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News from 2019

Protein 'spat out' by cancer cells promotes tumour growth

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Prostate cancer cells change the behaviour of other cells around them, including normal cells, by 'spitting out' a protein from their nucleus, new research has found.

The tiny pieces of protein are taken up by the other cells, provoking changes that promote tumour growth and – the researchers believe - help the cancer hide from the body’s immune system.

The process has been captured for the first time on video by researchers at the University of Bradford and University of Surrey. The research is published today [26 March] in Scientific Reports.

Lead researcher, Professor Richard Morgan from the University of Bradford, said: “For tumours to survive, grow bigger and spread they need to control the behaviour of cancer cells and the normal cells around them and we’ve found a means by which they do this. Blocking this process could be a potential target for future cancer therapy.”

The research focused on a protein called EN2 that has a role in early development of the brain but has also been found at high levels in many types of cancer cells.

The team highlighted the protein using a green florescent tag. The researchers then studied its activity in human prostate cancer cells, normal prostate cells and in bladder cancer, melanoma and leukaemia cells. They found that both cancer and normal cells took up the protein from other cells.

They also did time lapse photography of prostate cancer cells, taking pictures every five minutes for 24 hours. The resulting video shows the cells eject small parts of themselves containing the green florescent protein that are then taken up by otherwise dormant cancer cells, causing them to reactivate, changing shape or fusing together.

Professor Morgan explains: “We think this is significant because cell fusion in cancer is relatively unusual and is associated with very aggressive disease. It can lead to new and unpredictable hybrid cells that are frequently better at spreading to different sites and surviving chemotherapy and radiotherapy.”

Molecular analysis of the normal prostate cells showed that take up of EN2 caused them to express a gene called MX2 that generates an anti-viral response.

“We believe the cancer is trying to minimise the chances of the cells around it being infected by a virus, to avoid scrutiny by the immune system,” says Professor Morgan. “This could undermine the effectiveness of immunotherapy treatments, which try to use viruses to kill cancer by stimulating the immune system to attack it.”

The researchers were also surprised to find the EN2 protein in the cell membrane as well as in the nucleus – which is very unusual for this type of protein. This provides an opportunity to block its action, and the team were able to identify that part of the protein that was accessible at the cell surface to be a potential target for treatment.

Hardev Pandha, Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Surrey, says: “This work follows on from earlier studies at Surrey where detection of EN2 in urine, after secretion from prostate cancer cells, was shown to be a robust diagnostic biomarker of prostate cancer. The more we learn about prostate cancer the more that can be done to identify and treat this devastating disease.”

University helps more local students gain access to higher education

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The University of Bradford has seen an increase in applications from local secondary schools and colleges following a new campaign to get more young people in Bradford into higher education.

The latest figures show a 27% increase of 17 and 18 year olds applying to the University from the Bradford district, with an increase in nearly every ward in the Bradford constituency.

The increase is being attributed to a combination of outreach workshops and a new progression scheme introduced in September 2018. Outreach activities include one to one support and guidance from our dedicated Outreach and Widening Participation Officer Beth Crossfield, mentoring services, campus visits, workshops, transition activities and in some instances financial support.

The Progression Scheme is open to applicants from areas of low progression to higher education, care leavers or previously looked after young people, asylum seekers, refugees and mature applicants.  These applicants automatically receive an offer which is the equivalent of one A Level grade lower than the standard entry criteria.  There is also the opportunity for these applicants to engage in a number of events on campus to support their transition to university.

Mark Garratt, Director of External Affairs at the University said: “We have a fantastic outreach team who deliver some brilliant workshops in schools. The introduction of our progression scheme to help underrepresented groups gain access to higher education is seeing real results and reinforcing our commitment to get more young people into higher education.”

Mr John Tomlinson, Progress Leader Post 16, St. Benedict’s Sixth Form, said: “Many of our students are amongst the first generation in their family to consider university as an option.  Our students have been able to see with their own eyes what life at university is like through a series of successful workshops and seminars. These have not just promoted the exciting opportunities at the University of Bradford but rather the possibilities that all universities throughout the UK and abroad can offer our young people. 

“I am most grateful for the support and relationship that the team have offered the school, my students and indeed staff in school. Without them I am sure that a number of students would not have made the choice to attend University, they have in short, changed lives.”

The University of Bradford has a long established reputation of widening access to higher education, and in supporting a diverse student population to succeed in their academic careers, moving on to valuable, professional and managerial employment.  The Progression Scheme further supports this.

More information about the University of Bradford Progression Scheme is available here and information on the outreach team can be found here

To find out more book on to our next open day on Saturday June 22

Bradford’s MBA continues to be world-leading

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The University of Bradford’s online MBA has jumped into another top 10 ranking securing its position as one of the best in the world.

CEO Magazine announced their 2019 Global MBA rankings this week which saw Bradford’s  Distance Learning MBA moving up two places to be ranked 10th in the world.

The rankings, which were launched in 2012, profile MBA, Executive MBA and Online MBA programmes. Using a ranking system entirely geared and weighted towards fact-based criteria, CEO Magazine aims to cut through the noise and provide potential students with a performance benchmark for those schools under review. Schools are ranked as Tier One or Tier Two based on their overall percentage score from these data points.

Bradford’s online MBA has been ranked as Tier One which comes only weeks after appearing in the Top 10 Financial Times online MBA world rankings.

Professor Zahir Irani, Dean of the Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences said: “It is great to see our Distance Learning MBA appearing in another prestigious top 10 ranking. This achievement is testament to the high quality of teaching, resources and support we offer our students as they embark on their journey as global leaders of the future.”

The University's DBA programme also features in CEO Magazine's Global DBA listing, highlighting some of the market's premier DBA providers. 

This year CEO Magazine reached out to business schools across North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the BRICS, and received data from 144 schools, offering 292 different programmes in 25 countries.

The complete CEO Magazine 2019 Global MBA Rankings can be viewed in the latest edition of CEO Magazine, or on the magazine’s website https://goo.gl/RTU9EG.

University of Bradford appoints new Vice-Chancellor

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The University of Bradford has appointed Professor Shirley Congdon as its next Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Congdon is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic at the University of Bradford, and will be the first woman to be Vice-Chancellor at Bradford.

She has over 28 years’ experience in the higher education sector.  During that time, she has worked at several universities and undertaken a number of significant strategic leadership roles, including Head of Department at Teesside University and Dean of School and Director of Academic Delivery at Liverpool John Moores University.

Professor Congdon joined the University of Bradford as the Dean of Health Studies in 2009 and became the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) in 2011.  In 2015 she took on the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and for the last four years has been responsible for the development and oversight of the academic strategy and the student experience.

University of Bradford’s Chair of Council, Baroness Ann Taylor, said: “We are delighted to have appointed Professor Congdon as our next Vice-Chancellor. Her appointment comes at an important time for the University, which has been recruiting strongly and building on its strengths. Bradford is a high-quality, research-intensive University, with strongly performing specialist programmes and very high graduate employment rates. Professor Congdon’s track record as both a senior leader and renowned academic, and her knowledge of the University, will complement the ambitious programme we have for Bradford.”

Professor Congdon said: “I am delighted to be taking up the post of Vice-Chancellor, and I am deeply honoured to become the first female Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford. I am looking forward to leading our talented staff and students to increase our impact and reputation locally, nationally and globally.  With the Executive Team I will engender a vibrant culture for staff and students reinforcing our commitment to excellence in service delivery, research, knowledge exchange, teaching and equality & diversity.

“Having lived and worked in the Bradford City Region for nine years I am committed to positioning the University at the centre of social and economic regeneration. As Vice-Chancellor I will apply my considerable experience in both higher education and health and social care to advance the University’s partnerships with the local authority, business, schools, further education providers and the wider Bradford community. Despite operating in an increasingly challenging environment I am confident the University of Bradford will increase its impact locally and globally.”

Professor Congdon succeeds Professor Brian Cantor, who has been Vice-Chancellor since 2013. During his tenure, the University won its first Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education, and achieved Silver in the Teaching Excellence Framework. He has established the World Technology Universities Network and attracted some of the most influential academics in their fields to be University Anniversary Chairs.

Baroness Taylor added: “I would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Professor Cantor for his leadership, guidance and wisdom. During his time as Vice-Chancellor the University has gone from strength to strength, establishing a global reputation and leadership in key academic fields. On behalf of the University, I wish him well in the future.”

Can you help save a life?

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The University of Bradford encourages more people to join the stem cell register

Staff at the University of Bradford are holding a donor recruitment event to help recruit more potential donors to the Anthony Nolan stem cell donor register.

The search is particularly urgent to find a bone marrow match for a three month old child whose has been diagnosed with a life threatening illness. The UK bone marrow registers have been searched but so far no match has been found. The child has a parent who works at the University but has asked to stay anonymous.

The event will also raise awareness of Anthony Nolan – a blood cancer charity – and that people will be inspired to join the charity’s register of potential stem cell donors.

The event is on Thursday 21 March, 10am-2pm there will be a stand in the atrium in the Richmond building and in the Student’s Union.

Joanne Mullarky, Research Nurse in Ethical Tissue said: “We are pleased to be working with Anthony Nolan and hope that as many people as possible come forward to be tested. The first step is really quick and simple all you need to do is provide a mouth swab for testing.”

“It is especially close to our hearts as there is a three month old baby who needs to find a match and this is what is driving the campaign.”

Anthony Nolan uses its register to match potential stem cell donors to blood cancer patients in desperate need of a transplant.

It also carries out pioneering research to increase stem cell transplant success, and supports patients through their transplant journeys.

Anthony Nolan is also keen to encourage more people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds to join the register. Currently, donors from these backgrounds, make up just 16% of the register, and patients have only a 20% chance of finding the best possible donor match, compared to 69% for people with white, European heritage.

Rebecca Pritchard, Head of Register Development at Anthony Nolan, says, “We are delighted that the University of Bradford has been inspired to encourage people to sign up as donors. Every day, five people will start their search for a matching stranger who might save their life. Each person who signs up has the potential to help save someone in desperate need of a lifesaving stem cell transplant.

"We’re also particularly calling on young men aged 16-30 to consider joining the Anthony Nolan register as young men provide 50% of all stem cell donations but make up just 18% of our register.’

People aged 16-30 can join the register online at www.anthonynolan.org or by attending the event at Thursday 21 March, 10am-2pm in the Atrium, Richmond building, University of Bradford. Members of the public within the age range are also welcome to attend the session.

New diagnostic clues found for life limiting lung condition

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A new biomarker that could be used to provide earlier diagnosis for a life limiting lung condition has been identified by researchers at the University of Bradford.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) affects around 6,500 people in the UK and is caused by a narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to the lungs. This leads to high blood pressure and, eventually, to heart failure.

PAH can occur spontaneously at any age. There is no cure and current therapies can cost up to £100,000 per patient. Symptoms – including shortness of breath and tiredness – are similar to many other cardiovascular conditions, so it can take up to four years  to get a diagnosis.

The new study, published in Human Molecular Genetics, identifies a particular protein responsible for a build-up of cells in the blood vessels. It was led by the University of Bradford and includes researchers from the University of Cambridge (UK), Kings College London (UK), University of Dhaka (Bangladesh), Centre for Health Agricultural and Socio-economic Advancements (CHASA, Bangladesh) and Hacettepe University (Turkey).

The study builds on earlier research to investigate the genetic causes of PAH – in particular the mechanism of one faulty gene, known as BMPR-II, which was first identified nearly two decades ago.

Dr Talat Nasim, in Bradford’s School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, has previously shown that mutations in BMPR-II are responsible both for two important processes behind the disease. In the first of these, cells forming the wall and lining of the arteries supplying blood to the lungs reproduce excessively; while in the second the mechanism that causes old or unwanted cells to die – apoptosis – is reduced. Together, these processes cause the blood vessels to become narrow or blocked.

Understanding precisely how BMPR-II contributes to each of these processes has taken many years of investigation. In a 2012 study published in Human Molecular Genetics, the team showed how BMPR-II drives the excessive production of cells. The current study focuses on the second challenge – how apoptosis is affected by the faulty gene.

Dr Nasim explains: “We wanted to find out why the cells are not dying, but instead were building up inside the wall of the pulmonary arteries. To do this, we needed to identify and investigate the proteins that are influenced by this gene.”

The team discovered that the faulty BMPR-II gene affected one particular protein called Bcl-x. This, in turn, is responsible for making two different proteins, one of which increases cell apoptosis, and the other one reduces it. These two work in balance in the body to regulate cell death. If BMPR-II is faulty, however, the protein for reducing cell apoptosis is increased – preventing cell death from occurring.

 “This protein can be used as a biomarker for accurately identifying PAH in patients,” says Dr Nasim. “This could help us diagnose PAH at an earlier stage, possibly leading to better treatment options for patients. We can also make other services available, such as genetic counselling, to help patients understand the disease and to identify those at risk of developing it.”

Co-author, Professor Nick Morrell, from the University of Cambridge, says: "This exciting work adds significantly to our understanding of how inherited forms of PAH are caused, and potentially offers a new way to diagnose the disease early. Early diagnosis and early treatment means better outcomes for our patients."

Co-author, Professor Richard Trembath from Kings College London, says: “PAH remains a challenging condition to manage and the findings reported in the present work offer additional insights as to both the process of development of PAH and ways of monitoring the progression of the disease. Further studies are now required to determine the utility of this approach.”

Dr Nasim’s team has filed a patent for the biomarker and is now investigating whether it could also be a target for new drugs. A number of promising compounds are currently being developed and tested in animal models.

Speed networking for International Women's Day 2019

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The University of Bradford is backing the International Women's Day #BalanceforBetter campaign 2019 with a speed networking style event.

The event will take place on Monday 11 March, 12noon-3pm in Richmond Atrium and participants can drop in anytime during the session.

The event will offer a unique and fun opportunity for students and staff to network with senior female professional, academic staff and other role models in a short ‘Speed-Networking’ format. They’ll have the chance to speak informally and ask for advice about their career journey.

Professor Udy Archibong, Professor of Diversity and Strategic Lead for Equality and Diversity at the University of Bradford said: “The opportunities available for women today would be unimaginable to the majority of women 50 years ago. 

“However, women today still face challenges. Despite the challenges, women continue to be very successful in many walks of life e.g. we are now seeing women reach the very highest levels of some of our best organisations. They are truly the balance we need for a better world.”

If you need further details about this event or have any access requirements, please do not hesitate to contact the Equality and Diversity Team at equality@bradford.ac.uk .

How death in the past can help us write about death in the present

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The University of Bradford is holding a series of workshops using archaeology to write about death.

People with an interest in poetry and creative writing are invited to attend these free workshops in Bradford, Manchester and Sheffield.

The Bradford workshops take place in Bradford on 13 March, 3 April and 5 June and participants are asked to attend all three.

The Creative Dissemination project follows the Continuing Bonds study and is a result of follow-on funding for Impact and Engagement awarded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The project continues with the original drive to normalise death, dying, bereavement and grief in contemporary society. To do this, stories, experiences and opinions given in the original workshops together with archaeological materials are being used as inspiration for creative writing and poetry.

Dr Karina Croucher, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology said: “These workshops are great for anyone with an interest in poetry or creative writing who wants to explore a new way of thinking and talking about death. We will look at themes like remembering/forgetting the dead, contentious resting sites, keeping the dead, memorialising through objects and treatment of the body after death.”

The project runs for 9 months and is led by Principal Investigator Dr Karina Croucher (University of Bradford) and Co-Investigators Dr Jennie Dayes? (University of Bradford) and Dr Melanie Giles? (University of Manchester). The anthology and workshop materials will be hosted online to encourage others to hold similar writing events, write about death, dying and grief issues, and to engage an even wider audience on the topic.

Further information including the dates for the other two cities are available here and to book your free place please email continuingbonds@bradford.ac.uk.

Bradford’s MBA recognised as one of the world’s best

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The Distance Learning MBA at the University of Bradford School of Management has jumped in the top 10 in the 2019 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, fourth in the world for career progress and 10th in the world overall, which is a rise of four places from its ranking in 2018.

The Financial Times also places the programme 3rd in the UK overall.

Professor Zahir Irani, Dean of the Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences said: “It is great news that once again our Distance Learning MBA ranks so highly and now features in the top 10, ranking 1st in the world for value for money for the third 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 April, July and October 2019 intakes. To find out more about the programme, sign up for one of the forthcoming MBA online events here.

Supporting men with eating disorders better

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Dr Russell Delderfield from the University of Bradford has contributed to a new self-help guide for parents, carers and friends of people with eating disorders.

Russell’s area of research is male eating disorders and in this chapter he explores how to better support males with eating disorders including the language that parents or carers should use when addressing the issue.

The book by Lynn Crilly, titled “Hope with eating disorders” includes up-to-date case studies, stats and research on the topic. It is a practical, supportive guide for anyone helping someone with an eating disorder be they a family member, teacher, sports coach, workplace colleague or friend.

Russell, who has published a book on Male Eating Disorders, is a leading voice on how men should be better supported and how their experiences don’t always match up with the perception of a person suffering with an eating disorder.

Russell has worked with over 40 men’s stories to capture their experiences of living with an eating disorder and uses these testimonies to suggest ways healthcare and counselling could be improved.

Russell said: “Whilst things are gradually changing, understanding men in their own words is more important than ever before if we are to make a difference to men and their families when they reach out for help. Treatments and services only work if they respond to the individual; this means all aspects of that person, including their gender. This is why I believe that studying male eating disorders in the context of masculinity is vital.”

February 25 – March 3 is Eating Disorders Awareness week which is an international awareness event, fighting the myths and misunderstandings that surround anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and EDNOS.

More information on Lynn’s book available here

Does it matter if we forget things?

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A public lecture at the University of Bradford will explore the intriguing world of memory and what it means if we start to forget.

Professor Catriona Morrison, Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Bradford, will speak on the subject on Wednesday 27 February, 6-7.30pm in the Norcroft Centre.

The talk will look at some of the cues we use to investigate memory and what changes in memory can mean.

Catriona said: “Memory slip-ups are a part of everyday life – we use our memory in every second of every day (even when we’re asleep!), so is it surprising that it sometimes goes wrong? Should we be worried about it?

“In this talk I will discuss some of the ways in which memory lets us down and why that might even be adaptive. We’ll also consider how memory emerges and changes across the lifespan, and consider a very interesting analysis of the author Iris Murdoch’s work that suggests there were early clues about her developing dementia.”

Catriona was an author on a paper looking at a person’s earliest memory which was published last year. She has an MA from the University of Glasgow, a doctorate from the University of York, and has worked at the universities of Cardiff, Leeds and Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh. She has a keen interest in student education and public engagement and is a former Chair of the British Psychological Society’s Education Board. Her research interests, aside from memory, include the psychology of language, the psychology of addiction, and, most recently, has been investigating the growing problem of online trolling.

Through public events the University of Bradford seeks to provide a forum for academics, students, experts in their fields and the public to discuss areas of work of the University and their relation to society.

The lecture is free to attend but further information is available on the booking link here

Bradford psychologist speaks out on male cancer

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A University of Bradford psychologist addressed MPs last week to discuss the subject of male cancer and how patients need to be better supported.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Male Cancer discussed the three types of male cancer (testicular, prostate and penile) and looked at how more can be done to support patients both before treatment and after. Dr Pete Branney from the University of Bradford was invited to contribute due to his research in male cancer and in particular penile cancer. Pete has worked with men across the UK who have been affected by these cancers and is currently using these personal accounts as part of a bigger research project.

The meeting, led by the charity Orchid and Maria Caulfield MP, focussed on the top priorities facing male cancer diagnosis, treatment and care and set the agenda for future meetings taking place this year.

Dr Pete Branney said: “Male cancer can not only be life threatening but can reduce a patient’s quality of life even after treatment. Penile cancer especially is not spoken about widely and there is little literature or research into how it affects a patient psychologically. We need to break the taboo and improve the quality of healthcare interactions, so that patients are ready and able to talk about potentially embarrassing and sensitive topics.

“Hopefully we can raise awareness and in turn improve support given to patients throughout the diagnoses, treatment and recovery stages.”

