Tuesday 26 February 2013

Meet the Vice-Chancellor at UEMS
The University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Steve Smith, will host a meeting with all UEMS staff at the St Luke's Campus on May 14. Both academic and professional services staff are invited to attend. The Vice-Chancellor will be delivering a talk on opportunities and challenges facing the University, followed by time for Q&A. The meeting will be held between 4 and 5pm on Tuesday May 14, in room NC12, North Cloisters, St Luke’s.

Open Day
The UEMS Open Day will take place on Saturday, April 27, when prospective students will be able to interact with a dynamic showcase of the School’s teaching and research activities. Visitors will get a rounded flavour of the student experience across both Streatham and St Luke’s campuses. In order to make this event as successful as possible, we are looking for staff volunteers for a range of responsibilities. We are particularly keen to highlight the high standard of student involvement in research, so would very much value the involvement of members of research staff who have supervised medical and BClin Sci students over the last year, and would ask them to encourage their own students to take part. If you are willing to be involved, please contact Aku Atubra.

Locality Meetings
The next Locality Meeting, open to all staff, will be held at in Exeter on March 8th. It will take place in Lecture Theatre G18 at 13.00 on the University of Exeter, St Lukes Campus. The next meeting in Truro will be on Thursday March 14th at 12pm in room GO72, in the Knowledge Spa. Lunch will be provided on both occasions. To help with catering, please notify Jan Smith (Exeter) or Lucy Buckland (Truro) if you plan to attend. Steve Thornton has invited staff to put forward anything they would like to see raised at the meetings. Click here to email your suggestions.

Apply for Funding
The deadline for the University’s Annual Fund has now been extended to 5pm on Wednesday March 6. This year, a total of £230,000 is available. A panel of staff, students and alumni meet annually to review bids from across the University and award funds to those it thinks most deserving - those that impact upon a large student audience and make a qualitative difference to the student experience. Any UEMS staff who wish to submit an application should first email Development Manager Mark Preston, who will coordinate submissions.

House of Lords Event
A briefing at the House of Lords will examine the cutting-edge research underway at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health , as well as its implications for policy-makers. The briefing is being hosted by Baroness Jolly on March 25, and will be led by Professor Michael Depledge and Professor Lora Fleming. It is part of a wider effort to provide opportunities for policy makers, researchers, NGOs, and business to discuss priority setting and future collaborations during an interactive session.

Athena SWAN
UEMS held a joint Athena SWAN Event with the Colleges of Life and Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences. The event was opened by Professor Mark Overton, DVC for External Affairs, who emphasised the University's aims to gender equality. We then heard from our guest speaker, Professor Teresa Rees OBE, who gave an inspiring and thought-provoking talk on gender equality across academia, from opportunities for women working in Science to gender bias in research and teaching. A lively question time followed with representatives from each of the three Colleges and Professors Rees and Overton, during which the views of panellists and the audience were shared, debated and explored. Over 80 people attended the event, with representatives from the student and staff body taking part. The event concluded with a networking opportunity which included 'focus boards', inviting delegates to leave their views on specific gender issues. The results of these will be circulated to the College Athena SWAN working group. Focus groups are continuing within the College as part of the Athena SWAN project. These groups are open to staff, students and NHS staff working in the College. If you would like to get involved please contact Charlotte Hewlett.

University of Exeter Medical School Research Ethics Committee
The University’s Research Ethics Committee will meet on two occasions during the Summer Term 2013 to consider applications from UEMS staff and students. The April meeting will take place on Thursday April 18, and deadlines for applications is Tuesday April 2. Only one slot remains for that meeting. Please email as soon as possible if you wish to book this slot. The June meeting will take place on Thursday June 27, and the deadline for applications is Monday June 10.

Requesting maintenance support
As part of the 18 month lease of the Veysey building to the University of Exeter, Campus Services will be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the building. Doug Simmons and George Banfield will continue to be the two members of staff based at the building. However, as with St Luke’s, all maintenance requests will now need to be submitted via the Campus Services Help Desk. Staff are asked to seek approval from the relevant budget holder before making a request. To find out who your budget holder is, please contact Pete Biggs (ACM Infrastructure). As well as Doug and George, staff should also expect to see other members of the Property Services Team within the building.

