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Student volunteering...

Also in this issue: Doctoral Training Centres

The Ogden Centre

Get involved with our outreach projects through volunteering and fundraising.

Find out how postgraduate research has been revolutionised at Durham University.

The University unveils plans for ÂŁ10 million new Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics building.

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Dialogue 34 | March / April 2014 @Durham_Uni

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Dear Colleagues, One of the University’s strategic priorities is to increase the proportion of postgraduate research students. A raft of measures are being put in place to ensure that we not only recruit the best postgraduate research students from around the world but that our students have every opportunity to contribute original research in disciplinary and interdisciplinary areas which really makes a difference.

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This issue of Dialogue has a focus on Doctoral Training Centres. Recently, the University has been very successful in winning major support from almost every UK Research Council for Doctoral Training Centres, in partnership with other Russell Group Universities. This provides a firm foundation for the enhancement of postgraduate provisions, strengthened by creating dedicated purpose-designed space for all our Doctoral students such as the ‘Arts and Humanities Doctoral Training Centre’ located in the newly refurbished former Law School building on The Bailey. The new Libeskind building for The Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, also featured in this issue, will include purpose-built postgraduate research space. The priority on raising additional postgraduate research scholarship funding from philanthropy and foundations by many Departments and Colleges, and increased academic provision for postgraduate research students in all our Colleges, is also helping us to attract the very best students. But, there is still some way for all of us to go. Through our Graduate School, led by Professor Tim Clark, all research students are being incorporated into Durham Doctoral Training Centres to ensure they develop the generic skills they require for the future in addition to the opportunity to carry out original research at the highest level. With all best wishes,






03  Energy Research Partnership

Get Social

04  Doctoral Training 06 Research Insights

16 Seminar series

17 College SCRs

11  Infrastructure 12 Arctic Research 13 International Links Congratulations

14  Student Volunteering 15  Student Community Action

Library News

18  Museums and Attractions

08  Spotlight on... IAS 10 HR News

Teacher’s Conference

19  Event Durham,

Retail & Catering

20 CIS News 21 Procurement Buy-in 22  Experience Durham 23 Greenspace 24 Under Investigation

What’s On

EDITOR: Zoë Thomas, Marketing Projects Co-ordinator. CONTRIBUTIONS: Sharon Battersby, CIS; Tara Duncan, Greenspace; Louise Elliott, Event Durham; Media Relations Team, Communications Office; Andy Cattermole, Experience Durham, Rachel Smith; Library, Rob Biggins; Procurement; Steven Carter, Procurement; Thomai Tsiftsi, Mathematical Sciences; Adam Moss, DUCK; Suzanne Birkett, SCA; Victoria Bainbridge, International Office; Nick Johnston, Student Recruitment & Admissions; Linda Crowe, IAS. FRONT COVER L–R: Michael Strange (Jailbreak Co–ordinator), Naz Atkinson (Chair), Beth Pearce (Endurance Officer), Adam Moss (Communications & Publicity Officer), Ella Playfair (Colleges Officer), Rose Mortimer (Charities Officer) and Harry Inman (Expeditions Officer).


Chris Higgins, Vice-Chancellor and Warden

FRONT COVER: Student volunteers participate in DUCK week.

Share your story...

ENERGY RESEARCH PARTNERSHIP WITH THE LONDON BOROUGH OF HARINGEY The University and the London Borough of Haringey have launched a pioneering research partnership that will see us working together to drive economic growth and tackle climate change.

If you have anything interesting coming up such as an event, lecture, news article, radio/TV appearance, etc. get in touch with

Do you follow us on our social media channels? We have compiled a list of our favourite posts, tweets and videos over the past two months to show you what has been happening around the University!



It was recommended to Haringey in the council’s Carbon Commission report that it should work with the research community to explore ways of reducing local CO2 emissions by 40 per cent by 2020, whilst also tacking energy inequality and raising prosperity.

At the end of last term students took part in a joint live chat hosted by the University and Durham Students’ Union. The live chat focused on the topic of education and the panel featured David Morris (Durham Students’ Union Academic Affairs Officer), Professor Tom Ward (Pro-ViceChancellor of Education) and Professor Tim Clark (Dean of Postgraduate and Undergraduate Education). Thank you to those who took part, it was a great opportunity to hear student views and gain feedback on a wide range of topics.

TOP FIVE TWEETS • If you missed @DavidPetts1 on #WalkingThroughHistory @Channel4 on Saturday watch it here http://bit. ly/1hp5Fep #Northumberland #StCuthbert

If successful, the plan is to extend the research partnership beyond the initial one year phase.

•  @ProfBambra @WolfsonResearch condemns #Thatcher’s policies for causing ‘unjust premature death’ http://bit. ly/1j32jup #healthinequalityIVE TWEETS

Find out more... about the Haringey partnership and business engagement more generally by contacting Richard Parker-Smith, Senior Business Development Manager via ext. 49309 or

• Dr Colin Macpherson discusses why #Indonesia’s #volcanoes are erupting with @IBTimesUK http://bit. ly/1iWaCsp #MountKelud

•  @durham_uni @CR_UK Research shows that patients with mouth & oesophageal #cancer take longer to seek help from GP • Last Ice Age saw severe reduction in #killerwhales say @durham_uni researchers #orca #whales #oceans

The University’s research will help to inform policy decisions at Haringey. Firstly, enabling the council to understand the potential of a co-operative model for retrofit of energy saving measures and secondly to address energy vulnerability. A third project is under development in a Big Data approach to energy mapping.


Haringey approached Durham University because energy research is one of our key strengths, and the Durham Energy Institute (DEI) takes a multi-disciplinary approach to energy research including the decarbonisation of energy in a way which tackles the societal aspects of energy technology development and use.



Our recent photography competition celebrated the Winter Season at the University. Photos were uploaded to Facebook and the public decided that the winner was Katie Goldsmith’s entry –­­ congrats! See the complete album on our Facebook page.


Postgraduate research training is being revolutionised at Durham and other universities by Doctoral Training Centres (DTCs), a concept introduced by research councils to provide a way of channelling resources into strategic subject areas and developing critical mass in selected disciplines and institutions. Since the first centres, or partnerships, were launched in their current form in 2009, eight have been established at Durham, providing opportunities to recruit and nurture outstanding talent and to develop new and stronger relationships with external organisations, two of the strategic aims of Research Councils UK. One of the most recent to be established at Durham is the Soft Matter and Functional Interfaces Centre for Doctoral Training (SOFI), which from October 2014 will create 16 fully-funded studentships each year relating to research topics including polymers, gels, surfactants, colloids and biomaterials. Postgraduates joining the SOFI will be registered at Durham initially, for six months of cohort training, during which they will make an informed choice of PhD project at either Durham or one of the partner universities, Leeds and Edinburgh. Students will also spend time working at partner companies and with academic collaborators overseas.