Rebecca Porta, Orchid’s Chief Executive says “Over 50,000 men will be diagnosed with testicular, prostate and penile cancer in the UK in the next 12 months. Cases of these male cancers are on the increase and now more than ever before we must ensure that men have access to the services and support they need. The aim of the APPG is to bring together experts, charities, policy makers and stakeholder organisations to create a positive forum of exchange and debate and to drive forward improvement in the male cancer arena.”

The meeting took place on Monday 4 February and was chaired by Maria Caulfield MP.

Bradford UNESCO City of Film launch a year-long events programme to celebrates its 10th Anniversary

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Bradford UNESCO City of Film is marking its 10th anniversary this year with a series of events, festivals and screenings.

The full programme includes the announcement that Channel 4’s DIVERSE Festival will be taking place in Bradford as part of the celebrations. This is ahead of the channel’s new national HQ opening in the region later this year.

Bradford-born screenwriter, Michael Hirst (well known for the hit series Vikings and The Tudors), Bafta-nominated TV writer Lisa Holdsworth and Game of Thrones actor,  Enzo Cilenti are among well known names from the TV and film industry appearing at  events throughout the year.

Events include Bradford’s first ever smart phone film festival, film screenings and workshops for the public as well as industry led events focusing on diversity, inclusion and film education.  

David Wilson, Director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film said: “ Bradford was the pioneer in the UNESCO network as the first City of Film and this anniversary is about both celebrating and developing further all the work that has been done and new projects yet to come  - both on the local and international stage.

“The 10th anniversary programme is rich and diverse and reflects all the work the organisation has done in the last decade, using film and film culture to drive social and economic change. We’re delighted to have the University of Bradford and Bradford MDC as our key supporters for the anniversary year.”

Alex Mahon, Channel 4 Chief Executive said: “Inclusion and diversity are central to everything we do at Channel 4 and integral to driving true creative innovation. Our annual DIVERSE Festival provides a fantastic opportunity for people to come together, share their experiences and find out more about delivering inclusion within organisations. We’re extremely excited to be holding our festival in Bradford UNESCO City of Film as it celebrates its tenth anniversary and as we look forward to establishing our National HQ in nearby Leeds.”

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, said: "Film and high-end TV are big business and year after year we are privileged to welcome productions to every region and nation of the UK, drawn here by our reputation as a leading centre for world-class talent, facilities and technical expertise. Yorkshire is such a dynamic region for creative industries, particularly film and TV - home to Church Studios, Channel 4 headquarters and Screen Yorkshire’s new Film Office, and with high-end TV successes including Peaky Blinders and Victoria and films such as Downton Abbey. Bradford Film Office plays an important part in this success and we congratulate Bradford UNESCO City of Film as they celebrate their 10th anniversary."

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “We’re delighted to have Channel 4 coming to Bradford for what will be the first time the DIVERSE Festival has been hosted in an English city outside of London.

“The anniversary programme has wide appeal with something for everyone, and many events are free to improve accessibility for all.”

For the full programme see bradford.film

University of Bradford to boost region's ties with Pakistan

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A delegation from the University of Bradford will visit Pakistan later this month to create new partnerships between the country and the Bradford region.

The trip will look to engage with alumni and key stakeholders and create new opportunities for the two areas to collaborate.

The delegation, which includes Vice-Chancellor Brian Cantor and Director of External Affairs, Mark Garratt, will visit Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi from 22-28 February. They will host a series of dinners titled 'Destination Bradford: Education & Culture from the heart of the UK'. This will be in addition to holding discussions and meetings with institutions and senior government officials.

In Lahore, the University of Bradford will be a key partner of the Lahore Literature Festival which takes place Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 February. The festival is the city’s premier free-to-public cultural event. It explores the dialogue and interface between literature and the arts that shape our cultural, social, economic, and political frameworks. The VC and Mark Garratt will feature in a session on the Sunday titled 'Making Knowledge Work', which will look at the role of universities.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford, Professor Brian Cantor, said “Pakistan is a key area for us in terms of recruitment, alumni, and partnership collaborations, both academic and industrial. It’s our ambition that this visit will create new opportunities, not only for the University but for the Bradford region as a whole.”

Fahd Asif, Regional Manager, said: “Pakistan features as a key country within the University's new internationalisation agenda. This high-profile delegation visit aims to celebrate our long-standing links to Pakistan and will open new avenues of collaboration and partnership with stakeholders here.”

In preparation for the visit, a team from the University visited Pakistan in November 2018. During this visit they met with several senior figures including the Federal Minister of Education H.E. Shafqat Mahmood and the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development H.E. Zulfi Bukhari to discuss the University's work within the Pakistani Higher Education Sector.

There are long standing links between Bradford and Pakistan, including the current Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, being a former Chancellor at the University.

Bradford scientists awarded over £280k to develop new ultra-potent chemotherapy for breast cancer

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Two leading Bradford scientists have been awarded a combined total of more than £280,000 by research charity Breast Cancer Now, to develop a new type of ultra-potent chemotherapy for breast cancer patients – using powerful natural compounds called duocarmycins.

Breast cancer remains the most common cancer in the UK. In West Yorkshire alone, more than 1,600 women are sadly diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and more than 350 women in the region die from the disease each year.1

Chemotherapy is a cornerstone breast cancer treatment given to many patients to try to stop the disease spreading or coming back. With chemotherapy affecting healthy cells as well as cancer cells, many women and men experience debilitating side effects, such as hair loss, infections or anaemia. However, breast cancer cells can develop ways to resist chemotherapies, meaning treatment is not always successful.

Duocarmycins are some of the most potent natural compounds ever discovered – and it is thought that, if harnessed as a cancer treatment, they would be so powerful that tumours would not be able to develop resistance to them. However, as duocarmycins are so toxic, researchers need to find a way to deliver them to tumour cells whilst minimising damage to healthy cells and reducing any side effects.

With new funding from Breast Cancer Now – the UK’s largest breast cancer charity – two teams at the University of Bradford will explore different ways to unlock the potential of duocarmycins in treating breast cancer, ensuring they only become activated when they reach tumours. It is hoped that this could lead to a new, targeted treatment for all types of breast cancer, in particular, providing much-needed new options for those with aggressive disease, including ‘triple negative’ or metastatic breast cancers.

Dr Robert Falconer will lead a two-year project to develop new forms of duocarmycins that can remain inactive until they reach the tumour, passing through the bloodstream and tissues without damaging healthy cells. Dr Falconer’s team will test – in cells in the lab and in mice – the effectiveness of a variety of different ‘switches’ that can be activated by proteins that are only made by cancer cells, called MMPs (matrix metalloproteinases).

Dr Robert Falconer, Reader in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Bradford, said:

“We are very excited by this opportunity to develop a new therapy for breast cancer. Duocarmycins are excellent anti-cancer molecules, but have proved simply too toxic for use in patients. Our approach will ultimately mean that these molecules can be turned into breast cancer drugs and safely given to patients, with their toxic effects limited to the tumour, where they will be specifically released.

“This Breast Cancer Now project award will enable us to lay the groundwork for our new therapy, and to ensure it is safe and effective in a lab setting. If all goes well, we’ll then be able to progress our best molecule into trials in breast cancer patients in the future.”

Dr Klaus Pors, also at the University of Bradford, has previously created a new form of duocarmycins that are activated by enzymes often overproduced by breast cancer cells, called CYPs (cytochromes P450). With Breast Cancer Now funding, Dr Pors’ team will now investigate whether these forms of duocarmycins can kill ‘triple negative’ breast cancer cells in the lab, and explore whether combining them with other anti-cancer drugs (that increase CYP levels, and therefore activate duocarmycins), or with radiotherapy, could make them even more effective.

Dr Klaus Pors, Senior Lecturer in Chemical Biology at the University of Bradford, said:

“Our research focuses on a family of enzymes called CYPs, which help protect our cells from harm. Some years ago we hypothesised that CYPs in cancer cells can be hijacked to activate duocarmycins, which we have now designed and developed.

“We have demonstrated that modified duocarmycins can be activated by CYPs in breast cancer cells, and we now need to investigate the potential of our technology in combination with other drugs and radiotherapy. We are very grateful to Breast Cancer Now for supporting our research over the next three years.”

Dr Simon Vincent, Director of Research at charity Breast Cancer Now, which is funding the research, said:

“This vital research in Bradford by Dr Falconer and Dr Pors could lead to a brand new, first-in-class form of chemotherapy, which we hope could one day benefit thousands of breast cancer patients.

“If it can be delivered safely, this powerful new chemotherapy option could help improve survival outcomes for women diagnosed with aggressive forms of breast cancer, who currently lack effective, targeted therapies.

“Side-effects of chemotherapy occur when drugs harm healthy cells, as well as killing tumour cells, and so if the teams at Bradford can develop new ways to target this new chemotherapy directly to breast tumours, many patients could be spared debilitating side-effects.

“Our ambition is that by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live, and live well – and research is the key to achieving this. With the help of supporters across Yorkshire, we can fund more vital studies like this. It’s time to act.” 

Dedicated to funding the most cutting-edge research to stop the disease taking lives, Breast Cancer Now has so far invested over £200 million into world-class research. The charity is funding around a third of all breast cancer research happening in the UK, supporting nearly 380 leading scientists across the UK and Ireland.

International visit creates new opportunities

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Representatives from the Al-Ahliyya Amman University (AAU) in Jordan will be visiting the University of Bradford to look at exciting research and teaching collaborations.

The two Universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in July 2018 and discussions will be taking place to look at possible joint programmes between the two universities especially in the area of Pharmacy, Health, Clinical psychology, Engineering, Business and Law.

The delegation from AAU including their Vice Chancellor, Dean of Pharmacy and owner will be visiting the University on 4 and 5 February where they will be meeting with people from across the University including Professor Shirley Congdon, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Head of Pharmacy & Medical Sciences, Professor Marcus Rattray.

AAU is creating a partnership with the School of Pharmacy & Medical Sciences, which supports PhD studentships, MSc studentships, staff and student exchanges and joint research projects.  AAU has already sponsored four scholars to carry out PhD research in pharmacy at the University of Bradford.

Professor Alastair Goldman, Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences said: “The faculty of Life Sciences is always looking to strengthen our worldwide partnerships, and we are delighted to continue working with AAU in a growing partnership that help us develop international exchange and understanding” 

Professor Marcus Rattray, Head of Pharmacy & Medical Sciences at the University of Bradford said: “We are pleased to extend a warm welcome to Bradford for our visitors from Al-Ahliyya University.  We look forward to continuing to develop our partnership working in the area of pharmacy and medical sciences."

Zoning in on safety at the University of Bradford

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The University of Bradford has launched a free app to help to give round-the-clock safety reassurance to students and staff.

The simple-to-use, free application is designed to help students and staff on campus to summon security or safety assistance via their mobile phones or tablets.

Joanne Marshall, the University’s Director of Human Resources, Organisational Development and Campus Services, said: “Keeping students and staff safe at the University of Bradford is always our top priority and the launch of this app will help us to ensure we continue to do that.

“SafeZone will enable us to locate and direct security and first aid personnel to where urgent help is needed, and it will also provide our students and staff with a way of summoning general assistance swiftly through a simple tap of an on-screen button.”

Over 13,000 students and staff will be able to access three main features using SafeZone – emergency, first aid and general help. Emergency and first aid options will bring security or first aid officers to the location of the call, while the general help button connects directly to Security Services.

“SafeZone extends the reach of campus safety and security, to cater for the real time needs of the people who use our campuses every day,” said Steve Wiggins, Head of Health, Safety and Wellbeing.

“The app will cover both the City Campus and the Emm Lane Campus, and it will also enable us to send out targeted notification messages to students and staff in the event of an incident in particular areas or buildings on campus.

“We have put the system through exhaustive trials over the last few months and this week will be staging a series of roadshows on campus to explain how students and staff can sign up and how it works.”

In addition to the introduction of SafeZone, with effect from February 2019 the University will have its own dedicated police officer on campus. PC James Preston will work closely with the University’s Security team to keep students and staff safe while they are on campus, and to foster a security conscious community that supports and looks after each other.

New role at the University of Bradford will support family businesses

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A new role at the University has been created to support family businesses thanks to the BeOne Foundation in India.

The BeOne Foundation has sponsored a funded chair in International Family Business and Leadership. The new chair will be situated in the School of Management at the University of Bradford.

The foundation has awarded a gift of £220k to fund the position over 4 years, with the aim being that once in post, the chair will launch an MBA pathway in Family Business for delivery through the Bradford Executive MBA and Dubai Executive MBA. The chair will also develop corporate executive education programs for innovation, design thinking and strategic and creative problem solving.

Zahir Irani, Dean of the Faculty of Management, Law & Social Sciences, said: “This is a new international partnership that will take the School of Management in an exciting new direction, building on excellence and supporting family businesses in Bradford, nationally and internationally.”

Rolly Srivastava, BeOne Director, said: “We look forward to the partnership with the University of Bradford as it strengthens our purpose of creating future leadership for generational success in family businesses.”

The Chief Executive Office of the BeOne Foundation recently visited the University and met with Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic).

Kids & Eating- what's the problem

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The University kicks off its 2019 Café Scientifique programme this week with a talk on children’s eating habits.

The Café Scientifique series are events open to the public to hear about, discuss and debate some of the most recent advances in science and health care, and their importance to society. 

Each session is led by a University academic who will speak for around 30 minutes, with the aim to demystify and explain their ideas to everyone. 

This week’s session is being led by Dr Ellie Bryant, Lecturer in Psychology, Ellie said: “The discussion will look at whether the childhood obesity epidemic is real, what role does psychology play and what is the solution.”

Professor Marcus Rattray of the University of Bradford said: “It is great that Bradford now has a café scientifique series so that everyone can find out about the latest thinking in science over a cup of coffee or glass of wine.   The format of the events means that the talks are relatively short and accessible, with lots of time for discussion.”

Events are held once a month on a Thursday at either the University’s Theatre in the Mill or at the National Science and Media Museum, further details below.

Thursday January 24th: Kids and eating, what’s the problem?  Dr Ellie Bryant @Theatre in the Mill (6.30 – 8.00 pm)

Thursday February 21st: What does your hair say about you?  Dr Julie Thornton @Theatre in Mill (6.30 – 8.00 pm)

Thursday March 14th: What your pet hamster can teach us about obesity  Dr Gisela Helfer @National Science & Media Museum Lates (6.30 pm – 9.30 pm) – session will run twice: at 6.45 pm and 8.00 pm as part of the Lates event.

Thursday April 18th: Can technology help us to live well as we get older?  Professor Gail Mountain @Theatre in Mill (6.30 – 8.00 pm)

Thursday May 16th:   What does a future city look like?  Professor Fun Hu @Theatre in Mill (6.30 – 8.00 pm)

Thursday June 13th: Ultrasonics.  Dr Elaine Brown @Theatre in the Mill (6.30 pm – 8.00 pm)

The events are free with no need to book and refreshments are served at both venues.

University professor praised for accelerating gender equality

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The Northern Power Women today have released the names of 100 women who have contributed to making a difference in their communities and raising awareness of gender equality across the North of England.

Featuring in the list is Udy Archibong MBE, Professor of Diversity at the University of Bradford. Udy is recognised as a leader in inclusion and diversity and has a sustained, distinguished presence in the field of diversity management, with much of her work focusing on inclusive workplaces, representative diversity, diversity-competent leadership in public, private and third sector organisations.

The Power List celebrates women who challenge the norm and ensure that everyone they work with recognise the benefit of having a gender-balanced workplace. The Future List recognises the influencers and change makers of the future who are already making a difference in their environments and communities.

On appearing in the list Udy said “I am delighted to appear on this list alongside some truly inspirational women. My career to date has been dedicated to championing equality and diversity and to be recognised as a change maker in this area is a great honour.”

The University of Bradford has also been shortlisted for a Northern Power Women award in the Large Organisation category. The awards showcase role models and celebrate the many different ways women and men contribute to a thriving Northern Powerhouse.

The winners of the awards will be announced at the Northern Power Women Awards at Manchester Central Convention Complex on Monday 18 March, where Udy and the other new entrants will also be celebrated.

Congratulations to Ruby

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Congratulations to Ruby Bhatti for her OBE for services to young people and housing.

Ruby has been supporting the University since early 2007 and has been a member of the Service Users and Carers Group at the Faculty of Health Studies for several years. Within the group, Ruby sits on the Service User Advisory Board, advising on strategy and policy for Service User and Carer Involvement within the Faculty and increasingly within the wider University. She is also co-chair of the Service User Research group and supports various research bids.

Ruby provides the Faculty with a wealth of expertise and knowledge gained through her broad portfolio of involvement. She brings her knowledge of policy and practice outside the University to inform not only the work of the Service User and Carer Group, but also the governance arrangements of the Faculty.

Ruby said: “I feel really honoured and privileged to receive this recognition. The honour is also an extremely humbling one which I dedicate to my late parents who brought me up to always try and help others. I also would not be where I am without the support of my husband and daughter.

“I am completely overwhelmed but also very fortunate to work with so many amazing people at the University who with me have made a real difference to the lives of students.  I hope this honour will inspire others to give back something to their communities and to the local University”

University and Bulls kick off partnership

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The University of Bradford and Bradford Bulls have today (Sunday 7 April) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The MOU will deliver a strong strategic partnership offering both organisations a mechanism to deliver meaningful partnership activities, which in turn will bring real value to both organisations and the City of Bradford.

The partnership will deliver key benefits including opportunities for physiotherapy and media students to gain real world experience, discounted match tickets, scholarship opportunities and shared facilities.

Andrew Chalmers Chairman of the Bradford Bulls on the signing of the document stated: "We are delighted this agreement has been reached and it builds on the Clubs existing excellent Tier 1 Academy and will develop into a major strategic partnership for the Bulls

"The partnership between two World Class brands means we can harness the power of Education and Sport to enhance the lives of young Women and Men. This is a truly wonderful opportunity to make a real difference to our youth in the City.

"The Club are therefore extremely excited to be working alongside the University of Bradford and being able to showcase across the country and worldwide the best of education and sport in the City of Bradford"

Mark Garratt, Director of External Affairs at the University of Bradford said: "This collaboration will create fantastic opportunities for both our staff and students and signifies an important step in our partnership with one of the city’s premier sporting names. It is our hope that through activities like this, we can make a real difference and see increased opportunities for young people in the region."

Further opportunities for both organisations include raising brand awareness, improved services for stakeholders and increased impact in the City.

New accreditation to help MSc students

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An MSc programme at the School of Management at University of Bradford has received accreditation by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).

The University’s MSc in Logistics, Data Analytics and Supply Chain Management has received accreditation by the CIPS, the world’s largest professional body serving procurement and supply chain management field.  This accreditation is a significant step for the University’s employability agenda in providing current and potential students the support of a career partner for their professional lives within this business field.

As part of the accreditation, CIPS currently offers complimentary student membership to those undertaking an accredited programme, for its duration. It also provides networking opportunities with industry professionals and attendance to events, access to learning resources and industry news on the CIPS portal as well as improved career opportunities.

The master’s programme is co-designed with inputs from leading logistics and supply chain professionals and one of very few courses in the UK that 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 Uthayasankar (Sankar) Sivarajah, Head of Business Analytics, Circular Economy and Supply Chain (BACES) Research Centre, said: “This accreditation is yet another testament to our innovative MSc in Logistics, Data Analytics and Supply Chain Management programme. It highlights its curriculum rigour and the quality and value provided for our current and potential students who are wanting to pursue a career in this field.

“This is a significant milestone as the programme is now double accredited by two of the largest and highly reputed industry professional bodies (CIPS and Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport) and partnered with SAS, the world’s leading analytics software vendor.“

The course received accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport last year.

Making music with chemistry

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Chemists from the University of Bradford will join students from Ilkley Grammar School to present their project at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.

Led by Dr Nicolas Barry and Dr William Martin from the University's School of Chemistry and Biosciences, the group will showcase their interactive activities around 'molecular music: the sound of chemistry' at the prestigious event in London.

The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition showcases 22 exhibitions, with one every year reserved for a partnership project. The project with Ilkley Grammar was awarded a Partnership Grant from the Royal Society in 2017.