ASPIRE/HEA Fellowship Application Writing Retreat Days
ASPIRE/Higher Education Academy Fellowship awards (for Associate, Fellow, Senior Fellow and Principal Fellow) are being made each month across the University. For anyone interested in submitting a written or oral application, the ASPIRE team has organised a free ASPIRE Application Writing Retreat day. This is a chance to get away from your working environment for a whole day, to develop your application. Each ASPIRE Retreat will begin with clear guidance on how to make a successful application and will include resources and a quiet space to facilitate writing. ASPIRE advisers will also be on hand to answer questions and give guidance as needed. The next date for colleagues in Cornwall is Friday March 8, and for colleagues at St Luke’s is Thursday 2 May. More dates will become available, including some on the Streatham campus, in due course. Details will be posted here. To sign up, or find out more, please email the ASPIRE team. The scheme is centrally funded to support staff professional development in relation to teaching and learning in a research-led University. To find out more, please see the new look ASPIRE Guidance Pack.

Patient and Public Involvement Health Research Conference
A conference entitled “New Developments in Public Involvement in Research” has been organised by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care in the South West Peninsula (NIHR PenCLAHRC) Patient and Public Involvement Team. It will take place in Exeter, UK, on 13th to 15th November 2013. The conference will focus on the latest thinking on patient and public involvement (PPI) in health research, including how PPI can play a meaningful role in research projects. Such a role may involve setting research agendas, prioritising research activities, conducting research, and implementing and evaluating research projects. The programme for the conference will contain a mixture of keynote lectures, presentations and poster sessions, small group meetings, working parties and workshops. The conference itself is designed to be of benefit to researchers, patients, carers, members of the public, health professionals and NHS research managers.

Diabetes Care Study
A new study aims to address concern that one third of diabetes patients do not feel they have completely discussed their self-management with the clinicians who care for them. Professor Nicky Britten, Professor of Applied Health Care Research at the University of Exeter Medical School, is leading the study, which aims to investigate whether an established computer-based tool, designed to help identify issues for discussion between a cancer patient and their consultant before an outpatient appointment, can be adapted for diabetes patients. It will also aim to identify any potential for improved communication, enablement, self-management, use of medication, glycaemic control and quality of life. The study is to be carried out by UEMS and PUPSMD in diabetes outpatient clinics at the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust. The study is supported by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care in the South West Peninsula (NIHR PenCLAHRC). It has been funded by the National Institute for Health Research programme on Research for Patient Benefit.

e-Health Conference
The European Centre for Environment and Human Health recently partnered with Cornwall’s Health and Wellbeing Board to deliver a two day conference focusing on Wellbeing Through Innovation. The event was held on the 19th and 20th February at Truro’s new Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre and featured broad discussions on how technological advances in e-health can enhance health care in the developed and developing world. The conference attracted attendees from diverse areas including the private sector, not for profit, charities and academia. Outcomes included recognition of the need for evidence based evaluations of e-health solutions, and the need for collaborative working between digital developers, practitioners and researchers.

Students Inspired to engage with research
UEMS is part of a collaboration to win £10,000 to offer a scheme which aims to foster a research culture among doctors and dentists entering the NHS. Matched-funding has boosted the total to £20,000. The grant will help students to obtain experience of research and will involve opportunities to observe research groups in the region. The money will fund four summer studentships over two years, to be split between UEMS and PUPSMD. It will also pay for a conference for junior doctors and students to present their research. To find out more, click here.

GP wins memorial prize
GP Dr Alice Harney has won the Ken MacLeod Memorial Prize for creating a card which helps to streamline diabetes treatment and monitoring. The patient-held card has been adopted at College Surgery, in Cullompton, and will be rolled out across Devon. UEMS Dean Steve Thornton awarded the prize at a lecture where the speaker was Professor Chris Welsh, Director of Education and Quality at Health Education England.

Illustrating the fate of pharmaceuticals
A data visualization created a team including Dr Will Stahl-Timmins, from the UEMS European Centre for Environment and Human Health, was printed in the journal Science. It helps academics to understand the complex network of pharmaceutical transport , and how drugs enter the environment.

