regional integration, followed by a keynote speech by Amb. Tim Clarke, former EU Ambassador and Head of EU Delegation to the African Union, IGAD, Ethiopia and Djibouti and to Tanzania and the EAC, who provided valuable insights on how the European Union works in practice.

Rich and insightful

Afternoon sessions were devoted to a fruitful dialogue between all participants on a range of issues relevant to regional integration. Discussions were led by Mr Daniel Mugulusi, Undersecretary at MEACA. Debates were rich and insightful and provided opportunities for comparing different situations and perceptions between Europe and East Africa.

The Training & Dialogue Day and its unique concept, with emphasis on transcontinental dialogue between academia and policymakers, raised substantial interest among MEACA participants.

There was a joint desire for greater reflection on how to promote the integration in East African countries. An important point of discussion was on how to take the meeting further, how to ‘pass ideas’, how to promote understanding of regional integration among the youth, in short, how to promote integration in the East African region, foster a meaningful regional identity, and provide support for policy development.

JMonnet event in Uganda

Developing integration awareness

Participants from the Ministry expressed a strong desire to establish a partnership between the EU, Bradford’s Jean Monnet Network and MEACA in developing integration awareness among the youth in Uganda. The Ministry also expressed keen interest in the inclusion of China as a partner in its cooperation with the Jean-Monnet Network.

The Jean Monnet Network and MEACA intend to maintain contact. Alongside MEACA, the Jean Monnet Network intends to pursue the aim of promoting regional integration and peace not only at academic level, by encouraging more academic cooperation across East Africa, but also by reaching the policy level and civil society in all EAC member states. It values therefore the highly positive link established with MEACA and will continue to inform the Ministry of future Network activities.

Challenges to regional integration

After this successful event, the Jean Monnet Network moved to Northern Uganda, where it organised a two-day International Conference on Challenges to Regional Integration in East Africa and Europe. It comprised sessions on Regional Integration and Sustainable Development; International Relations and Security Studies; Peace and Conflict, Land Migration; Legal Issues, Institutions and Structures; East Africa between Europe and China; Education and the Internationalisation of Higher Education; and Applying for EU Funding.

The Jean Monnet team was impressed by the talent, quality and enthusiasm of scholars from Gulu University who participated in the conference and gave relevant and insightful papers.

This joint conference and the two days of fruitful debates were also a great opportunity for the Jean Monnet team to improve their understanding of regional integration processes in a corner of Africa close to the borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, and in a region hosting most of the 1.3 million South Sudanese refugees in Uganda.

Further information

What is the Jean Monnet Network?

The Jean Monnet Network is a research and training project funded by the EU Commission. It brings academic partners and institutions together from EAC member states, the UK, Greece, and China. It aims at improving EU-Africa cooperation and contributing to building sustainable societies in coordination with China.

What will it achieve?

The Network’s main focus lies on studying:

  • Regional economic integration in the East African Community (EAC) in a comparative perspective.
  • The relations between the European Union and Africa, with particular emphasis on the East African Community.
  • EU-Africa-China relations with emphasis on developmental economics and mutual trade and development partnerships. Attention will be devoted to the potential for an EU-China coordination to contribute to the sustainability of African economic integration, growth and development.

Why is it special?

The Jean Monnet Network is a unique endeavour to foster dialogue between academia and policy makers in a trilateral way between the European Union, Africa, and China with a view to building sustainable societies in Africa for the benefit of all parties. This project is at the heart of the University of Bradford’s vision on sustainability.

Contact point for further information:

Jean-Marc Trouille

Jean Monnet Chair in European Economic Integration and European Business Management

Lead Partner, Jean Monnet Network ‘The EU, Africa and China in the Global Age’, Faculty of Management & Law

Latest course receives accreditation

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The School of Management's new MSc receives accreditation from CILT.

The School of Management’s new MSc in Logistics, Data Analytics and Supply Chain Management has received accreditation by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK).

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) in the UK is the membership organisation for professionals involved in the movement of goods and people and their associated supply chains.

In studying for the CILT accredited degree, students are taking a significant step in on the pathway to an exciting career within this business field and it offers them with a ‘fast track’ route to Assessed Membership of the CILT (UK).

The master’s programme is co-designed with inputs from leading logistics and supply chain professionals and focuses on the integration of data analytics techniques relating to this business field. The programme also uses SAS, one of the world’s leading industry standard data analytics software as part of this degree to train students

Dr Sankar Sivarajah, Course director and Head of Logistics, Supply Chain and Technology Research centre said “The accreditation and partnership with CILT (UK) is a significant step in providing our potential students the support of a career partner for their professional lives within this business field. “

The course, which is run at the University’s School of Management, is unique in offering data analytics using cutting edge software such as SAS. The accreditation of CILT reinforces the quality of the course and provides students with a professional network and more job opportunities in this field.

Bradford continues to be among world's best accredited by EQUIS

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The University's School of Management has again achieved accreditation by the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), reaffirming the school's capacity to offer the highest standard of business education.

The has held the EQUIS accreditation since 2000 and has therefore retained its triple crown status which fewer than 90 Business Schools across the world have secured.

Zahir Irani, Dean of the Faculty of Management and Law at the University of Bradford said: “The School of Management is delighted to have been reaccredited with EQUIS for the 7th time. We look forward to remaining part of the EFMD family and in learning from and contributing to the Business and Management landscape”

To achieve EQUIS accreditation, schools must demonstrate academic distinction, close connections with the corporate world, and commitment to innovation in teaching and program design. Schools are also evaluated on their ability to create learning environments that promote leadership and entrepreneurial skills, as well as a sense of global responsibility.

EQUIS is one of the world’s three leading quality accreditations for higher education in business. Bradford is extremely proud to hold all three – The Triple Crown – including the Association of MBA’s (AMBA) and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business AACSB, making it one of only 59 Business Schools in the world to have earned this crown.

EQUIS accreditation is run by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), a global non-profit promoting international business education. The awarding body consists of leaders from top universities and corporate executives.

Equis

Lord Neuberger visits the School of Law

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Lord Neuberger, the immediate past president of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom visited the School of Law at the University of Bradford on Monday 29 January 2018.

He hosted a student session and met with colleagues in the Law School. He was accompanied by Ammar Khan, a future trainee solicitor with CMS Nabarro Olswang. The purpose of the session was to encourage widening participation in the legal profession and inspire the young law students aspiring to a career in law.

As Lord Neuberger was the foremost Judicial official in the UK until recently. His visit will inspire our students, a significant number of whom are from backgrounds that are very much under-represented in the legal profession, and particularly in the judiciary.

Professor Engobo Emeseh, Head of the School of Law said “It was an honour to have Lord Neuberger visit the School of Law and his session with the students was truly inspirational. The School of Law is committed to inclusiveness and widening access to students from all backgrounds and this initiative by Lord Neuberger provides much needed spotlight on the paucity of women and minorities in the legal profession, especially in the higher echelons of the judiciary.”

At the end of the session Lord Neuberger took questions from the audience and our students asked a range of interesting and thought out questions. Current student Aneela Ahmed commented ‘“Lord Neuberger's visit revealed through questions asked by our students just how much disparity is still prevalent in terms of female QC's becoming judges. My peers and I now look forward to creating a group that champions women's access to becoming judge's.”

Current student Tristan Strudwick summarised the event ‘“The event was informative, and it was amazing to have someone of such legal pedigree giving his opinions on very divisive legal issues.”

The opportunity to hear Lord Neuberger speak was well received from our students, Aqib Zaman commented Lord Neuberger was “a legend … I feel inspired”

Our Law Clinic is expanding

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The University's Law Clinic enters exciting new collaboration

CIT Advice Logo The School of Law's Legal Clinic opened in January 2016 in collaborating with the Bradford and Airedale Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Law Centre (CAB) at their offices at Argus Chambers in Bradford. The clinic integrates into theservices offered by the Bureau, providing legal advice on a range of matters, which the CAB is unable to.

The school of law puts employability and clinical legal education at the heart of its teaching, but we also believe that we are a fantastic recourse for our local communities. As such, we have formed ‘Justice Bradford’ our own very unique law clinic where we seek to collaborate with local third sector agencies providing much need service to the general public. Ian Miller, Deputy Head of Law and the Law Clinic Director, explains

‘Our strapline is Delivering Education through Public Service, and we think that perfectly encapsulates precisely what we do.’

The programme has grown from strength to strength and this academic year approximately half of our final year undergraduates have taken part in the Law Clinic module. By partaking in the clinic, our students gain experience in a real world setting, learning how to interview clients; identify legal issues and write a comprehensive advice for their client.

Vincent Logo In February this year, our Law Clinic began another exciting collaboration with CHAS@StVincents, a community support charity offering a wide range of services.

Initially, our collaboration with CHAS will be in assisting them with the provision of immigration advice under the guidance of a practicing solicitor, who is a specialist immigration adviser. Under this supervision, our students will be able to join the team of volunteers at CHAS and undergo formal training and assessment in order for them to become qualified immigration advisers themselves. In time, we plan to expand our collaboration with CHAS to include running a ‘drop-in clinic’ for general legal advice on Wednesday afternoons. We hope to have this scheme running by October 2018, in time for the opening of our new academic year.

Other schemes in the pipeline include a collaboration with Leeds Personal Support Unit (PSU) with a view to running an ‘at court’ advice service, which has the capacity to operate as a credit bearing module in its own right, and working with the University of Bradford Students' Union to provide legal advice sessions to students.

We are constantly seeking to increase the services we offer both to our students and the community of Bradford; our current collaborations are merely a start. Watch this space.

Bradford scientist awarded £90k to investigate link between diabetes and breast cancer

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A leading Bradford scientist has been awarded a grant worth more than £90,000 by research charity Breast Cancer Now to carry out cutting-edge research to uncover why breast cancer is more likely to spread in those with type two diabetes, than in those without the disease.

When breast cancer spreads – known as secondary (or metastatic) breast cancer – it becomes incurable, and almost all of the 11,500 women that die as a result of breast cancer each year in the UK will have seen their cancer spread. More than 1,620 women in West Yorkshire are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and over 350 women in the region die from the disease each year.1

Research has found that those with type two diabetes are around 20% more likely to develop breast cancer than those who are not diabetic. Furthermore, type two diabetes has also been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer spreading around the body, however the underlying molecular mechanisms connecting the two continue to elude scientists.

Previous studies have shown that platelets – the components in the blood that cause clotting – may encourage breast cancer cells to grow more aggressively. Platelets shed small fragments that carry ‘messenger molecules’ – called miRNA – which may send growth signals to breast cancer cells that encourage them to progress to secondary breast cancer. In people with type two diabetes, the blood contains higher levels of these platelet fragments, and scientists now hope to uncover whether it is the higher levels of miRNA that encourage breast cancer to spread in type two diabetics.

Discovery paves way for treatment to prevent blood vessel damage

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The discovery of a previously unknown interaction between proteins could provide a breakthrough in the prevention of damage to healthy blood vessels.

Led by the University of Bradford, the research shows how the two proteins combine to protect blood vessels from inflammation and damage and could pave the way for treatments to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.

The new study, published in Nature Communications, found that when a protein called SOCS3 binds directly with another protein called Cavin-1, small cell surface regions of blood vessels called caveolae are stabilised, preventing damage. This mechanism, previously unknown, is important for maintaining healthy vascular function. This process happens naturally in healthy cells but can be compromised when damage occurs, through natural processes such as ageing or as a result of lifestyle.

To achieve this, the team used a combination of proteomics, which identified cavin-1 as a new SOCS3-regulated protein, and then applying cutting-edge molecular biology, biochemistry and imaging approaches to characterise how they controlled each other’s function in cells.

The project is a collaboration between researchers at the University of Bradford, University of Glasgow, Boston University Medical School (Boston, USA) and the Otto-von-Guericke-University (Magdeburg, Germany).

Professor Tim Palmer of the University of Bradford said: “This is a real breakthrough as it defines for the first time a new interaction between two pathways that control key properties of healthy blood vessels – protection from inflammation and resistance to mechanical damage.

“Our research has identified an interaction that could be used to develop new medicines to maintain healthy blood vessel function and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. At the moment, patients at risk of developing cardiovascular disease take medications such as statins to reduce the likelihood of heart attack or stroke. However not everyone responds to these drugs and they can also result in side effects such as muscle pain that impact on quality of life. Importantly, statins do not directly protect blood vessels from damage.

“From our findings, it may now be possible to develop drugs targeting this newly-discovered system that could be taken by patients at risk of cardiovascular disease to better maintain vascular health and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

“The next stage of our work will be to study this mechanism in detail in models of cardiovascular disease and see if it is compromised in patients known to have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, such as those with diabetes.”

Professor George Baillie of the University of Glasgow said: "The targeted disruption of this protein complex brings real potential to make headway in discovering new therapeutics. I am truly excited by the possibilities.”

Feminism and social media: the threats and opportunities explored

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In the centenary year of women : at least a section - in Britain first gaining the vote, the need is as great as ever to champion the cause of gender equality.

And in that cause, the rise of social media has manifested itself as both a threat and an opportunity, perhaps most noticeably demonstrated through the #MeToo campaign.

Now, female academics from across the world have come together to contribute their research, findings and arguments to a special edition of the quarterly journal Feminism & Psychology.

The publication, entitled Feminisms and Social Media, explores a range of issues encompassing social media platforms as complex and contradictory spaces for feminism. Among the subjects explored and analysed are:

  • Female athletes’ self-representation
  • Young feminists, feminism and digital media
  • Non-consensual pornography websites
  • Harassment and misogyny on dating sites
  • Victim blaming in discussions of sexual assault cases
  • The role of social media in sex education

Guest editor, Professor Abigail Locke, of the University of Bradford, said: “When women speak out they continue to suffer attacks, disparagement and abuse and social media has exacerbated this, given it a new profile. But social media opens up possibilities also and a new generation of women are speaking out on social media. It is providing a new space for feminism, for speaking out and connecting. #MeToo is an expression of this.

“We want this special edition of Feminism & Psychology to demonstrate that social media can be used as a force for resistance and social change. We stand at a particular point in time, when the power of social media can provide the platform and the opportunity to make significant contributions to this debate.”

Lost landscapes of the Irish Sea explored

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"Europe's Lost Frontiers" project joins IT Sligo, University College Cork, and the Irish Marine Institute to explore the lost landscapes of the Irish Sea

This February, Bradford’s “Europe’s Lost Frontiers” research team, along with the Institute of Technology Sligo, University College Cork and the Irish Marine Institute, will carry out an expedition to explore the extensive submerged landscapes that exist between Ireland and Great Britain.Following the last Ice Age, large areas of habitable land were inundated following climate change and sea level rise across the world. Globally, the sea level rose c. 120 metres and an area more than twice that of the modern United States of America was lost to the sea. Beneath the waves of the Irish Sea is a prehistoric ‘palaeolandscape’ of plains, hills, marshlands and river valleys in which evidence of human activity is expected to be preserved.

This landscape is similar to Doggerland, an area of the southern North Sea and currently the best-known example of a palaeolandscape in Europe. Doggerland has been extensively researched by Professor Vince Gaffney, Principal Investigator of the “Europe’s Lost Frontiers” Project.

“Research by the project team has also provided accurate maps for the submerged lands that lie between Ireland and Britain” said Professor Gaffney, “and these are suspected to hold crucial information regarding the first settlers of Ireland and adjacent lands along the Atlantic corridor”.

To provide this evidence, sediment from c. 60 cores, taken from 20 sites by the Irish Research Vessel RV Celtic Voyager in Liverpool and Cardigan Bays between the 21– 25th February, will be studied by an international research team.

Dr James Bonsall, from the Centre for Environmental Research Innovation and Sustainability (CERIS) in the Dept. of Environmental Science at IT Sligo, is the Chief Scientist for this phase of the research, and his CERIS colleague, Environmental Scientist Eithne Davis will be on board the RV Celtic Voyager, directing operations.

“It is very exciting” said Dr Bonsall, “as we’re using cutting-edge technology to retrieve the first evidence for life within landscapes that were inundated by rising sea levels thousands of years ago. This is the first time that this range of techniques has been employed on submerged landscapes under the Irish Sea. Today we perceive the Irish Sea as a large body of water, a sea that separates us from Britain and mainland Europe, a sea that gives us an identity as a proud island nation. But 18,000 years ago, Ireland, Britain and Europe were part of a single landmass that gradually flooded over thousands of years, forming the islands that we know today.

“We’re going to find out where, when, why and how people lived on a landscape that today is located beneath the waves”.

Key outcomes of the research will be to reconstruct and simulate the palaeoenvironments of the Irish Sea, using ancient DNA, analysed in the laboratories at the University of Warwick, and palaeoenvironmental data extracted from the sediment cores.

The studies will be of immense value in understanding 'first’ or ‘early' contact and settlement around the coasts of Ireland and Britain, but also the lifestyles of those people who lived within the inundated, prehistoric landscapes that lie between our islands and which have never been adequately explored by archaeologists.

The project team includes;

Prof. Vincent Gaffney, Principle Investigator: “Europe’s Lost Frontiers” Project, University of Bradford
Prof. Robin Allaby, Chair in Archaeogenomics, University of Warwick
Dr David Smith Senior Lecturer in Environmental Archaeology, University of Birmingham
Dr Richard Bates Reader in Earth and Environmental Sciences University of St Andrews
Dr Martin Bates, Lecturer in Geoarchaeology,University of Wales Trinity St. David
Professor Eugene Ch’ng, Chair in Cultural Computing, The University of Nottingham, Ningbo. China

Ancient DNA reveals impact of the 'Beaker Phenomenon'� on prehistoric Europeans

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In the largest study of ancient human DNA ever conducted, an international team of scientists has revealed the complex story behind one of the defining periods in European prehistory. The study is published this week in the journal Nature.