The students at Ilkley Grammar School carried out some classic chemical reactions under the guidance of their chemistry teacher Dr Neil Garrido and of University of Bradford senior lecturers Dr William Martin and Dr Nicolas Barry. 

The project involved using chemical reactions to make musical scales, these scales were then played by students with musical instruments and a recording was made.

Their experiments were recorded following laboratory best practice guidelines. They then analysed their samples at the University using various techniques, such as NMR and infrared (IR) spectroscopies. 

Dr Nicolas Barry, Senior Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry and Royal Society University Research Fellow, said: "This project demonstrates how chemistry can be fun and exciting, while providing a novel method to understand science. By interpreting data in a more sensorial way we can learn about how Nature works at the molecular level and help chemistry appeal to a non-specialist audience."

Dr Neil Garrido, Teacher in Chemistry at Ilkley Grammar School, said: "It's been a wonderful opportunity for my students to be involved in such an ambitious project , working alongside university academics carrying out advanced chemical reactions has allowed them to take their learning way beyond what is normally taught at school. The fact they have been able to use the state-of-the-art facilities at the university has also really helped embed the learning we do in the classroom and make what we teach more relevant. It has given them a glimpse into the world of academic research and hopefully will inspire the next generation of scientists"

Bradford Professor plays important role in efforts to address oil pollution in Nigeria

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Professor Engobo Emeseh, Head of the School of Law at the University of Bradford, has been in Nigeria as part of a high profile group investigating oil spills and the damage they create.

Engobo is one of eight members of the Bayelsa State Oil and Environment Commission which is chaired by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu. This Commission investigates the human and environmental impact of multinational oil company activity and is crucial to the prosperous future of the people of Bayelsa and their environment, Nigeria and hopefully to other oil-producing nations.

The aim of the Commission is to develop a set of informed recommendations that lead to the development of a new legal framework that ensures accountability and an action plan for a healthy environment. It does this by ensuring appropriate clean-up and remediation of impacted sites, and that host communities receive sufficient compensation for the impacts of environmental pollution and degradation, and reap the benefits from the production of oil within their communities.

Professor Emeseh said: “'It is an honour to be part of the Commission alongside some outstanding individuals and I am hopeful that our work will contribute towards making some positive changes to what has been an intractable problem in the Niger Delta. “

The commission visited oil-spill sites from March 27-29 to take testimonies from affected residents. It will publish a report of its findings later this year and make recommendations that will lead to the development of a new legal framework that ensures accountability for oil companies operating in the state.

New computer-aided model may help predict sepsis

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Can a computer-aided model predict life-threatening sepsis? A UK-developed model that uses routinely collected data to identify early symptoms of sepsis, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), shows promise.

Sepsis is a major cause of death in hospitals and early detection is key to preventing deaths. Every hour of delay is linked to a 7% reduction in survival but delays in detection are common. Several scores exist to help identify patients with sepsis, including the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) now used in about two-thirds of the United Kingdom's National Health Service hospitals.

Researchers in the UK developed a computer-aided National Early Warning Score (cNEWS) to determine if it could enhance the accuracy of predicting sepsis.

"The main advantage of these computer models is that they are designed to incorporate data that exists in the patient record, can be easily automated and place no extra burden on the clinician to collect additional information," says Dr. Mohammed Mohammed, University of Bradford.

The cNEWS score can trigger screening for sepsis usually within 30 minutes of admission once routinely collected information has been electronically entered into the patient's medical record.

"These risk scores should support, rather than replace, clinical judgement. We hope they will heighten awareness of sepsis with additional information on this serious condition," says Dr. Mohammed.

cNEWS may now be carefully introduced into hospitals with appropriate infrastructure and evaluated.

Computer aided National Early Warning Score to predict the risk of sepsis following emergency medical admission to hospital: a model development and external validation study was published April 8, 2019.

Bradford experts develop online dementia course

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Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) has been working with the University of Bradford to undertake a review of sessions within the e-Dementia e-learning Programme.

The programme about dementia care has been designed to enhance the training and education of the health and care workforce. It focuses on the essential knowledge and skills needed to support and enable people living with dementia and their family carers to live as well as possible, wherever they live.

e-Dementia will also be of interest to those responsible for training and educating the health and care workforce. It can be used in a variety of ways including as part of induction; to structure reflective practice with individual staff and teams; for self-paced learning; and to revisit as a form of refresher training.

Murna Downs, Professor in Dementia Studies at the University of Bradford said: "We are proud to play our part in directly addressing the Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia 2020 by supporting all those who care for people living with dementia and their family members, from diagnosis through to end of life".

"This programme is an easy, accessible way to ensure that health care professionals and family carers are best equipped to help someone living with dementia."

As part of the e-Dementia update, 14 new sessions have been added and 12 sessions have been retired from the programme.

New sessions added:

Module 1 Dementia awareness
Person-centred dementia care
Module 2 Dementia identification, assessment and diagnosis
Dementia risk reduction and prevention
Communication, interaction and behaviour in dementia care
Health and wellbeing in dementia care
Pharmacological interventions in dementia care
Living well with dementia and promoting independence
Families and carers as partners in dementia care
Equality, diversity and inclusion in dementia care
Law, ethics and safeguarding in dementia care
End of life dementia care
Research and evidence-based practice in dementia care
Leadership in transforming dementia care

For more information about the e-Dementia programme and for details of how to access please visit: Dementia - e-Learning for Healthcare.

Drawing on the latest global research and best practice in this field, this high-quality dementia course has been developed by researchers from the University of Bradford, which was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize 2015 for its work on dementia. The authors are all experts in adult learning theory.

New partnership welcomes Real Madrid coaches to Bradford

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The University of Bradford has kicked off a new partnership with community football club, Alpha United Juniors.

The University will be offering its facilities to the club to use for their summer camp which is delivered by Fundación Real Madrid coaches. The young people then have the opportunity to progress through this summer camp to be trained at Real Madrid's home ground the world renowned Santiago Bernabeu in Spain.

Alpha United Juniors was established in 2013 and is run entirely by volunteers from around Bradford. The club was initially self-funded but funding and sponsorship enabled the volunteers to receive training. Students have been offered after-school tuition for their GCSEs and their work has been highly recognised leading them to win local, regional and national FA awards.

The club was the first to create a football club within the area. The club covers various age groups and provides the opportunity to juniors to learn numerous life skills and play in a competitive league.

To celebrate the new partnership there will be a friendly game of football between University staff and Alpha United Junior coaches on 25 April at Laistridge Lane between 6-8pm. The local community and staff invited are invited to attend.

Mark Garratt, Director of External Affairs said: "What this club has achieved in the last six years is astounding. Volunteers have given up their time to provide young people in the area with exciting opportunities and the club has grown from strength to strength thanks to the coaches and player's dedication and commitment.

"We are delighted to be able to support the club by hosting their summer camp with Fundación Real Madrid and look forward to working together in the future."

Mohammed Waheed, Alpha United Juniors said: "It is amazing to have such a great partnership with Fundación Real Madrid and now to add the University of Bradford to the story of Alpha United Juniors is fantastic. It showcases what we have achieved to date and continues to show that we are best in class and well regarded not just locally, nationally but internationally."

Tamino Kroeger, UK-Manager, Fundación Real Madrid Clinics said: "To do what the volunteers do at Alpha United Juniors, week in and week out is very rare to find. It's not something anybody should take for granted. We were so interested in establishing a partnership with Alpha United Juniors.

"I was in Bradford myself twice last year, to meet the representatives & to execute the clinic. All I have to say about the community is that I have never felt so welcome anywhere. It was as if I was part of the family & this is what football should be all about. Bringing communities from around the world together.

"We are happy & looking forward to coming back to Bradford for the second year in a row and obviously hope to welcome even more children at the clinic with Alpha United Juniors this summer (August 5th - 9th, 2019)."

Half a face enough for recognition technology

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Facial recognition technology works even when only half a face is visible, researchers from the University of Bradford have found.

Using artificial intelligence techniques, the team achieved 100 per cent recognition rates for both three-quarter and half faces. The study, published in Future Generation Computer Systems, is the first to use machine learning to test the recognition rates for different parts of the face.

Lead researcher, Professor Hassan Ugail from the University of Bradford said: "The ability humans have to recognise faces is amazing, but research has shown it starts to falter when we can only see parts of a face. Computers can already perform better than humans in recognising one face from a large number, so we wanted to see if they would be better at partial facial recognition as well."

The team used a machine learning technique known as a 'convolutional neural network', drawing on a feature extraction model called VGG - one of the most popular and widely used for facial recognition.

They worked with a dataset containing multiple photos - 2800 in total - of 200 students and staff from FEI University in Brazil, with equal numbers of men and women.

For the first experiment, the team trained the model using only full facial images They then ran an experiment to see how well the computer was able to recognise faces, even when shown only part of them. The computer recognised full faces 100 per cent of the time, but the team also had 100% success with three-quarter faces and with the top or right half of the face. However, the bottom half of the face was only correctly recognised 60 per cent of the time and eyes and nose on their own, just 40 per cent.

They then ran the experiment again, after training the model using partial facial images as well. This time, the scores significantly improved for the bottom half of the face, for eyes and nose on their own and even for faces with no eyes and nose visible, achieving around 90% correct identification.

Individual facial parts, such as the nose, cheek, forehead or mouth had low recognition rates in both experiments.

The results are promising, according to Professor Hassan:

"We've now shown that it's possible to have very accurate facial recognition from images that only show part of a face and we've identified which parts are most useful. This opens up greater possibilities for the use of the technology for security or crime prevention.

"Our experiments now need validating on a much larger dataset. However, in the future it's likely that image databases used for facial recognition will need to include partial images as well, so that the models can be trained correctly to recognise a face even when not all of it is visible."

Brown Banks and White Cliffs: the search for lost prehistoric settlements in the North Sea

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

After a successful expedition in 2018, the second voyage in search of prehistoric landscapes and submerged settlements within the Brown Bank area of the southern North Sea will set off on May 7 for an 11-day period. Scientists from Belgium and the UK will combine acoustic techniques and physical sampling of the seabed to unravel the topography and history of these landscapes and their inhabitants.

The May 2019 expedition led by Dr. Tine Missiaen from the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) involves an international team of scientists from Belgium (Ghent University, VLIZ) and the UK (University of Bradford). The voyage on board the Belgian research vessel "RV Belgica" takes place within the collaborative Belgian-UK-Dutch research project "Deep History: Revealing the palaeo-landscape of the southern North Sea" which is aimed at reconstructing the Quaternary history (roughly spanning the last 500.000 years) and human occupation of the wider Brown Bank area.

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

Until sea levels rose at the end of the last Ice Age, between 8-10,000 years ago, an area of land connected Great Britain to Scandinavia and the continent. The Lost Frontiers team has identified thousands of kilometres of plains, hills, marshlands and river valleys - but despite this, evidence of human activity has remained elusive.

Archaeologists have long suspected that the southern North Sea plain - right in the heart of Doggerland - may have been home to thousands of people. Chance finds by trawling fishermen over many decades support this theory. A concentration of archaeological material, including worked bone, stone and human remains, has been found within the area around the Brown Bank, an elongated, 30-kilometre long sand ridge roughly 100 km due east from Great Yarmouth and 80 km west of the Dutch coast. The quantities of material suggest the presence of a prehistoric settlement.

In 2018 teams from the Flanders Marine Institute, University of Bradford, Ghent University and the Dutch Geological Service joined forces to carry out detailed geophysical and geotechnical surveys of the area to identify prehistoric land surfaces, including river valleys and former lakes, and to extract shallow sediment cores to look for evidence of past activity. Thanks to the simultaneous use of different seismic sources an uninterrupted image of the subbottom was obtained with unprecedented detail. Combined with the study of sediment cores this allowed to refine the search to areas on the Brown Banks where the team believe they reach a preserved land surface more than 8000 years old.

The May 2019 expedition will focus on detailed investigations in these areas, deploying VLIZ's novel multitransducer echosounder, which uses sonar technology to obtain images of the sub bottom with the highest possible resolution, and the collection of larger samples of sediment as well as video footage from the seafloor using VLIZ's dedicated videoframe. The team will also be visiting another area, known as the "Southern River", a major prehistoric river valley flowing across a submerged headland off the East Anglian coast. Previously surveyed by Lost Frontiers, the team believes that the estuary of the river, which may also have been flanked by white chalk cliffs, provides another prime area for prehistoric settlement. The detailed survey of this area during this expedition will be the first to assess its archaeological potential.

Professor Vincent Gaffney, University of Bradford, said: "In 2018 the team demonstrated that we can find prehistoric land surfaces on the Brown Banks that date from the Mesolithic period. This provides the exciting prospect to return and recover larger volumes of sediment from those land surfaces, and find out what evidence they may contain of human settlement."

Dr. Tine Missiaen, Flanders Marine Institute, said: "The combined use of different state-of-the-art acoustic sources provides a major step forward in the identification and reconstruction of prehistoric land surfaces that now lie buried below the seafloor. With the detailed investigations that will be carried out in May 2019 we hope to further unravel the unique history of these landscapes and their inhabitants."

Dr. Maikel De Clercq, Ghent University, said: "The data from the 2018 campaign revealed the presence of drowned landscapes related to ice ages (e.g. river valleys) as well as more temperate climate intervals (e.g. coastlines) comparable to today. It is both intriguing and challenging to be able to reconstruct these landscapes in unprecedented detail. Linking these landscapes to human migration patterns would be the apogee to this research project."

Follow the action on twitter @BrownBank2018

Research reveals freshwater mussel shells were material of choice for prehistoric craftsmen

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A new study suggests that 6000-years-ago people across Europe shared a cultural tradition of using freshwater mussel shells to craft ornaments.

An international team of researchers, including academics from the Universities of York and Bradford, extracted ancient proteins from prehistoric shell ornaments - which look remarkably similar despite being found at distant locations in Denmark, Romania and Germany - and discovered they were all made using the mother-of-pearl of freshwater mussels.

The ornaments were made between 4200 and 3800 BC and were even found in areas on the coast where plenty of other shells would have been available.

Archaeological evidence suggests the ornaments, known as "double buttons", may have been pressed into leather to decorate armbands or belts.

Dr Hannah Koon, Director of the Light Stable Isotope facility at Bradford and co-author on the paper said: "Tracing the geographical origin of the raw material used to make archaeological shell ornaments is challenging; however, stable isotopes can be used to provide important palaeoenvironmental information. This is because the isotopic composition of the mineral component of shells records the environmental conditions, including temperature and salinity, at the time when the organisms were growing. The stable isotope values of carbon and oxygen, indicated that the shells analysed in this study were formed in freshwater environments, and δ18O values in the shell mineral yielded the average annual δ18O values typical of local precipitations indicating the shells were locally sourced."

Senior author of the study, Dr Beatrice Demarchi, the Department of Archaeology at the University of York and the University of Turin (Italy), said: "We were surprised to discover that the ornaments were all made from freshwater mussels because it implies that this material was highly regarded by prehistoric craftsmen, wherever they were in Europe and whatever cultural group they belonged to. Our study suggests the existence of a European-wide cross-cultural tradition for the manufacture of these double-buttons".

Freshwater molluscs have often been overlooked as a source of raw material in prehistory (despite the strength and resilience of mother-of-pearl) because many archaeologists believed that their local origin made them less "prestigious" than exotic marine shells.

"Palaeoshellomics" reveals the use of freshwater mother-of-pearl in prehistory is published in the journal eLife.

The School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences has dedicated Light Stable Isotope laboratory facilities to accommodate staff, student and external projects. They specialise in the application of isotopic tools to address questions in archaeological, anthropological, environmental, palaeodietary, climate and forensic research. Housed in the Norcroft Building the facility recently received a large investment award from the University to update its instrumentation.

The research was carried out by researchers at the University of York, University of Turin and Ca' Foscari University (Italy), Universities of Burgundy-Franche-Comté and Lille (France), the University of Bradford (UK), the Moesgaard Museum (Denmark), the Landesamt für Denkmalpflege im Regierungspräsidium Stuttgart and the Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege (Germany).

University leads £300,000 city success to boost graduate job prospects

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Three graduating students posing together to take a selfie-photograph.

The University of Bradford has won nearly £300,000 to lead a project to boost the job prospects of BAME graduates in the city.

Leading a partnership of thirteen other key city organisations*, the University will carry out a three-year project to tackle the underemployment and unemployment of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) graduates in Bradford and the challenges faced by particular sectors of Bradford’s labour market in recruitment, skills gaps and diversity.

The funding from the Office for Students adds to resources committed by the partners, bringing the total value of the project to over £650,000.

Many BAME graduates from the University remain in the Bradford metropolitan district area, despite opportunities elsewhere, but analysis indicates that they are under-represented in highly-skilled employment in the identified priority areas of health and social care, engineering and manufacturing, and public services.

The project aims to develop a greater understanding of why this is the case and will tackle issues with four areas of work:

  • Supporting businesses to access graduate talent and bringing a greater focus on the available graduate workforce into business support services and into the recruitment planning of businesses and organisations;
  • Improving career and job coaching for graduates and developing a talent pool to meet recruitment and skills gaps;
  • Running a series of events for graduates, members of local communities and employers at which real and perceived barriers to accessing highly-skilled employment can be discussed and solutions identified, and positive relationships, trust and confidence developed;
  • Continued research, in cooperation with students and graduates, will continue to add to knowledge about why BAME graduates make certain choices about careers and the role of culture and place in their decision making.

Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor Elect of the University of Bradford, said: "We have a very strong track record in supporting the employability of our graduates, with 94% being in employment or further education within six months of graduation, and 85% of those in employment being employed in professional and managerial level roles. However, we have to make sure that we identify any issues that lead to graduates not fulfilling their potential and Bradford employers not accessing the skills available.

"We know that job growth in Bradford over the next decade will be fastest in the health, care, engineering and manufacturing, and a number of public sectors e.g. education, police. It is vital that as a city we are able to deliver this growth using the undoubted pool of talent graduating each year from the University, to realise the successful, thriving, vibrant and prosperous city that we are all committed to."

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the Office for Students said: "There is an outdated assumption that the typical student experience involves moving far away from home to study and work. This is not true for a large number of students and graduates, and we know that, whether by choice or circumstance, many stay in their home towns."

"Graduates should not have to move to London to get good jobs. It is essential that those who stay in their home towns and cities can enter high-skilled work and are not locked out of the graduate labour market."

"This funding will help universities and colleges find ways to remove barriers to local graduate employment, broaden the choice for those local graduates, and help ensure that students are getting the right skills to enter rewarding work. It’s good news for graduates, universities and local employers in search of highly-skilled, work-ready graduates."

*The partners involved in the project are:

  • University of Bradford
  • University of Bradford Students Union
  • Bradford Council SkillsHouse
  • Bradford Council Integrated Communities Programme
  • Education Development Trust
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • Bradford Chamber of Commerce
  • Bradford Health and Social Care Economic Partnership
  • West Yorkshire Police
  • QED
  • Khidmat Centre
  • Bradford Trident
  • Opportunity Area Bradford
  • Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership

Bradford (Park Avenue) and the University of Bradford announce landmark partnership

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Damian Irvine (left) shaking hands with Mark Garratt (right), the University of Bradford Director of External Affairs

The University of Bradford has agreed to be the new shirt sponsor of Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC.

The move sees the University joining the club as shirt sponsor in a two year in-kind deal starting in the 2019-2020 season.

The wide-ranging partnership will see the two organisations link closely in a number of areas. Training and playing facilities will be shared, and intern and learning programmes will see physiotherapy, sport performance, analytics, and media students gain valuable experience with the club.

The University’s Football Association is one of its largest student union groups, and the partnership will see members welcomed to Bradford (Park Avenue) with ticket initiatives, while also accessing coaching and first team pathways for the University’s British Universities League squad.

Bradford (Park Avenue)’s academy students will be a focus of the partnership. Horsfall College students will benefit from training facilities at the University’s campus along with mentoring and academic pathway assistance. Both organisations are committed to working together to encourage a higher number of south Bradford 16-year-olds into further education through Horsfall College and on to the University.

Mark Garratt, Director of External Affairs at the University of Bradford, said: "We are pleased to be sponsoring Bradford (Park Avenue) and are committed to working together to create fantastic opportunities for both our staff and students. It is also our hope that through activities like this, we can make a real difference and see increased opportunities for young people in the region."