SOFI is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, which launched a national network of DTCs in 2009 with a £250 million investment. This first tranche included the Multidisciplinary Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy at Durham University, whose students have the opportunity to undertake specialist research within a range of departments in the sciences and social sciences so that they gain a multidisciplinary understanding of energy issues. Other research councils have also embraced the concept. The Economic and Social Research Council awarded £9 million in 2011 to Durham and Newcastle Universities to establish the North East Doctoral Training Centre (NEDTC), which recruits at least 35 students per year and runs a programme of advanced training courses that is open to doctoral students across the country. Over 20 per cent of NEDTC studentships support award-holders collaborating with non-academic partner organisations, such as a local authorities, NHS Trusts, charities and businesses.

Durham also hosts the IAPETUS Doctoral Training Partnership, established in 2013 with £5 million of funding from the Natural Environment Research Council to support more than 60 PhD studentships over five years in the field of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Named after the ancient ocean that closed to bring together England and Scotland, IAPETUS will train the next generation of scientists and research leaders to address some of the most critical issues affecting the planet. The partnership joins the universities of Durham, Glasgow, Newcastle, St Andrews and Stirling, together with the British Geological Survey and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, in a united approach to doctoral research and training.


An £11.4 million grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, with matched funding, supports the Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership, bringing together the universities of Durham, Newcastle and Queen’s Belfast in an equal partnership that will recruit about 250 PhD students from 2014 to 2019. A core group of 13 non-HEI strategic partners is integrated within the consortium to collaborate on research and training opportunities for a new generation of researchers in the Arts and Humanities. In the biosciences, the NewcastleLiverpool-Durham BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership offers around 30 funded studentships per year across the eponymous partner universities, with funding from the Biology and Biological Sciences Research Council. In December 2013 a Doctoral training Centre was established at Durham. The PTC is supported with £8m from NERC and will work with the oil and gas sector to help put environmental science at the heart of

IMAGES The IAPETUS Doctoral Training Partnership provides opportunites to study some of the most critical issues affecting the planet.

responsible management of the planet’s resources. Durham is one of seven core partners in the centre, which also has 12 associate partners. The University also hosts the Durham Centre for Islamic Economics and Finance, which underpins Durham’s position as a global leader in this field. The Centre offers both masters and doctoral training to equip students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in this dynamic and expanding sector. Professor Tim Clark, Dean of Postgraduate and Undergraduate Education at Durham University, is currently leading the development of a new postgraduate marketing strategy, which will create a ‘premiere brand’ around the University’s network of doctoral training centres. The aim is to enhance Durham’s international reputation as a university of choice for doctoral training and research. “The University can be proud of the partnerships and centres in which we are involved,” said Professor Tim Clark.

Above left: The Soft Matter and Functional Interfaces Centre for Doctoral Training enables students to make informed choices about PhD projects during initial training at Durham.

“The standard of applicant is extremely high for places funded by the Research Councils and we are recruiting many outstanding postgraduates who we are training to be the leaders and key influencers in their chosen fields in the future. The standard of applicant reflects the quality of training and student experience at Durham. This presents a great opportunity to strengthen the Durham brand as a global centre of excellence for doctoral training and ensure that we attract the very best applicants in all disciplines, including those in which we do not currently have a doctoral training centre formally established.”

Find out more... about DTCs at Durham University visit: course/dtc

Above right: Durham University has excellent facilities to support doctoral training, such as well stocked libraries.




Robin Coningham, Professor of Archaeology and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health, has been working on pioneering excavations at Buddha’s birthplace in Lumbini, Nepal. Here he provides an account of a typical day in his life in the field. “The knock on the door at 5:45am comes as expected, accompanied by a bucket of hot water and a cup of over sweet tea. I carry the bucket into the bathroom, and empty the steadily cooling water over myself. This is my



en-suite shower – Lumbini-style! As I struggle to pull on my many layers of thermals, trousers and fleeces –­ complemented by a scarf and woolly hat – I remind myself that January is the perfect digging season for Lumbini. The water table is low at this time of year, which means our archaeological trenches will be damp rather than water-logged. However, it’s hard to believe as I gaze through the thick fog, which won’t lift until mid-February.


Over breakfast – the previous night’s curried potato – we plan the day’s activities for the different teams we work with, before setting off to the Maya Devi Temple to carry out our own work. As we approach the Temple through the fog, we can barely make out the third century BC stone pillar. It was erected by the great emperor Asoka as a monument to his personal pilgrimage to Lumbini, the birth place of the Buddha.

07 The Temple is a living shrine and continues to attract pilgrims from across the Buddhist world. We pass a steady stream of pilgrims returning from their early morning veneration at the shrine. For many, this is a once in a lifetime journey and we must make an odd contrast with our hard hats, clipboards, soil colour charts and so on.


By mid-morning, the Maya Devi Temple is full of chanting pilgrims. A near constant shower of offerings – coins, notes, rice and scarves – are thrown around us as we consider the best way to remove a brick kerb from the mud. To make ourselves heard above the chanting, we shout instructions as we struggle to lift the first brick. Conscious that it hasn’t been touched since being set upright by builders over 2,000 years ago, we carefully tilt it from vertical to horizontal, inch by inch. Our task is made considerably more difficult because we are standing bare foot in the squelching mud. Footwear of any kind is banished from the Temple. We carefully carry our precious cargo up a rickety bamboo ladder and hand it over to the rest of our team. Looking closely at the surface, we identify tiny fragments of rice chaff used to strengthen the clay and we trace where ancient labourers drew their finger marks down the entire length of the brick, a direct physical link between those individuals and the team today. We believe the kerb is associated with an earlier open-air temple which stood here before Asoka visited and there will be more cultural treasures underneath. As we continue, we discover that there are patches of darker shadow showing in the clay beneath which turn out to be the darker soil fill of postholes for timber posts.

After more work and analysis, we find that we have uncovered a previously unknown sixth-century BC timber structure and we are standing in what must be the earliest Buddhist temple in the world! We realise this discovery could give momentum to a UNESCO plan to conserve this sacred site for pilgrims, which will hopefully improve the lives of the local population.”

IMAGE Archaeologist Robin Coningham emerges from the dig at the Lumbini Village Mound in Nepal, where a secular settlement contemporary with the earliest temple was discovered.