Between 4,700-4,400 years ago, a new bell-shaped pottery style spread across western and central Europe. For over a century, archaeologists have tried to establish whether the spread of “Beaker” pottery – and the culture associated with it – represented a large-scale migration of people, or was simply due to the exchange of new ideas.

Now, a study that includes ancient-DNA data from 400 prehistoric skeletons, drawn from sites across Europe, has concluded both theories are true.

The scientists found that the culture of producing beakers spread between Iberia and central Europe without significant movement of people. “DNA from skeletons associated with Beaker burials in Iberia was not close to that of central European skeletons”, says Iñigo Olalde, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School in Boston USA, an author of the study.

However, the evidence in Britain reveals a different story. The Natural History Museum’s Professor Ian Barnes, a co-senior author of the study, explains, “We found that the skeletal remains of individuals from Britain who lived shortly after the first beaker pottery appears have a very different DNA profile to those who came before. Over several hundred years, at least 90% of the ancestry of ancient British populations was replaced by a group from the continent. Following the Beaker spread, there was a population in Britain that for the first time had ancestry and skin and eye pigmentation similar to the majority of Britons today.”

This revelation suggests the Beaker people almost entirely replaced the island’s earlier inhabitants, Britain’s Neolithic farmers who were responsible for huge stone monuments, including Stonehenge.

Ian Armit, senior co-author and Professor of Archaeology at the University of Bradford, said: “The analysis shows pretty conclusively that migration of the Beaker people into Britain was more intense and on a larger scale than anyone had previously thought. Britain essentially has a whole new population after that period. We still don’t know for sure what caused such a rapid genetic turnover – the available evidence doesn’t necessarily suggest a violent invasion. There might have been environmental problems which caused a population decline among the indigenous population, or the Beaker migrants could have brought new diseases with them.”

Dr Selina Brace who led the ancient-DNA lab work at the Natural History Museum, said, “It’s been a fantastic experience to work with colleagues from teams across Europe and the US, using the state-of-the-art ancient-DNA analyses we have developed for our museum specimens."

Tom Booth, Natural History Museum archaeologist, added, “The question of whether new things spread by the movement of people or ideas has been one of the most important and long-running questions in archaeology, and it’s fascinating to discover that both are the case for the Beaker culture.”

Mike Parker Pearson, professor of British Later Prehistory at UCL said "This is a great example of how geneticists and archaeologists are collaborating to rewrite the prehistory of both Britain and Europe".

Mark Thomas, professor of evolutionary genetics at UCL and co-author on the study said: “The sheer scale of population replacement in Britain is going to surprise many, even though the more we learn from ancient DNA studies, the more we see large-scale migration as the norm in prehistory.”

This study was conducted by an international team of 144 archaeologists and geneticists from institutions in Europe and the United States. The Natural History Museum's contribution to the project was supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Image © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

Beaker phenomenon CREDIT Alison Sheridan National Museum of Scotland Newmill Beaker and flints

University of Bradford researcher presents findings to Parliament

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A University of Bradford lecturer has been selected to present her research to MPs and expert judges in Parliament.

Dr Rianne Lord was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants and will speak about new drugs for the treatment of colorectal cancer at the event on March 12th.

The competition is part of a campaign called STEM for Britain, run by the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, and involves early career researchers producing a poster explaining their research and competing for prizes of up to £2,000.

Dr Lord, lecturer in bioinorganic chemistry, said: “I applied for this event to not only enhance my research field, but to promote the exciting work being undertaken here at the University of Bradford and to help promote young female academics within STEM. I am delighted to be selected for this prestigious event and I am looking forward to presenting my work to a diverse audience.

"This event will also allow me to promote science on a more political level, to show that governmental funding for research is necessary and purposeful. I hope to get a chance to speak to many MPs from across the country, to create a positive impact of science across the breadth of the UK. I also hope that this event will attract many people unfamiliar with my research field, and look forward to addressing their questions and increasing their interest in our work."

Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, said: "This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers.

"These early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future, and STEM for Britain is the politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work."

Bradford's MBA world's first for value

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The Distance Learning MBA at the University of Bradford School of Management has been highly rated in the 2018 Financial Times online MBA world rankings.

The two year part-time Distance Learning MBA has been ranked the best value for money in the world, fifth in the world for career progress and 14th in the world overall.

The Financial Times also places the programme 3rd in the UK overall, and 1st in the UK for salary increase - on average, three years after graduation, MBA graduates at Bradford have increased their salary by 36%.

Professor Zahir Irani, Dean of the Faculty of Management and Law, said: “It is great news that once again our Distance Learning MBA ranks so highly, ranking 1st in the world for value for money for the second year running. Ensuring our alumni are successful in their careers after graduation is imperative for us, and we ensure our MBA provides the opportunity for students from across the world to study modern business issues.”

The Bradford online MBA was one of the first of its kind in the world when launched in 1998, and counts numerous highly successful business leaders amongst its alumni. The School of Management is one of a handful of business schools worldwide to hold the triple accreditations of Equis, AMBA and AACSB, often referred to as the "Triple Crown", and this excellence is reflected in the quality of its distance learning provision.

The University is recruiting now for July and October 2018 intakes.

Bradford researcher awarded grant to investigate possible cancer treatments

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A lecturer at the University of Bradford has been awarded a grant by the Academy of Medical Sciences for this year's Springboard Round.

Dr Nicolas Barry, Royal Society University Research Fellow and Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Bradford, has been awarded a grant of £100,000 by the Academy of Medical Sciences for this year’s Springboard Round.

Springboard offers a bespoke package of support to biomedical researchers at the start of their first independent post to help launch their research career.

The University of Bradford, led by the Springboard Champion Professor Diana Anderson, was invited to the scheme in 2017 and has been successful in the first year of participation. The University is one of only fifty eligible Higher Education Institutes able to submit three internal selected applicants to each round. The scheme welcomes applications from a broad range of research fields and supports experimental and theoretical approaches; the only key criterion is that the proposed project must demonstrate clear relevance to human health.

Dr Nicolas Barry’s research programme will aim at conducting, in parallel, the synthesis of electron-deficient metal complexes and primary assays on cancer cells (via cell viability, toxicity, determination of therapeutic indices). Specifically, the effects these compounds have on expression of genes associated with pro-survival, growth arrest, apoptosis and drug metabolism will be studied in order to identify lead molecules that will be strong candidates for pre-clinical research at the end of the project.

Professor Anderson congratulated Dr Barry on his success: “The Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard is an exciting opportunity for our new biomedical researchers at the University, and we are thrilled for both Dr Barry and the University that against tough competition we have received this award in our first year”.

Professor Alastair Goldman, Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Bradford highlighted: “This is great news for Dr Barry and testament to the high quality of research that takes place at Bradford. We are continually striving to find solutions to real life problems and awards such as this demonstrate how we are leading the way in biomedical research.”

Springboard Round 4 is likely to launch in May 2018 and all those within three years of their first independent position are encouraged to apply to the University internal review panel for consideration, this includes those wishing to reapply to the scheme from the previous year.

Is your smile male or female?

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The dynamics of how men and women smile differs measurably, according to new research, enabling artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically assign gender purely based on a smile.

Although automatic gender recognition is already available, existing methods use static images and compare fixed facial features. The new research, by the University of Bradford, is the first to use the dynamic movement of the smile to automatically distinguish between men and women.

Led by Professor Hassan Ugail, the team mapped 49 landmarks on the face, mainly around the eyes, mouth and down the nose. They used these to assess how the face changes as we smile caused by the underlying muscle movements – including both changes in distances between the different points and the ‘flow’ of the smile: how much, how far and how fast the different points on the face moved as the smile was formed.

They then tested whether there were noticeable differences between men and women – and found that there were, with women’s smiles being more expansive.

Lead researcher, Professor Hassan Ugail from the University of Bradford said: “Anecdotally, women are thought to be more expressive in how they smile, and our research has borne this out. Women definitely have broader smiles, expanding their mouth and lip area far more than men.”

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University of Bradford receives £31,500 to support mental health and wellbeing for postgraduate research students

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The funding, which Bradford will match, has been awarded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and will support a project to improve support for the mental health and wellbeing of postgraduate research students.

The new funding will support a range of activities within the project:

  • To develop a healthy, thriving PGR community which will last beyond their time at Bradford, extending the Bradford ethos globally and in line with the University's aims to build sustainable communities.
  • To develop a sustainable Peer Support network for support within the PGR community with an emphasis on self-care and mental health awareness

This will support Bradford’s strategy of extending support services to a more comprehensive approach to student wellbeing, with greater emphasis on preventative, developmental and proactive initiatives, and the creation of self and peer support initiatives to develop resilience, self-care and a sense of community.

The project, called PGR Connect, is designed to be strategic and sustainable, and postgraduate research students will be involved to ensure that their priorities and needs are being met throughout.

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EPSRC Peer Review Recognition

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University staff recognised by the EPSRC for their significant contribution to academic peer review.

Professor John Bridgeman, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer, Professor Hassan Ugail, Director of the Centre for Visual Computing and Dr Richard Holmes, Research Development Manager in RKTS, have been recognised for their exemplary contribution to the EPSRC Peer Review College.

All 3 colleagues were acknowledged as making an outstanding contribution by being ranked in the top 7% of College members for 2016/17. Bradford has 18 full College members and 4 associate members (member lists are available on their Website). The College is an important component to EPSRCs decision making on research bids.

Hassan said "Peer review is at the heart of all scientific research, bringing forth the necessary credibility and merit to it. I am glad to have the opportunity to be part of the EPSRC peer review college; it is indeed a badge of honour I wear. And it's a pleasure to learn that EPSRC has recognised my input to its peer review process in this manner."

John's commitment involves reviewing roughly one EPSRC proposal a month for three or four hours against key criteria. Although research quality is the primary assessment criterion for all proposals other criteria are considered such as quality, national importance, pathways to impact, ability of the applicant to deliver the research proposed, the resources requested, and the management procedures to be put in place. John also gets invited to sit on two or three assessment panels each year. Each panel of experts consider the reviews of a large batch of proposals and position each proposal on a rank order list that ultimately determines whether proposals are likely to be funded or not. John said "Overall, there is a significant time investment involved with peer reviewing and panels. This role represent tremendous opportunities to get involved with the workings of a research council and to be exposed to best practice and excellence in research. I would encourage anyone with an interest in research to get involved."

Professor Philip Nelson, CEO of EPSRC said “It is your willingness to honour your commitment to the College that ensures we can continue to provide robust and effective support for UK research. The community as a whole has greatly benefited from your participation.”

Lost at sea! Expedition to find lost prehistoric settlement

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Marine experts join archaeologists in an expedition to find the lost prehistoric settlement of the Brown Bank

A two-year marine expedition to search for prehistoric, submerged settlements around the area of the Brown Bank within the southern North Sea will be launched on April 10th.

Teams from the University of Bradford, Ghent University and Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) will join forces to carry out detailed geophysical surveys of the area, before extracting sediment cores that can be examined for evidence of human activity.

The project complements the Bradford-led “Lost Frontiers” project, in which archaeologists are mapping the prehistoric North Sea landscape known as Doggerland, and is funded by the European Research Council (ERC).

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Bradford Professor elected president of College of Optometrists

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Professor Edward Mallen has been elected as the new president of the College of Optometrists

The College of Optometrists formally welcomed its new president and five new council members at its annual AGM and conference last month.

College board member, head of the school of optometry and vision science and professor of physiological optics at the University of Bradford, Professor Edward Mallen was introduced during Optometry Tomorrow (18–19 March) at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel.

Speaking about his appointment, Professor Mallen said he was delighted to be elected as the new president of the College.

“I am proud of our profession, and look forward to continuing the great work of our immediate past president, Dr Mary-Ann Sherratt,” he shared.

“Optometrists are well-placed to improve the eye health of the nation. We are at a time of great opportunity right now, and I’m excited by the developments that could lie ahead,” Professor Mallen added.

The five new council members include optometrists Prab Boparai (West Midlands), Lorcan Butler and Lisa O Donoghue (Northern Ireland), Dr Irene Ctori (London) and Deepali Modha (East).

Read Professor Mallen's profile.

Free business development events for SMEs

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A series of free events in April, May and June to help SMEs in the region grow their businesses

These events are being run by the Ad:Venture project. They are free to SMEs under 3 years old based in the Leeds City Region.

Bradford plays role in bringing medical technologies expertise to the world

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The University of Bradford is part of a new collaboration aiming to make inventions more attractive to investors.

The Grow MedTech partnership, backed by almost £10m of funding, will build on the distinctive cluster of medical technologies expertise in the Leeds and Sheffield city regions. It will address issues that can block the process of commercialising products and bringing them from conception to clinical use.

Six northern universities, including Bradford, are among more than 20 partners in the three year project. Other supporters include the local enterprise partnerships serving both city regions, National Institute of Health Research organisations, councils and chambers of commerce.

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Proposed GCRF Fragile Heritage Hub

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The School of Archaeological & Forensic Sciences expand on their successes in digital heritage with a £20m bid to newly formed UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) for a proposed 'GCRF Fragile Heritage Hub'.

In recent years, the School of Archaeological & Forensic Sciences, have developed a range of 3D imaging and visualisation capabilities to serve research applications in archaeology and heritage – including prospection, conservation and digital documentation, bioarchaeology and forensic science.

The Visualising Heritage team, co-directed by Dr Andrew Wilson, Dr Chris Gaffney, and Professor Vince Gaffney, have brought in more than £7 million worth of digital heritage research projects since 2011 from a range of funding bodies including Jisc, AHRC, ERC, The British Academy, and HEIF. In February, they were invited to submit a full bid, having being shortlisted from a total of 248 proposals to the Global Challenges Research Fund. If successful this will create the proposed £20 million GCRF Fragile Heritage Hub, working to address heritage challenges across ODA countries.

bradford visualisation team outside Heaton Mount

The varied capabilities and wide-ranging skillsets within the team have been developed through a number of legacy research projects that include:

  • Curious Travellers - pilot research successfully deriving high fidelity 3D data from web-scraped and crowd-sourced imagery for heritage under threat.
  • FossilFinder - our citizen science research with Dr Louise Leakey in East Lake Turkana, Kenya as part of the Fragmented Heritage project, also concerned with automated refitting.
  • Digitised Diseases - a collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons and MOLA to develop an online 3D resource of chronic pathological conditions affecting the human skeleton.
  • Lost Frontiers - using prospection methods in archaeology, molecular biology and computer simulation to explore past environment records showing climate change within the flooded landscapes of Doggerland beneath the North Sea.

Andrew Wilson said “Our recent work on digital infrastructures will help mitigate the scale of natural and human-made threats to monuments, sites and landscapes that may otherwise be irrevocably damaged and destroyed. GCRF anticipate awarding 12-15 Hubs which will each run for 5 years from December 2018. Of the 52 bids that have been shortlisted, we are the only proposal that explicitly recognises the range of threats and challenges to both tangible and intangible heritage and the potential to link heritage with sustainable development.”

“Heritage is a conduit for social cohesion and a rich resource for addressing extreme poverty in the Global South. Worldwide, irrevocable destruction of heritage is a frequent occurrence, resulting from conflict, neglect, looting, vandalism, natural disaster, environmental change, and through the pressures of agricultural encroachment and unregulated development. It ensues largely without an agreed framework of response or mitigation.”

“The GCRF Fragile Heritage Hub will research risks and protection strategies and implement, support and sustain local heritage recording, anticipating potential damage or loss, through a global network of heritage researchers. These goals are linked by research to provide a digital infrastructure, based in part on technologies pioneered at Bradford, to promote, conserve, manage, and rebuild fragile and damaged heritage.”

In preparing the funding bid for the proposed GCRF Fragile Heritage Hub the team have developed some critical partnerships across strategically important ODA countries. In March, GCRF funded a two day global partnership development workshop at Heaton Mount, involving attendees from Latin America; Africa & the Middle East; South/ Central Asia; and East Asia, with a further 10 individuals joining us via Skype and webinar throughout the proceedings.

Have your staff got the x-factor?

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The University of Bradford is helping businesses develop their star employees with the creation of new MBA apprenticeship scheme.

The apprenticeship is designed to give staff the leadership capabilities for transformational change and prepare managers for strategic roles within an organisation.

Companies who pay into the apprenticeship levy can fund the MBA through their service account and provide an exciting and one-off opportunity to help someone achieve their full potential.

The Senior Leaders Manager’s Degree incorporates a Management project which is based on a problem, issue, challenge or opportunity in an organisation.

Dr Craig Johnson, Director of MBA Studies at the University of Bradford, explains: “This is a great opportunity for employers to nurture potential and turn their top staff into leaders of the future. We have been delivering our MBA for the last 44 years and are proud to say that it has been ranked as the 3rd in the UK and 14th in the World.

“I urge any business interested in working with the University to provide apprenticeships to get in touch and see how the partnership could work.”

Learning takes place in the shape of weekend teaching and online modules and apprentices will be required to submit a work-based portfolio.

According to the Financial Times Distance Learning MBA ranking 2018 Bradford’s Distance Learning MBA is 1st in the world for value for money, 1st in the UK for salary increase and in the top 5 in the world for career progress.

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Bradford Manufacturing Week

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The University of Bradford are sponsoring the first ever Bradford Manufacturing Week taking place in October 2018 which aims to attract young people into the manufacturing industry and encourage inward investment into Bradford.

