April 26, 2023, by Rob Ounsworth
Hello from Professor Sam Kingman
Welcomed to my first research update as Interim Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange.
I am delighted and honoured to take up this role, with responsibility for the university’s research portfolio and implementation of our research strategy. I will be in post until 1 October 2023, when Professor Tom Rodden takes over as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Exchange.
Alongside my new role, I will continue with the support of my colleagues as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Engineering. In the past five years, thanks to the support of wonderful faculty colleagues and staff across the university, we have worked hard on developing a strong people culture in Engineering and are committed to making engineering, and all STEMM subjects, accessible and inclusive.
I’m determined to support and extend this ethos to all disciplines across our university. My career began at Nottingham and for the past 20-plus years I have seen real progress in the staff development and support offered to researchers. Research and Innovation, and colleagues at school and faculty level, working with former PVC Professor Dame Jessica Corner and latterly my predecessor as Interim PVC-RKE, Professor Neil Crout, have streamlined processes and better targeted support. But there are frustrations and there remains more to do.
The focus will remain on how we can better help our researchers deliver excellence. Over the coming months I will share news of internal initiatives, investment, support and opportunities for researchers. I’ll celebrate your successes and recognition of colleagues and teams – please do tell me what is going well or ideas about how we can do better.
And while a key priority will be on research culture and improving the environment for researchers, we will highlight how the university anticipates and responds to strategic opportunities and challenges, and what this means for you.
Europe and beyond – what next?
Our forthcoming strategy for international research and KE – in development with faculties – will seek to support you in to maximising opportunities for cross-border collaboration.
We are studying the opportunities represented by the UK Government’s ‘Pioneer’ plan alternative to association to the EU’s Horizon Europe programme. The Windsor Framework’s official adoption by Parliament makes association much more likely. Regardless of any outcome, we encourage our researchers to continue fostering links with European collaborators and to pursue Horizon Europe funding.
We will keep our community informed of progress. Some aspects of the Pioneer plan may be superceded by association to Horizon Europe, others may be retained. The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology’s commitment to making Europe a global science superpower further suggests avenues for international research collaborations with Europe and beyond.
Individuals interested in Horizon Europe funding should contact Matthew Rackley in Research and Innovation.
New seed fund strengthens Ukraine partnership
I had the pleasure of attending a joint research workshop celebrating the first anniversary of the University of Nottingham’s twinning partnership with the Ukrainian Catholic University. About 50 researchers from both institutions were welcomed by Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West and UCU Rector Father Bohdan Prach.
A new seed fund, inviting proposals to develop research collaborations between the two universities, was launched, with a focus on:
War and resilience
Religion and war
Moral and legal considerations of wartime actors
Integral human development and sustainable reconstruction
Full details and application form can be found on the Global Engagement Hub.
All queries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Dual Masters programme, the seed fund call, a research symposium and a research summer internship will further bring our institutions even closer.
The two-day workshop identified a number of potential collaborations spanning on the Humanities, Theology, Law and Politics and International Relations. Our friendship with the Ukrainian Catholic University was also recognised at event at the Houses of Parliament, celebrating such partnerships.
My thanks to the Global Engagement team, who championed this important initiative.
Our Vice-Chancellor Shearer West is next week leading a delegation to South Australia for the Adelaide-Nottingham Alliance Symposium. This inaugural event is marking the development of the long-standing friendship between our universities into a strategic global partnership.
Professor West, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Global Engagement Professor Robert Mokaya, research theme leads and Joint PhD students will hear from experts from both institutions in the areas of Global Food Systems, Sustainable Futures and Intelligent Health.
Projects to be supported by a seed fund established to encourage high-quality research collaborations between Nottingham and Adelaide will also be announced.
Research Integrity Week 2023
Research Integrity Week takes place from 19-23 June with a programme of sessions for researchers, staff and students.
The university is celebrating its commitment to the concordat to support research integrity and its values. The sessions include:
Introduction to the Code of Research Conduct and Research Ethics
Introduction to Research Ethics at Nottingham
Good Research Practice and a Healthy Research Culture
Reproductivity in Research
Introduction to Research Contracts
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences research event
The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences is hosting event for research staff, focusing on presentations by postdocs, the research development team and support staff. The event, from 9.30am on 23 June at the Coates Auditorium, University Park, aims to promote inter-school collaboration and support for researchers.
To register your attendance or express interest in presenting as a postdoc, please fill in this form.
Academics awarded Fellowships by the Academy of Social Sciences
Congratulations to Professor Carl Macrae of Nottingham University Business School and Professor Giovanni Facchini of the School of Economics, who have been conferred Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences.
The fellowships recognise research excellence and a wider contribution to the social sciences for public benefit.
Carl Macrae, Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Psychology, focuses on the challenges of regulating risk and managing safety in complex, safety-critical sectors like healthcare and transport. In 2021, he was appointed as the National Professional Advisor for Patient Safety at the Care Quality Commission, England’s regulator of health and care.
Giovanni Facchini is a Professor of Economics, the Director of the Nottingham Centre for Globalization and Economic Policy, and a Research Fellow of Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), CES-Ifo Institute, and IZA Institute of Labor Economics. His research focuses on the economics and politics of international migration, international trade policy, and the economics of race and gender.
University spinout wins funding
Dr Johnathan Curd and Professor Cathy Merry of the BioDiscovery Institute have secured £270,690 from Innovate UK’s ICURe (Innovation-to-Commercialisation of University Research) Follow-on-fund. This will allow them to set-up a University of Nottingham spinout company, Peptimatrix, which aims to bring the next generation of peptide hydrogels for 3D cell culture to the wider research community, to help refine, reduce and eventually replace the use animal-derived materials in drug discovery and research.
Nobel summit for research fellow
Dr Lauren Hadley, a Future Leaders Fellow with the Hearing Sciences Group in the School of Medicine, has been selected to attend the 2023 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting on Medicine. She will join more than 600 young scientists from around the world who will have the opportunity to meet Nobel Laureates, attend lectures, exchange ideas and share experiences with renowned research pioneers as well as rising stars.
NASA funding for space medicines
Professor Phil Williams (School of Pharmacy) and collaborators at NASA, McMaster, Minnesota, Stanford, UCSB, Yale, and Odyssey Spaceworks (New York) have secured $600,000 funding from NASA under its Innovative Advanced Concepts programme, which will enable the further development of medications that can be manufactured on demand in space, using cell-based (B. subtilis) and cell-free protein synthesis technologies.
Dr Fang Xu and Dr Liliana De Lillo, from the Power Electronics, Machines and Control research group, have been awarded almost £25,000 by the British Council for their project with collaborators in Egypt aimed at improving the representation of women in engineering jobs, particularly senior jobs and among women from developing countries.
Exploring the landscape of Italian Fascism
Dr Lara Pucci, of the Department of Culture, Media and Visual Studies, has been awarded a £55,000 Leverhulme Trust Fellowship to work explore how art and visual culture shaped Fascist conceptions of the Italian landscape.
My thanks and best wishes
Professor Sam Kingman
Interim Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange
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