Damian Irvine, CEO of Bradford (Park Avenue), said: "This is significant step forward for our football club in many ways. The University of Bradford is doing tremendous work for our city both locally and internationally. With this partnership we can encourage and provide aspiration and ambition for our local youth, who may not otherwise have considered a relationship with a University as being remotely obtainable.

"We will work together on the training pitch with mutual benefit, and off the pitch we want to provide students who choose Bradford as their home during their education with a football club they can be a huge part of during their studies and hopefully for life."

University of Bradford signs new Civic University Agreement to reaffirm local role

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An evening photo of Centenery Square in the centre of Bradford, featuring a water fountain and City Hall in the background.

The University of Bradford has reaffirmed its commitment to the city by pledging to put the economy and quality of life in the local community top of its list of priorities.

The University of Bradford has reaffirmed its commitment to the city by pledging to put the economy and quality of life in the local community top of its list of priorities.

Bradford joins over 50 other institutions nationally in committing to a Civic University Agreement in partnership with local government and other major institutions.

The new agreement is a key recommendation in a report published today by the Civic University Commission set up by the UPP Foundation and chaired by the former Head of the Civil Service, Lord Kerslake.

The report sets out how universities like Bradford have the capability, opportunity and responsibility to support the places where they are based to solve some of their most pressing and major problems.

These issues range from helping local business in Bradford adapt to technological change, to boosting the health of local people, improving education for school pupils and adult learners, and training and developing new civic leaders in every field from politics to the arts.

The report aims to help universities like Bradford build on the excellent work that many of them are already carrying out in these areas, working alongside councils, employers, cultural institutions, schools and further education colleges.

Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor Elect of the University of Bradford, said: “The University of Bradford has been at the heart of Bradford since its creation over 50 years ago, and for generations before that through the educational institutions that led to its creation. We are committed to making a major contribution to the civic, economic, community and cultural prosperity of our city and its region. Successful cities have successful universities and we are determined to play our part in the future success of Bradford.”

Lord Kerslake said: “The deep economic and social changes that are happening in Britain today have, alongside Brexit, made the civic role of universities even more vital to the places they are located in.

“The civic universities of the Victorian era were founded as expressions of civic pride, and as a way of sharing knowledge and opportunity at a time of rapid change.

“We are now entering a new industrial revolution when it will be even more vital that knowledge is accessible in as many communities as possible.

Richard Brabner, director of the UPP Foundation, said: “Universities have the ability to make a real difference to the places they are located in through reinvigorating their civic role. But this is not just a responsibility, it’s also an opportunity.

“This is an important report with concrete recommendations that all universities will want to consider. The UPP Foundation created the commission to look at what it means to be a Civic University in the 21st Century and ask local people what they wanted from their local institution.

“We know that many universities want to build engagement with the community around them. It is excellent news that such an impressive list of institutions has already signed up and the UPP Foundation strongly endorses the report’s findings.”

The report warns that there is a danger that any cut in the resources available to universities – for example, a reduction in student fees without the deficit being made up in funding from the Treasury - will mean that work already being done in this area – like help provided to schools and further education colleges – could be slashed.

The report was based on evidence-gathering sessions held across England. The authors also commissioned opinion polling and focus groups in cities and towns to hear from the public what they wanted from their local university.

This research discovered communities welcome opportunities to connect with universities, and there is great local pride about how universities put their hometown on the map. The report says that the Government needs to fundamentally review policies to support further civic engagement by universities. Until the recent creation of an industrial strategy, government has for many decades been too indifferent about places within the United Kingdom – contributing to some regions falling behind.

But universities can take a vital step at this pivotal time by adopting the Commission’s idea of a Civic University Agreement setting out what they will offer local communities and which major local strategic needs they will seek to address. All this needs to be based on listening to the local community.

The Civic University Agreement signed by over 50 universities includes four key points:

  • Understanding local populations, and asking them what they want. Analysis of their place and people’s priorities are essential.
  • Understanding themselves and what they are able to offer.
  • Working with other local anchor institutions, businesses and community organisations to agree where the short, medium and long-term opportunities and problems lie for communities. Linking with local authorities and other local plans, such as the local industrial strategy is particularly important.
  • A clear set of priorities. A process of agreeing clear priorities will therefore be necessary and, again, this is where collaboration and aligning resources with local authorities, LEPs (Local Economic Partnerships), NHS bodies and the like can help to identify the live issues that universities can most usefully help with.

List of signatories

  • Professor Colin Bailey, President and Principal, Queen Mary University of London 
  • Professor Graham Baldwin, Vice-Chancellor, Southampton Solent University
  • Professor Liz Barnes, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Staffordshire University 
  • Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, University of Sunderland 
  • Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor, University of Liverpool 
  • Professor Paul Boyle CBE, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Leicester
  • Professor George Boyne, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Aberdeen
  • Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Bristol
  • Professor Amanda J. Broderick, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of East London
  • Liz Bromley, Joint Acting Vice-Chancellor, University of Central Lancashire
  • Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, Vice-Chancellor and President, Brunel University
  • Professor Alec Cameron, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Aston University
  • Professor Joy Carter CBE, Vice-Chancellor, University of Winchester
  • Professor Andy Collop, Interim Vice-Chancellor, De Montfort University
  • Professor Shirley Congdon. Vice-Chancellor Elect, University of Bradford
  • Professor Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Warwick 
  • Professor Paul Croney, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Teesside University
  • Professor Chris Day, Vice-Chancellor and President, Newcastle University 
  • Professor Lynn Dobbs, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, London Metropolitan University
  • Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham 
  • Professor Graham Galbraith, Vice-Chancellor, University of Portsmouth 
  • Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Professor David M. A. Green CBE, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, University of Worcester 
  • Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor, Sheffield Hallam University 
  • Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Sheffield
  • Professor David Latchman CBE, Master, Birkbeck University of London
  • Professor John Latham, Vice-Chancellor, Coventry University 
  • Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor, University of Wolverhampton 
  • Professor Susan Lea, Vice-Chancellor, University of Hull
  • Professor Jane Longmore, Vice-Chancellor, University of Chichester
  • Patrick Loughrey, Warden, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Professor Helen Marshall, Vice-Chancellor, University of Salford 
  • Professor Quintin McKellar CBE, Vice-Chancellor, University of Hertfordshire 
  • Professor Trevor McMillan, Vice-Chancellor, Keele University 
  • Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, University of Derby 
  • Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Paddy Nixon, Vice-Chancellor and President, Ulster University 
  • Professor Nick Petford, Vice-Chancellor, University of Northampton 
  • Professor Judith Petts CBE, Vice-Chancellor, University of Plymouth 
  • Mr Andrew Rhodes, Registrar and Chief Operating Officer, Swansea University
  • Professor Colin Riordan, President and Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University
  • Professor Mark E. Smith, Vice-Chancellor, Lancaster University 
  • Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, University of Exeter
  • Professor Steven Spier, Vice-Chancellor, Kingston University
  • Professor Mary Stuart, Vice-Chancellor, University of Lincoln 
  • Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor, University of Sussex 
  • Professor Saul Tendler, Acting Vice-Chancellor and President, University of York
  • Professor Mike Thomas, Vice-Chancellor, University of Central Lancashire
  • Professor Rob Warner, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Plymouth Marjon University
  • Professor Shearer West, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Nottingham 
  • Professor Steven West CBE, Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Officer, University of the West of England
  • Professor Tim Wheeler, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of Chester

Full text of the “Civic University Agreement Statement”

Universities are proud of the places and communities we share. They have shaped us, and we have shaped them. These may be towns, cities or even whole regions; often rural. Some universities have been civic institutions for over a century, others are civic institutions that have only relatively recently become universities. But, as a sector, we are united by our commitment to delivering opportunity and prosperity to the people and communities with whom we share our place.

Universities have long worked to support social mobility; drive innovation and economic growth; and support the cultural strength of our communities. However, the profound economic and social changes that are happening across Britain today has made the civic role of universities even more vital. The time is right, therefore, for us to focus and strengthen our efforts. Universities must examine, with purpose and with rigour, how we should fulfil our civic missions in the future.

That is why we fully support the recommendation in the UPP Foundation Civic University Commission to establish a new approach – a Civic University Agreement.

As signatories of this statement we are pledging our universities to develop Civic University Agreements. The agreements will better align our priorities with those of our local partners.  Alongside schools, further education colleges, local authorities, charities, the NHS, civil society and businesses large and small, we want to make sure our place thrives in the coming decades.
This is not how government has recently thought about universities. As the cost of paying for a degree has shifted towards students, so too have policy, regulation and incentives increasingly emphasised the private benefit of a degree over universities’ public good. Whichever way universities are funded, we believe the public and private benefits from higher education must be developed together.

The long-term funding settlement for our sector will inevitably impact on what we can do and the extent to which we can do it. This includes our civic role. However, within that constraint this statement is a commitment from us, as autonomous institutions, to continue to serve the educational, economic and societal interests of our communities and our place. We will continue to embed our civic responsibilities into the core of what we do; be this research, education or knowledge exchange. We hope that funders recognise and continue to support this.

We will publish our Civic University Agreements publicly. As we develop them, we will be driven by the following principles:

  1. As place-based institutions we are committed to attaching a high-priority to the economic, social, environmental, and cultural life of our local communities.
  2. Our civic role will be informed by an evidence-based analysis of the needs of our place, developed collaboratively with local partners and informed by the voice of our local community.
  3. We will collaborate with other universities and anchor institutions and form partnerships to overcome the challenges facing our local communities.
  4. With our partners, we will be clear about what we do and how we measure it, so we can say with confidence what we have achieved – and how we might do better in the future.

As Universities, we are responsible to our students and our staff, but we are also responsible to the places around us. Our Civic University Agreements will be an opportunity to set out clearly, coherent and creatively how we will fulfil that responsibility.

Research shows carers' experience can influence how well a person lives with dementia

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Led by Dr Catherine Quinn from the University of Bradford, the paper published in the journal Aging and Mental Health shows that if carers feel highly stressed, lack confidence in their ability to provide care and experience social restrictions, the people they care for rate their quality of life, well-being and satisfaction with life less positively.

The research was conducted as part of the Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life (IDEAL) programme. Using data from 1283 people with dementia and their carers, the research team sought to find out whether carers’ experiences of caring were related to the way in which people with dementia evaluated their own quality of life, well-being and satisfaction with life.

Catherine from the Centre for Applied Dementia Studies at the University of Bradford said: “This research shows what a carer is experiencing is important, not just for his or her own well-being but also for the well-being of the person living with dementia. This helps us to understand what kind of support may be most helpful for family carers.”

“It is vital that carers are supported both emotionally and practically to reduce stress levels, feelings of social restrictions, and increase feelings of competence in their ability to provide care. This will both benefit carers and improve the potential for people with dementia to ‘live well’.”

This paper was prepared in collaboration with REACH: The Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health, University of Exeter; King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience; and the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Health and Life Sciences, Brunel University London.

The IDEAL programme is led by Prof. Linda Clare at the University of Exeter in collaboration with the London School of Economics, the Research Institute for the Care of the Elderly (RICE), the universities of Bangor, Bradford, Brunel, Cardiff, Exeter, Kings College London, Sussex, Newcastle, and New South Wales in Australia, and the charities Innovations in Dementia and Alzheimer’s Society.

Fiona Carragher, Chief Policy and Research Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, says: “We all know that the way we feel can sometimes affect the wellbeing of those around us, but this is the first time researchers have conclusively found that when a carer feels stressed and out of their depth, this can negatively impact the welfare of the person with dementia they are caring for. “We’re investing in improving the quality of people with dementia’s life, as they have the right to good care and carers deserve to feel valued and supported. Support services must be sure to prioritise carer wellbeing in order to retain the life-changing support they provide and deliver the level of care that people with dementia are entitled to.”

Professor Christina Victor, Vice Dean Research, College of Health and Life Sciences, Brunel University London said: “Our results show how supporting carers can create a virtuous circle by enhancing their competence, reducing stress and enhancing the ability of people with dementia to live well.”

IDEAL is the largest study of people living with dementia and their family members or friends in the UK. IDEAL is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research. Since 2018 IDEAL has been extended as an Alzheimer’s Society Centre of Excellence at the University of Exeter making it possible to follow the experiences of the participants for several more years.

For more information, visit http://www.idealproject.org.uk  or follow @IDEALStudyTweet on Twitter.

University of Bradford’s first supercomputer to revolutionise archaeological research

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A Faculty of Life Sciences student standing infront of a monitor showing a computer generated image.

Research undertaken by leading archaeologists from the University of Bradford has been revolutionised by the University’s first supercomputer, which enables its archaeological team from its ‘Curious Travellers’ project to effectively preserve by record endangered or destroyed heritage across the world, including theTemple of Bel, Kathmandu and Notre Dame.

Teams of archaeologists and computing scientists from the University can now support sustainable heritage initiatives using digital technologies supported by its high performance computing (HPC) system, designed by OCF. The ‘Curious Travellers’ project, *led by the University of Bradford, was created in response to challenges brought about by natural disasters and the deliberate destruction of heritage sites. By collating hundreds of images from local people, travellers and tourists, researchers at Bradford are able to create accurate 3D models of ancient monuments and sites, producing accurate representations without artificial or artistic reconstructions.

Whether as part of an international effort to evaluate the impact of the Gorkha Earthquake in 2015 on the medieval town of Kathmandu, reconstructing Notre Dame or partnering with the National Trust and Historic England in recording the remains of World Heritage Sites including Fountains Abbey and Stonehenge, Bradford researchers are able to manipulate vast data sets with the capacity of the new supercomputer for the global good.

"Computing technology is shaping archaeological practice," said Professor Vincent Gaffney, School of Archaeological & Forensic Sciences at the University of Bradford. "We are able to reconstruct heritage sites from hundreds of images recorded digitally. Importantly, the project is more than just the 3D content. By using geospatial and archaeological data that describes the site within its landscape, its context is included, providing a lasting legacy that contributes to local historic environment records.

Technology is not only broadening the scale at which archaeologists work, but also is making an unprecedented volume of extremely accurate data available for multinational analysis."

"Our investment in these cutting-edge high performance computing facilities complements and supports some of the University’s world-leading researchers and their work," said Professor John Bridgeman, Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Bradford (Research & Knowledge Transfer). "We live and work in a world that is largely data-driven, and our state-of-the-art facilities will enable the University to continue to operate at the vanguard of data management and visualisation."

The new high performance computing (HPC) system is designed, integrated and configured by high performance compute, storage and data analytics integrator, OCF.

"The University of Bradford’s commitment to using HPC technology to support the development of research is having a positive impact on the world," said Julian Fielden, Managing Director of OCF. "From biosciences and engineering to computer science, social sciences and heritage science, all these disciplines are moving rapidly as increased computational power becomes more readily available and enables vastly improved research capacity. "

Student-led clinics help keep University staff healthy

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A male University employee is talking with a female student who is holding a tablet device.

Pharmacy students at the University of Bradford have been gaining hands-on experience helping staff and students check their health.

Pharmacy students at the University of Bradford have been gaining hands-on experience helping staff and students check their health.

Third year pharmacy students have held free health clinics at the new DHEZ building at the University of Bradford as part of student selected assignments. These clinics not only provide a valuable service to the University community but show the potential for providing early clinical exposure for students in university settings that supports the health and wellbeing of staff and students.

Tests performed during the pilot included height and weight measurement; body mass index (BMI) calculation; waist and hip measurements; body fat composition; blood pressure and pulse readings; physical activity and lifestyle assessment. Supervisors performed cholesterol and blood glucose tests. Participants were able to opt out of any test.

Students then interpreted the results and discussed with supervisors, they offered lifestyle advice and health promotion literature and set healthy living goals with the participant. Each participant was provided with a personalised copy of their test results and, where appropriate, person's risk of developing a heart attack or stroke over the next 10 years.

Evaluation of the pilot showed that the service was well received by the pharmacy students delivering the service, as well as the wider university community. The findings have been disseminated in the journal Clinical Pharmacist and show the potential for providing early clinical exposure for students in university settings that supports the health and wellbeing of staff and students. The student-led health check service will run again in October 2019 at the DHEZ building and will be open to university's staff and students.

Professor Marcus Rattray, Head, School of Pharmacy & Medical Sciences, University of Bradford said: “We have developed our pharmacy programme to provide opportunities for students to gain ‘real-world’ experience outside traditional classroom settings that include these innovative student-led clinics, as well as working with Bradford Council and in Hospital trusts.  These activities are not only enjoyable for students but they help ensure that our graduates are able to contribute fully to supporting people to adopt healthy lifestyles and manage their own health conditions successfully.”

The pilot scheme was developed and launched by Kristina Medlinskiene and Justine Tomlinson, who are pharmacist doctoral training fellows at the University of Bradford, but also lecture at the University part-time and hold a part-time clinical position at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trusts. They were supported by Dr Kevin Adams, director of student support and engagement, and Dr Jonathan Silcock, senior lecturer in pharmacy practice. The team is thankful to Mrs Catherine Langran, lecturer at University of Reading, for sharing her expertise in setting up student-led health checks.

Kristina Medlinskiene said: "These health checks are a great way for students to develop their clinical and communication skills in a patient-facing setting whilst building confidence. Many of the participants had not previously had a health check and this free accessible student-led clinic allowed them the opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing."

Bradford part of major initiative to tackle higher education ‘care leaver crisis’

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With only 12% of care leavers under the age of 23 going into Higher Education (HE) - and those that do being almost twice as likely to drop out than their peers - the University of Bradford is taking part in a new project launched to improve support for young people going into HE.

The National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL) and the UPP Foundation have announced a new partnership to improve the support provided for young care experienced people.

Under the new scheme universities and colleges will take positive action to tackle the sector-wide care leavers crisis by creating a framework ensuring young care experienced people get the personal and financial support they need.

A pilot project, funded by the UPP Foundation, was launched at a reception in the House of Lords last week. Running until early 2020, the pilot scheme will develop and test a new quality framework to improve access, retention and the support for people who have been in care and now study at colleges and universities.

Nikki Pierce, Academic Registrar at the University of Bradford said: "As an institution dedicated to widening access and participation to higher education, we are delighted to take part in this project.

"Participating in this pilot will give us the opportunity to improve our support for care leavers and care experienced people and to benchmark what we are doing against best practice. Ensuring that everyone - no matter their background - is supported to access and succeed in higher education is at the heart of our University ethos.

"With only 12% of care leavers progressing to HE, this is an area in which the whole sector needs to do better, and we are delighted to be helping to shape a quality mark in this area."

Earlier this year students at the University of Bradford held a conference to raise awareness of the struggles Care Leavers can face at university and how this can affect their emotional wellbeing, which can then impact their overall performance at university. The conference received very positive feedback and has driven provision for Care Leavers up the University agenda.

The pilot project is a major step towards a national accreditation scheme for institutions working with young people who have been in care. The accreditation scheme will be rolled out across England following the completion of the pilot.

Commenting on the launch, Colette Fletcher, Chair of the Board of Trustees, NNECL and Assistant Vice-Chancellor, University of Winchester, said: "NNECL is extremely proud to be launching the new quality mark for institutions working with young care experienced people and are delighted to be partnering with UPP Foundation and the University of Bradford to deliver this important project. The new quality mark will build on the gold standard criteria developed by the Centre for Social Justice and First Star Academies, the Department for Education’s ‘Principles to guide higher education providers on improving care leavers access and participation in HE’, the Care Leaver Covenant, and recent guidance published by the Office for Students, to create a working accreditation process that will improve the progression, retention and success of care experienced students in higher education."

Richard Brabner, Director of the UPP Foundation, added: "We are delighted to be partnering with NNECL and the University of Bradford on this important initiative involving so many Higher Education and Further Education institutions. As a Foundation we fund innovative projects that support underrepresented students go to and succeed at university. As the statistics show, care leavers are one of, if not the, most disadvantaged group in the system. This is a sector-wide initiative that we hope will make a tangible difference over the long-term to the outcomes of care leavers."