Bradford Manufacturing Week (8th – 12th October 2018) is a unique campaign to highlight the strength of our district’s manufacturing might, to attract young people into the industry and encourage inward investment into Bradford. The University are very much behind this event as an organiser and sponsor. It aims to:

  • Deliver 1000 work experience days during the week for youngsters
  • Showcase products that Bradford creates and industries that Bradford facilitates
  • Attract young people into Bradford’s manufacturing businesses
  • Increase take up of apprenticeships
  • Increase productivity of our district by encouraging young talent
  • Contribute further to the GDP of the Northern Powerhouse

BMW are keen to ensure that as many Bradford businesses as possible are not only aware of this campaign but have the opportunity to engage, either through sponsorship or by getting involved with the diary of events running up to and during the week. Below is an initial outline of what the week will comprise:

  • Work experience days
  • Magical industry tours
  • Student workshops including CV writing / creating a good impression
  • Apprenticeship seminars – what, where, how?
  • Job forums
  • Manufacturer peer workshops including exporting, health & safety, early outcomes of GDPR

BMW would be delighted to work in partnership with you to support and showcase the strength and diversity of our district’s innovative and inspiring manufacturers. By working together we have a fantastic opportunity to put Bradford’s manufacturing strength on the regional, national and international map.

If you would like to sponsor or register your interest in attending or hosting any of the proposed elements of Bradford Manufacturing Week, please visit the BMW Website.

Novel protein biomarker for breast and lung cancer

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Professor El-Tanani is leading research into novel targeted therapeutics (Ran-inhibitors) for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer and to reverse chemotherapy resistance in lung cancer.

Translational research led by Prof Mohamed El-Tanani at the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics is focused on a novel protein biomarker for breast and lung cancer called Ran GTPAse (Ran). Ran is overexpressed in a range of tumors and is associated with local invasion, metastasis and reduced patient survival. The team have shown that reducing levels of Ran leads to cytotoxicity in a range of cancer cells and that a high level of Ran in patients with breast cancer is predictive for the development of metastasis and can lead to resistance to current drugs for breast and lung cancer.

The research has two objectives; the first is to identify and develop molecules (drug candidates) that have the ability to reduce the levels of Ran in cancer cells, the second is to develop a simple test (Ran DX) using blood samples to determine levels of Ran in breast and lung cancer patients.

Millions of compounds with the potential to inhibit Ran have been screened to find the most potent, and the team now have two very strong candidates ready to move forward into clinical trials. One candidate is a 'repurposed' drug that has been pre-clinically validated in breast and lung cancer. The second is a novel peptide which has been tested successfully in preclinical models. In addition, the researchers are working on the development of a monoclonal antibody for Ran (Ran-mAb) which has the potential to be a potent Ran inhibitor. The team at Bradford has attracted interest from the pharmaceutical industry and investors and is currently seeking financial backing to progress the best candidates into clinical trials.

The annual incidence of breast cancer in the UK is 50,000 and around 1,000 die every month. 5 in every 100 patients have metastasis when first diagnosed, and a further 35 will develop metastasis within 10 years, representing considerable disease burden. The challenge is predicting metastatic disease early enough to improve patient outcomes. In collaboration with a UK based SME, Imhotep Diagnostics and Therapeutics (IDT Ltd), the Bradford team has recently won an Innovate UK grant to fund the development of a novel blood test for Ran. This test will enable breast cancer metastatic risk to be predicted at the time of diagnosis and allow patient stratification that will ensure optimum treatment is made available including choice of chemotherapy and follow-up patient prognosis.

The project will start in May 2018 and it is hoped over the next few years the research will translate into an important predictive test for the monitoring of breast cancer patients.

Find out more about the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics.

Bradford psychologist explores the mind of bestselling author TM Logan

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Head of Psychology, Catriona Morrison, will interview T M Logan, author of bestselling psychological thriller Lies.

Catriona will explore why psychological thrillers are so popular and what it was that made T M Logan delve into this dark and dangerous world. Catriona will discuss whether circumstances can lead you to commit unspeakable offences or whether there is an inbuilt capacity that has always been inside.

T M Logan is a former Daily Mail science reporter, covering stories on new developments in a wide variety of scientific fields. He previously worked as Deputy Director of Communications at the University of Nottingham and lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children.

His début thriller, Lies, was published in May 2017 and has now sold over 250,000 copies, hitting the top 10 Kindle Bestseller Charts. His second novel, 29 Seconds, was published in January 2018.

Catriona explains why she is fascinated to meet the author: “TM Logan explores an issue that is very prescient: recent scandals of workplace exploitation, and how a person reacts to that. I am interested to explore how he put his focus on a woman as a central character and also the nature of memory which is one of my own research areas. “

Catriona will ‘meet the author’ at an event on Thursday 24 May at Dewsbury Library, 7-8pm. Tickets are free but need to be booked here or by calling 01484 414868.

New diagnostic technique picks up the S in vision

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A new technique that could help improve diagnosis of vision disorders has been successfully tested at Bradford

The researchers showed the technique can isolate responses from the different retinal cells that we use to see, including those that are most vulnerable to damage and disease, known as S-cone photoreceptors.

Diseases that affect S-cones include Types 1 and 2 diabetes, glaucoma and high blood pressure and some rare genetic disorders, such as enhanced S-cone syndrome and blue cone monochromatism.

S-cone photoreceptors respond to light of short wavelengths and help us see the blue part of the colour spectrum. However, it is difficult to test their function independently of the other types of photoreceptor in the eye: L-cone (long wavelength covering the red spectrum), M-cone (medium wave-length covering the yellow and green spectrum) and rod photoreceptors, that help us see when light levels are low.

Study lead, Dr Declan McKeefry, from the University of Bradford’s School of Optometry conducts clinical diagnostics of vision disorders for the NHS. He says:

“Diagnosis of some eye diseases can be difficult as they have similar symptoms, such as blurred or distorted vision and inability to see colour, and often a variety of genetic causes. Understanding exactly which cells are affected in the eye can be the key piece of the jigsaw that enables an accurate diagnosis, but until now, it’s been almost impossible to test the function of the S-cones separately.”

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NEPIC Meet the Members Conference

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Come and visit us at the premier North East chemical process sector event of the year in Tees Valley to find out about how we can help your organisation with support from our chemical research experts.

Now in its 8th year, and attracting more than 500 delegates, NEPIC’s annual Meet the Members conference & exhibition is a stand out event for the region!

Packed with investment project updates and networking, Meet the Members is attended by investors, manufacturers and suppliers from across North East England’s chemical-processing sector.

The University of Bradford's chemical-processing offer includes: chemical engineering, 5th in the 2017 Guardian rankings; world leading labs and experts in processing of polymers, composites and materials; and advanced materials and medicinal chemistry.

The event takes place on 20 June at Wynyard Hall in Cleveland.

Find out more about the event and book.

The British Society for Proteome Research Annual Scientific Meeting 2018

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The University of Bradford is hosting the British Society of Proteomics Research Annual Scientific Meeting, with the theme of "One Health and Wellness" from 9-11 July in the Norcroft Conference Centre.

Proteomics is a rapidly developing field significantly, impacting on our understanding of how biological systems work, be they viruses, bacteria, plants or animals, and providing the next generation of clinical diagnostics and therapeutic target identification in all diseases.

The meeting is being organised by (School of Chemistry and Biosciences) and (School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences).

Although a national meeting, proteomics scientists from across the globe will be attending including a panel of prestigious invited speakers at the top of their field. The meeting includes an exhibition, sponsored by some of the biggest established names in biosciences and instrumentation as well as new start-up companies.

Hosting of the meeting is an indicator of the regard with which proteomics at the University of Bradford is held in the UK. The Proteomics Facility in Bradford is a core facility, with state-of-the-art mass spectrometry, supporting academics across a diverse range of research fields. This is also a fantastic opportunity for the University to demonstrate the best of Bradford hospitality and culture.

Free Business Development bootcamps for SMEs

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A couple of free PR and sales bootcamps in September to help SMEs in the region grow their businesses

These events are being run by the Ad:Venture project. They are free to SMEs under 3 years old based in the Leeds City Region.

These events are being held at the University of Bradford Heaton Campus. Follow the link for each event above for more details.

Student projects in medical technology

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The University of Bradford successfully secured 9 summer studentships from Translate: Medical Technologies to develop medical technologies that address health challenges in the Leeds City Region.

Translate: Medical Technologies is a partnership of universities across the Leeds City region developing new medical technologies to improve the prospects or experiences of patients in the Leeds City Region. The University of Bradford were recently awarded funding for 9 individual summer student projects from Translate as part of a recent funding call to develop medical technologies in the region. The students have been working on the following projects over summer 2018:

  • Dr Farshid Sefat, Lecturer in Medical Engineering and Dr Mansour Youseffi, Lecturer in Biomaterials, applied to develop an electronic scaffold to deliver drugs for breast cancer treatment. The student is Morteza Bazgir.
  • Professor Raed Abd-Alhameed, Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering applied for 3 projects:
    • to develop a microwave imaging system that will support the early detection of breast cancer. The student is Ahmed Mirza
    • to use Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology as an alternative solution of monitoring patients for active and assisted living (AAL). The student is George Aguntala
    • to devise an approach for monitoring and tracking patient behaviour in their homes, especially the elderly, using a passive radio frequency identification (RFID) System. The student is Wafa Shuaieb.
  • Dr Pete Twigg, Reader in Medical Engineering, applied for 3 projects:
    • to build an integrated system for comet assays to measure genetic damage. The student is Ahmed Aun.
    • to combine synthetic fibre winding with electrospinning to produce ligament implants with excellent in-growth. The student is Nasira Haque.
    • to examine the use of electrospinning for controlled release of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in wound dressings. The student is Zoyah Azhar.
  • Prof Rami Qahwaji, Professor of Visual computing applied for 2 projects:
    • visual computing and artificial intellgence system for the diagnosis of infectuous keratitis in the cornea. The student is Ismael Tahir.
    • extended evaluation of the newly developed CEAS (Corneal Endothelium Analysis System). The student is Alaa Al-Waisy.

The University had close connections with Translate through the Digital Health Enterprise Zone programme we lead on. We are also part of the Grow MedTech project running across the region.

Studying the past and the future under one roof

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The University of Bradford's Analytical Centre's multi-disciplinary facility is exposing the secrets of 2000 year old mummies and contributing to the search for life signatures on Mars.

The Analytical Centre is a centralised facility at the University of Bradford housing £4.5 million of high end analytical equipment including nuclear magnetic resonance, electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, thermal methods (calorimetry, gravimetry and mechanical analysis), UV and fluorescence spectroscopy, vibrational spectroscopy (FTIR and Raman), chromatography and mass spectrometry.

The Analytical Centre regularly with archaeologists, chemists, pharmacists, and biomedical scientists; but also with chemical engineers and polymer engineers. Work ranges from determining markers from drug use from the hair of 2000 year old mummies to generating Raman data in support of the ExoMars mission that launches in 2020.

Just a few months ago, staff from the Analytical Centre started a collaborative project with Southwell Archaeology, Reverend Cannon Nigel Coats of Southwell Minster, and the Heritage Lottery Fund to preserve medieval frescoes and carvings. Using portable Raman spectroscopy the Analytical Centre are avoiding removal of precious pieces of the artwork by analysing the pigments in situ to determine the original colours and guilds used.

The Analytical Centre offers routine testing services and project-based studies for companies who don’t have the resources or equipment to carry out these services in-house. The Centre’s main commercial users come from the chemistry sector including pharmaceutical, speciality chemical, and health and personal care, but they work with all sorts of companies from local SME’s to blue chip companies.

Anyone wishing to use the Analytical Centre should contact Dr Richard Telford.

Researcher Development

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From 1st August 2017 to 31st July 2018...

...your Postgraduate Research Framework delivered the grand total of 81 training sessions across a range of skills. This was in addition to the tens and tens of research seminars offered by different research centres and clusters.

A highlight this year was the first of our doctoral researcher-led lectures and practicals, including SPSS, NVivo and Critical Realism.

Thanks to everyone who delivered a session for our research community.

#UoBresearchculture at its best!

Looking for external researcher training?

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If you are looking for specialist training in response to your TNA, you may want to consider checking out the National Centre for Research Methods schedule of sessions. You can search their offer by keyword.

Be sure to talk to your supervisory team about cost - as this is external training, there is usually a fee stipulated.

Even more new training available this year!

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There are even more new training sessions on offer to doctoral students in the year ahead...

Last year our new sessions included Thriving in Your Viva and Data Management for Doctoral Researchers. This year we have added sessions on understanding how to complete your Training Needs Analysis and additional support in drafting paperwork for the Ethical Approval Process to support you in your research.

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CPES to visit the Making Pharmaceuticals Exhibition and Conference 2018

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Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science will be attending the Making Pharmaceuticals Exhibition and Conference at the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday 24th April.

Dr Jason Jones, Business Development Manager at the Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science will be attending the Making Pharmaceuticals Exhibition and Conference at the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday 24th April.

To arrange to meet Jason to discuss how CPES research expertise and capabilities can help your pharmaceutical preclinical formulation development please contact j.r.jones@bradford.ac.uk

New CPES Capabilities and Expertise Brochure available to download

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The latest Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science capabilities and expertise brochure is available to download from the CPES website together with a list of laboratory analytical and pharmaceutical equipment we have available for contract research at the centre. Please visit our website and download the brochure

https://www.bradford.ac.uk/research/rkt-centres/pharmaceutical-engineering/

CPES to present at NEPIC 'Pharma Connect'� Meeting on March 15th 2018

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Professor Anant Paradkar will be presenting at the NEPIC "Pharma Connect" Meeting at RTC North in Sunderland on March 15th 2018.

More information on the meeting.

Find out more about .

Novel continuous processing of pharmaceutical co-crystals

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CPES in collaboration with Sichuan University, China has developed a novel continuous milling technology for manufacturing pharmaceutical co-crystals.

Solid state shear milling (S3M) is a scalable, continuous, polymer assisted co-crystallization technique. A specially designed milling pan was employed to provide high levels of applied shear, and the addition of a polymeric processing aid enabled generation of high stress fields. As an example of the technology carbamazepine−salicylic acid co-crystals were produced with 5−25 wt % of poly (ethylene oxide) (PEO). A systematic study was carried out to understand the effect of process variables on properties and performance of the co-crystals. S3M offers an important new route for continuous manufacturing of pharmaceutical co-crystals.

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Schematic of continuous co-crystallization using S3M technology

Open Access Article Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.cgd.7b01733

Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science wins ICURe Market Validation funding for its innovative 'SelfGel'� Technology

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The team at CPES has recently developed "SelfGel" Technology which is a new bioadhesive gelling system. The novel technology was designed to address the challenges faced by current gel based formulations when used in topical applications. Dr Sudhir Pagire, a Research and Knowledge Transfer Officer at the CPES was successful in securing £35,000 of funding from Innovate UK which will be used to accelerate the "Innovation to Commercialisation" journey of the "SelfGel" Technology. This initial funding will enable CPES to carry out market validation of the research-based business idea and Dr. Pagire will also receive intensive support in developing a structured business model.

Decade long relationship enhanced by knowledge transfer partnerships

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The Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Sciences (CPES) has secured its second Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Natures Laboratory to support their latest innovation goals using the healing properties of propolis.

Natures Laboratory, a natural medicine manufacturer, have been working with the Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science (CPES) since 2007. Propolis is a mixture of resin and wax made by honey bees to seal and sterilise their hive. It has a range of reported biological properties including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and analgesic due to it containing of a large variety of flavonoids, terpenes and phenolic compounds.

In January 2011 the two parties entered into their first KTP with the aim of developing innovative and consumer acceptable propolis products. This initiative and other grant funded projects led to the introduction of new products branded the “BeeVital” range which includes a deodorised water soluble propolis drink manufactured specifically for in Korean market and an alcohol free, bioadhesive oral gel for the treatment of mouth ulcers.

The company have recently uncovered an important relationship between the chemical composition of propolis and local disease structures. The bee colony is combining plant material (mostly resins) and producing a material capable of defending the hive against unique local disease. The company hopes to purify the crude propolis and concentrate the key active compounds leading to novel medicinal products.

The latest 2 year KTP, led by Professor Anant Paradkar, Director of CPES, will bring together a multidisciplinary team with expertise in natural products to help Natures Lab refine, characterise and quantify these active compounds. The project will result in new refining processes and the establishment of a Propolis Activity Factor (PAF) based on a Composition-Activity Relationship (CAR) model which will allow the company to better understand the grade of propolis at the raw material stage as well as helping them develop and optimise potential new medicines.

The CPES is an interdisciplinary research and industrial collaboration centre, which has expertise across the pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry and polymer engineering disciplines. A major achievement of the centre has been to develop strong relationships with regional industry partners resulting in a range of collaborative research projects aimed at helping local SMEs to develop their in-house innovation capabilities and driving forward the introduction of new products and processes.

Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science wins ICURe Market Validation funding for its innovative 'FastAct' Technology

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The team at CPES has recently developed "FastAct" Technology which is a ground breaking invention related to enhanced bioavailability of drugs. FastAct is targeted to address poorly soluble actives in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and agrochemical sectors.

Poor water solubility of drugs is a significant challenge for the pharmaceutical industy and around 40% of the New Chemical Entities (NCE) does not reach the market due to low solubility issues. Dr Sachin Korde, a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the CPES was successful in securing £35,000 of funding from Innovate UK which will be used to accelerate the “Innovation to Commercialisation” journey of the “FastAct” Technology. This initial funding will enable CPES to carry out market validation of the research-based business idea and Dr. Korde will also receive intensive support in developing a structured business model.