New down-the-line TV facilities are linking our experts with broadcasters across the world. The Globelynx camera system, based in the Media Suite, at the Palatine Centre in Durham, allows our academics to connect to more than 400 different media outlets for live or recorded interviews. Since the camera was installed last summer experts across all of our faculties have appeared on well-known global outlets including Sky News, Channel 4 News, ITN, Al-Jazeera, Russia Today and BBC World. The camera can also be used by both academic and professional support departments to record their own ‘talking-heads’ clips which they can then edit themselves and upload to their individual web pages.

As well as hosting the TV camera, the Media Suite is home to a broadcast quality ISDN radio line which provides a studio quality link to national and international radio stations. This is regularly used by academics to connect with broadcasters such as the BBC, Voice of America and Australian public radio. The Media Suite is managed by the Media Relations Team within the Communications Office who can provide support to enable you to use the equipment and advice about working with the media. For more information, or to discuss using the facilities, please contact the Media Relations Team on ext. 46075 or email media.relations@

PLEASE NOTE: The Media Suite is not suitable for video conferencing. Video conferencing facilities are available in Durham and at Queen’s Campus and are provided by CIS. For more information contact the IT Service Desk on ext. 41515 or email

Spotlight on...

Ever wondered what Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) does? Here is a glimpse.

The IAS was established in 2006 to develop the University’s capacities to engage in cutting edge interdisciplinary research; to showcase our research to public audiences; and to increase the University’s visibility around the world, through initiatives such as resourcing extended collaborative visits to Durham by international researchers. Led by Directors from each Faculty, the IAS forges links across the entire disciplinary spectrum, helping Durham University researchers to initiate wide-ranging interdisciplinary projects. Often this entails working in partnership with and supporting the endeavours of the more specialised university research institutes and centres. The IAS assists research developments by hosting research conversations, workshops and

conferences, and through active facilitation. Its workshop, Navigating Interdisciplinary, aims to build the skills and knowledge needed to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration. Originally introduced for researchers in 2012, this workshop is now being integrated into Durham University’s postgraduate training and reframed to assist project start-ups as the Institute expands its capacities to lead major interdisciplinary project developments. FUNDING AND FELLOWSHIPS The IAS has already helped a number of such projects to gain funding: for example, the Hearing the Voice project received £1 million from the Welcome Trust, the Biofuels Science and Society project received £2 million from the EPSRC. On an everyday basis, the Institute fosters a host of large and small and highly

diverse interdisciplinary projects across the university, helping people to develop ideas and contacts, hosting meetings, and providing support as projects progress. These efforts intersect with the other key aspect of the IAS’ role including increasing the university’s international research output. To help achieve this goal the IAS administers several major fellowship schemes. Each year the IAS Fellowship programme brings approximately 20 leading international academics to work with Durham University colleagues on a particular theme. Themes are identified through an annual consultation with departments, from this ‘sub-themes’ are generated to support each department’s research strategies. This year the theme is Light, and former themes include Time, Being Human, Water, and Modelling. Next year’s theme is Emergence, and groups of researchers are currently preparing sub-theme activities for the 2015-16 Evidence theme. All departments and colleges are invited to nominate IAS Fellows, and to encourage world-class researchers to apply to this and the other fellowship schemes that we administer. The Institute has now led two successful bids for a European Co-Fund Fellowship scheme, in 2009 and 2013. This has brought a total of 12 million Euros to support Senior and Junior Research Fellows in departments across the University. Not only do these schemes bring a vital influx of people and ideas from around the world and across the disciplines into the University, it also means that we now have a growing international College of Fellows who go home as enthusiastic ambassadors of the University. Many continue to collaborate with Durham researchers, helping to internationalise Durham’s research long after they have left.

IMAGE Cosin’s Hall, Palace Green.


Find out more... about the Institute, our Fellowship schemes, events and other activities visit

OUTREACH AND DISSEMINATING RESEARCH The third pillar in the IAS’s remit is to bring the results of these efforts into the public eye, to reach local communities and industries, wider national and international audiences, and potential research partners and policy makers. Each IAS Fellow contributes a work-in-progress piece to our journal, Insights, as well as giving a public lecture. The Institute organises over 80 public events a year including lecture series, panel discussions, and suchlike, as well as disseminating these via the website and social media platforms. Our annual London event often appears in the media, with articles in Prospect magazine, The New Statesman or the THES, and has featured on the radio. The IAS is also an important part of the University’s local outreach. It has established active partnerships to produce projects and events relating to the Cathedral, the Durham Book Festival, Visit County Durham, and the Bowes Museum, etc.

THE IAS TEAM The current IAS Directorate is composed of Martin Ward (Science); Barbara Graziosi (Arts and Humanities), and Rob Barton (Social Sciences) and the Executive Director is Anthropologist Veronica Strang. The IAS also has an Administrator, Linda Crowe, and Secretary, Audrey Bowron, and the Co-Fund scheme is administered by Simon Litchfield and Karen Snowdon. Anyone wanting to initiate exciting interdisciplinary research and develop its societal links and impacts can come to the team for advice, help and support.

IMAGES (L-R): ‘Vessels of Life’ commissioned by the uinversity and inspired by the IAS 2009-10 Hume Water. Members of the ISA delivering a lecture.

HR news...

At the start of January, we welcomed our new Director of Human Resources, Clare Curran. Read on to find out more about Clare and her first months at Durham…

Tell us a bit about yourself. I’m 52, married and I have one son who has just started at Aberystwyth University. I’m involved at my local church and do a lot of charity work. I work full-time but in my spare time I like to keep myself active and I particularly like gardening and walking, including walking our dog, a labradoodle called Bramble. I attained the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award, an MBA and, (just a few years ago!), I was North West Junior Sailing Champion. What brought you to Durham University? My previous role was at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust where I was Executive Director of Human Resources and Education/Company Secretary. I wasn’t looking to move but I got a call from the head hunters and the more I thought about it, the more I felt this was a great opportunity to help influence change at a University at the top of its game. Ultimately the opportunity to do something different is what drew me to this role rather than anything else.

You’ve been here since the start of January, what are your first impressions?

• starting the process of staff engagement;

There is a fantastic feel here. Many people have worked here a long time and are deeply committed to the University. It’s an organisation that’s open to change but there’s something about tradition here which is embedded in the culture. I’ve previously worked in the HE sector (at the Universities of Teesside and Northumbria) but Durham’s tradition and history means that it has a different approach. It’s very different working in a ‘collegiate structure’ rather than a ‘led structure’ and this will take some getting used to. But it is great that we allow people to have input and create decisions that are owned; the issue is making sure things physically happen.