The educational institutions involved in the pilot include the University of Bradford; Edge Hill University; the University of Exeter; Halesowen College; Kingston University; the University of Lincoln; the University of Nottingham and Oxford Brookes University.

The first archaeological artefacts found during the search for lost prehistoric settlements in the North Sea

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View across Southern River

During May 2019, an 11-day expedition by European scientists from Belgium and Britain was undertaken to explore three sites of potential geological and archaeological interest in the southern North Sea. Through chance finds by fishermen over many decades, it has long been suspected that the southern North Sea hides a vast landscape that once was home to thousands of people.

Over the past 2yrs the British team has been recreating the drowned landscape using data provided by oil and gas companies, windfarm developers and the coal board. The modelled landscape contains areas with a higher likelihood of past human activity, locations where evidence for these activities might more likely be found.

Prospecting this drowned landscape in search of the evidence of people is a challenging activity, as the North Sea is not only one of the busiest seaways in the world but the weather often makes it inhospitable. Further, multiple utilities cross the area and visibility under water is often limited. Given these challenging conditions, researchers on the Belgian vessel, RV Belgica, used acoustic techniques and physical sampling of the seabed to survey three of the high potential target areas. The team used both traditional geophysical techniques and a novel new technique with a parametric sonar. This enabled the highest resolution images to be obtained of the deposits beneath the seabed.

Although the survey was heavily impacted by poor weather, confirmation of the occurrence of a well-preserved Early Holocene land surface was made near Brown Bank (Area C in figure 2) where several large samples of peat and ancient wood were recovered. This evidence strongly suggests that a prehistoric woodland once stood in this area.

Survey over Area B targeted a large river system identified in the model landscape. This area was focused on a zone where the river entered an ancient sea, and was suspected to be a location where evidence of human activity was more likely to be preserved. The survey recorded not only remains of peat but also nodules of flint which may originate from submarine chalk outcrops near the ancient river and coast. These findings are supported by the results of vibrocores acquired in the area for the Europe’s Lost Frontiers project.

Further study has also revealed the first archaeological artefacts from the survey area (figure 3 and 4). One was a small piece of flint that was possibly the waste product of stone tool making. The second was a larger piece, broken from the edge of a stone hammer, an artefact used to make a variety of other flint tools. As well as being evidence for flint tool production the hammer fragment derived from a large battered flint nodule would once have been part of a personal tool kit. Research is still ongoing into this artefact and its context within the landscape.

A 3D model of the hammerstone fragment.

In the relatively short period of time available for survey and sampling around the Southern River and the Brown Bank, the project methodology has clearly demonstrated its value. Marine geophysics has been used to map the topography of these lost lands and identify areas where prehistoric sediments may exist. Where these are accessible and are within areas of the landscape that are likely to be attractive for human occupation or use, sediments can be extracted for careful examination and with a higher expectation of making finds than was previously possible.

The material recovered suggests that the expedition has revealed a well-preserved, prehistoric landscape which, based on preliminary inspection of the material, must have contained a prehistoric woodland. The recovery of stone artefacts not only demonstrate that these landscapes were inhabited but also that archaeologists can, for the first time, prospect for evidence of human occupation in the deeper waters of the North Sea with some certainty of success. Work will now proceed to refine our knowledge of the larger context of these finds and to plan further expeditions to explore these hidden prehistoric landscapes.

The May 2019 expedition led by Dr. Tine Missiaen from the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) involves an international team of scientists from Belgium (Ghent University, VLIZ) and the UK (University of Bradford). The voyage on board the Belgian research vessel "RV Belgica" takes place within thecollaborative Belgian-UK-Dutch research project "Deep History: Revealing the palaeo-landscape of the southern North Sea" which is aimed at reconstructing the Quaternary history (roughly spanning the last 500.000 years) and human occupation of the wider Brown Bank area.

The project complements the Bradford-led "Europe’s Lost Frontiers" project. Led by Professor Vincent Gaffney, archaeologists from the team are exploring the early Holocene, North Sea landscape known as Doggerland. This project received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (ERC funded project No. 670518 LOST FRONTIERS). The project team also includes researchers from the Universities of St Andrews, Wales Trinity Saint David, Nottingham in Ningbo China, Warwick, Birmingham, University College Cork and the Natural History Museum.

Follow the action on twitter @BrownBank2018

The Belgian federal research vessel Belgica is owned by the Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO) and operated by the Belgian Navy in cooperation with the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences-Operational Directorate Natural Environment (RBINS-OD Nature).

The Renard Centre of Marine Geology research unit of the Department of Geology (Ghent University) is specialized in the development and use of seismic methods and geophysical techniques, in continental margin geology, limnogeology, natural hazards and Quaternary geology.

The Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) is a centre for marine and coastal research. As a partner in various projects and networks it promotes and supports the international image of Flemish marine scientific research and international marine education. The paleo-landscape research forms part of the VLIZ research topic Seascapes Past & Future and adds to the expertise VLIZ is developing with regard to paleo-landscapes and fossil remains in the southern North Sea.

Europe’s Lost Frontiers is an ERC Advanced Research project is supported by funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme ( ERC funded project No. 670518 LOST FRONTIERS), and is run from the University of Bradford. Lost Frontiers studies the inundated landscapes of the southern North Sea using archaeo-geophysics, molecular biology and computer simulation to develop novel approaches for the study of past environments, ecological change and the transition between hunter gathering societies and farming within the inundated landscapes of Doggerland and North West Europe more widely.

Bradford hosts Channel 4’s Diverse Festival ahead of the broadcaster’s HQ move to the region

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Channel 4’s annual DIVERSE Festival will be hosted in Bradford on Monday 17 June, the first time the event has taken place outside of London, and will focus on authentic portrayal on television.

Hosted at the University of Bradford by Anita Rani, the industry event features senior executives from the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Netflix, Channel 5 and guest speaker Hip Hop artist and writer Akala.

In addition to senior industry executives giving their insight into authenticity in broadcast media, the festival will give independent production companies the opportunity to have one to one pitching sessions with broadcasters’ commissioners. In addition to this, the festival will also hold a work shop on how to get into television aimed specifically at young people in the region.

Bradford UNESCO City of Film collaborated with Channel 4 to bring the DIVERSE Festival to the city.

Ian Katz, Director of Programmes, Channel 4, said: "Our annual DIVERSE Festival provides a fantastic opportunity for the industry to come together and share experiences on delivering inclusion and diversity on and off-screen.

"We’re extremely excited to be holding the DIVERSE festival in Bradford this year, as we look forward to establishing our National HQ in nearby Leeds."

Each year the DIVERSE festival brings together broadcasters, production companies, talent, commissioners, and wider creative industry stakeholders to celebrate diversity and inclusion, share best practice and find collaborative solutions to diversity related challenges in broadcast media. This year, the festival will focus on authenticity and the pivotal role it plays within meaningful representation both on and off-screen.

Ian Katz’s session, "Did We Get It Right?" will examine three Channel 4 shows and invite the audience to judge their authenticity. In a discussion with BBC talent, the BBC’s Director of Content Charlotte Moore will explore untold authored stories.

Professor Shirley Congdon, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice Chancellor Elect of the University of Bradford, said: "This is the first time Channel 4 have held this event outside of London and we are honoured that they have chosen to hold it here in Bradford and at the University.

"The university is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to a proactive and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity. Our strapline ‘Confronting Inequality: Celebrating Diversity’ reflects this commitment to ensure that equality and diversity are at the heart of all aspects of university activities involving our diverse student and staff body."

David Wilson, Director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film, said: "We're delighted to be working with Channel 4 and the University of Bradford in hosting the DIVERSE Festival in Bradford. As a UNESCO creative city with one of the youngest and most diverse populations in the UK, we are committed to bringing events like DIVERSE to Bradford to open up new pathways and opportunities for TV and film production in the region."

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the NP11, said: "I’m delighted to welcome Channel 4’s annual Diverse Festival to Bradford. It’s a great event to find collaboration opportunities within the TV and film industry to increase on and off screen diversity."

The festival will hear from Netflix’s Vice President of Content, Anne Mensah, on her experience of authenticity in the media and Ben Frow, Director of Programmes at Channel 5, who will deliver a keynote session on the importance of reflecting Modern Britain in an authentic way across all genres of programming. Saskia Schuster, Controller of Comedy at ITV, will feature in a panel discussion on ‘Why employing more women writers in comedy matters’.

The DIVERSE festival is an annual flagship event hosted by Channel 4 for the media industry and its partners. This year, Channel 4 will also be encouraging conversation on Twitter throughout the day using the hashtag #DIVERSETV.

How Virtual Reality Is Helping Refugees in Jordan and Beyond

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A refugee wearing a VR headset over their eyes while a person helps guide them.

Global organisation Mercy Corps and the University of Bradford pilot VR tech to help refugees reconnect with their homeland.

The global organisation Mercy Corps is partnering with the University of Bradford’s Building Resilience Through Heritage (BReaTHe) project, to help Syrian refugees in Jordan improve their psychological and emotional wellbeing.

With more than 630,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan, the partnership is leveraging the latest technologies to deliver virtual reality (VR) experiences to help individuals and communities reconnect with and discuss the heritage of their homelands. The project is an important element of Mercy Corps’ psychosocial programming in Azraq refugee camp to ensure that participants are working through these emotions in a safe and productive way.

For the younger generation who only know Syria in war, VR — along with other methods of promoting cultural heritage such as traditional stories, recipes or family photos — can create a connection to their homeland that is a source of pride and strength. This can also strengthen bonds with older generations as they feel more connected to the places their parents and grandparents reminisce about. 

Although the project is in its early stages, the reaction from participants has been overwhelmingly positive. “We aren’t able to see Syria with our own eyes, but through VR, you brought Syria to us,” said a participant after experiencing the project.

Simon O’Connell, Executive Director, Mercy Corps says: “As an organisation we believe that technology has a huge role to play in improving people’s lives. We’ve seen first-hand the impact that VR can have on a Syrian mother who has been displaced from her home for many years. Being able to return virtually to that home, experience it in some way again, which helps her deal with the trauma of war, is powerful and important.”

Dr Adrian Evans, from the University of Bradford said “It’s a profound and humbling experience to work in refugee communities. We’re delighted to see our digital heritage tools and expertise being useful to those in desperate need of positive memories and experiences to build personal and societal resilience.”

The project will be showcased at this year’s Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh where Mercy Corps and the University of Bradford will be demonstrating the impact of Virtual Reality in the aid sector as part of the UK Government marquee from 20-23 June 2019.

New MBA Director

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Photo of Natalie Wilmot

The University of Bradford has appointed a new MBA Director.

Dr Natalie Wilmot will join the University on 2 September 2019 and will be responsible for directing the FT ranked MBA programme, focusing particularly on growth, improved rankings and student satisfaction.

Natalie has been a member of the International Business subject group at Sheffield Hallam University for the past seven years, during which time she held a number of roles including Admissions Tutor, and most recently, Executive MBA Course Leader.

Her current research interests are concerned with various aspects of language diversity and translation work in the context of international business.

Natalie said:

“I am delighted to join such a prestigious programme at the University of Bradford’s School of Management.  I look forward to working with my new colleagues and continuing to build on previous successes in order to develop new opportunities for MBA students.”

“I am delighted that Natalie will be joining the Triple accredited School of Management at the University of Bradford to lead the growth of our World Class distance, executive and Apprenticeship MBA offerings.” says Professor Zahir Irani, Dean, Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences.

The Head of School, Prof Vishanth Weerakkody said: “I am really pleased to have been involved in Natalie’s appointment and together with my colleagues in the School of Management I look forward to working with Natalie and supporting her to amplify our current efforts around growth, rankings and student satisfaction”   

The Bradford MBA was first launched in 1974 and can be studied on campus, in Dubai, or by distance learning anywhere in the world. The Distance Learning MBA rankings have continued to improve and is currently ranked number one in the world for value for money in the Financial Times Online MBA Rankings 2019, and number 10 in the world overall by CEO Magazine. Bradford is also the only institution in Yorkshire approved by the NHS Leadership Academy to deliver its programme to NHS staff wishing to pursue an MBA.

In addition to being a Member of the Institute of Export and International Trade, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Natalie also holds the position of Treasurer for GEM&L (Groupe d'Etudes Management et Langage), an international, interdisciplinary scholarly body which brings together academics interested in language issues in management.   Since 2017, she has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Bordeaux, teaching a Masters course on Intercultural Communication.

Prior to gaining her lectureship, her professional background was in export sales and global supply chain management, during which time she worked extensively with organisations throughout Europe and South America.

University of Bradford leads £1.5m arts award success

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A sunny photo of the Theatre In The Mill buildnig next to a tree.

A consortium of Bradford organisations and artists has been awarded £1.5 million from Arts Council England for an innovative approach to empowering artists and audiences in the city.

The award will transform Bradford as a major producing city of live performance over the next three years.

The bid, submitted by Theatre in the Mill and the University of Bradford, will pilot an approach to producing live performance that embraces risk, champions diversity and puts audiences at the centre of decision-making. It continues a long-term aspiration for Bradford to leverage its thriving cultural scene into a blueprint for art-led cities of the future.

Rich Warburton, Artistic Director of Theatre in the Mill, said: This grant is a culmination of an open and collaborative approach to arts that has been embraced over the past years. It mirrors a shared belief that Bradford is on the cusp of an incredibly exciting decade of cultural activity in this city that will demonstrate the benefits of transparency, risk taking, empathy and openness to create a cultural landscape.”

The successful Bradford Producing Hub bid was developed by a consortium of publicly-funded and independent arts organisations passionate about growing culture, creativity and diversity in the heart of the city. This consortium includes Theatre in the Mill, Mind the Gap, Kala Sangam, 154 Collective, Common Wealth and Displace Yourself.

The Producing Hub is a three-year project testing radical new approaches to producing work, supporting talent, developing a local arts workforce, and partnering with communities across Bradford to reimagine the city as a thriving hub for performance. The project seeks to develop a comprehensive approach to retaining creative talent here in Bradford and enabling artists to create their best work today.

The first year of activity will be about consulting with everyone in the city to shape the direction of the Hub, and will include a detailed cultural mapping process of Bradford’s live performance makers and organisations. This means that all activity will respond directly to the needs of the city and its huge creative potential, providing structured support for artists at every stage of their career and pathways into the creative industries for the next generation of upcoming talent.

The Hub is about audiences as much as artists, who will see Bradford transformed with more new work and live performance than ever before.  Over the three years, in the region of 60,000 people, will experience the best in live performance, from a range art forms, happening all over their city. 

This project will create a lasting legacy of artistic excellence in the city, with resource and infrastructure for live performance to be established and maintained for the future. The Hub will act as a catalyst for those creating live performance in Bradford to demonstrate t collectively the value of the arts to the local economy and be part of the important conversations in the city around community, migration, place making and tourism. The project will also shift public engagement in the arts, creating the conditions for everyone to experience quality performance that resonates with them.

Evie Manning, Co-Artistic Director of Common Wealth, said: “Bradford is a city that over the years, despite limited formal arts infrastructure, has created so much brilliant work in a very grassroots way.  The Producing Hub will allow us to connect things up, grow in strength and produce lots of art and theatre that reflects the city and its people in a way that is self-authored. The Producing Hub will encourage artists at all stages in their careers to experiment, express themselves and help build a narrative of Bradford that is proud of what makes us unique - as a city that has always been radical and is a home to people with lots of experience and lots of stories to tell.”

Bradford Producing Hub will be launching in September 2019; if you would like to get in touch with the consortium before then, please contact Rich Warburton at the University of Bradford r.warburton@bradford.ac.uk

Peace Studies and International Development Activity Report for 2016-2018

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This report covers a period of significant change on a number of fronts.

Most notably, Peace Studies and the Bradford Centre for International Development have now merged to create one single Division of Peace Studies and International Development (PSID), thus bringing together two prestigious and internationally renowned centres of excellence in their respective fields.

Please find the full report under following link: PSID Report

Summer school inspires health and social care experts of the future

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Young people are being given the opportunity to test out a range of careers in health and social care at the University of Bradford.

The new summer school, which is running Monday 8 – Friday 12 July, is providing year 10 and 11 students a chance to try out practical skills. They’ll also talk with inspiring local professionals about their work and meet with service users and carers to discuss their health and care experiences, including what is important to them from the health professionals and social care staff.

The summer school has been commissioned Bradford Districts CCG  and is part of the Industrial Centre of Excellence for Health and Social Care (CE:HSC) developed in partnership between Bradford Council, local NHS Trusts, social care providers, schools, colleges and the University.

The sessions combine inspirational talks with professionally led practical sessions by University staff as well as colleagues from local health and social care services such as: occupational therapy, paramedic sciences, radiography, nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, pharmacy, social work, speech and language therapy, dietetics and podiatry.

Dr Anita Sargeant, Director of the Health and Social Care Summer School, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the Summer School which we hope will be a fun week that provides useful insight into the wide range of career options that are possible and increasing awareness of professional life working with service users and carers as well as finding out about University life. The young people joining us this week are our future. ”

University honours eight at graduations

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Two people dressed in graduation robes hugging in celebration.

The University of Bradford will honour eight national and international figures with honorary degrees at its forthcoming graduation ceremonies.

The ceremonies take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, July 16, 17 and 18, in the Great Hall of the city campus, where Chancellor Kate Swann and Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Cantor will present the honorary degrees.

The events will also celebrate the University’s world-leading dementia care research with the award of the first two doctorates from the Alzheimer's Society-funded Doctoral Training Centre on Transitions in Dementia Care at the University’s Centre for Applied Dementia Studies. The doctorates will be awarded to Denise De Waal from the Netherlands and Courtney Shaw from Canada.

An honorary fellowship will also be conferred on the late Alan Hague, who recently died. His family will attend a ceremony to receive the award on his behalf.

Alan joined Sandoz Products in 1969 as a junior laboratory technician and whilst there gained academic qualifications through a company day release scheme.

In 1974 he was appointed to the University of Bradford as a grade 3 research technician in the School of Colour Chemistry & Colour Technology and he rose rapidly through the ranks to become the youngest Superintendent technician in the University. In 1992 Forensic Science was established at the University and Alan was instrumental in developing the degree programmes and forensic facilities at the University and, as his academic duties were also expanding, his role was re-designated.

His research interests covered a broad scope of subjects in both Chemistry and Forensic areas and he had close collaborations with many internal and external parties as well as being a principal investigator. A selection of these included the police, fire service, instrument and equipment manufacturers.

He served on Senate, H&S, Project planning, Estates, HR Committees and Boards and was involved as a specialist advisor on many occasions.

In his spare time, he developed an extensive experience of teaching and examining a variety of skills including motorcycling, swimming, RLSS Lifesaving and first aid.

Receiving honorary degrees from the University will be:

  • Dame Mary Archer, Doctor of Science
  • Tim O’Reilly, Doctor of Technology
  • John Graham Hart, Honorary Fellowship
  • Wendy Mitchell, Doctor of Health
  • Dr. Anita Patil-Deshmukh, Doctor of Health
  • Manoj Joshi, Doctor of the University
  • Lady Brenda Hale, Doctor of Law
  • Dr Priscilla Elworthy, Doctor of the University

Almost 1500 students are due to attend the ceremonies.

Law School hosts successful networking event

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The University of Bradford hosted a networking event which showcased the exciting work that takes place within its School of Law.

The event showcased the great relationship staff and students have with the local community and beyond, and created new opportunities for collaboration for the benefit of both students and partners within the local area.

The event, which took place on Thursday 27 June in the building and gardens of Heaton Mount was attended by members of the legal profession, local businesses, and public, private and third sector organisations.

Guests were impressed by the huge talent of current students and alumni who demonstrated how the excellent learning experience and skills development in the school had helped them develop into confident professionals in the world of work. Standing alongside them, the supervisors/mentors of two of the students currently on work placements gave glowing testimonials of the important contributions the students had made to their organisation over the past year.

The evening started with a welcome talk by the Dean of the Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences, Professor Zahir Irani who set out the broad vision of the University for the School of Law. This was followed by the Head of the Law School, Professor Engobo Emeseh School of Law, outlining key developments and initiatives in the School to ensure they produce job-ready graduates. She called on participants to support the school and its students in certain key areas, including opportunities for work placements, and contributing towards other employability and skills development initiatives in the school.