FastAct Bioavailability plot

Technology commercialisation is a major focus of CPES. CPES has recently also been awarded ICURe funding for its SelfGel technology.

Bradford scientist awarded £90k to investigate link between diabetes and breast cancer

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A leading Bradford scientist has been awarded a grant worth more than £90,000 by research charity Breast Cancer Now to carry out cutting-edge research to uncover why breast cancer is more likely to spread in those with type two diabetes, than in those without the disease.

When breast cancer spreads – known as secondary (or metastatic) breast cancer – it becomes incurable, and almost all of the 11,500 women that die as a result of breast cancer each year in the UK will have seen their cancer spread. More than 1,620 women in West Yorkshire are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and over 350 women in the region die from the disease each year.1

Research has found that those with type two diabetes are around 20% more likely to develop breast cancer than those who are not diabetic. Furthermore, type two diabetes has also been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer spreading around the body, however the underlying molecular mechanisms connecting the two continue to elude scientists.

Previous studies have shown that platelets – the components in the blood that cause clotting – may encourage breast cancer cells to grow more aggressively. Platelets shed small fragments that carry ‘messenger molecules’ – called miRNA – which may send growth signals to breast cancer cells that encourage them to progress to secondary breast cancer. In people with type two diabetes, the blood contains higher levels of these platelet fragments, and scientists now hope to uncover whether it is the higher levels of miRNA that encourage breast cancer to spread in type two diabetics.

Bradford researcher awarded grant to investigate possible cancer treatments

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A lecturer at the University of Bradford has been awarded a grant by the Academy of Medical Sciences for this year's Springboard Round.

Dr Nicolas Barry, Royal Society University Research Fellow and Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Bradford, has been awarded a grant of £100,000 by the Academy of Medical Sciences for this year’s Springboard Round.

Springboard offers a bespoke package of support to biomedical researchers at the start of their first independent post to help launch their research career.

The University of Bradford, led by the Springboard Champion Professor Diana Anderson, was invited to the scheme in 2017 and has been successful in the first year of participation. The University is one of only fifty eligible Higher Education Institutes able to submit three internal selected applicants to each round. The scheme welcomes applications from a broad range of research fields and supports experimental and theoretical approaches; the only key criterion is that the proposed project must demonstrate clear relevance to human health.

Dr Nicolas Barry’s research programme will aim at conducting, in parallel, the synthesis of electron-deficient metal complexes and primary assays on cancer cells (via cell viability, toxicity, determination of therapeutic indices). Specifically, the effects these compounds have on expression of genes associated with pro-survival, growth arrest, apoptosis and drug metabolism will be studied in order to identify lead molecules that will be strong candidates for pre-clinical research at the end of the project.

Professor Anderson congratulated Dr Barry on his success: “The Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard is an exciting opportunity for our new biomedical researchers at the University, and we are thrilled for both Dr Barry and the University that against tough competition we have received this award in our first year”.

Professor Alastair Goldman, Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Bradford highlighted: “This is great news for Dr Barry and testament to the high quality of research that takes place at Bradford. We are continually striving to find solutions to real life problems and awards such as this demonstrate how we are leading the way in biomedical research.”

Springboard Round 4 is likely to launch in May 2018 and all those within three years of their first independent position are encouraged to apply to the University internal review panel for consideration, this includes those wishing to reapply to the scheme from the previous year.

University of Bradford researcher presents findings to Parliament

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A University of Bradford lecturer has been selected to present her research to MPs and expert judges in Parliament.

Dr Rianne Lord was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants and will speak about new drugs for the treatment of colorectal cancer at the event on March 12th.

The competition is part of a campaign called STEM for Britain, run by the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, and involves early career researchers producing a poster explaining their research and competing for prizes of up to £2,000.

Dr Lord, lecturer in bioinorganic chemistry, said: “I applied for this event to not only enhance my research field, but to promote the exciting work being undertaken here at the University of Bradford and to help promote young female academics within STEM. I am delighted to be selected for this prestigious event and I am looking forward to presenting my work to a diverse audience.

"This event will also allow me to promote science on a more political level, to show that governmental funding for research is necessary and purposeful. I hope to get a chance to speak to many MPs from across the country, to create a positive impact of science across the breadth of the UK. I also hope that this event will attract many people unfamiliar with my research field, and look forward to addressing their questions and increasing their interest in our work."

Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, said: "This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers.

"These early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future, and STEM for Britain is the politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work."

Ancient DNA reveals impact of the 'Beaker Phenomenon'� on prehistoric Europeans

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In the largest study of ancient human DNA ever conducted, an international team of scientists has revealed the complex story behind one of the defining periods in European prehistory. The study is published this week in the journal Nature.

Between 4,700-4,400 years ago, a new bell-shaped pottery style spread across western and central Europe. For over a century, archaeologists have tried to establish whether the spread of “Beaker” pottery – and the culture associated with it – represented a large-scale migration of people, or was simply due to the exchange of new ideas.

Now, a study that includes ancient-DNA data from 400 prehistoric skeletons, drawn from sites across Europe, has concluded both theories are true.

The scientists found that the culture of producing beakers spread between Iberia and central Europe without significant movement of people. “DNA from skeletons associated with Beaker burials in Iberia was not close to that of central European skeletons”, says Iñigo Olalde, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School in Boston USA, an author of the study.

However, the evidence in Britain reveals a different story. The Natural History Museum’s Professor Ian Barnes, a co-senior author of the study, explains, “We found that the skeletal remains of individuals from Britain who lived shortly after the first beaker pottery appears have a very different DNA profile to those who came before. Over several hundred years, at least 90% of the ancestry of ancient British populations was replaced by a group from the continent. Following the Beaker spread, there was a population in Britain that for the first time had ancestry and skin and eye pigmentation similar to the majority of Britons today.”

This revelation suggests the Beaker people almost entirely replaced the island’s earlier inhabitants, Britain’s Neolithic farmers who were responsible for huge stone monuments, including Stonehenge.

Ian Armit, senior co-author and Professor of Archaeology at the University of Bradford, said: “The analysis shows pretty conclusively that migration of the Beaker people into Britain was more intense and on a larger scale than anyone had previously thought. Britain essentially has a whole new population after that period. We still don’t know for sure what caused such a rapid genetic turnover – the available evidence doesn’t necessarily suggest a violent invasion. There might have been environmental problems which caused a population decline among the indigenous population, or the Beaker migrants could have brought new diseases with them.”

Dr Selina Brace who led the ancient-DNA lab work at the Natural History Museum, said, “It’s been a fantastic experience to work with colleagues from teams across Europe and the US, using the state-of-the-art ancient-DNA analyses we have developed for our museum specimens."

Tom Booth, Natural History Museum archaeologist, added, “The question of whether new things spread by the movement of people or ideas has been one of the most important and long-running questions in archaeology, and it’s fascinating to discover that both are the case for the Beaker culture.”

Mike Parker Pearson, professor of British Later Prehistory at UCL said "This is a great example of how geneticists and archaeologists are collaborating to rewrite the prehistory of both Britain and Europe".

Mark Thomas, professor of evolutionary genetics at UCL and co-author on the study said: “The sheer scale of population replacement in Britain is going to surprise many, even though the more we learn from ancient DNA studies, the more we see large-scale migration as the norm in prehistory.”

This study was conducted by an international team of 144 archaeologists and geneticists from institutions in Europe and the United States. The Natural History Museum's contribution to the project was supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Image © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

Beaker phenomenon CREDIT Alison Sheridan National Museum of Scotland Newmill Beaker and flints

Lost landscapes of the Irish Sea explored

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"Europe's Lost Frontiers" project joins IT Sligo, University College Cork, and the Irish Marine Institute to explore the lost landscapes of the Irish Sea

This February, Bradford’s “Europe’s Lost Frontiers” research team, along with the Institute of Technology Sligo, University College Cork and the Irish Marine Institute, will carry out an expedition to explore the extensive submerged landscapes that exist between Ireland and Great Britain.Following the last Ice Age, large areas of habitable land were inundated following climate change and sea level rise across the world. Globally, the sea level rose c. 120 metres and an area more than twice that of the modern United States of America was lost to the sea. Beneath the waves of the Irish Sea is a prehistoric ‘palaeolandscape’ of plains, hills, marshlands and river valleys in which evidence of human activity is expected to be preserved.

This landscape is similar to Doggerland, an area of the southern North Sea and currently the best-known example of a palaeolandscape in Europe. Doggerland has been extensively researched by Professor Vince Gaffney, Principal Investigator of the “Europe’s Lost Frontiers” Project.

“Research by the project team has also provided accurate maps for the submerged lands that lie between Ireland and Britain” said Professor Gaffney, “and these are suspected to hold crucial information regarding the first settlers of Ireland and adjacent lands along the Atlantic corridor”.

To provide this evidence, sediment from c. 60 cores, taken from 20 sites by the Irish Research Vessel RV Celtic Voyager in Liverpool and Cardigan Bays between the 21– 25th February, will be studied by an international research team.

Dr James Bonsall, from the Centre for Environmental Research Innovation and Sustainability (CERIS) in the Dept. of Environmental Science at IT Sligo, is the Chief Scientist for this phase of the research, and his CERIS colleague, Environmental Scientist Eithne Davis will be on board the RV Celtic Voyager, directing operations.

“It is very exciting” said Dr Bonsall, “as we’re using cutting-edge technology to retrieve the first evidence for life within landscapes that were inundated by rising sea levels thousands of years ago. This is the first time that this range of techniques has been employed on submerged landscapes under the Irish Sea. Today we perceive the Irish Sea as a large body of water, a sea that separates us from Britain and mainland Europe, a sea that gives us an identity as a proud island nation. But 18,000 years ago, Ireland, Britain and Europe were part of a single landmass that gradually flooded over thousands of years, forming the islands that we know today.

“We’re going to find out where, when, why and how people lived on a landscape that today is located beneath the waves”.

Key outcomes of the research will be to reconstruct and simulate the palaeoenvironments of the Irish Sea, using ancient DNA, analysed in the laboratories at the University of Warwick, and palaeoenvironmental data extracted from the sediment cores.

The studies will be of immense value in understanding 'first’ or ‘early' contact and settlement around the coasts of Ireland and Britain, but also the lifestyles of those people who lived within the inundated, prehistoric landscapes that lie between our islands and which have never been adequately explored by archaeologists.

The project team includes;

Prof. Vincent Gaffney, Principle Investigator: “Europe’s Lost Frontiers” Project, University of Bradford
Prof. Robin Allaby, Chair in Archaeogenomics, University of Warwick
Dr David Smith Senior Lecturer in Environmental Archaeology, University of Birmingham
Dr Richard Bates Reader in Earth and Environmental Sciences University of St Andrews
Dr Martin Bates, Lecturer in Geoarchaeology,University of Wales Trinity St. David
Professor Eugene Ch’ng, Chair in Cultural Computing, The University of Nottingham, Ningbo. China

Feminism and social media-the threats and opportunities explored

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In the centenary year of women : at least a section - in Britain first gaining the vote, the need is as great as ever to champion the cause of gender equality.

And in that cause, the rise of social media has manifested itself as both a threat and an opportunity, perhaps most noticeably demonstrated through the #MeToo campaign.

Now, female academics from across the world have come together to contribute their research, findings and arguments to a special edition of the quarterly journal Feminism & Psychology.

The publication, entitled Feminisms and Social Media, explores a range of issues encompassing social media platforms as complex and contradictory spaces for feminism. Among the subjects explored and analysed are:

  • Female athletes’ self-representation
  • Young feminists, feminism and digital media
  • Non-consensual pornography websites
  • Harassment and misogyny on dating sites
  • Victim blaming in discussions of sexual assault cases
  • The role of social media in sex education

Guest editor, Professor Abigail Locke, of the University of Bradford, said: “When women speak out they continue to suffer attacks, disparagement and abuse and social media has exacerbated this, given it a new profile. But social media opens up possibilities also and a new generation of women are speaking out on social media. It is providing a new space for feminism, for speaking out and connecting. #MeToo is an expression of this.

“We want this special edition of Feminism & Psychology to demonstrate that social media can be used as a force for resistance and social change. We stand at a particular point in time, when the power of social media can provide the platform and the opportunity to make significant contributions to this debate.”

Discovery paves way for treatment to prevent blood vessel damage

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The discovery of a previously unknown interaction between proteins could provide a breakthrough in the prevention of damage to healthy blood vessels.

Led by the University of Bradford, the research shows how the two proteins combine to protect blood vessels from inflammation and damage and could pave the way for treatments to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.

The new study, published in Nature Communications, found that when a protein called SOCS3 binds directly with another protein called Cavin-1, small cell surface regions of blood vessels called caveolae are stabilised, preventing damage. This mechanism, previously unknown, is important for maintaining healthy vascular function. This process happens naturally in healthy cells but can be compromised when damage occurs, through natural processes such as ageing or as a result of lifestyle.

To achieve this, the team used a combination of proteomics, which identified cavin-1 as a new SOCS3-regulated protein, and then applying cutting-edge molecular biology, biochemistry and imaging approaches to characterise how they controlled each other’s function in cells.

The project is a collaboration between researchers at the University of Bradford, University of Glasgow, Boston University Medical School (Boston, USA) and the Otto-von-Guericke-University (Magdeburg, Germany).

Professor Tim Palmer of the University of Bradford said: “This is a real breakthrough as it defines for the first time a new interaction between two pathways that control key properties of healthy blood vessels – protection from inflammation and resistance to mechanical damage.

“Our research has identified an interaction that could be used to develop new medicines to maintain healthy blood vessel function and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. At the moment, patients at risk of developing cardiovascular disease take medications such as statins to reduce the likelihood of heart attack or stroke. However not everyone responds to these drugs and they can also result in side effects such as muscle pain that impact on quality of life. Importantly, statins do not directly protect blood vessels from damage.

“From our findings, it may now be possible to develop drugs targeting this newly-discovered system that could be taken by patients at risk of cardiovascular disease to better maintain vascular health and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

“The next stage of our work will be to study this mechanism in detail in models of cardiovascular disease and see if it is compromised in patients known to have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, such as those with diabetes.”

Professor George Baillie of the University of Glasgow said: "The targeted disruption of this protein complex brings real potential to make headway in discovering new therapeutics. I am truly excited by the possibilities.”

Lost at sea! Expedition to find lost prehistoric settlement

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Marine experts join archaeologists in an expedition to find the lost prehistoric settlement of the Brown Bank

A two-year marine expedition to search for prehistoric, submerged settlements around the area of the Brown Bank within the southern North Sea will be launched on April 10th.

Teams from the University of Bradford, Ghent University and Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) will join forces to carry out detailed geophysical surveys of the area, before extracting sediment cores that can be examined for evidence of human activity.

The project complements the Bradford-led “Lost Frontiers” project, in which archaeologists are mapping the prehistoric North Sea landscape known as Doggerland, and is funded by the European Research Council (ERC).

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Proposed GCRF Fragile Heritage Hub

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The School of Archaeological & Forensic Sciences expand on their successes in digital heritage with a £20m bid to newly formed UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) for a proposed 'GCRF Fragile Heritage Hub'.

In recent years, the School of Archaeological & Forensic Sciences, have developed a range of 3D imaging and visualisation capabilities to serve research applications in archaeology and heritage – including prospection, conservation and digital documentation, bioarchaeology and forensic science.

The Visualising Heritage team, co-directed by Dr Andrew Wilson, Dr Chris Gaffney, and Professor Vince Gaffney, have brought in more than £7 million worth of digital heritage research projects since 2011 from a range of funding bodies including Jisc, AHRC, ERC, The British Academy, and HEIF. In February, they were invited to submit a full bid, having being shortlisted from a total of 248 proposals to the Global Challenges Research Fund. If successful this will create the proposed £20 million GCRF Fragile Heritage Hub, working to address heritage challenges across ODA countries.

bradford visualisation team outside Heaton Mount

The varied capabilities and wide-ranging skillsets within the team have been developed through a number of legacy research projects that include:

  • Curious Travellers - pilot research successfully deriving high fidelity 3D data from web-scraped and crowd-sourced imagery for heritage under threat.
  • FossilFinder - our citizen science research with Dr Louise Leakey in East Lake Turkana, Kenya as part of the Fragmented Heritage project, also concerned with automated refitting.
  • Digitised Diseases - a collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons and MOLA to develop an online 3D resource of chronic pathological conditions affecting the human skeleton.
  • Lost Frontiers - using prospection methods in archaeology, molecular biology and computer simulation to explore past environment records showing climate change within the flooded landscapes of Doggerland beneath the North Sea.

Andrew Wilson said “Our recent work on digital infrastructures will help mitigate the scale of natural and human-made threats to monuments, sites and landscapes that may otherwise be irrevocably damaged and destroyed. GCRF anticipate awarding 12-15 Hubs which will each run for 5 years from December 2018. Of the 52 bids that have been shortlisted, we are the only proposal that explicitly recognises the range of threats and challenges to both tangible and intangible heritage and the potential to link heritage with sustainable development.”

“Heritage is a conduit for social cohesion and a rich resource for addressing extreme poverty in the Global South. Worldwide, irrevocable destruction of heritage is a frequent occurrence, resulting from conflict, neglect, looting, vandalism, natural disaster, environmental change, and through the pressures of agricultural encroachment and unregulated development. It ensues largely without an agreed framework of response or mitigation.”