• looking at how we reward people and recognise contributions;

What are your key priorities for the next 6–12 months and beyond? My first priority is to get to know Durham University and its people. I am working on developing a People Strategy and redefining the work and activities for the areas for which I’m responsible. I am also keen to ensure more joined up ways of working and developments and so other priorities include:

• picking up the staff survey and looking at how to move forward with the actions from that; • People+ (our new HR, payroll and staff information system); • looking at pay structures and how we can develop something that works for Durham University; • supporting the equality and diversity agenda and working with Catherine Alexander to take this forward; • engaging with the Russell Group to understand our peers and competitors. What is your key message for staff? What can staff expect from you? I’m approachable; someone who will talk to you, engage with you and listen to you. I will deliver on tasks that I’m asked to undertake. And finally…Dairy Milk or Galaxy? Galaxy, absolutely no hesitation.


PLANS FOR NEW LANDMARK BUILDING UNVEILED The University has unveiled new plans for a £10 million new building to house the world-renowned Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics. The new building has been made necessary by the Centre’s rapid growth and academic success, and will enable it to maintain its leading global position in the decades ahead. The new Centre building will be located next to the Department of Physics on South Road, Durham and will be home to the Institute for Computational Cosmology, one of the world’s premier theoretical cosmology groups, and the only Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology globally. The original Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, established by an earlier £2 million gift from the Ogden Trust, was opened in 2002, incorporating the two institutes, thus housing integrated research into the fundamental properties of the universe from the smallest scales of elementary particles to the largest scales of the universe as a whole. Professor Martin Ward, Head of Durham’s Department of Physics, said: “This new building will provide a tremendously stimulating environment and foster even closer synergies between the two Institutes’ research areas”. After a rigorous EU tender exercise for the design of the building, the world-renowned architectural practice Studio Daniel Libeskind (SDL) were determined to have supplied the best design concept – a world-class concept to reflect the University’s aims and ambitions for this project. We intend for this building to be an asset for the University and for Durham City.

SDL’s designs feature around the world, such as the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the Imperial War Museum North, which are major tourist attractions. An initial meeting with Durham County Council’s (DCC) Planning Department has established that “the proposal would be supported by DCC as long as the development does not adversely affect the amenity of neighbouring occupiers of land and property”. The University, as a good neighbour, has engaged in early consultation with its staff, students, alumni, neighbours and the general public, therefore allowing the design of the building to be positively influenced. Two public consultation events took place in January and the plans received positive feedback.

We need to have world-class estates to be able to recruit and retain quality staff and students and compete in the global HE economy. Durham has invested many millions of pounds in its estate over recent years including Gateway and The Palatine Centre. This building will be funded from a range of sources, which will include a substantial contribution from the University and support from donors including £3.35 million from the Ogden Trust and £1.5 million from the Wolfson Foundation. NEXT STEPS: A formal planning application will be submitted to DCC Planning Department towards the end of February with a decision expected by June. The EU tender process to appoint a building contractor will commence during March with the successful contractor being appointed during November. Construction works will commence January 2015 with the building expected to be complete and operational Spring 2016.

Find out more... Contact Simon Watt, Senior Project Manager for further details via ext. 46037 or email

Dialogue 34 | March / April 2014

Durham has recently joined University of the Arctic (UArctic), a network of over 150 universities and non-academic partners who share an in interest in Arctic research. Through membership of this network, opportunities are now available to our staff to further develop Arctic research. Involvement in the network will help us to be recognised world-wide for creative thought and transformative research, and will enable our students to engage directly with world-leading scholars. At an inaugural meeting in early February, researchers and postgraduates from across the University discovered more about UArctic, heard how colleagues have developed their careers through Arctic research and contributed to discussions about how together we can make most of our membership. If this interests you, why not join them at future meetings? Travel grants are being offered to help staff and PhD students get involved. These have been made available by the Dean for Global Engagement and are coordinated through the International Office. Eligible applications will be accepted until 1 May 2014 and proposals must fit within UArctic’s thematic network framework and include an element of ambassadorial activity. Staff in the International Office and academic colleagues can help you

with this so do get in touch if you have an idea you would like to develop. As well as the travel grants, Durham’s membership allows you to access information, facilities and crucially, expertise from leading Arctic researchers. Some of that expertise lies in our own institution which is why we are one of only two UK universities to have been accepted into UArctic. For example, Geography’s Professor Colm O’Cofaigh has been involved in Arctic research for over 20 years. His work has taken him to Greenland, Norway and Canada by land, sea and air. In his presentation at the inaugural UArctic meeting, Professor O’Cofaigh described how: “Arctic research is expensive and increasingly this requires working as part of larger teams or networks to share logistics and expense. Also, the

Find out more...

Visit international/collaboration/ networks/uarctic to get involved or for further information contact victoria.

larger Arctic research questions can often only be tackled in collaboration with others. UArctic can help reach both in terms of logistics and expertise.” Durham colleagues in IBRU, Geography, Anthropology, Maths, Biological Sciences, English Studies and other departments are already involved in the network – it’s not just for scientists! Your involvement could be through developing a staff or student exchange, reaching out to a potential research partner or even developing a course for Arctic experts of the future.

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Durham forges international links with prestigious visits

WORLD-LEADING RESEARCHER RECEIVES ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY’S HIGHEST HONOUR Congratulations to Professor Carlos Frenk, Ogden Professor of Fundamental Physics and Director of Durham’s Institute for Computational Cosmology (ICC), who has received the Royal Astronomical Society’s highest honour, the Gold Medal for Astronomy. Professor Frenk has been awarded in recognition of a lifetime’s work for his world-leading research into the origin of galaxies.

VIOLIN CONCERTO COMMERCIALLY RECORDED Durham is a truly global university proud of its international outreach. As part of a continued drive to promote partnerships and links overseas, a number of prestigious visits took place recently. A team of senior academics and members of the international executive office from the University of Notre Dame visited Durham to explore a partnership focussed on research projects and postgraduate provision. Fertile relationships are already in place between the Arts and Humanities and Science faculties of both universities, so the recent visit explored new links in Chemistry, Physics and research institutes in the Science faculty. The Vice-Chancellor and Director of International Affairs at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (MSU), India visited Durham to renew the Memorandum of Understanding with the University and investigate new areas is co-operation. The two institutions have strong research links in the area of Archaeology, but there is potential to expand this into the area of Biological Sciences and Music. The Norwegian Ambassador His Excellency Mr Kim Traavik visited Durham to meet staff and students from Norway. He also took part in a scientific poster symposium at Van Mildert College and delivered a lecture entitled ‘Climate Change and the Environment’.