Professor Engobo Emeseh, Head of School of Law, said: “The event provided an opportunity for our School of Law to open its doors and welcome in members of the local community.

“We celebrated the success of our students and looked at new ways we can collaborate with local businesses and professionals in the public, private and third sector to give our students real life experience and make a positive impact in the local area.”

Funding creates new exchange opportunities

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The University of Bradford has secured £1m funding from Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility for study and internships abroad for students and staff.

Erasmus+ offers students and staff the opportunity to travel abroad and spend time studying or teaching in partner institutions or undertaking placements with organisations.  

With the £1m that has been secured, the University is able to fund students to study at institutions or carry out internships in Jordan, China, Russia, Egypt, Brazil, Palestine, Canada, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro and Switzerland.  

The funding allows students to go to a range of institutions, including Wuhan University of Technology, University of Petroleum, Saint Petersburg State University, University of Jordan, University of Cairo and Hebron University. Please see below for a full list of Universities. 

This bid will support the University of Bradford’s strategy to provide financial support to students to study and undertake internships abroad. There are currently 221 students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds who have a high level of academic performance that take up this opportunity each academic year. 

The University of Bradford first received funding for exchanges outside of Europe in 2018, enabling 57 studentsto to go abroad over a two-year period. The University has managed to implement 35 of these so far.  

Nadia is an Erasmus student from the University of Cairo, Egypt, who spent time in Bradford as part of the scheme.  

The University of Bradford is one of the few UK Universities offering Home, EU and International students funded opportunities abroad. This includes study placements, internships and short international programmes. 

These opportunities are available during term time and the summer break for current students, as well as for recent graduates. The number of students applying to go abroad is increasing and 221 students applied in 2018/19, as opposed to 127 in 2017/18. One reason for this is due to the positive impact it can have on future career prospects. 

There are several other benefits for students who spend time abroad during their degree, including them being more likely to obtain a first-class or upper second-class degree when compared to students who don’t spend time abroad and an improved cultural, social and political understanding. 

The new funding will allow the University of Bradford to send 213 participants abroad in the next two academic years, which will represent an increase of 48% of participants going abroad when compared to the current academic year. 

The International Opportunities Team will be running workshops at the start of the next academic year, to give students the opportunity to find out more information about the scheme.  

Additionally, between the 21 October and 25 October 2019, the University of Bradford will welcome 50 delegates from the partner universities referred below for the 1st Erasmus+ International Staff Week to discuss partnerships, employability and student engagement.  

During this week, a Study Abroad Fair will be held in the Richmond Building Atrium to give students and staff the opportunity to engage with partners and explore opportunities. 

How can you reliably spot a fake smile? Ask a computer

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Real and fake smiles can be tricky to tell apart, but researchers at the University of Bradford have now developed computer software that can spot false facial expressions.

By analysing the movement of the smile across a person’s face, the software can determine whether or not the expression is genuine. The most significant movements detected by the software were around the eyes, supporting popular theories that a spontaneous, genuine smile is one that can be seen in a person’s eyes.

“A smile is perhaps the most common of facial expressions and is a powerful way of signalling positive emotions,” says Hassan Ugail, Professor of Visual Computing at the University of Bradford, who led the research. “Techniques for analysing human facial expressions have advanced dramatically in recent years, but distinguishing between genuine and posed smiles remains a challenge because humans are not good at picking up the relevant cues.”

The software works by first mapping a person’s face from within a video recording, and identifying the mouth, cheeks and eyes of the subject. It then measures how these facial features move through the progress of the smile and calculates the differences in movement between the video clips showing real and fake smiles.

Researchers tested the programme using two different datasets, one containing images of people expressing genuine smiles, and another in which the images portrayed posed smiles.

They found significant differences in the way the subjects’ mouths and cheeks moved when comparing the real and the fake expressions. The movements around the subjects’ eyes, however, showed the most striking variation, with genuine smiles generating at least 10 per cent more movement in these muscles.

“We use two main sets of muscles when we smile – the zygomaticus major, which is responsible for the curling upwards of the mouth, and the orbicularis oculi, which causes crinkling around our eyes,” explains Professor Ugail. “In fake smiles it is often only the mouth muscles which move but, as humans, we often don’t spot the lack of movement around the eyes. The computer software can spot this much more reliably.”

He adds: “An objective way of analysing whether or not a smile is genuine could help us develop improved interactions between computers and humans – for example in biometric identification. It could also be important to social and clinical scientists aiming to gain more insight into human behaviour and emotion.”

The study is published today in [Advanced Engineering Informatics]

New Vice-Chancellor at the University of Bradford

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Professor Shirley Congdon has today (1 August 2019) officially taken over as the University of Bradford’s new Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Congdon is the first woman to be Vice-Chancellor at Bradford and was previously Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic.

She has over 28 years’ experience in the higher education sector.  During that time, she has worked at several universities and undertaken a number of significant strategic leadership roles, including Head of Department at Teesside University and Dean of School and Director of Academic Delivery at Liverpool John Moores University.

Professor Congdon joined the University of Bradford as the Dean of Health Studies in 2009 and became the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) in 2011.  In 2015 she took on the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and for the last four years has been responsible for the development and oversight of the academic strategy and the student experience.

University of Bradford’s Chair of Council, Baroness Ann Taylor, said: “We are delighted to have appointed Professor Congdon as our next Vice-Chancellor. Her appointment comes at an important time for the University, which has been recruiting strongly and building on its strengths. Bradford is a high-quality, research-intensive University, with strongly performing specialist programmes and very high graduate employment rates. Professor Congdon’s track record as both a senior leader and renowned academic, and her knowledge of the University, will complement the ambitious programme we have for Bradford.”

Professor Congdon said: “I am delighted to be taking up the post of Vice-Chancellor, and I am deeply honoured to become the first female Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford. I am looking forward to leading our talented staff and students to increase our impact and reputation locally, nationally and globally.  With the Executive Team I will engender a vibrant culture for staff and students reinforcing our commitment to excellence in service delivery, research, knowledge exchange, teaching and equality & diversity.

“Having lived and worked in the Bradford City Region for nine years I am committed to positioning the University at the centre of social and economic regeneration. As Vice-Chancellor I will apply my considerable experience in both higher education and health and social care to advance the University’s partnerships with the local authority, business, schools, further education providers and the wider Bradford community. Despite operating in an increasingly challenging environment I am confident the University of Bradford will increase its impact locally and globally.”

Professor Congdon succeeds Professor Brian Cantor, who has been Vice-Chancellor since 2013. During his tenure, the University won its first Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education, and achieved Silver in the Teaching Excellence Framework. He has established the World Technology Universities Network and attracted some of the most influential academics in their fields to be University Anniversary Chairs.

Baroness Taylor added: “I would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Professor Cantor for his leadership, guidance and wisdom. During his time as Vice-Chancellor the University has gone from strength to strength, establishing a global reputation and leadership in key academic fields. On behalf of the University, I wish him well in the future.”

Bradford Physiotherapy team wins national award for teaching excellence

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The Physiotherapy and Sport Rehabilitation team at the University of Bradford has been recognised nationally with a Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) from AdvanceHE, the most prestigious team award available for learning and teaching in Higher Education.

This highly sought after award recognises the team’s creation of a pioneering Physiotherapy Clinic, developed in collaboration with employers, students and staff. Their work has transformed teaching and practice in Physiotherapy and Sports Rehabilitation and is being used as a positive example by other institutions. Students consistently rate the Physiotherapy and Sport Rehabilitation programme highly in the National Student Survey.

Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor, said “This is an outstanding team of professional physiotherapists, and academics, working collaboratively with students, service users and other stakeholders to advance healthcare in creative and innovative ways. To receive this award is a great achievement and one that the team fully deserve.”

Dr Pam Bagley, Dean of the Faculty of Health Studies said: "I am enormously proud of our team of dedicated staff who have worked so hard. We have a fantastic team of staff and students who run a superb service for the local community and beyond. With support from our staff, students are graduating with excellent job prospects and invaluable practical experience.”

AdvanceHE CATE celebrates collaborative work in teaching and learning and captures the creative and innovative practice that positively impacts on the student experience. The awards recognise teams who have enabled a change in practice for colleagues and/or students at an institutional or discipline level.

AdvanceHE is an independent non-profit organisation committed to world-class teaching in higher education. AdvanceHE works in partnership with institutions and individuals in higher education supporting continuous improvement and student success.

Winners will receive their awards at a special ceremony on 16 October in Manchester.

Bradford alumnus honoured at the Duke of York Awards

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Alumni Hussein Muhamed Salahaldin Hussein collecting his award

A recent alumnus of the University of Bradford received Royal approval from HRH The Duke of York for demonstrating ‘remarkable entrepreneurship’ after founding his company, Bradford Diwan.

A recent alumnus of the University of Bradford received Royal approval from HRH The Duke of York for demonstrating ‘remarkable entrepreneurship’ after founding his company, Bradford Diwan.

Hussein Muhamed Salahaldin Hussein collected The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award from The Duke himself at the annual awards ceremony, organised and hosted by the University of Huddersfield. The awards have been running since 2013 and are open to student or graduate entrepreneurs in the north who, through their businesses, have had a real impact either commercially or socially and have the potential for growth.

Hussein Muhamed Salahaldin Hussein established his business, Bradford Diwan, after graduating with a MA Political Violence and Terrorism from the University of Bradford in 2018.

The Bradford-based non-profitable social enterprise aims to provide an opportunity for people to explore and understand Muslim cultures through interactive languages education (Arabic, Urdu, Turkish, Swahili, etc.), arts, food, music and drama programmes and workshops.  In collaboration with Peacejam UK, the company offers two educational programmes (Circles of Salam) starting in September 2019 for peace-making and change-making education on a supplementary schooling basis for children. Both programmes will enable young Muslims and non-Muslims to become peacemakers and change makers and support them with the skills and confidence to change their world.

Hussein said “It is an honour to receive such an award and be recognised as a Young Entrepreneur of the year 2019. I feel overwhelmed and pleased to be representing my family, friends, the University of Bradford and the City of Bradford on a national scale. I hope that through my work I can make a positive impact in helping to create and promote peace”.

This recent award follows a trend of University of Bradford alumni to have been recognised for their entrepreneurship at the Duke of York Awards. Mustafa Al-Shalechy and Mohammed Ali Alshamari collected an award in 2017 for their new-start business, CurePharma, whilst Karan Aswani collected his award in 2016 for his business enterprise, Diamonds and Diamonds Ltd.  

First researchers getting ready to move into new Wolfson centre

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An artiistic render of the new Wolfson Centre yet to be built

The first researchers will soon be moving into a new Bradford-based centre set to improve the health and wellbeing of children and the elderly.

The Wolfson Centre for Applied Health Research brings together researchers from the Universities of Leeds and Bradford with clinicians from Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. It has been built in the grounds of Bradford Royal Infirmary, one of the Trust’s hospitals.

The Centre has been made possible thanks to a £1m award from national charity The Wolfson Foundation, which gives grants to support and promote excellence in the fields of science, medicine, the arts and humanities, education and health and disability.

The new building hosts the Centre for Ageing, one of the UK’s most successful research groups in applied health research for older people, and the National Institute for Health Research’s National Patient Safety Centre. Its work around child health will include the ground-breaking ‘Born in Bradford’ and ‘Born in Bradford’s Better Start’ cohorts.

By combining the expertise of health researchers with clinicians who have daily contact with patients, the centre will ensure that its findings are put rapidly into practice – resulting in better health and social care for those who need it most, right here in Yorkshire.

The three areas it will address have been identified as key health priorities for the county:

  • Healthy Childhood: a child’s health is the foundation for their lifelong mental and physical well-being, yet a recent UNICEF report showed the UK is lagging behind our European neighbours on this important measure. The centre will examine how to reduce inequalities in the health and development of young people, and seek out the early-years interventions which are most effective.
  • Healthy Ageing: as our life expectancy has increased, so has the number of elderly people living with long-term medical conditions, limiting their quality of life and placing a growing burden on health and care services. The Wolfson Centre will develop new models of care for frail elderly patients, those with dementia and those facing debilitating musculoskeletal conditions. It will also work to improve systems of care for the terminally ill.
  • High Quality and Safe Care: health data shows huge variations in the standard of care received by patients in hospitals and clinics; a recent survey showed there are almost 12,000 preventable adult deaths a year in England alone. Research in the centre will develop new methods of care that are safe, patient-centred and harness the potential of new technologies.

Professor John Wright, Director of the Bradford Institute for Health Research at the Foundation Trust, said: “We are looking forward to working with our partners to develop the new national Wolfson Centre for Applied Health Research. This project is so exciting because it will improve the health and wellbeing of people in our communities by speeding up the translation of research into real benefits for patients.”

Professor Gail Mountain, Professor of Applied Dementia Research and Head of Dementia Studies at the University of Bradford, said: “The Centre for Applied Dementia Studies is passionate about improving the improving the lives of older people including those with dementia. The Wolfson centre is a great opportunity for us to engage in a forward thinking research agenda with clinical and research colleagues. It will provide exciting new pathways for our early career researchers and facilitate new partnerships, locally, nationally and internationally. We are really pleased to be part of this joint initiative.”

Professor Paul Stewart, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Leeds, added: “The award for funds to develop this centre is pivotal for the University of Leeds as we seek to extend our outreach and partnership with colleagues in Bradford. Our research will focus on at risk populations, extremes of age, and delivery of high quality and safe care will be fundamental steps in improving health outcomes for both patients in Bradford and the West Yorkshire region.”

University of Bradford joins AWS Academy

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The University of Bradford has successfully joined the prestigious worldwide AWS Academy program from Amazon Web Services (AWS) as part of a distinctive university offering.

All students will be given an opportunity to enhance their employability skills, helping to make them ready for the world of work in a very competitive environment.

Professor Zahir Irani, Dean of Faculty (Management, Law and Social Sciences) comments: “We are really pleased to provide this exciting opportunity to develop the next generation of cloud computing professionals, either as part of a degree course or, simply out of a desire to enhance digital skills development.”

 “With the relocation of our School of Management to city campus, we are in a strong position to create collaborative opportunities between staff and students from across the Faculties and enable as many students as possible to access AWS Academy.”

AWS Academy is a global program that provides educational institutions with access to cloud computing content to support student learning in a competitive digital workplace. As a member of AWS Academy, the University of Bradford will help students become proficient and certified in the use of AWS technologies and ready to join the dynamic cloud IT workforce. 

Starting in October 2019, students will be able to enrol in courses that will prepare them for careers in the rapidly growing cloud computing space and help them pursue industry-recognized AWS Certifications. The University of Bradford, through its new state of the art innovation-Lab (i-Lab), will be using AWS Academy content within existing and new academic programmes. Students from across faculties will also have the opportunity to develop their digital skills as part of cloud computing elective modules being offered.

AWS Academy Global Team comments: “IT professionals with the necessary cloud skills are in high demand and we’re proud to further advance the training and learning opportunities for students at the University of Bradford. With AWS Academy, students will be positioned as skilled professionals who can support IT initiatives with AWS technology knowledge and skill mastery.”

Coinciding with a new Business and Community Engagement Strategy, the university will be offering local businesses, charities and religious organisations access to cloud computing skills to support their business development and growth aspirations. All learners will have the opportunity to seek professional certification with the skills gained through AWS Academy content delivered by university staff that are AWS Academy accredited.

New cross-sector partnership to boost Leeds City Region healthtech sector

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More than three million citizens across the Leeds City Region are set to benefit as senior leaders from the healthtech industry, the regional enterprise partnership, the NHS, local authorities, and five universities announced a dynamic, new partnership to accelerate health technology innovation.

This bold commitment is the first of its kind in the region. Partners have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to drive forward new approaches in improving patient and population health and care through better and faster healthtech innovation.

The move also aims to radically speed up the region’s productivity and economic growth in the sector, which is seeing an unprecedented rise across the UK and globally.

Dr Liam Sutton, Associate Director Research and Innovation at the University of Bradford said: "The University of Bradford already works effectively with health and care providers, health technology companies and fellow higher education institutions in Yorkshire and the North in teaching, research and innovation. Through the initiative, we expect to find new collaborative avenues for our students and researchers to contribute to the health and wellbeing of people worldwide and to support the development of highly productive, growing companies in the West Yorkshire economy."

As the UK’s largest economic region outside of London, the Leeds City Region already has a world-leading concentration of excellence in healthtech. It is home to

  • more than 250 healthtech businesses
  • 200 digital and technology businesses operating in the health and care sector
  • leading centres of academic excellence in research and innovation, and
  • West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, the third largest integrated health and care partnership in the country.

But, as set out in the Government’s Leeds City Region Science and Innovation Audit (SIA), stronger, cross-sector collaboration is vital to overcoming the barriers to growth.

This new partnership agreement will put in place the strong, coordinated leadership and support required to fully capitalise on what is a globally burgeoning market. In 2015, that market was estimated to be worth $371 billion and was forecast to grow to $529 billion by 20221.

That growth is being driven by factors such as growing and ageing populations, the rise in levels of obesity and chronic illness, technological developments and an increasing demand for medical devices. 

The new MoU announced today was arranged and prepared by Leeds Academic Health Partnership (LAHP), one of the biggest partnerships of its kind in the UK.

Signatories to the MoU include

  • The Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI)
  • West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership
  • Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership
  • Leeds Beckett University
  • University of Bradford
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of Leeds
  • University of York

In signing the MoU, all partners have agreed to work together to drive economic growth and improve health outcomes and service efficiency by:

i)      finding personalised and community-based healthtech solutions that help the people of the Leeds City Region to live healthier lives for longer, particularly those living in identified priority neighbourhoods

ii)    sharing insights into what citizens and patients in the Leeds City Region need, to determine what the priorities should be for health and care services and industry. Together, all partners will then work together on agreed priority themes that meet citizens’ needs

iii)   driving inward investment in healthtech in the region to support economic growth which is inclusive, benefiting all communities.

Professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Leeds, John Fisher, who led the production of the Leeds City Region SIA, said:  “This MoU signals an important step towards embracing the opportunities and realising the ambitions set out in the Government’s Industrial Strategy. It paves the way for us to reduce fragmentation, further harness expertise and capability and radically strengthen the Leeds City Region’s position as a leading global player in healthtech.

“Each partner will play their part in helping address and overcome the barriers to innovation.  By working together in a new, focussed and coordinated way, we will accelerate radical improvements in patient care, health service efficiency and drive economic growth and productivity across the region and the UK.”

The MoU offers a new opportunity for partners to better understand the region’s health needs, and how they can support development, testing, and deployment of healthtech at scale.

Rob Webster, CEO Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership said: ‘We are delighted to be part of this agreement.  Innovation in health technology has the potential to transform services, improve health outcomes and most importantly save people’s lives.  This Memorandum of Understanding is an important step in developing closer partnerships between health technology companies and health and care organisations across our area. 

“It means that people will be able to benefit more quickly and systematically from technologies that can help them.  It will also drive inward investment into our region and support our goals for inclusive growth.” 

Partners will now form a leadership group to take this work forward. They will agree mutually beneficial themes on which to concentrate investment and efforts, and which reflect citizen and patient needs.

Scholarships help students take their career to the next level

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The University of Bradford’s School of Management is offering a whole host of scholarships to help people further their career, or start a new one, with postgraduate study.

Professor Zahir Irani, Dean of Faculty (Management, Law and Social Sciences) said: “Postgraduate study can help take your knowledge and career to the next level. We want as many people as possible to have access to further education and hope these scholarships will enable their dream to become a reality.

“We know many students are held back from doing a postgraduate degree due to financial worries or time constraints. We hope with these scholarships and our flexible courses, we can encourage more people to look into postgraduate courses as a viable next step in their career.”

The University awards numerous non-repayable scholarships to UK, EU and international students on the basis of academic excellence, personal circumstances or economic hardship. Some of the scholarships are also linked to studies in a specific subject area.

Many of the scholarships can be used for the updated MSc programmes in the School of Management that have been informed by the latest research and conversations with those who are shaping the future of their disciplines.