“The GCRF Fragile Heritage Hub will research risks and protection strategies and implement, support and sustain local heritage recording, anticipating potential damage or loss, through a global network of heritage researchers. These goals are linked by research to provide a digital infrastructure, based in part on technologies pioneered at Bradford, to promote, conserve, manage, and rebuild fragile and damaged heritage.”

In preparing the funding bid for the proposed GCRF Fragile Heritage Hub the team have developed some critical partnerships across strategically important ODA countries. In March, GCRF funded a two day global partnership development workshop at Heaton Mount, involving attendees from Latin America; Africa & the Middle East; South/ Central Asia; and East Asia, with a further 10 individuals joining us via Skype and webinar throughout the proceedings.

University of Bradford receives £31,500 to support mental health and wellbeing for postgraduate research students

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The funding, which Bradford will match, has been awarded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and will support a project to improve support for the mental health and wellbeing of postgraduate research students.

The new funding will support a range of activities within the project:

  • To develop a healthy, thriving PGR community which will last beyond their time at Bradford, extending the Bradford ethos globally and in line with the University's aims to build sustainable communities.
  • To develop a sustainable Peer Support network for support within the PGR community with an emphasis on self-care and mental health awareness

This will support Bradford’s strategy of extending support services to a more comprehensive approach to student wellbeing, with greater emphasis on preventative, developmental and proactive initiatives, and the creation of self and peer support initiatives to develop resilience, self-care and a sense of community.

The project, called PGR Connect, is designed to be strategic and sustainable, and postgraduate research students will be involved to ensure that their priorities and needs are being met throughout.

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Is your smile male or female?

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The dynamics of how men and women smile differs measurably, according to new research, enabling artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically assign gender purely based on a smile.

Although automatic gender recognition is already available, existing methods use static images and compare fixed facial features. The new research, by the University of Bradford, is the first to use the dynamic movement of the smile to automatically distinguish between men and women.

Led by Professor Hassan Ugail, the team mapped 49 landmarks on the face, mainly around the eyes, mouth and down the nose. They used these to assess how the face changes as we smile caused by the underlying muscle movements – including both changes in distances between the different points and the ‘flow’ of the smile: how much, how far and how fast the different points on the face moved as the smile was formed.

They then tested whether there were noticeable differences between men and women – and found that there were, with women’s smiles being more expansive.

Lead researcher, Professor Hassan Ugail from the University of Bradford said: “Anecdotally, women are thought to be more expressive in how they smile, and our research has borne this out. Women definitely have broader smiles, expanding their mouth and lip area far more than men.”

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Novel protein biomarker for breast and lung cancer

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Professor El-Tanani is leading research into novel targeted therapeutics (Ran-inhibitors) for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer and to reverse chemotherapy resistance in lung cancer.

Translational research led by Prof Mohamed El-Tanani at the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics is focused on a novel protein biomarker for breast and lung cancer called Ran GTPAse (Ran). Ran is overexpressed in a range of tumors and is associated with local invasion, metastasis and reduced patient survival. The team have shown that reducing levels of Ran leads to cytotoxicity in a range of cancer cells and that a high level of Ran in patients with breast cancer is predictive for the development of metastasis and can lead to resistance to current drugs for breast and lung cancer.

The research has two objectives; the first is to identify and develop molecules (drug candidates) that have the ability to reduce the levels of Ran in cancer cells, the second is to develop a simple test (Ran DX) using blood samples to determine levels of Ran in breast and lung cancer patients.

Millions of compounds with the potential to inhibit Ran have been screened to find the most potent, and the team now have two very strong candidates ready to move forward into clinical trials. One candidate is a 'repurposed' drug that has been pre-clinically validated in breast and lung cancer. The second is a novel peptide which has been tested successfully in preclinical models. In addition, the researchers are working on the development of a monoclonal antibody for Ran (Ran-mAb) which has the potential to be a potent Ran inhibitor. The team at Bradford has attracted interest from the pharmaceutical industry and investors and is currently seeking financial backing to progress the best candidates into clinical trials.

The annual incidence of breast cancer in the UK is 50,000 and around 1,000 die every month. 5 in every 100 patients have metastasis when first diagnosed, and a further 35 will develop metastasis within 10 years, representing considerable disease burden. The challenge is predicting metastatic disease early enough to improve patient outcomes. In collaboration with a UK based SME, Imhotep Diagnostics and Therapeutics (IDT Ltd), the Bradford team has recently won an Innovate UK grant to fund the development of a novel blood test for Ran. This test will enable breast cancer metastatic risk to be predicted at the time of diagnosis and allow patient stratification that will ensure optimum treatment is made available including choice of chemotherapy and follow-up patient prognosis.

The project will start in May 2018 and it is hoped over the next few years the research will translate into an important predictive test for the monitoring of breast cancer patients.

Find out more about the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics.

New diagnostic technique picks up the S in vision

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A new technique that could help improve diagnosis of vision disorders has been successfully tested at Bradford

The researchers showed the technique can isolate responses from the different retinal cells that we use to see, including those that are most vulnerable to damage and disease, known as S-cone photoreceptors.

Diseases that affect S-cones include Types 1 and 2 diabetes, glaucoma and high blood pressure and some rare genetic disorders, such as enhanced S-cone syndrome and blue cone monochromatism.

S-cone photoreceptors respond to light of short wavelengths and help us see the blue part of the colour spectrum. However, it is difficult to test their function independently of the other types of photoreceptor in the eye: L-cone (long wavelength covering the red spectrum), M-cone (medium wave-length covering the yellow and green spectrum) and rod photoreceptors, that help us see when light levels are low.

Study lead, Dr Declan McKeefry, from the University of Bradford’s School of Optometry conducts clinical diagnostics of vision disorders for the NHS. He says:

“Diagnosis of some eye diseases can be difficult as they have similar symptoms, such as blurred or distorted vision and inability to see colour, and often a variety of genetic causes. Understanding exactly which cells are affected in the eye can be the key piece of the jigsaw that enables an accurate diagnosis, but until now, it’s been almost impossible to test the function of the S-cones separately.”

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Bradford Professor elected president of College of Optometrists

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Professor Edward Mallen has been elected as the new president of the College of Optometrists

The College of Optometrists formally welcomed its new president and five new council members at its annual AGM and conference last month.

College board member, head of the school of optometry and vision science and professor of physiological optics at the University of Bradford, Professor Edward Mallen was introduced during Optometry Tomorrow (18–19 March) at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel.

Speaking about his appointment, Professor Mallen said he was delighted to be elected as the new president of the College.

“I am proud of our profession, and look forward to continuing the great work of our immediate past president, Dr Mary-Ann Sherratt,” he shared.

“Optometrists are well-placed to improve the eye health of the nation. We are at a time of great opportunity right now, and I’m excited by the developments that could lie ahead,” Professor Mallen added.

The five new council members include optometrists Prab Boparai (West Midlands), Lorcan Butler and Lisa O Donoghue (Northern Ireland), Dr Irene Ctori (London) and Deepali Modha (East).

Read Professor Mallen's profile.

The British Society for Proteome Research Annual Scientific Meeting 2018

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The University of Bradford is hosting the British Society of Proteomics Research Annual Scientific Meeting, with the theme of "One Health and Wellness" from 9-11 July in the Norcroft Conference Centre.

Proteomics is a rapidly developing field significantly, impacting on our understanding of how biological systems work, be they viruses, bacteria, plants or animals, and providing the next generation of clinical diagnostics and therapeutic target identification in all diseases.

The meeting is being organised by (School of Chemistry and Biosciences) and (School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences).

Although a national meeting, proteomics scientists from across the globe will be attending including a panel of prestigious invited speakers at the top of their field. The meeting includes an exhibition, sponsored by some of the biggest established names in biosciences and instrumentation as well as new start-up companies.

Hosting of the meeting is an indicator of the regard with which proteomics at the University of Bradford is held in the UK. The Proteomics Facility in Bradford is a core facility, with state-of-the-art mass spectrometry, supporting academics across a diverse range of research fields. This is also a fantastic opportunity for the University to demonstrate the best of Bradford hospitality and culture.

Bradford psychologist explores the mind of bestselling author TM Logan

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Head of Psychology, Catriona Morrison, will interview T M Logan, author of bestselling psychological thriller Lies.

Catriona will explore why psychological thrillers are so popular and what it was that made T M Logan delve into this dark and dangerous world. Catriona will discuss whether circumstances can lead you to commit unspeakable offences or whether there is an inbuilt capacity that has always been inside.

T M Logan is a former Daily Mail science reporter, covering stories on new developments in a wide variety of scientific fields. He previously worked as Deputy Director of Communications at the University of Nottingham and lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children.

His début thriller, Lies, was published in May 2017 and has now sold over 250,000 copies, hitting the top 10 Kindle Bestseller Charts. His second novel, 29 Seconds, was published in January 2018.

Catriona explains why she is fascinated to meet the author: “TM Logan explores an issue that is very prescient: recent scandals of workplace exploitation, and how a person reacts to that. I am interested to explore how he put his focus on a woman as a central character and also the nature of memory which is one of my own research areas. “

Catriona will ‘meet the author’ at an event on Thursday 24 May at Dewsbury Library, 7-8pm. Tickets are free but need to be booked here or by calling 01484 414868.

Meet the matchstick women '” the hidden victims of the industrial revolution

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Catherine Kelsey introduces the matchstick women

File 20180306 146671 u2873n.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1 Bryant and May match girls strike committee, 1888. TUC Library Collections, London Metropolitan University Catherine Kelsey, University of Bradford

The story of the British matchstick girls who in 1888 took strike action against the dominating, patriarchal world of matchstick making isn’t well known.

But these were the women who worked 14 hours a day in the East End of London and who were exposed to deadly phosphorous vapours on a daily basis.

Working with white phosphorous – which was added to the tips of matches to enable a “strike anywhere effect” – was highly toxic and responsible for the devastating disease known as “phossy jaw”. This nickname was given by the match makers to the particularly nasty condition “phosphorous necrosis of the jaw”. The effect literally causing the jaw bone to rot.

Doctors soon began treating these women for the disease – which would often spread to the brain leading to a particularly painful and horrific death, unless the jaw was removed. And even then a prolonged life was not guaranteed.

But even though the risks were obvious, this was the Industrial Revolution – before employers were legally required to create safe working conditions. This meant that women on low wages continued to work long hours, while exposed to the toxic impact of white phosphorous and the devastating consequences this would have on their health.

Women’s rights

The matchstick makers at risk of ‘phossy jaw’ who fought for women’s labour rights and won. Public Domain

Many of these women were working at Bryant and May (which is unrelated to the current Bryant and May, which also makes matches) and were Irish immigrants. They lived in abject poverty, in filthy housing unfit for human habitation and were often subject to prolonged hours of backbreaking work making matches. But despite the incessant exploitation, the low pay and excessive fines issued simply for being late, dropping a match or talking to others, the workers were forced to continue to work in these oppressive conditions. Times, however, were changing.

Annie Besant, a well known socialist exposed the conditions within the factory in her article White Slavery in London. This infuriated the factory owners and they attempted to force the workers to sign a paper stating that they were happy with their working lives. The women refused to do this and following the sacking of one of their own, they decided to take action. By the end of the day, 1,400 women and girls were out on strike.

Ultimately, the matchstick girls saw all their demands achieved. Disappointingly, though, it wasn’t until 1906 – almost 20 years later – that white phosphorous was made illegal in the use of matchsticks. This eventually eliminated the disease in the UK. Similarly, in the US, the government chose to place a “punitive tax” on white phosphorus matches. And the tax was so high it made manufacturing them unrealistic.

Modern medicines

“Phossy jaw” was thought to have been eliminated through modern day working practices, but in a twist of fate, contemporary medicine has actually resurrected this disease. A group of drugs known as Bisphosphonates, commonly used in cancer treatment and to reduce the impact of bone thinning, has the potential to cause deterioration of the jaw.

Match factory worker with ‘phossy jaw’. Public Domain

With good oral care and dentistry, regular checks and antibiotic therapy, the risk is relatively low and treatment less radical. But it shows how the development of new and innovative ways of treating medical conditions – that improve and prolong life – can inadvertently create other problems.

The story of the plight of the matchstick girls and many women like them tells of the social injustices that prevailed throughout history. But disappointingly, such suffering continues to exist in society today.

Research shows hospital staff still continue to take women’s pain less seriously, compared with men’s pain. And that less time is spent treating women – who are more likely to be wrongly diagnosed.

Women in their defiance, continue to challenge health inequality and those who seek to oppress and exploit them not only nationally, but also globally. Women in their droves are standing up for other women – as can be seen in the recent outcry across the world over vaginal mesh implants. Women are no longer willing to accept poor health outcomes as an inevitability of their oppressed lives.

The ConversationToday, we must continue to promote gender equality if our children and grandchildren are to have lives that are fulfilled and rewarding. To do this, we need to be as strong and courageous as the matchstick women to take action against the oppressive structures that continue to exist within a patriarchal society.

Catherine Kelsey, Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership, University of Bradford

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

A brief history of immersion, centuries before VR

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Patrick Allen explores a brief history of immersion

File 20180515 195308 1w1uj0j.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1 milliganpuss, CC BY Patrick T. Allen, University of Bradford

Immersive experiences are fashionable at the moment, as virtual reality finally emerges into the mainstream with headsets now commercially available. But immersion is a technique much older than technology. It is the key to storytelling, in literature, film, videogames, even in the spoken stories told by our ancestors around the campfire. We are taken in by the experience: we become so involved with a character that we share their emotions, or build expectations about their progress in the story – and react when these expectations are either fulfilled or thwarted.

Look at immersion from a historical perspective and we see the rituals and social practices that gave rise to immersive experiences, and the relevance of the past to the hyped products of today.

In the middle ages, the use of stained glass in churches was designed to create an immersive sense of otherworldliness by bathing the church’s interior with coloured light. It was designed to provide churchgoers with a sense of direct contact with the divine, through visual stories aimed at a largely illiterate population.

Stained glass was an important form of visual storytelling. It was one of the ways that religious institutions could exert their hold on believers through the sanctity of messages delivered through colour and light, for which believers had to crane their necks up towards the sky to face the high windows.

A great example of this is the recently restored Great East Window at York Minster, a very large expanse of painted glass created in the early 1400s.

Great East Window, York Minster, which depicts scenes from the beginning and the end of the world. University of York

The sheer scale of this window is extraordinary. It is the largest expanse of glass in the minster and one of the biggest in Europe. All designed and created by one artist, John Thornton. Its subject is no less than the beginning and the end of the world representing in its huge number of panes scenes from Genesis and from the Day of Judgement. As such, it can be easily interpreted as a form of immersive storytelling for audiences of the late middle ages.

You can imagine the multi-sensory aspects of this experience: the design and shape of the space would have been critical to its impact on the audience, with light flooding in from the east. With dust and smoke in the interior, and the sound of a priest’s sermon and choir reverberating around the vaulted ceilings, even by today’s standards it would be pretty immersive.

Smoke and mirrors

In the late 18th century, the quirkily named phantasmagoria used – quite literally – smoke and mirrors along with magic lanterns, a form of early image projector, invisible screens and sound effects to create a theatrical performance.

Recovered written accounts of the phantasmagoria are very interesting, as they link the rise in the use of magic lantern projections with the history of cinema. Via these immersive experiences, we get to the development of contemporary virtual reality devices.

The origins of phantasmagoria are associated with the work of German Johann Georg Schropfer who used magic lantern projections as part of monastic rituals – another form of immersive religious experience.

Participants would often fast for 24 hours prior to a performance and were greeted ceremoniously with drugged punch or salad. Skulls, candles and other monastic paraphernalia were used to set the scene. Accounts indicate that in these original performances three ghosts would be summoned, serving the monastic search for a deeper truth through contact with the spirit world.

Engraving depicting one of Robertson’s phantasmagorical shows and the effects they had on audiences. Memories by Etienne Gaspard Robertson

Inflicting terror

This soon became popular entertainment, and the showman Paul Philidor produced elaborate shows for audiences in Vienna. Another was the Belgian Etienne-Gaspard Robertson in the first few years of the 19th century in Paris. He would use three moving magic lanterns behind a transparent screen, accompanied by elaborate costumes and decorations and augmented with horrifying sounds, to inflict terror upon his audience. With the growing Victorian interest in all things gothic, phantasmagoria performances spread to England where they were delivered alongside seances to deceive, terrify and manipulate their audiences.

View Master slide viewer, developed in the 1930s and still available today. deiby, CC BY

Some of the mechanics of today’s immersive experiences can be found in these early examples. The use of a projection system is common to phantasmagoria and to contemporary cinema.

Head-mounted displays seen in modern VR systems can be first seen in the stereoscopic imagery of the View Master, which dates back to the 1930s and is still available in children’s toy shops today.

An early 3D film showing at the Festival of Britain, 1951. The National Archives

From the 1950s, different cinematic techniques were introduced, including 3D cinema using stereoscopic glasses, an approach that still captivates audiences to this day – the 3D film Avatar is among the most financially successful movies of all time. I remember one of my first immersive experiences was watching How the West Was Won in the 1960s on a Cinerama screen – where a film is projected onto a giant, curved screen that provides an immersive experience via the wrap-around effect of the huge screen on the viewers’ field of view.

The ConversationSo the current obsession with immersive virtual and augmented reality experiences will continue – we love our illusions and the stories that go with them. But we should not forget that to be swept away and out of the present by an immersive story is a timeless human desire, that’s origins go back as far as we do.

