Workshop on Catapults, Local Enterprise Partnerships, and Research Data

The Modern Universities Research Group is advertising a workshop on Catapult Centres, Local Enterprise Partnerships and Data Usage in Research. The event takes place at Goodenough College, London on Friday 28th September. You can find more information and book at the link below:

MURG September Workshop

Topics and speakers include: Innovation projects for SMEs (Chris Birch, University of Greenwich), Best practice for data sharing (Veerle Van Den Eyden, UK Data Archive), and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centre (Nigel Perry, Centre for Process Innovation).

Although Northumbria University is not a member of MURG, non-members can still attend for an additional fee.


Virtual Workshop on Digital Economy and Sustainable Society

The EPSRC, on behalf of the RCUK Digital Economy theme, is inviting expressions of interest to attend a two-stage “virtual workshop” on achieving a work-life balance in a digitally dependent world. Advancements in the digital economy have allowed us to interact and network more than ever, and without regard for spatial and temporal constraints. The question this workshop seeks to address is: has this come at too high a cost on our personal time?

The workshop (or “Creativity Greenhouse“) will take place online in a virtual 3D environment where participants can interact using video and audio. Applicants must submit expressions of interest by 12:00 on 28th May 2012.

The criteria which potential applicants must meet to take part will focus on novel and highly innovative research ideas and the ability to work in a team, collaborating across different disciplines. The intended outcome of the workshop is a number of multidisciplinary and high quality research projects involving the participants. A budget of £1.5M has been set aside for proposals resulting from this event, and the deadline for full proposals will be 13th September 2012.

Here’s some further background to the call, but applicants should read the guidance notes [PDF] in full and contact us for support in putting together their application:

The Digital Economy (DE) has the potential to transform lifestyles and improve quality of life, having an impact on society as a whole… Pressures on work-life balance precede the DE and stem from many facts such as: working harder not smarter; incompatibility between home location choice and employment opportunities; immobility of office environments and resources; inadequacy of (social) support networks; and challenges of accommodating care of children and others. The DE has the potential to restore balance; but is also has the possibility of exacerbating any imbalance. Technological developments harness the art of the possible. However, human behaviour, our understanding of it and its incorporation into technological innovation significantly govern the effects of the DE.


Connected Communities Research Development Workshop

The AHRC’s Connected Communities programme is hosting a research development workshop on 22nd – 24th May at Paintworks in Bristol. The theme is communities, cultures, environments and sustainability and the workshop is being hosted in collaboration with the Living With Environmental Change cross-council research partnership.

The workshop brief [PDF] has full details, but participants will be expected to work across disciplinary boundaries to identify and define challenges and opportunities, explore future research agendas in this area, and start to outline collaborative funding proposals. This is in essence the AHRC’s version of the EPSRC’s Sandpit events which are similarly interdisciplinary and usually based around a “grand challenge” or research theme.

Here’s what the AHRC say about the event:

The overall aim of the workshop will be to stimulate the development of innovative proposals for transformative, cross-disciplinary, community-engaged research with the potential to make a significant contribution to the ways diverse communities respond to the challenges posed by environmental change, supports the transition of communities towards more sustainable ways of living and cultivates the development of sustainable environments, places and spaces in which community life can flourish. The workshop will foster cross-disciplinary and collaborative approaches by bringing together researchers from a wide range of disciplines and other experts from policy and practice communities. A key theme will be the potential to engage with diverse cultural communities in all stages of the research.

Potential participants need to write a short two page expression of interest to apply to be part of this workshop, the deadline for which is 25th April. Full details on how to apply are again given in the brief, but please contact us if you’re interested and would like support and comments on your EoI.


Research Ethics Workshop – ‘Consent – do you really need to ask?’

The Association of Research Ethics Committees (AREC) is holding a regional workshop at Durham University on 16th April 2012.  Northumbria University is a member of AREC, so all staff are entitled to attend at the members’ fee of £50.  Please contact Paul Rosen in Research and Business Services for a booking form, or contact  for more information.

Workshop programme:

‘Consent – do you really need to ask?’

The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.                                                   (Nuremberg Code, 1948)

This workshop will consider the concept of informed consent, why it is valued by research ethics committees, how it might be achieved with different participant populations, and whether it is always necessary (or desirable).

It is targeted at researchers from all disciplines and aims to increase understanding of and stimulate discussion around this fundamental ethical principle.

09.30 – 09.50            Registration of delegates and refreshments

09.50 – 10.00            Welcome

Chair:             Mr David Anderson-Ford, immediate past AREC Chair

Professor Tom McLeish, PVC Research, Durham University

10.00 – 10.45            “Consent and permissions in the context of research integrity”

Dr Andrew Rawnsley, University of Teesside

10.45 – 11.30            “Consent in practice – what do REC members look for in Health and Social Care applications?”

Dr Alasdair MacSween, University of Teesside & Chair of County Durham and Tees Valley REC

11.30 – 11.45            Refreshments

11.45 – 12.30            “Tensions between consent and confidentiality when undertaking research with victims of abuse”

Dr Nicole Westmarland and Dr Julia Downes, Durham University

12.30 – 13.00            Lunch and Networking

13.00 – 13.45            “Knowing what you are in for:  issues about informed consent for people with learning difficulties”

Dr Tina Cook, University of Northumbria

13.45 – 14.30            “Consent and minors”

Professor Priscilla Alderson, Institute of Education, University of London

14.30 – 14.45            Refreshments

14.45 – 15.30            “The challenges of seeking informed consent in developing country contexts: some examples”

Professor Bob Simpson, Durham University

15.30 – 16.00            Summary Panel Discussion – “Do you really need to ask?”

An opportunity for delegates and panel members to discuss issues raised over the day.

Chaired by Mr David Anderson-Ford

16.00                          Close



Book now for ESRC Bid Writing Workshop

If you’re a member of staff at Northumbria and thinking about bidding for a grant from the ESRC in the future, this is the workshop for you. Gwyneth Doherty-Sneddon (Associate Dean for Research in Life Sciences) will explore the specific requirements of the ESRC and focus on how to make bids more likely to be successful.

The workshop will be held on Wednesday, 15 February (12.00-2.00pm).

To book your place, email