The latest syllabus developments include new content on:

  • Digital marketing
  • Data analytics
  • Leadership and effective HRM
  • Financial technology and blockchain
  • Global and contemporary issues in international business
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation

Find out more about scholarships, including how to apply here

Tiny ear bones help archaeologists piece together the past

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For the first time archaeologists have used the small bones found in the ear to look at the health of women and children from 160 years ago.

Archaeologists from the University of Bradford have examined ear ossicles taken from the skeletons of 20 juveniles, excavated from an 18th and 19th century burial ground in Blackburn. They were chosen to represent those with and without dietary disease such as rickets and scurvy.

These children, who were excavated by Headland Archaeology, were examined at the University by Masters student Tamara Leskovarunder the supervision of Dr Julia Beaumont. 

The new method has provided a link between the maternal pre-pregnancy diet and the late pregnancy diet found in the earliest tooth tissue. In particular it provides information on the health of the mother and baby in the first two trimesters of pregnancy.

Building on Dr Beaumont’s previous research using teeth, the team identified that a person’s ossicles can provide a correlation between diet and physiology, with the potential to identify children at risk of disease in later life and to study maternal and infant health in ancient populations.

Dr Beaumont said: “Our previous research has shown that teeth can tell us a lot more than people think. What we didn’t realise is just how much one of the smallest bones in the body, our ear ossicle, can also tell us. 

“It is formed early on, when the child is in the womb and finishes developing in the first two years. Unlike other bones, it then doesn’t remodel, therefore providing a unique snapshot of the health of the mother during the early stages of pregnancy.”

“This is the first time human ear bones have been used to investigate diet in the womb. This will allow us, in combination with the dentine, to work out the health of childbearing women who because of the slow rate of bone turnover have been invisible to us.”

The research was in part funded by a grant from the Society for the Study of Human Biology and co-author was Suzanne McGalliard, Headland Archaeology.

The paper Auditory ossicles: a potential biomarker for maternal and infant health in utero has been published in Annals of Human Biology.

Picture credit: 3D scan of ear ossicle (Kevin Mackenzie, University of Aberdeen)

Human arm bone discovery by archaeologists in Orkney

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Archaeologists digging at the Ness of Brodgar Neolithic site in Orkney have found a human arm bone believed to be around 5000 years old.

The bone - an ulna - was discovered by Dr Jo McKenzie from the University of Bradford, geoarchaeological specialist and member of the Ness of Brodgar supervisory team.

Excavations at the Ness of Brodgar, within the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage site, have revealed a massive complex of monumental buildings along with associated artwork, pottery, bones and stone tools. Archaeologists from the University of Bradford including Drs Jo McKenzie and Cathy Batt are part of a specialist archaeological science team which includes academics from Orkney to the USA.

The bone was found within Structure Ten, described as 'one of the largest, if not the largest, stone built Neolithic non-funerary structures in Britain.' The structure was remodelled throughout its lifetime, and 2019 has seen the excavation of some of the initial parts of that remodelling, under the supervision of Dr McKenzie.

Dr McKenzie said: "The area that we're working in now, we're basically taking off the last remnants of a rebuilding phase which saw the structure of the building's interior completely altered.

"Charlie and I were just removing one of the last slabs, and I could see a tiny part of what looked suspiciously human." Charlie Scovell is an archaeologist from London who is working as part of the Structure Ten team as a volunteer at the Ness over the summer. 

Dr McKenzie says the find opens up a whole range of new questions to ponder.

"It makes you stand back and think about the structure and what we're excavating, and what the actual placement of the material meant to them. The position of the bone - laid beneath slabs relating to the very start of the remodelling process - is really interesting.

"And looking wider, at the Ness of Brodgar we've found very few human remains. So they have great significance in that sense as well."

It is hoped that analysing the bone will reveal more details about the bone, including confirming that is it from a female. The analysis may also reveal her height and age, health at the time she died, and even her diet.

New Head of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences

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A new Head of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences at the University of Bradford has been announced.

Hadar Zaman has been appointed Head of School (HoS) of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences for a three year period, commencing Monday 2 September.

Hadar is currently senior lecturer in Pharmacy Practice at the University and has been working as Chief Pharmacist in the largest provider of Mental Health services in the North West. There he managed the Pharmacy team and worked across health and social care interface developing and commissioning services. His expertise in mental health has enabled him to work with the Care Quality Commission as a Specialist Advisor. Professionally, Hadar also holds positions with NICE, producing national guidance and advising the MHRA on safe use of medicines.

Hadar is active within Applied Health research, which has been impactful in informing national and international clinical guidelines.  He managed the production of the Medicines Management Toolkit for the Children Palliative Care sector. Currently, he is also involved with the Patient Safety Translation Research Centre and he is developing a new line of research in drug delivery vehicles.  Hadar has a breadth of teaching experience across the school having taught on both the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and has used his professional experiences informing curriculum design and development.

Hadar said: “I am delighted to be appointed as the new HoS and look forward to leading the school through the next phase. It gives me immense pleasure to be the HoS, as it is where I graduated from and has provided me the platform to be where I am today. I feel confident through my professional and academic experiences combined with leading a great academic team that together we can make significant contributions to the School maintaining our sector leading position.

“The School is renowned for its innovation in teaching, learning and research and it is something I will continue to build on ensuring nationally and internationally we continue to enhance our School and institutional reputation.

“Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank Marcus for his excellent leadership over the past 6½ years and the platform he has built for the new incoming HoS.” 

Hadar replaces Professor Marcus Rattray.

University of Bradford up for ‘Oscars’ of higher education

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THE Awards Shortlisting banner used mainly for social media.

The University of Bradford has claimed two shortlisted spots at the ‘Oscars’ of higher education.

Each year the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards attract hundreds of entries that exemplify the talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life, showing countless reasons why HE institutions continue to prosper. The awards are widely recognised as the Oscars of the higher education sector. 

The University of Bradford is one of only six shortlisted for Outstanding Marketing Communications Team.

The creative output of the University of Bradford Marketing and Communications team in the 2017-18 academic year showcases its expertise in storytelling and digital innovation and is the result of effective collaboration between in-house teams and agency partners.

The team developed a research-based digital content strategy focused on student recruitment and the University’s broader business objectives. Three ‘hero’ projects exemplify the innovative, collaborative approach to marketing.

Mark Garratt, Director of External Affairs at the University of Bradford, said:

“As a smaller university with limited budgets and resources, Bradford could have solely relied on tried and tested student campaigns and rankings, but instead has taken risks and demonstrated its expertise and talent through innovative videos, virtual tours, integrated campaigns and collaborative working practices. We are extremely proud to be nominated for the THE Awards.”

Dr Julie Thornton, Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences, is one of only eight individuals nationally shortlisted for Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year.

Photo of Dr Julie Thornton, Director, Centre for Skin Sciences

Recently appointed Director of the Centre for Skin Sciences at the University of Bradford, she has successfully supervised 17 PhD students from various backgrounds since her appointment as Lecturer in 2000, with several more commencing their studies this academic year.

Her supervision and PGR support continued throughout periods when she was working on a part-time basis raising her family, which has enabled empathy in her approach to personal as well as academic challenges for PhD students developing as independent researchers.

She strongly encourages and supports presentation and publication of PhD student work, accompanying them to conferences, introducing them to high profile research groups, giving moral support and congratulating them when their presentations win prizes.

Dr Thornton said:

“I was absolutely delighted to have been nominated for this award by my PhD students, and overjoyed to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award. It is truly rewarding to inspire, shape and invest in our future scientists and doctors.  My PhD students have come from a diverse range of backgrounds and I have endeavoured to provide an approachable, supportive, but challenging environment that has allowed them all to flourish and establish their own successful careers. I am so proud of them all.”

The winners will be announced at the THE Awards ceremony taking place on Thursday 28 November 2019 at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London.

Bones of Roman Britons provide new clues to dietary deprivation

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Museum of London

Researchers at the University of Bradford have shown a link between the diet of Roman Britons and their mortality rates for the first time, overturning a previously-held belief about the quality of the Roman diet.

Using a new method of analysis, the researchers examined stable isotope data (the ratios of particular chemicals in human tissue) from the bone collagen of hundreds of Roman Britons, together with the individuals’ age-of-death estimates and an established mortality model.

The data sample included over 650 individuals from various published archaeological sites throughout England.  

The researchers - from institutions including the Museum of London, Durham University and the University of South Carolina - found that higher nitrogen isotope ratios in the bones were associated with a higher risk of mortality, while higher carbon isotope ratios were associated with a lower risk of mortality.

Romano-British urban archaeological populations are characterised by higher nitrogen isotope ratios, which have been thought previously to indicate a better, or high-status, diet. But taking carbon isotope ratios, as well as death rates, into account showed that the nitrogen could also be recording long-term nutritional stress, such as deprivation or starvation.

Differences in sex were also identified by the researchers, with the data showing that men typically had higher ratios of both isotopes, indicating a generally higher status diet compared to women.

Dr Julia Beaumont of the University of Bradford said: “Normally nitrogen and carbon stable isotopes change in the same direction, with higher ratios of both indicating a better diet such as the consumption of more meat or marine foods. But if the isotope ratios go in opposite directions it can indicate that the individual was under long-term nutritional stress. This was corroborated in our study by the carbon isotope ratios which went down, rather than up, where higher mortality was seen.”

During nutritional stress, if there is insufficient intake of protein and calories, nitrogen within the body is recycled to make new proteins, with a resulting rise in the ratio of nitrogen isotopes in the body’s tissues.

Dr Beaumont added: “Not all people in Roman Britain were high-status; there was considerable enslavement too and we know slaves were fed a restricted diet.  Our research shows that combining the carbon and nitrogen isotope data with other information such as mortality risk is crucial to an accurate understanding of archaeological dietary studies, and it may be useful to look at existing research with fresh eyes.”

The paper, A new method for investigating the relationship between diet and mortality: hazard analysis using dietary isotopes has been published in Annals of Human Biology.

Pic credit: A soldier's tombstone from Roman-era London © Museum of London

University of Bradford praised for gold standard of green spaces

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The University of Bradford has been named the university with the best green spaces in Yorkshire.

As well as coming top in its category, the University took home its sixth gold standard award at the annual Yorkshire in Bloom ceremony in York.

Judges commented on the horticultural design of the whole area, noting the detailed planning which has gone into the campus.

Richard Cook, Head of Landscape Services at the University of Bradford said: “We are absolutely delighted to come top in our category at the Yorkshire in Bloom awards and also receive a Gold standard award for the sixth time. The whole team work extremely hard to maintain our campus for staff, students and visitors to enjoy. We strive to create not only a beautiful space, but an environment that is eco-friendly and full of life.

“We pride ourselves on leading by example and have visited many other organisations to share best practice on creating and embracing a sustainable campus. We are extremely proud to have received this award again and to win the overall category.”

The University has also recently celebrated receiving its fifth Green Flag Award, which is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

The University is among a record-breaking 1,970 UK parks and green spaces and 131 in thirteen other countries around the world, that have received a prestigious Green Flag Award– the mark of a quality park or green space.

From the sustainability features to the edible campus, the University of Bradford is one of the greenest in the world.*

Universities from across the world discuss global challenges

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The University of Bradford is attending the fourth World Technology Universities Congress in Taiwan.

The three-day conference takes place in Taiwan and follows successful events hosted by Bradford in 2016 and 2017 and the creation of the World Technology Universities Network.

Representatives from institutions across the world will converge on the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology from Wednesday 2 – Friday 4 October. They’ll discuss some of the world’s major issues and challenges and what universities working together can do to meet those challenges and help deliver solutions.

Among the discussion topics will be technology and its role in the transformation of Higher Education, the impact of the internet of things, artificial intelligence and virtual campuses on campus based universities and the role of Universities as place makers in the local economy.

The network will be welcoming three new members; University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Koforidua Technical University and Shibaura Institute of Technology

Speaking at the congress from Bradford will be former vice-chancellor Professor Brian Cantor, Professor Zahir Irani (Interim Pro-Vice-Chancellor), Prof Udy Archibong, Professor Iqbal Mujtaba and Mr Paul Thorning.

The network will be looking at how it can make an impact on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Gender Equality within Higher Education, Clean Water and Sanitation (UN Sustainable Development Goal) and Sustainable Cities and Communities (UN Sustainable Development Goal).

Further details on the congress available here

Bradford named UK’s University of the Year for Social Inclusion

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The Times and Sunday Times have named the University of Bradford as the UK’s University of the Year for Social Inclusion 2020.

This prestigious national award recognises Bradford’s outstanding impact on social inclusion that ensures all students, irrespective of their background, are supported to achieve their potential and go on to achieve success.

All universities were assessed on the following measures;  the proportion of students educated in non-selective state schools, drawn from ethnic minorities, recruited from the most deprived areas, first generation students (whose parents did not attend university), mature, the proportion who are disabled, student performance and graduate prospects.

The University of Bradford has worked hard to widen participation in higher education and this has had a positive impact on social and economic growth and employment in the region.

Key achievements at the University of Bradford include:

  • More than 70% of its intake is BAME
  • More than 50% of students are from the most socio-economically deprived areas;
  • The number of students coming to the University of Bradford from postcodes where traditionally participation in higher education was lowest is rising faster than in the rest of the UK as a whole;
  • One of the lowest black attainment gaps in the country (comparing the proportions of black and white students who gain firsts or 2:1s);
  • Continuation rates of students drawn from the most deprived areas is 92% compared with the sector average of 85.9%.

Alastair McCall, Editor of The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said: “Bradford is a university for its city and the wider region, and it offers lessons to the rest of British higher education on how to effectively embrace social diversity on campus. By recruiting very heavily from its immediate environs, Bradford has one of the largest proportions of students from ethnic minorities of any British university, but its social diversity extends wider and makes the new Vice-Chancellor's stated desire to put the University of Bradford at the heart of the region's social and economic regeneration no hollow ambition.

"The University provides opportunities for a higher education that are denied to so many elsewhere: two-thirds of the intake comes from families where parents did not attend university; 40% are mature students taking degrees many years after leaving school; and more than half are recruited from the four poorest socioeconomic groups. These statistics show that social inclusiveness in the student body is ingrained in Bradford's DNA. And it is all achieved with high levels of professional employment and excellent degree outcomes for students from all backgrounds - a remarkable achievement and one well deserving the award of University of the Year for Social Inclusion."

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford, Professor Shirley Congdon, said: “I am delighted that the University of Bradford’s long-standing contribution to promoting social inclusion has been recognised by the award of the THE University of the Year for Social Inclusion. This award, and ranking 3rd out of 130 UK universities, reflects our enduring focus on social inclusion and enabling students from socially and economically diverse backgrounds to maximise their talents while achieving positive academic and graduate employment outcomes.

“Working with our partners in schools, colleges, business, the local authority and others, such as the Bradford Institute for Health Research, our committed team has created a powerful alliance, working effectively and with passion to support inclusion and reduce inequality. We care deeply about social inclusion and will continue to focus on removing barriers to access and participation in higher education and enhancing the prospects of all our students.”

Students celebrate successful work placements

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Students at the University of Bradford have gained valuable work experience with summer placements across the Bradford district.

The ‘Summer Experience’ scheme is a placement programme for first and second year students, run by the Career & Employability Service at the University. Students complete a six week paid summer internship with a local employer (or university department) having applied and competed for advertised vacancies in early summer.

This year more students than ever before have participated in the scheme with 83 internships taking place in total. 58 took part in the University’s own Summer Experience programme with placements in over 20 organisations, including both SME’s and charities across the district. In addition the University has worked with Bradford Council to include 25 additional opportunities aimed specifically at first year students from areas of high deprivation in Bradford. This is known as ‘Summer Experience First’, funded by Opportunity Area Bradford.

During both programmes, employers and students were invited to nominate each other for awards in various categories, which were then put to an impartial panel who decided on the winners.

Winners will receive their awards at an event on Wednesday 25 September. All employers and students from both programmes are invited to attend. The evening will includes speeches from Nikki Pierce (Director of Student, Academic and Information Services), Lee Dobbins from PWC as a ‘cornerstone’ employer in the district, and Raluca Maria Ciuperca, a student who benefitted from the programme last year and wants to share her experiences and what she has learnt. There will then be the presentation of awards to both students and employers finishing with networking.

Nikki Pierce, Director of Student, Academic and Information Services at the University of Bradford said: “These placements provide students with essential work experience to help them gain the skills and confidence to be in the best position to find a job once they graduate. As they are paid, it also helps them with living or travel costs.

“We are committed to helping those across the district who are from deprived areas not only have access to higher education but be successful and have the best possible chance of finding employment, so we are really pleased to work with the Council on this scheme.”

Councillor Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: “I want to congratulate all the students who took part in this year’s Summer Experience internships. It has been a fantastic way for them to learn new skills and gain experience in the workplace that will help them in their future careers. I also want to thank the University and all the businesses who worked together using Department for Education Opportunity Area funding to provide this opportunity.”

The Times and Sunday Times have named the University of Bradford as the UK’s University of the Year for Social Inclusion 2020.

Bradford 1Xtra: A pop-up music station from BBC Radio Leeds and BBC Radio 1Xtra

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BBC Radio Leeds and BBC Radio 1Xtra are coming together to create a brand new pop-up station at the University.

Bradford 1Xtra will broadcast from the University of Bradford for 35 hours, beginning on BBC Music Day Thursday 26 September.

The new pop-up station will celebrate the best urban music talent from Bradford, Leeds (just ten miles away) and across the whole of Yorkshire.

Rap, Grime and Hip Hop DJs from BBC Radio 1Xtra will team up with presenters from BBC Radio Leeds’ Evening Shows to target a young, local audience.  News bulletins in Breakfast and Drive will cover local as well as national news and will come from Bradford.

Bradford 1Xtra will broadcast from the University of Bradford's Student Union from 7pm on Thursday 26 September through to 6am on Saturday 28 September. It will be available on DAB in Bradford and online in the rest of the UK.

Chris Burns, Head of Audio and Digital, BBC England, said: “Launching Bradford 1Xtra is the result of a number of different BBC departments coming together, from Design & Engineering and Technology to distribution and digital. This collaboration is an exciting moment for BBC Local Radio.

“I’m thrilled BBC Radio Leeds is working with 1Xtra to take content direct to Bradford’s young urban audience as well as showcasing BBC Local Radio to a new generation of listeners.”

Sanjiv Buttoo, Managing Editor of BBC Radio Leeds, says: “This is very exciting for us as we provide a really different style of programming for a younger audience in a city where local content is key. It’s never been done before and I’m so pleased to see some of Radio Leeds’ existing evening show presenters working alongside some of the UK’s top DJs who can normally be heard on BBC Radio 1Xtra. As you would expect, programmes are being broadcast live from Bradford and it promises to be a great listen!”

Mark Strippel, Head of BBC Radio 1Xtra and BBC Asian Network adds: “BBC Radio 1Xtra has a strong reputation for reaching young audiences in cities across Britain, so it’s fantastic that we’re collaborating with BBC Local Radio to create something special in Bradford. We are committed to being a creative catalyst and this collaboration brings BBC platforms together to showcase the best creative talent that the city has to offer. Britain’s next big music success story could emerge from Bradford.”

If successful, Bradford 1Xtra will be used as the model for future hybrids to help the BBC mark other big moments around the UK.

BBC Music Day is now in its fifth year and celebrates the power of music to change lives. The theme for 2019 is music and wellbeing, and over 2,000 events across the UK will include pop up performances, interviews, musical takeovers and short films by numerous artists.

Bradford 1Xtra will be available by clicking here: here from 7pm on Thursday 26 September.

Students in Bradford are joining forces to improve the local area

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Students from the University of Bradford and Bradford College are coming together to help improve the Great Horton Road area.

The ‘Make a Difference’ or MAD day will take place on October 9 and will involve volunteers joining forces to deliver a range of activities including gardening and litter picking to help improve the area around the University and College.

Students will be joined by West Yorkshire Police, who will be carrying out vehicle and driving standard checks as part of Operation Steerside, and they will also be joined by Bradford Council services who will carry out a range of activities such as cleansing, weeding and graffiti removal.