Patrick T. Allen, Senior Lecturer in New Media Design, University of Bradford

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

White Light/White Heat: The Velvet Underground's monochrome obituary for the love generation

Published:

Mark Goodall examines the significance of The Velvet Underground's avant garde second album.

File 20180621 137738 xwplh4.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1thatspep, CC BY-NC Mark Goodall, University of Bradford

Veteran CNN reporter David Axelrod recently described 1968 as a time of “chaos in black and white”. After the optimistic psychedelia of the previous year, events took a harsh turn as assassinations, riots and war unfolded on TV screens across the globe. Fifty years on, two music LPs from 1968 especially sum up Axelrod’s stark monochrome vision: The Beatles White Album, and White Light/White Heat, the second album from The Velvet Underground, the New York cult rock group previously managed by pop artist Andy Warhol. But it was White Light/White Heat that best anticipated the end of the hippy dream.

In reality, Warhol’s “management” of the group meant using them for his Exploding Plastic Inevitable (EPI) – a series of multimedia events across America. Featuring film screenings, fetish dancing and light shows, EPI was one of the first “happenings” – and Warhol placed the Velvet Underground at the centre of each event. He famously persuaded them to adopt German actress and model Nico as a singer, and funded their first LP, The Velvet Underground and Nico, released the previous year.

Pop art icon, part-time band manager. Jack Mitchell, CC BY-NC-SA

White Light/White Heat was a break from both the Warhol circus and the lyrical beauty of their debut record. While their first album contained a few harsh moments (the “rushing” sections of Heroin and the improvised noise of European Son), a coarse, distorted sound totally dominated their second. The stark mood change is explained partly by the chemical and psychological landscape of the time.

The optimistic, fragrant and colourful manner of psychedelic music and art, as expressed in the previous two years (with The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper at its zenith), was replaced by paranoia, depression and anxiety. And the tensions between group leaders Lou Reed and John Cale were nearing boiling point, exacerbated by dangerously extreme use of hard drugs.

Avant garde

The unapologetic sound, combined with deliberately deathly artwork, makes White Light/White Heat a very confrontational album. While The Beatles went for purity with their minimalist white Richard Hamilton-designed cover, a beautiful black-on-black image of a skull tattoo (Warhol’s final gift to the group) snarls out at you from theirs, and even the supposed “rock” tracks are disruptive and provocative.

Simple cover, complex sound. Wikimedia Commons

I Heard Her Call My Name contains, according to rock magazine Crawdaddy’s Wayne McGuire, “one of the most highly-charged moments ever heard in music” and features some of the most extreme guitar soloing of all time. Guitar greats such as Robbie Robertson would queue around the block to see Reed play, only to be disappointed by his perceived lack of “technique”.

On title track White Light/White Heat, a crunching bass cuts through a wall of distorted guitars, emerging at the end of the song as the sole survivor, while Moe Tucker’s drums are reduced to a swirling, crashing noise.

Other tracks are revolutionary in a different way – by blending experimental rock with the spoken word. In The Gift, a groove the band jammed to in live shows plays under a short story written by Reed at university, in which a man mails himself to his estranged girlfriend in an attempt to win her back. As you might expect, the ending is bleak, comic, and straight out of a Shirley Jackson novel.

Lady Godiva’s Operation is a disturbing, aural anaesthetic. The lyrics tell the legend of the famously naked Godiva, re-imagined as a cosmetic surgery procedure. Another groovy backtrack is augmented with a slowing pulse, deep breathing and sickening shudders straight out of a low-budget horror film. Both tracks are narrated by Cale – his Welsh lilt adding an extra dimension of strangeness.

Sister Ray said

But the most famous track on the album is Sister Ray – a raucous, 17-minute symphony of noise beneath another grim tale of New York’s underbelly. Here the Velvet Underground emulate the improvisation of free-jazz musicians Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor with, in the words of Reed, “a rock n’ roll feeling”. It is the epitome of the group’s art.

While other Velvet Underground LPs are now feted and revered, White Light/White Heat remains an enigma. It was virtually ignored on its release in June 1968, shunted aside, as Lester Bangs put it, “by safer, flashier music which eventually proved so stereotyped”. But with its harsh sound, strange technical effects, spoken word elements, improvisation and dreadfully poor production, it’s a unique entrant in the pantheon of classic rock.

The ConversationIt became a catalyst for punk rock and New York’s subsequent “no-wave” movement. But imitators always lacked the group’s profound engagement with, and ability to combine, avant-garde aesthetics, literary modes of expression, experimental art and primitive elements of early rock and roll. Copycats never had the courage to go as far as Reed, Cale, Morrison and Tucker did on that second LP, and any future musician who does so will be brave indeed.

Mark Goodall, Head of Film and Media, University of Bradford

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

How Durex can recover from its product recall

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Dr Liz Breen looks at product recall

File 20180802 136649 1qbswbr.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1 Shutterstock/ZoltanKiraly Liz Breen, University of Bradford

The condom maker Durex is in brand crisis mode after it was forced to issue a recall of some of its products over fears they could split. Durex is not the first company to suffer from high profile product recalls. There is no doubt that such episodes can cause lasting damage to a brand’s reputation but the fact is recalls happen. Other global brands which have gone though much bigger issues have shown that if they are dealt with quickly and appropriately, a company can survive and prosper.

The Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (RBG) (the manufacturer of Durex condoms) is the latest business to fall foul of product deficiencies. It has recalled ten batches of Durex Real Feel condoms and Durex Latex Free condoms due to a “risk that the condom might tear or leak, reducing its protection from sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy”. Durex confirmed that “a limited number” had not passed its “stringent shelf life durability tests” and apologised.

A product recall can mean life or death to a business. Over the next few days, RBG will have to strategically coordinate how it manages the product recall to reduce any lasting damage to its reputation, brand and product value.

High profile brand issues

Product recalls are not new and occur in every sector where there is a threat to safety or life due to defective parts, unreliability of materials or quality assurance issues.

Research has shown that small companies can flounder, curl up and die with the onslaught of dealing with product recalls, customers, claims, returns and repairs. Their cash flow and infrastructure cannot cope. It becomes all too much and bankruptcy looms.

The world’s largest toy manufacturer has had to recall batches of toys over the years. Shutterstock/360b

For example, the recall of 1,000 toys cost small business owner Cynthia Thomas US$15,000 and nearly her business due to a drop in customers and sales. Larger companies cope much better as they have deeper pockets, additional, non-affected assets and an army of resources at their disposal. This is perhaps why the world’s biggest toymaker, Mattel, has coped better with a number of major recalls of Chinese-made products after lead was found in the paint of some toys.

And Durex as a brand can take comfort in the fact that the impact of product recalls is felt to be more short term than long. Companies such as Toyota and Volkswagen have demonstrated that you can face huge catastrophes, the wrath of your customers and the sector, but still regain a strong place within the market.

In 2012, Toyota had 7.43m cars recalled globally while Volkswagen had to recall 11m vehicles after it admitted cheating on US emissions tests. Both companies have managed to stay stable in the market despite the fact that their reputation has been dented on more than one occasion.

The public will always acknowledge that defective products exist, regardless of stringent operational systems, checks and balances. So what should RBG do to reduce the level of condemnation that it now faces?

Apologise quickly and take action

A company in this situation needs to act fast, taking immediate responsibility for its actions and deliver action, not rhetoric. An apology goes a long way to fixing the problem. Durex has made this important first step and said sorry to its customers and offered refunds.

The refund of product costs to customers is an expected response but the business may need to do more in order to avoid more damning repercussions – such as loss of sales, sponsorship and affiliations.

So an apology alone may not be enough. RBG will need to build up confidence in the brand through decisive action. One way to do this is to settle claims quickly. The business needs to ensure that it proactively seeks out failed products – as opposed to waiting for them to come out of the woodwork. Companies which voluntarily address this issue, as opposed to being forced to by their customers, are much more likely to retain them.

An opposing view is that the need to act quickly may be seen as an admission of guilt and inflate anxiety in the marketplace. So RBG needs to tactfully handle all communications to present a positive image to the public.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has stated that pharmaceutical wholesalers will collect damaged stock immediately from pharmacies. But customers are being asked to act responsibly and return products from their point of purchase. This can lead to a reduced number of returns as there is no collection mechanism and the customer has to make all the effort to return the product. The lure of refunded money may not be enough to make a return happen.

To address this, RBG could arrange for drop off points for the customers (convenient to them) or arrange for local collections, piggybacking on other delivery networks, like couriers, pharmaceutical wholesalers and the Royal Mail.

Looking ahead

In the future, RBG has to make its customers believe in the quality and safety of its product. For example, Rolls Royce was very transparent in its need to recall products in 2015 – even when it affected just one car, a Rolls Royce Ghost which was recalled because of a problem with the side-impact airbags. In doing so, customers were reassured that quality and safety were at the forefront of the business. RBG needs to adopt the same stance with Durex and its other products.

Condoms are a very popular product. In the Rio Olympics 2016, it was reported that the event lasted 17 days, had 10,500 athletes, 33 venues, and 450,000 condoms. The amount allocated was three times more than in the London Olympics in 2012. As a product they provide a vital public health function and provide psychological and emotional support to people using them.

The ConversationA good solid corporate reputation can withstand most business traumas. Companies in crisis have to work harder to be seen as a “good” business to buy from and trade with. RBG needs to think strategically, act responsibly and react quickly to stay in business and provide its products to the masses.

Liz Breen, Reader in Health Service Operations, University of Bradford

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

The Rollercoaster of Mental Health in the UK Today

Published:

Stephen Williams,Programme Lead in Psychological Therapies looks at Mental Health in the UK

Mental health in the UK is currently facing turbulent times. Certainly great strides are being made in addressing the stigma of mental health. This is evident in the plethora of media stories and high-profile anti-stigma campaigns such as Time to Change suggesting that attitudes in relation to prejudice and exclusion have significantly improved.

The government has pledged to increase mental health support for teams in schools with the aim to prevent the development of mental health difficulties in our growing population. Whilst the NHS has pledged an overall funding increase by £1.4 billion through the Five Year Forward Plan, decades of being the ‘Cinderella service’ continues to plague this aspect of our health service.

Recent media reports portray mental health services as being ‘in crisis’ – citing the 30% decline in beds available over the last 10 years. Detentions under the mental health act continue to rise dramatically – some 47% between 2006 and 2015/16. Whilst services invest in crisis teams and targeting care to those most ‘at risk’, preventative mental health measures and consistent community care have declined and has thus contributed to the rise of crisis admissions.

Another serious concern has been the mental health nursing (MHN) workforce – comparing the number of MHN’s in 2016: 35,943 to 2009: 40,862 - a fall by over 10% of full-time equivalent MHN’s. This problem is exacerbated by declines in nursing support staff – such as nursing assistants and auxiliaries over the same period. Alongside these challenges sit the rising distressing difficulties associated with claiming health care benefits. The current assessment and sanctioning process that forces people with mental and physical impairments to re-join the workforce has in some cases resulted in suicides. It is perhaps unsurprising then that the DWP has been characterised as having a ‘culture of indifference’ by disability rights campaigners.

Interested in mental health courses, find out more

Clearing: how students use social media to choose their university

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Lecturer in Marketing, Elvira, looks at students use social media to choose their university

File 20180809 30458 ok9iv.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1 shutterstock Elvira Ismagilova, University of Bradford and Daniele Doneddu, Swansea University

The internet has undoubtedly changed the way we live and communicate. People are now able to share information not only with their friends and relatives, but also with complete strangers through the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Research shows that young people view communications on social media as more credible compared with traditional media and information provided by companies. And social media also has more impact on consumer decision making.

Prospective university students now come from a generation that is immersed in social media and digital technologies – and most students use these technologies extensively as a source of information, including as a way to choose their future university.

Previously, prospective students relied heavily on official university guides and rankings, but 83% of students now also use social media channels to help them make their university choices.

The real deal

By using social media, prospective students can get an unofficial, student view of a university, which they would not be able to find on official university web pages.

According to the National Centre for Universities and Business Facebook is the most popular social media channel for students searching for information. Twitter can be another great source of information and a way to ask university staff and current students questions.

Universities often provide information on the hashtags their students use. For example, at Oxford University #oxtweets is where students tweet about their lives there. Swansea University has created the hashtag #SwanseaGrad which can help prospective students get an inside look at the graduation spirit.

Universities looking to bridge the social media gap between them and their students are increasingly exploring hashtags. Shutterstock

Other useful website include WhatUni, UniStats and the Student Room, all of which allow students to get information about the university experience beyond degrees and accommodation. Students can get a feeling about how they might “fit in”, how it feels to live and study in the place, and a sense of the community and social life at their new place of study.

Easy access

Social media can also be a helpful tool for international students. UK universities have high numbers of overseas students, and it can be problematic for these students to try and visit their universities of interest to make a final decision. That’s where social media can help. The 2017 International Student Survey report shows the significant role social media plays for many students choosing a university.

Recently, universities have started using social media not just for prospective students and their parents, but also for receiving enrolment offers. One such example is the University of Bradford, where students can use Facebook to get offers during clearing time. This improves students’ experience of the clearing process, which can sometimes feel like “an emotional roller-coaster”.

But while many young people view online communications as trustworthy and reliable, in the age of fake news, fake universities and fake degrees, students must also be wary of fake social media accounts, that could easily sway their decisions.

So while students and their parents can get valuable insights online, they should always remember to look for verified accounts on Facebook and Twitter. These can usually be found on universities’ pages, together with the most accurate and up-to-date information about tuition fees and courses.

The ConversationGoing to university can be one of the most exciting experiences of a young person’s life. And it’s clear that social media now makes it easier than ever before to make a well-informed, life-changing decision. So for prospective students, choose wisely and enjoy the next stage in your life, wherever you might end up.

Elvira Ismagilova, Lecturer in Marketing, University of Bradford and Daniele Doneddu, Senior Lecturer School of Management, Swansea University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Medicine shortages are already a reality but a no deal Brexit could make it worse

Published:

Liz Breen and Emilia Vann Yaroson look at medicine shortages

File 20180828 86147 1jlmluy.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1 Shutterstock/TiborDuris Liz Breen, University of Bradford and Emilia Vann Yaroson, University of Bradford

The uncertainty around Brexit and what impact it will have on the UK and the NHS seems to have the nation trapped in a state of limbo. Nobody appears to know if there will be a deal or what it will look like if the UK gets one. But how will Brexit affect the supply of medicines into the country? And is Britain stockpiling drugs, as some reports have suggested?

According to our ongoing research, there are fundamental problems with the supply chain – and most of the them don’t involve Brexit at all.

It is certainly true that the indecision around Brexit has spilled over into the pharmaceutical supply chain where concerns over the continuity of medicines are rife. Here, decisions need to be taken to ensure the disruption of medicines supplied to patients is minimised or eradicated. Both the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry need to ensure that these vital – and sometimes lifesaving – products are available for patients.

Disruptions in the supply chain can affect financial performance, slow down the flow of products and reduce a companies’ ability to produce goods. These disruptions happen all too frequently.

A forthcoming small-scale UK survey we conducted earlier this year found that 72.8% of respondents said they were affected by medicine shortages (45.5% always, 27.3% often). Pharmaceutical supply chain shortages are a known phenomena and Brexit has been and will continue to be a focus of attention in managing supply and proactively strengthening the sourcing and distribution of medicines.

Other factors at play

But the preliminary findings of our research have highlighted a number of other, more systemic, factors that have created and exacerbated medicine demand and supply issues. These factors are:

  • Stringent regulations enforced by authorities which had an impact on medicine pricing and reimbursements, taxes, government funding for community pharmacies and stock-holding levels.

  • An imbalance of market power – manufacturers who own the product can be reluctant to share timely information about it to wholesalers and pharmacies. This lack of information forces pharmacies to take reactive steps to fix the issue and source products elsewhere.

  • The biggest concern reported in our research was price manipulation or holding back products to instigate artificial scarcity. This is when there is a shortage of medicines, even though the capacity sometimes exists to make them. It can also include the use of laws to create scarcity where otherwise there wouldn’t be, such as monopoly pricing structures.

  • Managerial decisions taken and executed in panic, such as bulk buying and the sale of drugs abroad for profit.

  • A lack of trust can also be seen among pharmaceutical supply chain stakeholders (authorities, manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacists) who choose not to reveal relevant information to each other. They sometimes do this to curtail panic buying which may lead to more shortages.

Other issues, such as pharmacies buying in and stockpiling medicines for future use, or to sell them on for profit, were also reported. The government has asked community pharmacies not to do this as it can lead to a “bullwhip effect” which can cause inefficiencies and impact stock demand.

Staff said they felt unprepared for managing all these delays and shortages. They had to find medicines elsewhere and then had to deal with upset patients. This was very stressful for pharmacy staff as well as patients. Tensions were also evident between stakeholders who all had conflicting strategic agendas. It often seemed to be a case of profits versus service.

Some pharmacists have reported having difficulties carrying out their jobs due to supply chain issues. Shutterstock/ASPhotoSudio

A global issue

So far, our research is telling us that medicine shortages are not being caused by Brexit uncertainties. But Brexit has provided the opportunity for the issue to gain more coverage and a higher profile than ever before. These shortages have been a global issue for many years so this issue needs a global response.

The UK government, and the industry itself, need to examine the existing supply chain and apply more radical thinking to redesign it. But this is not a quick fix. Professionals dedicated to this cause across industry, the profession and academia need to put their heads together. Undertaking projects with a common goal across a broad spectrum of countries would identify common trends and problems. Further research could then be based on that learning.

