March 29, 2022, by Rob Ounsworth
Ending links with Russia universities – guidance for researchers
Update from Professor Dame Jessica Corner
Following Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West’s announcement on ending all formal links with universities in Russia, colleagues in Research and Innovation have produced guidance for researchers and teams who may be affected by this decision.
It includes advice and support on ending current research projects, bilateral agreements, memoranda of understanding and any projects under development with partners in Russia.
While academic links between universities can be vital in promoting peace and understanding, we felt compelled to act following a statement by the Russian Rector’s Union offering its universities’ unequivocal support for the invasion of Ukraine. You can read a translation here.
I appreciate that this decision may cause disruption to individual programmes and academics, for which I am deeply sorry. But I hope that you will understand why we must act. We will ensure that this action causes the least disruption possible to the academics and students concerned, and will make alternative arrangements to enable their scholarship and study to continue.
Amid this terrible situation, our community is working hard to support to the people of Ukraine. We are exploring scholarships to enable students and postgraduate researchers from Ukraine to study with us in the UK and for affected academic staff to continue their research, either via the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) or possibly our own scheme. Such programmes would offer hope and security to fellow scholars who are facing risks we can scarcely imagine.
We are meanwhile actively looking to repurpose unused buildings to provide Ukrainian refugees with accommodation and support under the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme. The Veterinary School is also part of Vets for Ukraine, a network of UK vet schools acting as regional hubs to collect medicines, bandages and humanitarian aid for Ukraine.
The university has contacted staff and students in our community who are directly impacted by recent events to offer support for their wellbeing and to alleviate the undoubted pressures on them at this time. I would ask that all colleagues continue to follow our shared values of inclusivity and respect for anyone who is affected by the conflict. If you have been affected by the crisis, or are concerned about a student or colleague, please contact the Support and Wellbeing Service
REF2021: who should we thank?
We would like to celebrate colleagues from across the university whose contribution to delivering our REF2021 submission may otherwise go unnoticed.
Please use this form so we can share their stories with our community. These could be technicians, postgraduate research students who supported your research or REF-related activity; APM staff who went the extra mile or academic colleagues who took on extra admin or teaching responsibilities so you could finalise your impact case study.
Looking ahead to REF2021 results
The results of REF2021 are published on 12 May 2022 and colleagues who supported our submission to Research England are busy preparing for this milestone.
This includes how we will share the results to our university community and most effectively communicate these to our partners and the wider world.
We are drawing together guidance by university, faculty and school – as well as how we will benchmark our performance as an institution.
This will include a REF results toolkit and resources, on a dedicated Sharepoint site.
To further support this, colleagues who will be involved in and supporting activity during and after REF2021 week (9-12 May), will be invited to online REF results drop-in sessions on 7 April or 25 April, where we will update you on what to expect and the support on offer.
The sessions will be recorded for those unable to make the date.
Transforming our research culture: we need your help
A research environment that’s positive, rewarding and truly inclusive is essential to delivering world-class research. It is also essential in supporting the wellbeing and fulfilment of us all.
Our research culture survey is the first step in an ambitious project to understand how better the university can help our pioneering researchers and research support colleagues to thrive.
Please look out for further communications inviting you to take part in the survey and also to register for a research culture workshop.
Hearing from as many colleagues as possible will help build a picture of how research is experienced and supported at Nottingham. Working collectively across the university we aim to deliver real and tangible change to our research culture before the end of this year
Safety net for Horizon Europe applicants is extended
The government has announced an extension to the financial safety net for research projects that have successfully applied for Horizon Europe funding. Eligible UK applicants will now be guaranteed funding for awards expected to be signed by the end of 2022.
The UK’s efforts to associate to Horizon Europe have been hampered by post-Brexit negotiations with the EU, and the safety net is for UK researchers who successfully applied to the €95.5 billion (£80.5bn) programme but are unable to access funding. Funding will continue to be delivered through UK Research and Innovation and details of the extension to the guarantee can be found on the UKRI website.