New appointments
The Medical School would like to welcome a host of new starters. Since January, a number of appointments have been made. They include: Deb Maddocks as part-time recruitment administrator; Neil Rice as Senior Assessment Analyst; Justin Matthews as Associate Research Fellow with PENTAG; Tim Eames as Medical Research Data Programmer; Ben Lee as research technician; Joe Burrage as Technician; Marcela Haasova as PENTAG Associate Research Fellow; Sophie Cutforth as GBP - Academic Policy and Standards Administrative Assistant; Dr Suzanne Hope as Clinical Research Fellow; Dr Jonathan Brown as Senior Research Fellow; Dr Susanne Smith as Lecturer; Margaret Lewis as Lecturer; Sally Stapley as Associate Research Fellow; Weijia Xie as Associate Research Fellow; Sarah Downing as Operations Officer; Alice Hobbs as Assessment and Timetabling Administrative Assistant; Jenna Corcoran as Associate Research Fellow; Daniela Farina as Research Technician; Lucy Hodges as Secretary to the Biomedical Neuroscience Research Group.

Champions for Public Engagement
As part of the RCUK-funded Catalyst project, the first round of Champions for Public Engagement has been appointed. Lorna Harries and John Chilton (Medical School), Caitlin DeSilvey LES), Sharon Strawbridge (EMPS) and John Plunkett (Humanities) will share their experiences of Public Engagement, act as mentors and examine novel Public Engagement activity. This is the first of three rounds of Champions and a key part of the Catalyst project. Seed funds will also support the work of the Catalyst: creating and supporting a culture of Public Engagement within Exeter. To find out more, click here.

Mindfulness Training
The Exeter Mindfulness Network, based at Exeter University, is run in conjunction with the Exeter Mindfulness Network CIC. The network specialises in running high-quality training days on a wide range of topics around mindfulness and mindfulness-based approaches. Their website lists a number of training days which are suitable for participants with varying degrees of experience with mindfulness and mindfulness-based approaches. The network is also offering an eight-week Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction course for the general public, starting 9 April 2013. Booking forms and additional information about the training events can be found here.

UEMS HR project updates
Work is currently taking place between the HR and locality teams to review the current arrangements in place for Zero hours contracts and Visiting Specialists. Currently information is being gathered with recommendations to UEMS SMG senior management team be made by the end of February. If there are any queries on this work please contact Ailsa McGregor.

Public Engagement seed funds open 1 February
Interested in public engagement with research? Could a little money help you develop an idea or relationship? Are you prepared to share your experiences with colleagues? If so, the Catalyst seed funds are for you. Deadline for submission: 1 March. For more information contact Helen Featherstone on 01392 72 6630, follow the blog for up to date news and the call document.

Robotics Research
New research in robotics surgery is being pioneered thanks to a partnership between the University of Exeter and the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E). John McGrath, consultant urological surgeon at the RD&E and honorary senior lecturer at University of Exeter Medical School, has teamed up with Dr Sam Vine and Dr Mark Wilson of Sport and Health Sciences. They have won funding from Intuitive Surgical in California, manufacturers of the da Vinci surgical robot. On Thursday 28th February a demo robot, complete with computer console, will be located in the main reception of Wonford Hospital in Exeter. Surgeons will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate how the equipment is used. Visitors will be invited to try out the robot for themselves – on peas rather than patients. For more information, click here.

New Electronic Staff Requisition Forms
The College has now run several training sessions at various locations on the use of the ESR1 system. This is the electronic staff requisition form and replaces the previous paper based system that had been in use. The ESR1 should be used for the following purposes: Requesting a new post; Requesting a replacement post; Changes to an existing post eg hours, working pattern; Extending a fixed term contract post; Changes in funding streams of an existing post. We are hoping that this will be a much faster and easier for all users. In the first instance please contact Vicki Farish (HR Business Partner) on ext 6370 or 4979, who will set up the form for you, ready for completion.

Comic Relief Bake-off
The Student Information Office at the St Luke’s Campus is planning a bake-off on March 15, in support of Comic Relief. All staff are invited to take part, and entrants will be charged £1. All the cakes will be sold off after the 10am judging. The competition will have three categories: large cakes, small cakes and tray bakes. To enter, email Sam Phillips in advance.

Keep Staff Updated
If you have news or achievements that you want to share, please let us know. The next Medical School News in Brief will be distributed on Tuesday March 19. The deadline will be Tuesday March 12. If you have material to contribute, please contact Communications Manager Louise Vennells, or phone 01392 724927 or mobile 07768 511866.

This newsletter and previous editions are also available on-line at www.exeter.ac.uk/staff/news/medicalschool/.