Work premiered in March 2012 by Durham University Orchestral Society (DUOS) in Durham Cathedral of Charles Villiers Stanford’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor Op. 162 orchestrated from a manuscript by Professor Jeremy Dibble has now been recorded commercially with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Rupert Marshall-Luck and Owain Arwel Hughes On EMF Records. This completely unknown work will now have a wide international reach to those interested in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Find out more... EMRCD023-subscription-form.pdf

Student Volunteering Many students feel they want to give something back to the local community they call home while living in Durham or Stockton. Volunteering, fundraising and getting involved in outreach projects are fun ways to do this. Durham University Charities Kommitee (DUCK) work to raise money to support over 30 local, national and international charities. Whether it’s being involved in events such as the annual Rubber Duck Race on the River Wear bringing the community together, or completing a sponsored trek to Kilimanjaro, students have endless opportunities to get involved.

This year’s DUCK Week swept across the University with a wave of yellow and black clad volunteers doing everything from washing 4,000 ducks, spray painting a car yellow and sleeping at Lower Mountjoy to advertise the Cathedral Sleepout. We started the week with Formally Lost, our black-tie hitchhiking challenge which saw students’ race back to University College formal after being dropped off in the middle of the Peak District. Most made it in time, some unfortunately did not, but it kicked-off DUCK Week 2014 in style and raised money for a wide variety of causes such as Centrepoint, The British Red Cross and Cancer Research UK. As always, DUCK Week provides a stage for our wonderful college reps to hold an extraordinary range of events from Mr & Mrs to fashion shows and dare nights.

Every year over 600 student volunteers work in the local community and various charitable projects through College initiatives and Student Community Action (SCA). SCA is studentled and student focused, matching volunteers to a range of activities including sport, decorating and gardening projects and even prison visiting. During February both DUCK and SCA held a weeks’ worth of events to raise their profile amongst the University and local community. Adam Moss (DUCK) and Suzanne Birkett (SCA) share their experiences below.

These incredible individuals work tirelessly to ensure not only that their college can experience a fun-packed week but also that they collect every penny they can for charity. They amplify our totals and expand the reach of DUCK into the heart of our colleges. The money raised during DUCK Week, when not from an event dedicated to a specific charity, is put into our allocations fund which provides grants for local charities. To help increase this figure, University Libraries donate the average sum total of library fines paid during DUCK Week. Alongside these events, to raise the profile of DUCK we advertised our events taking place this term and on the Tuesday we unveiled a 14ft inflatable duck at Lower Mountjoy. We invited students and staff to

name and have their photo taken with the duck, even our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Chris Higgins got involved! DUCK Week for me, represents the opportunity to not only hold amazing events throughout the University but to take the rare chance to stop and reflect on our achievements and celebrate being one of the biggest and best student fundraising organisations in the UK!

Find out more...

visit /dsuDUCK


IMAGES Student volunteers participate in DUCK week.


Student Community Action (SCA) held a week of volunteering and awareness-raising events to celebrate student volunteering and encourage more people to get involved. SCA is the university’s biggest student volunteering organisation, with nearly 2,000 students volunteering on over 50 community projects and numerous one-off events.

The week started with a popular evening of Harry Potter-themed activities with disabled children, run in conjunction with the local charity Integrating Children. The magic continued throughout the week with several tea parties for the elderly, as well as conservation projects, clear ups at Old Durham Gardens and by the river and food parcel packing at Queen’s Campus and much more! The week culminated in an awareness-raising evening of live comedy, music and cocktails at the Durham Students’ Union Riverside Bar, featuring our very own Durham Revue. The fantastic range of acts was thoroughly enjoyed by all, and brought an exciting week of volunteering to a dramatic close. SCA are extremely proud off all the work put

in by all the students involved, and the impressive turn-out of attendees. We’re looking forward to SCA week coming back bigger and better next year!

some of their time, and connect student volunteering with work in the Durham area and wider community.

As part of our expansion into the wider community and to highlight the great work that students do, SCA will be presenting a photo exhibition entitled ‘I Volunteer’ later on this year. The exhibition will feature volunteers from both SCA and other organisations presenting their reasons for giving their time, and the various ways in which they chose to help. We hope it will encourage people to reflect on the many benefits that volunteering has, inspire both members of the public and other students to considering giving

Do you know of any local projects that need help? If you know of any local projects that need help or have any ideas for future projects get in touch via

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Seminar Series

Stats4grads Seminar Series Stats4grads is a new seminar series aiming to bring PhD, masters students and early career researchers together to bridge the interdisciplinary gap between departments. Thomai Tsiftsi writes about the seminar series. I was introduced to world of statistics three years ago. What still keeps amazing me is that there are infinitely many people out there who hate statistics but without knowing why. These days I believe that they only think they don’t like statistics. People don’t like statistics because it is imprinted in their minds that statistics equals maths. It certainly involves some basic maths but statistics is the art of understanding information or turning information into numbers. Experiments in CERN collect data from millions of diverse events that happen in the hadron collider. Or if you’re a PhD student in Psychology and you want to gather data in order to analyse the emotional reactions people have when they see certain pictures. Or If you’re a Criminology student and you want to study the distribution and causes of crime in a certain area of the UK. But what do you do with the data you have gathered? How do you analyse the results of the study conducted?

Yes: statistics. The analysis of all of the above relies upon quantitative methods which provide ways to generate knowledge from data which is useful to many aspects of society. Statistics helps you gather and understand reliable and valid information in your particular field of study. Not only do you like statistics, but you calculate them every day! So you actually use statistics but you didn’t even know it. Postgraduates students from the Statistics and Probability Group in Mathematical Sciences are attempting to bridge the interdisciplinary gap between them and other sciences by starting a seminar series called Stats4Grads. The purpose of the seminar series is to close the gap that exists between departments and to asses the interdisciplinary role that statistics plays. It encourages the ‘get together’ of postgraduate students in statistics with others that work on quantitative problems in their research. The Department of Mathematical Sciences invites all PhD

The event took place over two days and featured a keynote address from Pro-ViceChancellor Tom Ward, followed by a detailed admissions update by Richard Emborg.

Annual conference draws over 70 schools to Durham On 13-14 January over 70 teachers and HE advisers from schools across the UK gathered at Collingwood College for Durham University’s annual HE advisers’ conference.

Delegates then had the choice of attending breakout sessions delivered by many of the University’s departmental admissions tutors, giving a detailed insight into course content and entry requirements. The evening’s entertainment included a formal college dinner and a pub quiz where delegates teamed up with academic and Student Recruitment and Admissions Office (SRAO) staff to compete. Day two saw delegates visiting the Palatine Centre and St John’s College where a speaker from UCAS delivered

and masters students and early career researchers across the University to talk about their research, ask questions to our postgraduate students in statistics and find out how others use statistics in their disciplines. Conversations are focused on the statistical analysis and quantitative evaluation of data. It is a means of sharing ideas, discussing problems and offering your own insights to assist others. In this series, you will find out how to determine the probable from the possible! Seminars take place on Wednesdays of odd weeks during term-time in the Mathematical Sciences Department in CM105 at 1pm. Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided. We encourage people to bring lunch whilst enjoying the talks. This exciting series wouldn’t have come to life without a generous award from the Conference and Events Grants for which we are extremely grateful.