While the extension to the guarantee is welcome and indicates the UK Government’s continued commitment to association, it remains vital that barriers to research collaboration in Europe are lifted. Please support Stick to Science, a campaign urging EU leaders and the UK government to agree to the UK’s association to the world-leading research and innovation programme, and especially encourage our partners outside of the UK to sign up to the campaign.
Research Development staff in Research and Innovation are working to support applications to Horizon Europe and to engage with the UKRI Guarantee on our initial successes, as well as continuing to lobby hard to protect our interests.
Anyone interested in pursuing European funding, wanting more detail on the ‘safety net’ or advice on the various strands of funding available and the support at Nottingham, should contact EU Development Manager Matthew Rackley or your local research development professional.
Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences
Professor Tracey Warren, of Nottingham University Business School, has been conferred a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. Professor Warren has been recognised for the excellence and impact of her work and her wider contributions to social sciences for public benefit.
Prestigious research medal for Professor Wei Shen Lim
Professor Wei Shen Lim, a consultant respiratory physician at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and honorary professor at the University of Nottingham, has been recognised by The Royal College of Physicians with the award of the Moxon Medal for his outstanding contribution to clinical medicine. Professor Lim is an expert in respiratory medicine and his research interests include community-acquired pneumonia and flu. He is a member of the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, which has helped shape government response to Covid-19 and deliver effective treatments.
British Neuroscience Association Scholar
Naana Owusu-Amoah, a BBSRC-funded Research Technician working in the School of Psychology, has been named a British Neuroscience Association (BNA) Scholar. The BNA Scholars programme was created to support students from under-represented ethnic groups in neuroscience and build a supportive community through networking, bursaries and mentorship. Naana will use the BNA funding to attend the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies Forum in Paris in summer 2022.
New research centre with Bosch
Nottingham has partnered with Bosch to develop a research centre, which will investigate innovative and sustainable electrical machine and drive topologies for future electric vehicles. Professor Chris Gerada (Engineering) is the PI.
Partnering with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
The Future Food Beacon’s Dr Gabriel Castrillo Molina has been awarded a £90,000 BBSRC Partnering Award, alongside Co-Is Dr Darren Wells, Dr Paulina Maria Flis, Dr Bipin Pandey, Dr Sina Fischer, Dr Ute Voss, Dr Craig Sturrock (all Biosciences), to collaborate with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Institute of Agriculture Resource and Regional Planning.
Cleaner metal manufacturing
Professor Adam Clare (Engineering) has been awarded £780,000 from EPSRC to lead a research project aiming to eradicate the application of toxic and corrosive etchants from metal manufacturing – a massive sustainability challenge.
Horizon Europe award
The School of Chemistry is part of the new multi-partner Horizon Europe project MAST3RBOOST, which has been awarded €5.9m to deliver advanced materials derived from improved ultraporous carbons and Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) for hydrogen storage.
Innovate UK award for electric propulsion
Professor Pat Wheeler (Engineering) has been awarded £740,000 by Innovate UK to develop research in power electronics and electrical machines/drives for marine hybrid and electric propulsion motors, to deliver system components that are smaller, cheaper and simpler to install.
Expressions of interest: Director of the Biodiscovery Institute
I am inviting expressions of interest in the role of Director of the Biodiscovery Institute.
This role is for 0.4 FTE and I expect the successful candidate will commence in August 2022 for a term of three years. As with all leadership roles in the university, we welcome applications from individuals whose background and identity broadens and enhances the diversity of our senior leaders.
A role profile can be requested from email@example.com
If you are interested in the role, please send a copy of your CV with a two-page-statement outlining how you meet its requirements, including relevant management experience and your three-year vision. Shortlisting will take place on Friday 29 April with interviews scheduled for Friday 6 May.
Expressions of interest should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight, 14 April.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
My thanks and best wishes
Professor Dame Jessica Corner
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange
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