The day is being organised by the University, College and Bradford Business Improvement District (BID), in partnership with University of Bradford Students’ Union, Bradford Council, local Great Horton Road businesses and West Yorkshire Police.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford, Professor Shirley Congdon, said: “We are extremely proud to have one of the greenest campuses in the world and are pleased that we can play a part in this day of action to clean up Great Horton Road.

“By working together with different teams and organisations across the district we can make a real difference and keep Bradford looking its best for all our staff, students and visitors to enjoy.”

Jonny Noble, Manager of Bradford BID, said: “These improvement action days, affectionately known as ‘MAD’ days, will form an ongoing part of our partnership working with services from the other key stakeholders in the city centre to make areas cleaner, greener and feel safer.

“The next MAD day will take place in Little Germany next Spring. We would like to thank all the students who are taking part as well as all our colleagues in the other agencies who are putting so much effort into making a difference through this event.”

University supports young entrepreneurs

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The University of Bradford is encouraging young entrepreneurs to follow their dreams through a new initiative.

The ‘Amaze Yourself’ project is being run by the University and offers 18-24 year olds the chance to take part in a four day enterprise course where they will learn how to turn their business dreams into a reality. The course will help participants build their confidence, learn teamwork skills and develop practical tools to set-up and run a successful business.

The opportunity is open to any 18-24 year old in the region, with no previous experience or qualifications required and includes visits to local businesses and talks from people in the community who have set up their own business.

Participants will work in teams to put forward a business idea, with the winning team receiving a day trip to one of the UKs largest cities to enjoy a day celebrating and experiencing what business is like in another city.

Mark Garratt, Director of External Affairs, University of Bradford said “This is a great chance for participants to boost their CV, build their confidence and gain valuable new skills. The course is completely free and gives young people the tools to create and run a successful business.

“This is an incredible opportunity for the young people of Bradford and we are thrilled to be offering this as part of our community and civic engagement activities.”

Limited places are still available for the November courses by visiting here

Multi-million health Research Centre opens in Bradford

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A new multi-million pound Bradford research centre that will improve the health across generations from children to the elderly, opens today.

The official opening of the Wolfson Centre for Applied Health Research, based at the Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI), part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was carried out by some of the Trust’s oldest and youngest patients, currently taking part in research studies, Adnan Rehman, Naveed Amini and Chris Quinn.

The Centre is a flagship partnership between Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Universities of Bradford and Leeds, and brings together researchers from the two universities with clinicians from the Trust.

By combining the expertise of health researchers with doctors and nurses, the Centre will ensure that its findings are put rapidly into practice – resulting in better health and social care for those who need it most.

It has been built in the grounds of the Bradford Royal Infirmary, and made possible thanks to a £1m award from the Wolfson Foundation, which gives grants to support and promote excellence in the fields of science, medicine, the arts and humanities, education and health and disability, and £2m from the Universities of Bradford and Leeds.

The new building hosts the Centre for Ageing, one of the UK’s most successful research groups in applied health research for older people, and the National Institute for Health Research’s National Patient Safety Centre. Its work around child health will include the ground-breaking ‘Born in Bradford’ and ‘Born in Bradford’s Better Start’ cohorts.

The three areas the new centre will address have been identified as key health priorities for Yorkshire - healthy childhood, healthy ageing and high quality and safe care.

A number of drop-in sessions and workshops will be running throughout the day of the opening as well as research displays and information stands.

Professor John Wright, Director of the Bradford Institute for Health Research at the Foundation Trust, said: “The opening of the new Wolfson Centre builds on our reputation as a City of Research, working closely with the people of Bradford to understand and tackle the big health challenges of the 21st Century.

“The UK faces rising levels of obesity, diabetes and mental ill-health. These have complex causes that have no simple cures. We will work with our communities, Bradford Council and some of the leading academics to show how health research can change a city.”

Mark Mon Williams, Leeds University's Academic Lead for the Wolfson Centre, said:  It is a great privilege to be part of an exciting project that will create new and exciting opportunities for our researchers to contribute towards improving the physical and mental health of our communities.

“The ultimate goal of the Wolfson is to bring together researchers from across the region, encompassing a wide range of disciplines, in order to improve health outcomes for everyone.”

Professor Gail Mountain, Professor of Applied Dementia Research and Head of Dementia Studies at the University of Bradford, said: “The Wolfson Centre is a great opportunity for us to engage in a forward-thinking research agenda with clinical and research colleagues.

“It will provide exciting new pathways for our early career researchers and facilitate new partnerships, locally, nationally and internationally. We are delighted to see this fantastic resource come to fruition.”

New partnership increases support for students

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The University of Bradford is stepping up its support for students through a new partnership with MyWellbeing College (MWC).

MWC is part of Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust and is a free service helping people manage everyday problems such as low mood or anxious thoughts and feelings. Therapeutically they use a cognitive behavioural approach which looks at how what we think effects how we feel and behave.

They offer online courses, such as 'living life to the full' which focuses on managing day to day problems such as stress and anxiety. Also a range of group courses and opportunities such as walking and creative groups.

The partnership with the University will see a trained MWC advisor base themselves at the University’s counselling service one day a week to work with students who have either been referred through the Disability, Counselling and Mental Health Services or have self-referred. The support will be on guided self-help and students will have six one-to-one sessions along with resources to help them at home.

Nikki Pierce, Director of Student, Academic and Information Services at the University of Bradford said: “We are very excited to see how this pilot collaboration can help students and support our dedicated counselling team in enabling students to be successful in their studies but most importantly enjoy their time at University.

“Our student’s wellbeing and mental health is a top priority for us and we will continue to review and improve the support we offer so that every individual has someone to talk to and somewhere to go if they need help.”

The Counselling Service has also introduced a new ‘Calm room’. The Calm Room is a tranquil, quiet place with relaxing imagery and soothing sounds. There is no need to book and students and staff can pop in as many times and stay as long as they want.

World Mental Health Day 2019 is on 10 October and this year the focus is on suicide prevention.

University hosts workshops for Bradford Manufacturing Weeks

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The University of Bradford is gearing up for Bradford Manufacturing Weeks.

Around 40 students will be visiting the University to take part in chemistry and engineering workshops as part of the district-wide celebration of the manufacturing industry.

The workshops, which will run on 15 October, are open to years 11 to 13 and will provide students with an opportunity to visit the different laboratories and workshops around the University as well as take part in experiments.

The engineering workshop will teach students how raw materials can be fitted and shaped together, whilst also including a visit to the Advanced Materials and Micro and Nanotechnology research centres, the chemical engineering laboratories, manufacturing workshops and concrete and civil engineering labs.

The chemistry workshop will focus on polymers and plastics and how to make the process more sustainable, as well as looking how a small pilot scale could be scaled up in a factory setting.

Professor Martin Priest, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Informatics at the University of Bradford said: “We are looking forward to welcoming students on campus as part of the Bradford Manufacturing Weeks activities. It is so important that we educate young people on the possible career paths in manufacturing and in turn, support the growing need for more manufacturers in the region.”

Representatives from the University are also attending an event on 24 October designed to offer support and funding ideas for manufacturers in the region.

Launched by Bradford Chamber of Commerce and co-ordinated by career specialists Aspire iGen, Bradford Manufacturing Weeks (7 – 18 October) will bring manufacturers, schools, young people and parents together through tours, work experience, seminars, exhibitions and learning events held at manufacturer premises and key locations across the district.

 

Lord Mayor welcomes new international students

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The Lord Mayor of Bradford has welcomed the University of Bradford's newest international students to the city.

Councillor Doreen Lee, alongside the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Shirley Congdon, hosted almost 100 students at City Hall, who enjoyed a tour of the civic building and refreshments in the Banqueting Hall.

Among the countries represented by the students were Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, Greece, India, Japan, Jamaica, Kuwait, Liberia, Nepal, Pakistan, Japan, Spain, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Zambia, France, and Denmark.

The Lord Mayor said: “It is my privilege to extend to students the warmest of welcomes to the City and District.

“My role as Lord Mayor has taken me to the University on many occasions. I never fail to be impressed by the quality and dedication of both students and staff, the state-of-the-art facilities and the tremendous atmosphere where the fun of learning and discovery are held paramount.

“I hope our students thoroughly enjoy their time and have a wonderful period ahead of them in Bradford.” 

Vanessa Napolitano, International Student Adviser at the University said: “The Lord Mayor’s reception is a wonderful annual tradition to formally welcome our new international students. It is always brilliant to see the diversity of the new cohort of students and to spend time with them in the City Hall. The feedback I have from students who attend this event is always really positive, as it instils the feeling of being valued by the University and city.”

Stakeholders invited for morning briefing with VC

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Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford, will share her vision and strategic priorities for the University at an event next week (14 October).

The purpose of this event will be to strengthen and broaden the University’s engagement with key stakeholders.  The strategic priorities will focus on enhancing the quality and impact of research and teaching, building upon the University’s outstanding reputation nationally and internationally.

The University has an excellent standing in the sector for widening participation and supporting a diverse student body to access graduate careers.  This success has recently culminated in the prestigious award of University of Year 2019 for social inclusion by the Times and the Sunday Times. 

The event takes place on Monday morning and will be compered by BBC Look North community reporter, Sabbiyah Pervez.

After an introduction by Shirley, the conversation will open up to the audience, with an opportunity for attendees to then pose questions to Shirley.

Professor Congdon Said: “We are committed to supporting and contributing to Bradford’s inclusive social and economic growth. To do this we need to work together with our key partners in the city to establish shared priorities and objectives.

“I am looking forward to meeting as many of our stakeholders as possible and working together to ensure the district continues to thrive.”

Professor Shirley Congdon took over as the new Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford on 1 August.

Talk explores the future of smart cities

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The University of Bradford is hosting a public lecture looking at the opportunities, challenges & experiences of smart cities across the UK and Europe.

A Smart City is a city that uses technological solutions to improve the management and efficiency of the urban environment.

A panel of experts from public services, academia and private organisations taking part in the Smart Cities roll out will discuss opportunities offered by the use of smart technologies in public services delivery and the current and future challenges.

Smart Cities play an important role in finding innovative solutions for some of the most current challenges, for instance; better management of sustainable mobility, air quality, flooding and crowd management.

In particular, the panel will present experiences from taking part in the European Commission funded projects such as ’Smart Cities and Open Data REuse (SCORE)’ project

The talk takes place Wednesday, 30 October, 5.45 to 7pm at the University. On the panel will be Dr Dhaval Thakker, Senior Lecturer at the University of Bradford, Adrian Walker, T-Services Manager and Sydney Simpson, Flood risk and mapping Surveyor both from the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council. There will also be an industry representative who will be confirmed nearer the time.

Dr Dhaval Thakker said: “Many people will have heard the term ‘smart cities’ but will be unsure what it means or how it impacts on their everyday life. This talk will highlight the work already taking place in smart cities across the UK and Europe and the challenge and opportunities these cities create.”

The event is free but people are asked to book on following the Eventbrite link

University nursery rated Outstanding

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University staff standing behind young children sitting.

The University of Bradford’s nursery has been rated as outstanding by Ofsted following an inspection last month (September 2019).

The inspection followed a visit earlier in the year that found areas the nursery could improve on.

The nursery has now been rated outstanding in every area with the leadership praised and the nursery described as a ‘first-rate environment for children and their families’.

The report highlighted the good partnership staff have with parents and praised the staff who are described as ‘superb role models’.  Staff knowledge of child protection and wider safeguarding issues is ‘remarkable’ with extensive training having been carried out.

Children are described as ‘making rapid progress in their language development skills’ and ‘thriving during role play games and activities.’

Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford, said: “I am delighted that our nursery has been rated outstanding. This is testament to the hard work, resilience and commitment of the staff and the nursery management. The safety and well-being of children has always been our top priority and we are committed to providing excellent provision where children can flourish and grow in a safe and welcoming environment."

Joanne Marshall, Director of People and Campus Services, who oversees the Nursery said. “I would like to thank the staff who have gone above and beyond to achieve the highest possible rating of outstanding that the nursery deserves, and all the parents and guardians who have shown their continued support for the nursery.”

The report can be found online at the Ofsted website.

Weekend festival at Theatre in the Mill

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Theatre in the Mill

The University of Bradford’s Theatre in the Mill is hosting four days of performances, exhibitions, virtual reality, spoken word, interactive installations, music, food and more.

The Wit(h)ness Weekender festival will feature true accounts and fresh perspectives, each piece invites a new viewpoint, a new voice or a chance to add your own.

The festival runs Thursday 31st October – Sunday 3rd November with events taking place at Gallery II and Theatre in the Mill. Wristbands are available for the whole weekend from as little as £5*.

Richard Warburton, Artistic Director of Theatre in the Mill said: “With our own harvest festival on offer and a hot chocolate stand to warm you up, we think this weekender is the perfect recipe for those cold autumn nights. We are so proud of this inspiring programme full of brilliant artists, and we can’t wait to share it with you.”

Buy your Wit(h)ness Weekender Wristband, and book your seat at the limited-capacity events. 

* Tickets are £15 at full price, £10 at concession price, and £5 at income accessible price. We don’t want cost to be a barrier to anyone coming, so please choose the price which is applicable to you – no ID needed. If you are unable to pay for a Weekender Wristband, get in touch – we’ll make sure you’re able to enjoy this fabulous programme with us.

New series explores science and healthcare advances

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Science and Media Museum

Experts from the University of Bradford are taking part in the next series of Café Scientifique.

The Café Scientifique series are events open to the public to hear about, discuss and debate some of the most recent advances in science and health care, and their importance to society.

Each session is led by a University academic who will speak for around 30 minutes, with the aim to demystify and explain their ideas to everyone.

Prof Anne Graham, University of Bradford said: “The café scientifique series has proved really popular so we’re really pleased to be working with the National Science and Media Museum to hold the next series of events looking at key issues in society. The relaxed format of the events means that the talks are relatively short and accessible, with lots of time for discussion and a chance to meet new people.”

Each event will have a theme—these include everything from the latest in physics to the science behind your favourite music, from nanotechnology to biology.

Events are held once a month on a Thursday evening at the National Science and Media Museum and are free to attend although people are encouraged to book on here. The series is held in partnership with the University of Bradford, National Science and Media Museum and Theatre in the Mill.

The next one is on October 24, 6pm with Dr Kate Lancaster (University of York), Kate will be discussing can you build a star on earth? The following two will look at ‘Which superhero technologies are needed for building future cities’ with Dr Dhaval Thacker and ‘Does how you live determine your risk of getting dementia?’ by Dr Ritchie Williamson.

Funding enables training for the next generation of paramedics

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Paramedic students with Russ and Pam

The University of Bradford has received funding from longstanding supporters Sovereign Health Care for the purchase of essential resuscitation training equipment.

The equipment will form part of the new Emergency Care training suite at the University that the students will use on their Paramedic Science Honours degree course.

Sovereign Health Care, a leading health care cash plan provider, has donated over £35,000 through its Community Programme to purchase the equipment, which includes adult and child resuscitation manikins and monitors. The facilities will also be used by other Allied Health students such as those on Nursing, Critical Care and Advanced Practice courses.

Since 2016 the University, in collaboration with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS), has been supporting the need for more high quality emergency care professionals entering the ambulance service through a one-of-a-kind Paramedic Science Honours degree course.

This pioneering course trains 40 students per year in Paramedic theory and cross-disciplinary clinical practice skills. The Paramedic Science students’ practice and knowledge is consolidated whilst on placements and whilst working in a salaried frontline clinical role on a placement year with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

Dr Pam Bagley, Dean of the Faculty of Health Studies said: “We would like to thank Sovereign Health Care for this generous donation which will enable us to provide essential equipment for our students.

“We are extremely proud to offer this pioneering course in collaboration with Yorkshire Ambulance Service and play our part in tackling the shortage of paramedics in the region.”

Sovereign Health Care chief executive, Russ Piper, said: “There is a real demand for emergency health care professionals not only in Bradford, but across the UK, and it’s a pleasure to show our support to the University of Bradford with a donation towards vital training equipment for its students.

“The adult and child resuscitation manikins and monitors will ensure students receive the high-quality training they require to work with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, so we’re pleased to be able to help bring this educational resource to the region.”

In response to the chronic shortage of highly-trained Paramedics in our region and building on the success of the course to date, the University will bring the practical skills training, currently taught at Yorkshire Ambulance Service Manor Mill facility, into a space within the Faculty of Health Studies building. When redeveloped it will be a flexible clinical and critical care skills teaching space and classroom facility, with the capacity to accommodate a larger intake of students in the future.

The space is due to be ready by September 2020

University highlights antibiotic resistance threat

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The University of Bradford is raising awareness of antibiotic resistance and the impact it may have on society in a series of events for World Antibiotic Awareness Week.

The World Health Organisation campaign runs 18-24 November and ties in with the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) that takes place on 18 November. The day aims to raise awareness about the threat to public health of antibiotic resistance and the importance of prudent antibiotic use.

Mrs Sandra Martin, Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice at the University said “Antibiotic awareness is everyone’s concern. In January 2019, the UK Government launched its five year national plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance and Universities must play a leading role in this. From research to education, we are creating the health care professionals of the future so we have a duty to help tackle this key public health issue.”

A cross-faculty steering group was established at the University of Bradford earlier this year to ascertain the research and teaching work that is currently being undertaken in support of the key areas identified in the government’s five year plan.*

Students and staff at the University will be showcasing the research and teaching initiatives taking place in this area. The aims of the activities are to support the idea that everyone has a part to play in reducing antimicrobial resistance.

Activities will include student-led information stands about Antimicrobial resistance and being an antibiotic guardian in the Students’ Union, DHEZ, STEM centre and Atrium during the week.

On Wednesday 20 November, 1-2pm, an inaugural Professor Kerr Microbiology lecture will be given by Prof Philip Howard, the first Pharmacist to become president of the British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.  This lecture is being established in memory of Prof Kevin Kerr, who used to hold an Honorary Chair with the University, and was renowned in the UK for his work on AMR and infection control.

Professor Philip Howard, Consultant Antimicrobial Pharmacist and President British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy said: “Greece, Italy and Romania have been warned that Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) has reached a level where it is becoming unsafe to give cancer chemotherapy, do organ transplantation or other complex surgery. AMR is the biggest threat to modern medicine. It is time for us all to act to keep antibiotics working.”

The lecture “Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) – a threat to modern medicine?” is free and open to the public but places must be booked

*Tackling antimicrobial resistance 2019-24: The UK’s five year national action plan.

 

Pharmacy students take part in Self Care Week

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Pharmacy students

Students from the University are working in collaboration with Living Well, a joint programme between the Council and the three NHS Bradford district and Craven clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), to deliver self-care messages to people across the district.

Living Well aims to make it easier for everyone, everywhere, every day to live a healthy and active lifestyle and has a large number of events taking place during this year's Self Care Week which takes place 18-24 November.

Second year pharmacy students will be supporting the initiative at a number of venues across the district, as well as delivering self-care messages to staff and students in the University. All are welcome to visit the stand in Richmond Atrium between 10-2pm Monday to Friday.

The NHS 10 year Plan highlights a key role for pharmacists in the prevention of health inequalities.

Helen Cook, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy at the University, said: “This collaboration is developing the future workforce, providing an opportunity for students to implement their learning from the classroom, whilst benefiting the local population.

“I encourage as many people as possible to come to the stands and meet our students who will be encouraging people to take part in the make one change challenge and pledge one change they will make to improve their own health.

Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit director awarded Professorship

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Ajay Mahajan

Consultant plastic surgeon Ajay L Mahajan has been awarded a Professorship at the University of Bradford in recognition of his academic achievements.

Prof Mahajan succeeded Professor David Sharpe as the director of the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit at the University of Bradford in 2013.

Since then, he has actively promoted research work at the university and has supervised research fellows carry out world class research in wound healing and scarring with an aim to improve healthcare for the future.

This pioneering work has been published and presented at various national and international meetings.

Prof Mahajan said: “I am very honoured to be awarded the Chair of Plastic Surgery at the University of Bradford. The University of Bradford has been at the forefront of academic achievements in the recent past and it has been a privilege to be a part of it.

"We have been able to do valuable research at our unit and I am very grateful to the people of Bradford for supporting us.

"I look forward to contributing towards the progress of the profile of the University and improve treatment and quality of life of patients who have been injured or sustained burns."