It is somewhat ironic that in the face of this kind of disruption, the actual solution may be more disruptive thinking. This Pandora’s Box needs to be opened so all the factors impacting the safe delivery of medicines to patients can be addressed.The Conversation

Liz Breen, Reader in Health Service Operations, University of Bradford and Emilia Vann Yaroson, PhD candidate, University of Bradford

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

What is your first memory-and did it ever really happen?

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Shazia Akhtar and colleagues discuss how real is your first memory?

File 20180730 106524 1vc7kck.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1 ‘Will I remember this?’ Shutterstock Lucy V Justice, Nottingham Trent University; Martin Conway, City, University of London, and Shazia Akhtar, University of Bradford

I can remember being a baby. I recall being in a vast room inside a doctor’s surgery. I was passed to a nurse and then placed in cold metal scales to be weighed. I was always aware that this memory was unusual because it was from so early in my life, but I thought that perhaps I just had a really good memory, or that perhaps other people could remember being so young, too.

What is the earliest event that you can remember? How old do you think you are in this memory? How do you experience the memory? Is it vivid or vague? Positive or negative? Are you re-experiencing the memory as it originally happened, through your own eyes, or are you watching yourself “acting” in the memory?

In our recent study, we asked more than 6,000 people of all ages to do the same, to tell us what their first autobiographical memory was, how old they were when the event happened, to rate how emotional and vivid it was and to report what perspective the memory was “seen” from. We found that on average people reported their first memory occurring during the first half of the third year of their lives (3.24 years to be precise). This matches well with other studies that have investigated the age of early memories.


Read more: Why can't we remember our early childhood?


What does this mean for my memory of being a baby then? Perhaps I do just have a really good memory and can remember those early months of life. Indeed, in our study, we found that around 40% of participants reported remembering events from the age of two or below – and 14% of people recalled memories from age one and below. However, psychological research suggests that memories occurring below the age of three are highly unusual – and indeed, highly improbable.

The origin of memory

Researchers who have investigated memory development suggest that the neurological processes needed to form autobiographical memories are not fully developed until between the ages of three and four years. Other research has suggested that memories are linked to language development. Language allows children to share and discuss the past with others, enabling memories to be organised in a personal autobiography.

So how can I remember being a baby? And why did 2,487 people from our study remember events that they dated from the age of two years and younger?

One explanation is that people simply gave incorrect estimates of their age in the memory. After all, unless confirmatory evidence is present, guesswork is all we have when it comes to dating memories from across our lives, including the very earliest.

Was that really what your teddy looked like? Shutterstock

But if incorrect dating explained the presence of these memories, we would expect that they would be about similar events to those memories from ages three and above. But this was not the case – we found that very early reported memories were of events and objects from infancy (pram, cot, learning to walk) whereas older memories were of things typical of childhood (toys, school, holidays). This finding meant that these two groups of memories were qualitatively different and ruled out the misdating explanation.

If research tells us that these very early memories are highly unlikely, and we have ruled out a misdating explanation, then why do people, including me, have them?

Pure fiction?

We concluded that these memories are likely to be fictional – that is, that they never in fact occurred. Perhaps, rather than recalling an experienced event, we recall imagery derived from photographs, home movies, shared family stories or events and activities that frequently happen in infancy. These facts are then, we suggest, linked with some fragmentary visual imagery and are combined together to form the basis of these fictitious early memories. Over time, this combination of imagery and fact begins to be experienced as a memory.


Read more: Serial: your memory can play tricks on you – here’s how


Although 40% of participants in our study retrieved these fictitious memories, they are not altogether surprising. Contemporary theories of memory highlight the constructive nature of memory; memories are not “records” of events, but rather psychological representations of the self in the past.

In other words, all of our memories contain some degree of fiction – indeed, this is the sign of a healthy memory system in action. But perhaps, for reasons not yet known, we have a psychological need to fictionalise memories from times of our lives that we are unable to remember. For now, these “stories” remain a mystery.The Conversation

Lucy V Justice, Lecturer in Psychology, Nottingham Trent University; Martin Conway, Professor of Cognitive Psychology, City, University of London, and Shazia Akhtar, Postdoctoral researcher, University of Bradford

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Obesity: hamsters may hold the clue to beating it

Published:

Dr Gisela Helfer explains how hamsters may hold the clue to obesity

File 20180626 112611 1uf34g4.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1 Siberian dwarf hamster (Phodopus sungorus). By Kuttelvaserova Stuchelova/Shutterstock.comGisela Helfer, University of Bradford and Rebecca Dumbell, MRC Harwell Institute

The global obesity crisis shows no signs of abating, and we urgently need new ways to tackle it. Consuming fewer calories and burning more energy through physical activity is a proven way to lose weight, but it’s clearly easier said than done. The problem with eating less and moving more is that people feel hungry after exercise and they have to fight the biologically programmed urge to eat. To develop effective ways to lose weight, we need a better understanding of how these biological urges work. We believe hamsters hold some clues.

Hamsters and other seasonal animals change their body and behaviour according to the time of year, such as growing a thick coat in winter or only giving birth in spring. Some seasonal animals can also adjust their appetite so that they aren’t hungry when less food is available. For example, the Siberian hamster loses almost half its body weight in time for winter, so they don’t need to eat as much to survive the winter months. Understanding the underlying physiological processes that drive this change may help us to understand our own physiology and may help us develop new treatments.

The appetite centre. stefan3andrei/Shutterstock.com

How hungry we feel is controlled by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus helps to regulate appetite and body weight, not only in seasonal animals but also in humans.

Tanycytes (meaning “long cells”) are the key cells in the hypothalamus and, amazingly, they can change size and shape depending on the season. In summer, when there is a lot of daylight and animals eat more, tanycytes are long and they reach into areas of the brain that control appetite. In winter, when days are shorter, the cells are very short and few.

These cells are important because they regulate hormones in the brain that change the seasonal physiology of animals, such as hamsters and seasonal rats.

Growth signals

We don’t fully understand how all these hormones in the hypothalamus interact to change appetite and weight loss, but our recent research has shown that growth signals could be important.

One way that growth signals are increased in the brain is through exercise. Siberian hamsters don’t hibernate; they stay active during the winter months. If hamsters have access to a running wheel, they will exercise more than usual. When they are exercising on their wheel, they gain weight and eat more. This is true especially during a time when they would normally be small and adapted for winter. Importantly, the increased body weight in exercising hamsters is not just made up of increased muscle, but also increased fat.

We know that the hamsters interpret the length of day properly in winter, or, at least, in a simulated winter day (the lights being on for a shorter duration), because they still have a white winter coat despite being overweight. We now understand that in hamsters the exercise-stimulated weight gain has to do with hormones that usually regulate growth, because when we block these hormones the weight gain can be reversed.

When people take up exercise, they sometimes gain weight, and this may be similar to what happens in hamsters when appetite is increased to make up for the increased energy being burned during exercise. This doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t exercise during the winter, because we don’t naturally lose weight like Siberian hamsters, but it does explain why, for some people, taking up exercise might make them feel hungrier and so they might need extra help to lose weight.

We need to find ways to overcome appetite. Lucky Business/Shutterstock.com

What we have learned from studying hamsters so far has already given us plenty of ideas about which cells and systems we need to look at in humans to understand how weight regulation works. This will create new opportunities to identify possible targets for anti-obesity drugs and maybe even tell us how to avoid obesity in the first place.The Conversation

Gisela Helfer, Lecturer in Biomedical Science, University of Bradford and Rebecca Dumbell, Postdoctoral Training Fellow, MRC Harwell Institute

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Skibidi stare: Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie has sent cosy political club a strong, silent message

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Mark Goodall explores Gillespie's appearance on politics programme

Making an appearance on a politics programme such as The BBC’s This Week presents something of an opportunity for a rock star such as Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie. There is the chance to burnish radical credentials. And there is scope for promoting new work. But, of course, there is always the risk of being asked to do something stupid.

Fortunately for Gillespie, he had a keen sense of his own red lines when asked to join presenter Andrew Neil, Michael Portillo and Caroline Flint in the Skibidi challenge – something that rock bible the NME calls “a particularly irritating dance phenomenon that is infecting the internet like a bad case of the clap”.

The look on Gillespie’s face was stony; devastating. As Neil grooved, Portillo twisted and Flint turned, the cult figure just stared straight ahead. Fans – and those who just don’t like the way politics is routinely trivialised on television – are calling it the “TV moment of the year”.

Just because he has an album to promote, Gillespie’s deadpan expression clearly said, doesn’t mean he has to play nicely and ditch the outlaw status so vital to his character – and Primal Scream’s celebrated sound.

Underground movement

Gillespie founded Primal Scream in the mid 1980s while simultaneously playing drums with The Jesus and Mary Chain. The group initially styled themselves on 1960s guitar pop groups with tracks such as Velocity Girl and All Fall Down, their first single.

Initially, the movement that Primal Scream emerged from, which centred around Creation Records – a label set up by punk impresario Alan McGee – seemed to be itself retrogressive: influences included 1970s blues and rock, Velvet Underground-style art rock with a whiff of self-indulgent psychedelia.

At the same time, the Creation roster – including Primal Scream – dived headlong into the sex and drugs antics and rock star clichés of the past. Even the artwork for Primal Scream’s latest CD, The Memphis Recordings, is another nod to rock’s glorious golden age – replicating the packaging for magnetic quarter-inch tape, which was used back in the day for studio recording.

What’s old is new again. Amazon

This was the period where independent record labels flourished and music was released seemingly free from the constraints of corporate control. Creation’s cultural and musical predecessor from Glasgow, Postcard Records – the brainchild of the even more eccentric Alan Horne – also took the Velvet Underground as its blueprint. But it synthesised this with, in the case of Orange Juice, a camp sense of fun, or with Josef K, a European art-house chic. It was a case of learning from the past to create a new present.

Politics with added funk

Primal Scream alone, for all their recycling of classic 1960s and 1970s rock on songs such as Movin’ On Up and Jailbird, realised that the message was as important as the medium. Gillespie’s background in Scottish socialist politics (his father was a left-wing trade unionist) came to bear on his statements where he used pop media to rail against government crack-downs on unlicensed raves in a “basement club beneath a kebab shop on Edgeware Road for 20 people who’d been up dancing for three nights” as he once put it.

He also made it clear what he thought of the conservatism of young people and the Thatcher government’s individualist social and economic policies (a theme he took up again with Andrew Neil on This Week, much to the presenter’s obvious discomfort).

Musically, Primal Scream’s reuse of the sorts of styles the Rolling Stones had colonised on their seminal Exile on Main Street LP – where The Stones augmented rhythm and blues with country, soul and gospel elements – married to dance and rave culture elements to create something completely new and fresh. The dub symphony of Higher Than the Sun and the epic Come Together sounded both contemporary and timeless. Their hiring of dance music producer Andrew Weatherall to remix their third album, Screamadelica, in 1991 could have been a gimmick – yet this particular synthesis of the old and the new was a triumph.

Screamadelica was funky and celebratory, a successful fusion of the grooviest elements of popular music. Primal Scream became one of the few groups at that time to take part in what journalist Dorian Lynskey in his book 33 Revolutions Per Minute calls more “challenging dialogues with history” contrasting with other dance enthusiasts committed only to the present or some “mythical past”.

It was Gillespie’s respect for history and sense of social justice, despite his evident wealth, that guided his stance on the This Week show – a stance that shattered several myths.

By challenging Neil’s neoliberal rhetoric head-on, Gillespie refused to bolster the cosy narrative of the programme, itself reflective of the decline of contemporary mass media. Then, by refusing to take part in the embarrassing impromptu dance as the credits rolled, he reminded us that music is also a protest movement, capable at its best of expressing the fears, anger and injustices of people everywhere.

Afterwards, Gillespie’s Instagram account took up the fight. He criticised Neil, and said the “sickening” display was indicative of how the media “enables” the political class in Britain.

But that look had already done all the talking required. It lasted just a moment, yet Gillespie’s scornful face as he watched, incredulous at the behaviour of the other guests – the political class. A real rock rebel gave a us memorable TV moment and, in the words of the title track of Primal Scream’s fourth studio album, said to a new generation: Give Out But Don’t Give Up.

Mark Goodall, Senior Lecturer Film and Media, University of Bradford

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

China honours Bradford professor

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A University of Bradford professor has been recognised with China's highest award for a foreign scientist.

Phil Coates, Professor of Polymer Engineering, received the International Science and Technology Cooperation Award from President Xi Jinping in a ceremony held in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing.

The award is one of China’s State Science and Technology Prizes, first introduced in 1984, and represents the highest honour in the People's Republic of China for science and technology. They recognise citizens and organisations that have made significant contributions to scientific and technological progress, and promoted the development of science and technology.

The award, for which Professor Coates was nominated by the Chinese Embassy in London, is based on more than a decade of strategic collaborations with leading Chinese researchers in the area of advanced materials, particularly applied to healthcare technologies.

This work is part of the Science Bridges China programme, an international research platform in advanced materials for healthcare. It brings together scientists, companies and hospitals from the UK and China to develop areas in drug discovery, drug delivery and medical technology.

Professor Coates said: “It is a tremendous honour to receive this award. This is really an award for our research community, including our great team in Bradford and our partners in China.

“I am very impressed by China’s clear vision, great passion and drive in investing in science and technology. They value science and technology and innovation, and see it as vital to their economic progress.

“This award encourages me to continue to drive the growth of our research collaboration, encourage UK-China cooperation and funding alignment, and continue to promote UK-China early career researcher exchanges.”

Bradford scientist awarded £90k to investigate link between diabetes and breast cancer

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A leading Bradford scientist has been awarded a grant worth more than £90,000 by research charity Breast Cancer Now to carry out cutting-edge research to uncover why breast cancer is more likely to spread in those with type two diabetes, than in those without the disease.

When breast cancer spreads – known as secondary (or metastatic) breast cancer – it becomes incurable, and almost all of the 11,500 women that die as a result of breast cancer each year in the UK will have seen their cancer spread. More than 1,620 women in West Yorkshire are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and over 350 women in the region die from the disease each year.1

Research has found that those with type two diabetes are around 20% more likely to develop breast cancer than those who are not diabetic. Furthermore, type two diabetes has also been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer spreading around the body, however the underlying molecular mechanisms connecting the two continue to elude scientists.

Previous studies have shown that platelets – the components in the blood that cause clotting – may encourage breast cancer cells to grow more aggressively. Platelets shed small fragments that carry ‘messenger molecules’ – called miRNA – which may send growth signals to breast cancer cells that encourage them to progress to secondary breast cancer. In people with type two diabetes, the blood contains higher levels of these platelet fragments, and scientists now hope to uncover whether it is the higher levels of miRNA that encourage breast cancer to spread in type two diabetics.

With funding from Breast Cancer Now, – based at the University of Bradford – will lead a three-year project to investigate how these platelet fragments bind to and communicate with breast cancer cells, and whether they send messages via miRNA that promote growth and survival of breast cancer cells, making the disease more aggressive. The team hopes to uncover whether a unique miRNA signature could be contributing to increased risk of breast cancer progression in those with type two diabetes.

Dr Boyne and his team will first study platelet fragments from type two diabetic patients, which will allow them to identify which key miRNA molecules are active, causing a change in behaviour of breast cancer cells that encourages them to grow and spread.

Using blood and breast cancer tissue samples obtained from the Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank, Dr Boyne will compare miRNAs of diabetic and non-diabetic breast cancer patients to identify any fundamental differences in miRNA expression and activity levels. The team will identify whether any miRNAs in particular are essential for breast cancer progression, and could act as predictive biomarkers to identify which diabetic patients are at a higher risk of developing secondary breast cancer.

, Lecturer in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Bradford, said: With this funding from Breast Cancer Now we have brought together expertise from across West Yorkshire to investigate why breast cancer is more likely to metastasise in women with type two diabetes.

“The project is very much a multidisciplinary collaboration of leaders in the fields of platelet biology (Dr Wayne Roberts), breast cancer oncology (Prof Valerie Speirs) and diabetes (Dr Donald Whitelaw). We are hopeful that working together we will be able to identify new mechanisms that drive breast cancer progression in type two diabetics to ensure the best possible outcomes for these patients.”

Dr Richard Berks, Senior Research Communications Officer at Breast Cancer Now, said: “Dr Boyne’s vital research will help us understand why breast cancer is more likely to spread in women with type two diabetes. Understanding the link between these two diseases may help doctors to predict whether a diabetic patient is likely to develop metastatic breast cancer, so that effective treatments can be put in place to reduce the risk of the disease spreading and becoming incurable.

“If Dr Boyne identifies that specific miRNAs are sending signals that exacerbate breast cancer cells’ growth, this could lead to the development of new, highly-specific therapies for those with secondary breast cancer.

“Our ambition is that by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live. Dr Boyne’s project could help bring us one step closer to this goal and we’d like to thank our supporters across Yorkshire who continue to help make potentially life-saving research like this possible.”

Bradford Honorary Graduate made MBE

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Alzheimer's Society volunteer and Bradford Honorary Graduate, Dr Barbara Woodward-Carlton, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours.

The award was given in recognition of Dr Woodward-Carlton's services to patient and public involvement in furthering dementia research.

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said: “This is a well-deserved honour and recognition of Barbara’s tireless commitment to improving the lives of people affected by dementia.

“For over two decades Barbara has played a pivotal role in ensuring that the voices of people affected by dementia are heard and that increased funding for research becomes a priority.