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an update on the national admissions picture. The event has received very positive feedback and the University is looking forward to continuing working together with schools who attended. Durham University’s Student Recruitment Team organises a number of conferences for teachers across the year and is currently working with the Music and Computer Science departments on subject-specific teachers’ conferences to be held in April.

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Library News


– Not just for Students! Come and join a College Senior Common Room (SCR). Be involved, meet interesting people and engage in the social and scholarly life of this really great University. We’ve even made it easier for you to choose which of the 16 diverse colleges you would like to be a member of. See and hear what each college has to offer by going to The SCR in each college is comprised of college officers and staff, other University staff members, college alumni and interested members of the local community. The SCR plays a key role in encouraging the junior members of the college (undergraduates and postgraduates) to engage with staff and the local community, and provides opportunities for members of the SCR to socialise together. There are lectures, musical events, formal dining and opportunities for members to attend some events with a guest and many SCRs will organise events to which the whole family can be involved.

The results are in! We had a fantastic response to the Library Survey at the start of this academic year. Over 2,000 individuals including undergraduates, postgraduates and staff told us what they liked about the Library and where we need to improve. You answered 22 core questions, relating to collections, customer service and our buildings. 833 people also provided us with comments to tell us what they thought.

“Listening to our customers ensures that we can develop strategies and policies closely aligned to the needs of staff and students. The results of the Library Survey are very encouraging indeed. In none of the areas surveyed do our customers overall think that we deliver less than the minimum quality level they require. Our group study spaces, the willingness of Library staff to help customers and give them individual attention, and our customer care all score very highly. In particular, the Bill Bryson Library is universally admired and praised, with one student calling it ‘an amazing and inspiring place’. Investments made in the new East Wing have impacted powerfully on customer satisfaction. But the results also clearly show where we can make improvements. We need to work at building our electronic and print collections and make them more easily accessible online and in the Library, and we need to ensure we always deal robustly with customers’ problems when they arise. Hearing how ‘Durham libraries are a wonderful resource, with knowledgeable and helpful staff’ is really gratifying. We need to meet that standard all the time.”

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IMAGE: The College of St Hild and St Bede.

Dr Christopher Skelton-Foord Head of Policy and Planning, Durham University Library and Heritage Collections

IMAGE: Elena Kalaidjieva, a Business Finance undergraduate student based at Queen’s Campus, was the lucky winner in our prize draw for a Kindle Fire HD, with nine runners-up winning Amazon vouchers. A big thank you to everyone who took part in the Library Survey!

Museums and Attractions

English Tourism Week 2014 is a week-long celebration of events from the 29 March to 6 April 2014. The national initiative, designed by VisitEngland, showcases the value of the tourism industry to our nation. The visitor economy is worth £97billion a year to England and supports thousands of businesses and jobs. Durham University Visitor Attractions are involved with this national campaign, so come along and join in the activities:

Saturday 29 March World Heritage Site Tours 11.30am and 1.30pm Enjoy a free World Heritage Site Tour. Participate in a guided architectural walk around Palace Green and the World Heritage Site. Places are limited and must be pre booked. Please contact visitor.centre@ or 0191 334 3805 to book your place.

Saturday 29 March Oriental Museum Come along to enjoy free entry and listen to a series of talks from experts at the Oriental Museum.

Two talks will take place: 2.30pm – Korea at the Oriental Museum 3.30pm – Japan at the Oriental Museum

Sunday 30 March Durham Castle Tours Take part in a free tour of the stunning Durham Castle. Places are limited and must be pre booked. Please contact or 0191 334 2932 to book your place.

Sunday 30 March Botanic Garden Enjoy free entry to the Botanic Garden today. Visitors of all ages love exploring this unique garden, finding something new around each corner, over the changing seasons.

Oriental Museum Traces and Revelations This new exhibition of contemporary Palestinian art opens at the Oriental Museum on 4th April. Traces and Revelations features the work of Mohammed Joha and Hazem Harb, artists who were both born in Gaza, Palestine. They now live in Italy and Dubai respectively. Through an exploration of the work of these two exciting contemporary artists, the exhibition aims to provoke debate about the nature of the relationship between an artist’s work and their life-journey and experience. The exhibition will run until October 2014. Entry to the Oriental Museum is free to anyone with a Durham University campus card.

Sunday 30 March Palace Green Library Come along and enjoy free entry to Palace Green Library. Visit the exciting ROBOTS! exhibition, where you can meet some of the metal stars of the big screen, come up close to familiar faces and enjoy classic sci-fi comics and books that have activated the imagination of readers for decades.


Event Durham, Retail & Catering

Event Durham Team Member Recognition Awards 2014 The third annual Team Member Recognition Awards, held by University Catering, Event Durham and the Retail Office took place at St Mary’s College on Friday 10 January. These awards are designed to recognise individuals and teams who have made an

Newcomer of the year WINNER Hannah Taylor, Retail LR: Philip Atkinson, Hannah Taylor, Elaine Halliday, Charlotte Carruthers.

Best customer service WINNER Charlotte Imlach, Event Durham LR: Philip Atkinson, Rebecca Hamilton, Julie Davidson, Charlotte Imlach, Stina Maynard.

outstanding contribution over the past year. Philip Atkinson, (Senior Community Food Service Manager) said: “The Recognition Awards has become an annual event which staff look forward to all year round. This event gives us the opportunity to officially

recognise and thank individuals and teams within our departments. The event was a great success with 129 different individuals and teams nominated and we are already looking forward to next year!” Congratulations to all award winners outlined below:

Other awards given: Attention to detail WINNER Ersin Surucu, Grey College Catering Outstanding contribution to a team WINNER Daniel Potter, Durham University Business School Catering Up–seller of the year WINNER Ian Harris, Palatine Catering Behind the scenes WINNER Vince Muir, Palatine Catering Environmental champion WINNER Tracy Holmes, University Catering

Special recognition WINNER Collingwood Catering team

Going that extra mile WINNER Barbara Clough, St Mary’s College Catering Best leader WINNER Sandra Wilson, College of St Hild and St Bede Catering Best team WINNER Café on the Green.

CIS news... Find out more... visit

New faces,

new ways of working with the University! As part of the New World Programme, CIS set out to bring in new skills to focus on key University activities (Research and Education), and to make the most of IT change. We’re very happy to introduce three members of our senior team who will be pivotal in achieving that.

Cris Bloomfield,

Paul Drummond,

Business Partner for Education

Business Partner for Research

Cris joined CIS in January from the University of Manchester where he was instrumental in delivering an ambitious series of projects that underpinned the institutional vision and business strategy and has united staff in building for the future. He brings with him experience of managing e-learning systems, delivering web applications and designing bespoke business systems to support both academic activity and commercial services.

Paul Drummond has been IT Business Partner for Research since last May having previously been the Academic IT Team Leader for Social Science and Health, Queen’s Campus and the Colleges.

As Business Partner for Education, Cris is working with senior representatives of the University’s education strategy including the PVC for Education and faculty PVCs, to develop IT services in partnership with them. He will be a direct working link between CIS and the PVCs to identify and improve IT systems and services that deliver and support the University’s Teaching and Learning strategy.

Before joining Durham, Paul was involved in medical education research and has a track record in securing funding from a range of prestigious development partners including HEFCE, JISC, Paul Allen Foundation, National Human Genome Project, National Centres for Disease Control, and the National Institute for Cancer amongst others. Now established in his role, Paul is working closely with PVCs, researchers, the Research Office and the Senior Management Team of CIS to develop and manage the relationship between the University’s research processes and all aspects of IT provision. This includes analysing requirements, developing solutions, and coordinating the development and implementation of IT projects. His immediate focus is on preparing the University for the changes in our research funders’ data management requirements and ensuring that these tie in with other initiatives such as open access publishing and the requirements of our new Research Information System.

Alison Douglas, Transformational Change Manager Alison is the former Head of Strategy & Projects for Equity Direct Brokers Ltd and a graduate of Durham University’s Executive MBA programme. As well as leading change, Alison helps executive teams to articulate their aims and goals and turn them into practical implementation plans. Alison will be using these skills to help CIS support the University’s strategic agenda by ensuring new IT systems are developed and implemented holistically, delivering process and organisational change alongside IT change. So in addition to providing IT equipment and/or functionality, we will work more collaboratively with departments to help them devise complimentary process and ways of working. This will involve developing close working relationships with colleagues in colleges and departments to make sure IT systems and services deliver what our users and the University need.

We will check in with Cris, Alison and Paul later on in the year and report back on their progress. For more information visit





Procurement is working in partnership with CIS on the New World Programme; an investment in the upgrade of our IT infrastructure and the development of the CIS Organisation, with the skills, culture and processes needed to support current and future IT needs.

It is expected that purchase cards are used for all transactions up to £1,000, and requisitions should only be raised for low value transactions where the supplier does not take purchase card.

Procurement is currently working on a Skills Framework to deliver an agile and responsive resourcing requirement for skilled IT resources. Working alongside the leadership team in capturing the ongoing procurement requirement this collaborative approach is ensuring the key time lines in the project plan are met. The New World Programme has made considerable inroads to improve the IT of the University. Work on the Data Centres is part of the next phase of work required.

NEW CONTRACT There is now a new contract in place for Fresh and Frozen Fish & Seafood, details of this contract and others can be found on the procurement website buyers guide at:

ACQUIRE IMPLEMENTATION The roll out of acquire, the eProcurement system, has continued into 2014. Planning activities have now being performed for the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Queen’s Campus, CIS, Faculty of Social Sciences and Health, University Retail and Event Durham. It is planned to go live with these areas in the spring. Refresher training can now be requested on the University training website by selecting ‘Procurement’. For more information contact on ext. 44526.

Please note you still need an approved Purchasing Card Authorisation before using your card. PURCHASE CARD THRESHOLDS Purchase cards – £1,000 for goods/services Purchase cards – £1,500 for travel/conferences Purchase cards to be used for all purchases up to £1,000 where the supplier accepts purchase cards. Find out more: policy/6eprocurement

INSURANCE The Insurance Service is currently working on the annual insurance renewal exercise to collate information required by the University’s cover providers on a range of different insurance covers. This will involve contacting various departments, colleges and senior staff to obtain information, usually in April, and it is essential that comprehensive responses are provided within the timescales requested to ensure the University’s return is as accurate as possible and covers are arranged on the correct basis. We gratefully acknowledge the efforts of staff within all Departments and Colleges for completing the asset registers so diligently. The renewal exercise is a demanding but essential task and it could not be completed without your assistance.


Did You Know?

The New Procurement Environmental Champion is Christine Atkinson who will act as an interface between Procurement and Greenspace.

Upgrading to newer, more efficient MFD printers, could save money and reduce the energy consumption in your office by approximately 50 per cent.

The New Procurement Volunteering Champion is Nicky Ord. Procurement actively supports volunteering with all staff undertaking either a volunteering activity or marshalling at congregation each year.

In October 2013, Mountjoy Centre upgraded 13 devices, which has resulted in savings equivalent to 296 cedar trees over the four-year lease period.

Experience Durham...

D U R H A M D R A M A F E S T I VA L Durham Drama Festival (DFF) is one of the regular highlights of the University calendar – the festival having run for 38 years now, continues to showcase the very best that Durham students can offer and demonstrates the highest quality of writing, directing and acting talent. Every aspect of the festival is student driven and as well as the wide range and style of impressive performances, the festival also provides supporting workshops and socials. This year DDF ran from the 12-15 February and included the construction of a temporary black box studio space and special development workshops for successful entrants into the festival. As well as utilising the unique atmosphere of the Assembly Rooms, productions also took place at a range of venues across the City. As ever, this year’s offerings were of a truly impressive standard, highlights including Ruby Lawrence’s claustrophobic, challenging, yet humorous, Roadway and Bink starring DDF favourites Idgie Beau and Philippa Mosley. Meanwhile, Alex Prescot’s ‘What’s the Harm’ thrilled and horrified audiences with his thought–provoking drama about teacher-pupil relationships. At the festival awards, named the D’Oliviers, these two shows were justifiably celebrated with ‘Roadway and Bink’ deservedly picking up two awards – Best Play and Best Actress (Idgie Beau) with Alex Prescot also picking up Best Director for ‘What’s the Harm’. The other notable stand out winner was the ‘Noctambulist’ picking up three awards, Best New Writing (Joe Skelton), Best Support Actress (Hebe Beardsall) and Best Actor (Theo Harrison). Reflecting back on a hectic few days Festival Director, Zoe Ogahara, said, “I am so incredibly proud of what everyone achieved and the judges were hugely impressed by the range and quality of the productions. Our industry professionals said they came across such bold creative spirit in Durham that is not always matched in the professional world. I am so pleased and so grateful to be able to be part of such a talented group of people at Durham Student Theatre”. Thoughts will already be turning to DDF 2015 and it was clear from this year’s performances that the bar has again been raised. Next year’s participants will have a hard act to follow, but somehow we already know they will be up to the challenge.