“As a founding member of Alzheimer’s Society’s Research Network in 1999, Barbara helped pioneer public involvement in dementia research, drawing on her own experiences of caring for her mother with Alzheimer’s disease. Nearly 20 years on and now with over 280 carers, former carers and people living with dementia involved, the Research Network is a global leader and has been at the forefront of initiatives to bring dementia research into the spotlight for funders, industry and governments.

“As an expert by experience, Barbara has built an innovative and productive partnership with University of Bradford which has united Research Network volunteers in Yorkshire with the world-leading dementia research taking place at the University.

“All of us at Alzheimer’s Society send Barbara a huge, heartfelt congratulations. We could have no better a champion as we strive to transform the landscape of dementia forever – uniting the nation in the fight against the condition.”

Bradford professor awarded prestigious opportunity to teach in the USA

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A leading expert in end-of-life care from the University of Bradford will be heading to Minnesota later this year to share his expertise with students at the University of Minnesota.

, 50th Anniversary Professor (End-of-Life Care) and Academic Director of the has been successful in receiving a Distinguished Visiting Professorship in the Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota.

Professor Kellehear said: "I'm delighted to be offered this wonderful opportunity to teach at a major Public Liberal Arts College in the USA. I will be teaching an interdisciplinary course about death, dying & end of life care as well as offering some public lectures to the college town community.

“I feel honoured and grateful toward the University of Bradford for giving me the time to take up this opportunity - an opportunity that I hope will also add to our growing international profile as a British university."

Professor Kellehear will be at the University of Minnesota at Morris - the dedicated Liberal Arts College of that university for one semester, from late August to December.

Past participants of the award include Bernice Johnson Reagon, historian and civil rights activist; Gloria Ladson-Billings, path breaking author in the field of culturally relevant pedagogy; Peter Agre, Nobel Laureate in chemistry and leading global health researcher; and Gary Nabhan, ethnobiologist and internationally celebrated nature writer and agrarian activist.

Bradford School of Management extends global business accreditation

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The University of Bradford's School of Management has extended its global accreditation in business, one of just 49 business schools across the world to do so.

The accreditation maintains the School’s position as one of a handful of business schools across the world with the coveted triple-crown of accreditations, providing engaging and innovative teaching and learning along with research, which has been recognised as making a difference to the world.

AACSB International (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) announced the accreditations following a process of rigorous internal focus, engagement with an AACSB assigned mentor, and peer-reviewed evaluation. During this multi-year path, schools focus on developing and implementing a plan to align with AACSB’s accreditation standards. These standards require excellence in areas relating to strategic management and innovation; student, faculty, and staff as active participants; learning and teaching; and academic and professional engagement.

Once accreditation is achieved, each institution participates in a five-year continuous improvement peer-review to maintain high quality and extend its accreditation.

Professor Zahir Irani, Dean of the Faculty of Management and Law, said: “We are delighted to receive commendations and the maximum period of reaccreditation from AACSB. This secures our triple accreditation status amongst an elite group of Business and Management Schools and helps confirm our strategic focus of relevance and research that has significant impact for our students, staff and society.”

Stephanie M. Bryant, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB, said: “AACSB congratulates each institution on their achievement. Every AACSB-accredited school has demonstrated a focus on excellence in all areas, including teaching, research, curricula development, and student learning. The intense peer-review process exemplifies their commitment to quality business education.”

The School of Management has been an international leader in business education, research and knowledge transfer for more than 50 years. Its MBA was first launched in 1974 and its DBA was launched in 2001.

Founded in 1916, AACSB is the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools, and the largest business education network connecting students, educators, and businesses worldwide.

Professor shortlisted for award celebrating outstanding women

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Professor Diana Anderson, Established Chair of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Bradford has been shortlisted for an award celebrating outstanding women in the North of England.

The English Women’s Awards 2018 – North aims to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of women entrepreneurs, business women, professionals, civil servants, charity workers and many more across the North of England.

was nominated and voted for by the public and as a result has been shortlisted in the Services to Science & Technology category. Diana has published over 400 papers and has dedicated her life to carrying out cutting-edge research to improve lives. Some of her work includes a blood test to help detect types of cancer and research on how smoking fathers can pass on damaged DNA to their children.

On being shortlisted, Diana said: “I’m delighted to be shortlisted for an award that celebrates the achievements of women and I’m especially proud to be recognized in the Science and Technology category, which is an area where women can often be under-represented.”

The award ceremony will take place in Manchester on 20 March. This is the first year of the English Women’s Awards following the Scottish Women’s Awards last year in Glasgow.

Feminism and social media-the threats and opportunities explored

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In the centenary year of women : at least a section - in Britain first gaining the vote, the need is as great as ever to champion the cause of gender equality.

And in that cause, the rise of social media has manifested itself as both a threat and an opportunity, perhaps most noticeably demonstrated through the #MeToo campaign.

Now, female academics from across the world have come together to contribute their research, findings and arguments to a special edition of the quarterly journal Feminism & Psychology.

The publication, entitled Feminisms and Social Media, explores a range of issues encompassing social media platforms as complex and contradictory spaces for feminism. Among the subjects explored and analysed are:

  • Female athletes’ self-representation
  • Young feminists, feminism and digital media
  • Non-consensual pornography websites
  • Harassment and misogyny on dating sites
  • Victim blaming in discussions of sexual assault cases
  • The role of social media in sex education

Guest editor, Professor Abigail Locke, of the University of Bradford, said: “When women speak out they continue to suffer attacks, disparagement and abuse and social media has exacerbated this, given it a new profile. But social media opens up possibilities also and a new generation of women are speaking out on social media. It is providing a new space for feminism, for speaking out and connecting. #MeToo is an expression of this.

“We want this special edition of Feminism & Psychology to demonstrate that social media can be used as a force for resistance and social change. We stand at a particular point in time, when the power of social media can provide the platform and the opportunity to make significant contributions to this debate.”

Discovery paves way for treatment to prevent blood vessel damage

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The discovery of a previously unknown interaction between proteins could provide a breakthrough in the prevention of damage to healthy blood vessels.

Led by the University of Bradford, the research shows how the two proteins combine to protect blood vessels from inflammation and damage and could pave the way for treatments to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.

The new study, published in Nature Communications, found that when a protein called SOCS3 binds directly with another protein called Cavin-1, small cell surface regions of blood vessels called caveolae are stabilised, preventing damage. This mechanism, previously unknown, is important for maintaining healthy vascular function. This process happens naturally in healthy cells but can be compromised when damage occurs, through natural processes such as ageing or as a result of lifestyle.

To achieve this, the team used a combination of proteomics, which identified cavin-1 as a new SOCS3-regulated protein, and then applying cutting-edge molecular biology, biochemistry and imaging approaches to characterise how they controlled each other’s function in cells.

The project is a collaboration between researchers at the University of Bradford, University of Glasgow, Boston University Medical School (Boston, USA) and the Otto-von-Guericke-University (Magdeburg, Germany).

Professor Tim Palmer of the University of Bradford said: “This is a real breakthrough as it defines for the first time a new interaction between two pathways that control key properties of healthy blood vessels – protection from inflammation and resistance to mechanical damage.

“Our research has identified an interaction that could be used to develop new medicines to maintain healthy blood vessel function and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. At the moment, patients at risk of developing cardiovascular disease take medications such as statins to reduce the likelihood of heart attack or stroke. However not everyone responds to these drugs and they can also result in side effects such as muscle pain that impact on quality of life. Importantly, statins do not directly protect blood vessels from damage.

“From our findings, it may now be possible to develop drugs targeting this newly-discovered system that could be taken by patients at risk of cardiovascular disease to better maintain vascular health and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

“The next stage of our work will be to study this mechanism in detail in models of cardiovascular disease and see if it is compromised in patients known to have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, such as those with diabetes.”

Professor George Baillie of the University of Glasgow said: "The targeted disruption of this protein complex brings real potential to make headway in discovering new therapeutics. I am truly excited by the possibilities.”

Bradford's Diversity Festival returns

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In a celebration of the city's diversity, the University of Bradford is welcoming back its popular Diversity Festival.

The theme of this year’s festival which runs 12-16 March is ‘Challenging Perceptions’. The looks at new, interesting and thought provoking ideas and is created in partnership with staff, students and external partners.

Highlights of this year’s festival include a comedy night with Francesca Martinez and Britain’s Got Talent star Jack Carrol, a panel discussion on ‘taking back the power’ and an opportunity to hear survivors stories from the charity Karma Nirvana.

Also featuring is Bisi Alimi, the anti-gay campaigner who became the first Nigerian to come out on national TV.

Gill Cockburn, Co-chair of n-able, the staff network for promoting disability equality said: “This year’s programme looks the best yet with inspiring talks, lively debates and lots of laughter. These events are for everyone and will hopefully raise awareness and tackle some of the misperceptions people may have.

“It is set to be a fantastic week and I hope as many people book on to the events as possible.”

Information on dates, times and how to book onto these events

The Diversity Festival last ran in 2016 and partners include Bradford College who are hosting a series of cinema nights throughout the festival.

Lost landscapes of the Irish Sea explored

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"Europe's Lost Frontiers" project joins IT Sligo, University College Cork, and the Irish Marine Institute to explore the lost landscapes of the Irish Sea

This February, Bradford’s “Europe’s Lost Frontiers” research team, along with the Institute of Technology Sligo, University College Cork and the Irish Marine Institute, will carry out an expedition to explore the extensive submerged landscapes that exist between Ireland and Great Britain.Following the last Ice Age, large areas of habitable land were inundated following climate change and sea level rise across the world. Globally, the sea level rose c. 120 metres and an area more than twice that of the modern United States of America was lost to the sea. Beneath the waves of the Irish Sea is a prehistoric ‘palaeolandscape’ of plains, hills, marshlands and river valleys in which evidence of human activity is expected to be preserved.

This landscape is similar to Doggerland, an area of the southern North Sea and currently the best-known example of a palaeolandscape in Europe. Doggerland has been extensively researched by , Principal Investigator of the “Europe’s Lost Frontiers” Project.

“Research by the project team has also provided accurate maps for the submerged lands that lie between Ireland and Britain” said Professor Gaffney, “and these are suspected to hold crucial information regarding the first settlers of Ireland and adjacent lands along the Atlantic corridor”.

To provide this evidence, sediment from c. 60 cores, taken from 20 sites by the Irish Research Vessel RV Celtic Voyager in Liverpool and Cardigan Bays between the 21– 25th February, will be studied by an international research team.

Dr James Bonsall, from the Centre for Environmental Research Innovation and Sustainability (CERIS) in the Dept. of Environmental Science at IT Sligo, is the Chief Scientist for this phase of the research, and his CERIS colleague, Environmental Scientist Eithne Davis will be on board the RV Celtic Voyager, directing operations.

“It is very exciting” said Dr Bonsall, “as we’re using cutting-edge technology to retrieve the first evidence for life within landscapes that were inundated by rising sea levels thousands of years ago. This is the first time that this range of techniques has been employed on submerged landscapes under the Irish Sea. Today we perceive the Irish Sea as a large body of water, a sea that separates us from Britain and mainland Europe, a sea that gives us an identity as a proud island nation. But 18,000 years ago, Ireland, Britain and Europe were part of a single landmass that gradually flooded over thousands of years, forming the islands that we know today.

“We’re going to find out where, when, why and how people lived on a landscape that today is located beneath the waves”.

Key outcomes of the research will be to reconstruct and simulate the palaeoenvironments of the Irish Sea, using ancient DNA, analysed in the laboratories at the University of Warwick, and palaeoenvironmental data extracted from the sediment cores.

The studies will be of immense value in understanding 'first’ or ‘early' contact and settlement around the coasts of Ireland and Britain, but also the lifestyles of those people who lived within the inundated, prehistoric landscapes that lie between our islands and which have never been adequately explored by archaeologists.

The project team includes;

Prof. Vincent Gaffney, Principle Investigator: “Europe’s Lost Frontiers” Project, University of Bradford
Prof. Robin Allaby, Chair in Archaeogenomics, University of Warwick
Dr David Smith Senior Lecturer in Environmental Archaeology, University of Birmingham
Dr Richard Bates Reader in Earth and Environmental Sciences University of St Andrews
Dr Martin Bates, Lecturer in Geoarchaeology,University of Wales Trinity St. David
Professor Eugene Ch’ng, Chair in Cultural Computing, The University of Nottingham, Ningbo. China

Ancient DNA reveals impact of the 'Beaker Phenomenon'� on prehistoric Europeans

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In the largest study of ancient human DNA ever conducted, an international team of scientists has revealed the complex story behind one of the defining periods in European prehistory. The study is published this week in the journal Nature.

Between 4,700-4,400 years ago, a new bell-shaped pottery style spread across western and central Europe. For over a century, archaeologists have tried to establish whether the spread of “Beaker” pottery – and the culture associated with it – represented a large-scale migration of people, or was simply due to the exchange of new ideas.

Now, a study that includes ancient-DNA data from 400 prehistoric skeletons, drawn from sites across Europe, has concluded both theories are true.

The scientists found that the culture of producing beakers spread between Iberia and central Europe without significant movement of people. “DNA from skeletons associated with Beaker burials in Iberia was not close to that of central European skeletons”, says Iñigo Olalde, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School in Boston USA, an author of the study.

However, the evidence in Britain reveals a different story. The Natural History Museum’s Professor Ian Barnes, a co-senior author of the study, explains, “We found that the skeletal remains of individuals from Britain who lived shortly after the first beaker pottery appears have a very different DNA profile to those who came before. Over several hundred years, at least 90% of the ancestry of ancient British populations was replaced by a group from the continent. Following the Beaker spread, there was a population in Britain that for the first time had ancestry and skin and eye pigmentation similar to the majority of Britons today.”

This revelation suggests the Beaker people almost entirely replaced the island’s earlier inhabitants, Britain’s Neolithic farmers who were responsible for huge stone monuments, including Stonehenge.

, senior co-author and Professor of Archaeology at the University of Bradford, said: “The analysis shows pretty conclusively that migration of the Beaker people into Britain was more intense and on a larger scale than anyone had previously thought. Britain essentially has a whole new population after that period. We still don’t know for sure what caused such a rapid genetic turnover – the available evidence doesn’t necessarily suggest a violent invasion. There might have been environmental problems which caused a population decline among the indigenous population, or the Beaker migrants could have brought new diseases with them.”

Dr Selina Brace who led the ancient-DNA lab work at the Natural History Museum, said, “It’s been a fantastic experience to work with colleagues from teams across Europe and the US, using the state-of-the-art ancient-DNA analyses we have developed for our museum specimens."

Tom Booth, Natural History Museum archaeologist, added, “The question of whether new things spread by the movement of people or ideas has been one of the most important and long-running questions in archaeology, and it’s fascinating to discover that both are the case for the Beaker culture.”

Mike Parker Pearson, professor of British Later Prehistory at UCL said "This is a great example of how geneticists and archaeologists are collaborating to rewrite the prehistory of both Britain and Europe".

Mark Thomas, professor of evolutionary genetics at UCL and co-author on the study said: “The sheer scale of population replacement in Britain is going to surprise many, even though the more we learn from ancient DNA studies, the more we see large-scale migration as the norm in prehistory.”

This study was conducted by an international team of 144 archaeologists and geneticists from institutions in Europe and the United States. The Natural History Museum's contribution to the project was supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Image © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

Beaker phenomenon CREDIT Alison Sheridan National Museum of Scotland Newmill Beaker and flints

University of Bradford researcher presents findings to Parliament

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A University of Bradford lecturer has been selected to present her research to MPs and expert judges in Parliament.

Dr Rianne Lord was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants and will speak about new drugs for the treatment of colorectal cancer at the event on March 12th.

The competition is part of a campaign called STEM for Britain, run by the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, and involves early career researchers producing a poster explaining their research and competing for prizes of up to £2,000.

Dr Lord, lecturer in bioinorganic chemistry, said: “I applied for this event to not only enhance my research field, but to promote the exciting work being undertaken here at the University of Bradford and to help promote young female academics within STEM. I am delighted to be selected for this prestigious event and I am looking forward to presenting my work to a diverse audience.

"This event will also allow me to promote science on a more political level, to show that governmental funding for research is necessary and purposeful. I hope to get a chance to speak to many MPs from across the country, to create a positive impact of science across the breadth of the UK. I also hope that this event will attract many people unfamiliar with my research field, and look forward to addressing their questions and increasing their interest in our work."

Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, said: "This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers.

"These early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future, and STEM for Britain is the politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work."

Open the door to a new future

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The University of Bradford is opening its doors to all those interested in postgraduate and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) study.

The University is encouraging anyone who is looking to improve their career prospects and earning potential or want to develop new skills or unlock a new career path, to come along and find out more.

The Postgraduate and CPD open day is on Thursday 1 March and is a chance to meet academic and admission staff and to explore the different options available. The Open Day also offers a range of general talks, course talks and public lectures tackling the rise of Artificial Intelligence and showcasing the research taking place at the University of Bradford.

Claire Pryke, Associate Director (Recruitment Operations) said: “This is a great opportunity to find out more about postgraduate study. Whether it’s something you’ve wondered about for several years or you just need a new direction or new challenge, I would encourage everyone to come along and speak to academics, support staff and current students and find out more about postgraduate study at Bradford .”

Visitors who are new to the University can take a tour of the campus and the student accommodation. Tours are provided throughout the duration of the Open Day and can include a look at our Postgraduate Research Lounge, an exclusive area for research students.

Academics and admissions staff will be on-hand to discuss an ideal programme of study, and the application process. Sessions include information on funding, writing proposals, the impact of postgraduate study and individual subjects.

Talks and tours run from 3pm – 6pm. More information including how to book on available here.