IN OTHER NEWS... Student Volunteering Week was a huge success (see SCA article on p15) particularly the riverside clear-up which took place at Queen’s Campus and their comedy night. Team Durham’s half-term holiday sports camp was as popular as ever and fun for everyone involved. The Durham University Alumni Community held its inaugural alumni rugby match, a fantastic opportunity to catch up with old coaches and team mates. The Intercollegiate Cheerleading Competition attracted huge crowds and cheers as Van Mildert eventually won, closely followed by Collingwood College.



10K STEPS CHALLENGE - LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN If you think getting healthier has to be hard or dull…think again because through the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC), Durham University is making getting more active, more fun. On 28 May, people from around the globe, representing all age groups, and all sorts of workplaces – including other universities – will get moving. They will form teams of seven and set out on a 100 day ‘virtual journey’ around the world and aim to walk 10k steps per day and you are invited to join them. Having grown to become the largest workplace health initiative of its kind, the GCC inspires, motivates and supports you to make the little daily changes that have a significant effect on your health and wellbeing, as well as the environment – by ditching the car. Regardless of your age, gender, fitness level or perceived limitations, the challenge will fundamentally change how you look at being more active. No one in tight shorts yelling at you, no pain, no deprivation of what you love… just a whole lot of fun with your team and a nice sprinkling of competitive spirit against your colleagues and yourself. When you join the challenge you will receive a Pulse – similar to a pedometer – which accurately tracks your daily activity. Walking, running, cycling, swimming, ballroom dancing, martial arts, whatever you’re into – everything counts. The more active

you are the more you progress around the interactive journey, the more you help your team move up the Durham University and global leader boards, and the more you help improve the environment. So if you are ready to make 2014 the year you get active, ditch those car keys and don those trainers, and if you want to have a great time doing it, please express your initial interest in this free initiative as a team of seven or as an individual to be placed in a team by emailing Following this, more information will be sent your way regarding registration. This challenge has been funded by the Ring-Fenced Carbon Budget and is a joint initiative between HR, Greenspace, Team Durham, Catering and Queen’s Campus colleagues. Look out for more health/environmental initiatives in collaboration with the NHS and local government via HR and/or Greenspace communications. Further details regarding the challenge can be seen at–it–works For more information contact



We received 66 wonderful entries from our staff and students for the ‘Nature Watch’ e-card competition last year. The Vice-Chancellor chose 12 winning entries to turn into University e-cards. These are ready for use and can be sent from We have a great selection of e-cards suitable for any occasion.

Would you like to know the time of the next Arriva bus, where your current bus is located or where the nearest bus stop is – then why not download the new Arriva Bus App.

There were over 3,100 Christmas e-cards sent over the Christmas period. Sending an e-card saves on the production and transport associated with sending paper cards.

The App will not only provide scheduled timetables, but should the bus get held up, you’ll be able to see it on the App and it will suggest alternative Find out more... solutions if they exist. Please visit visit for more details. greenspace @Durham_Uni

April ‘Traces and Revelations’ Photographic Exhibition Friday 4 April – Thursday 30 October Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill, Durham

Sheila Hingley Head of Heritage Collections, Durham University Library

Have you got any pets? Not at the moment. I love cats but my last two were run over so it has put me off getting another.

What skill or talent would you most like to acquire? I’d love to be able to play the viola. I can play the violin (not very well) but really would prefer the viola.

What are you reading at the moment? The Late Scholar by Jill Paton Walsh. Her latest sequel to the Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey series. She has really grasped the characters well unlike other sequels to famous books. What would you like your epitaph to be? ‘She never gave up’ because I’ve learnt two things: that this is the only way to achieve what you want and that I have more staying power than most. Which historical figure would you most like to be?

On a scale of 1-10, how much do you care what other people think of you? 6. The number has gone down as I get older. What’s your favourite film? Hitchcock’s Notorious with Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant. What’s the worst job you’ve ever done? Being a hospital cleaner in my student holidays. I was terrified by the gorgons who were ward sisters in those days.

Mohammed Joha and Hazem Harb are artists who were both born in Gaza, Palestine. This exhibition explores the work of these two exciting contemporary artists. Hands on Stonemasonry Thursday 10 April – Monday 14 April, 11am-4pm, Palace Green Learn how Durham Cathedral and Castle were built through stonemasonry demonstrations with sculptor Neil Molloy and try your hand at this ancient craft. Activities are free of charge. Easter Chick Hunt Easter Sunday 20 & Easter Monday 21 April, 10am – 4pm Botanic Garden, Hollingside Lane, Durham A fun family event around the garden organised by our ‘Friends of the Garden’. Come along and see how many Easter Chicks you can spot on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. Free goodies for the winners!

What’s your favourite place in the world?


One of the earliest women to get a degree at an English university. They must have felt really special.

I don’t have one. Anywhere I can see the sea and be near to historic buildings.

Castle Lecture Series – Dr Rowan Williams Wednesday 7 May, 8pm Great Hall, Durham Castle

What was the first record you bought?

What luxury item would you take to a desert island?

Dr Rowan Williams Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge University and former Archbishop of Canterbury will deliver this lecture entitled ‘The Tree of Knowledge: Bodies, Minds and Thoughts’.

Love me do by the new group, The Beatles after I heard it over the loudspeakers at Tranmere Rovers football ground. What achievement are you most proud of? Being one of the organisers of the hugely successful Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition. To have given so many people such a special experience and to have worked with such a great team of people was magic. What was your best subject? History. Where will you be going for your next holiday? To sing services over a weekend at Peterborough Cathedral. I can’t laze on beaches and I really enjoy making music with people I like.

A crate of skin moisturiser. What’s your greatest indulgence? Buying expensive clothes that I don’t need. Pass the buck: Finally, who would you like to see in the hot-seat? Professor Andrew Beeby, Department of Chemistry.

Museums at Night Saturday 17 May, 6:30pm-8:30pm Palace Green Experience the buildings of the World Heritage Site brought to life by stories and meet some interesting characters from Durham’s past. Body Worlds Vital – The Exhibition of Real Human Bodies Saturday 17 May – Sunday 2 November Life Science Centre, Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne BODY WORLDS Vital is an awe–inspiring journey through the human body, celebrating its complexity, beauty and potential, making its UK debut at the Life Science Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne. For more information on University events go to WARM/03/14/154

Dialogue Issue 34  

Durham University Staff and Student Magazine.

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