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NEWS FOR DURHAM UNIVERSITY STAFF AND STUDENTS | SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2013 | ISSUE 31

New year, new team Meet this year’s student officers at Durham Students’ Union. / Page 09

Also in this issue: Spotlight on... Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse

Durham Students top of the class in online tutoring portal ‘MyTutorWeb’

An insight into the work of CRiVA, our new research centre.

Our students are the most popular choice for online mentoring.

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Dialogue 31 | September / October 2013

/durhamuniversity

@Durham_Uni

DurhamUniversity

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This issue of Dialogue includes a piece on the ongoing Governance Review, in which many of you have already participated through online and workshop consultations. Thank you to all those who have participated. The University Council-led review panel, which includes elected members of Senate, expects to present the initial framework for our future Governance at Council in September. This will be followed by further consultations with Senate and elsewhere as the framework is refined. This review is the first full review of our Governance for over 30 years during which period the world of Higher Education and its funding has changed significantly. The review aims to produce a Governance framework which is fit for purpose for the modern era and we hope a model for other institutions. This in turn will ensure more effective decision-making at the right places and by the right people or groups of people in the organisation, essential if we are to continue to enhance our research and education and meet our aspirations as a University. Once again, I thank those who have participated in the process so far and I encourage all staff to take an interest in the Governance Review and continue to participate in the consultations to ensure the best possible outcome. With all best wishes,

C hris Higgins, Vice-Chancellor and Warden

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03 National Student

Survey 2013

Ceremonies & Services

Social Media News

04  Lindisfarne Gospels Durham

05 Palace Green Library 06 Research Highlights 08  Governance Review Project

13 UN Conference

EDITOR:

14  Web-based Tutoring

Corporate Communications Officer.

15 Threesixty Campus 16  The Library Survey

Durham Brass Festival

17 Procurement 18  Museums and Attractions

19 Event Durham,

Retail & Catering

09  New student officers

20 HR news

14  Open Access at

21 CIS news

Durham University

12 Spotlight on...

Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA)

Rebecca Grundy,

22 Experience Durham 23 Greenspace 24 Under Investigation

/ What’s On

ASSISTANT EDITOR: ZoĂŤ Thomas, Marketing Projects Co-ordinator.

CONTRIBUTIONS: Sharon Battersby, Computing and Information Services; Tara Duncan, Greenspace; Louise Elliot, Event Durham; Media Relations Team, Communications Office; Caroline Hall, HR; Vicky Ridley; Experience Durham, Rachel Smith; Library, Peter Holmes; Procurement, Margaret Parry; Procurement, Maria Towes; Ceremonies Unit, James Bisset; Library, Dr Nicole Westmarland; School of Applied Social Sciences, Prof Simon Hackett; School of Applied Social Sciences, Dr Deirdre McCann; Law School, Leigh Spanner; Grey College, Susan Hayton; Estates and Buildings.

DESIGN: wearewarm.com PRINT: statex.co.uk

FRONT COVER: The new DSU team.


Share your story...

NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY 2013 The results of this year’s National Student Survey (NSS) published in August show that, once again, our students are among the most satisfied in the UK.

Overall, 90 per cent of students said they were satisfied with the quality of their course compared to the national average of 86 per cent. The eight categories of academic life rated in the survey were: teaching; assessment and feedback; academic support; organisation and management; learning resources; personal development; Students’ Union and overall satisfaction. Our students are particularly satisfied with the teaching they receive, with 92 per cent describing their course as intellectually stimulating. The enthusiasm of our teaching staff and the way they explain their subjects also scored highly at 91 per cent.

CEREMONIES AND SERVICES Matriculation – Wednesday 2nd October 2013 Remembrance Service – Sunday 10th November 2013 Founders and Benefactors Service – Sunday 24th November 2013 Winter Congregation – Thursday 16th and Friday 17th January 2014

Further information and registration forms to confirm attendance will be published nearer the time at www.durham.ac.uk/ceremonies Watch out for further announcements in Dialogue Signposts.

One of our favourite photographs this month was taken at the Sutton Trust Summer School. You can view the album ‘Sutton Trust Summer School Celebrations’ on our Facebook page.

Top FIVE Tweets

Top FIVE Tweets

• Dr Charlotte Adams from Earth Sciences writes about the potential uses for the UK’s supply of #geothermal energy http://ow.ly/nuOuJ

• Come along to a talk from the research project, Tipping points @_IHRR at @BritishSciFest on 11 Sept http://ow.ly/nm6jN #nefollowers

• Read about a recent #graduate who is doing a number of public talks based on the #LindisfarneGospels this summer http://ow.ly/npycv

• @McGlynnClare & @ erikarackley welcome reforms on extreme porn laws http://ow.ly/nciXP #EVAW #BanRapePorn

• Read @ProfJBradshaw post on Britain’s broken tax system http://ow.ly/ nQuQj #TaxSystem #UK

Video of the Month We have recently released a series of short films featuring Durham academics talking about their areas of expertise. If you haven’t yet seen these videos visit www.durham. ac.uk/news/inthenews/talkingheads to watch them now!

DurhamUniversity

Staff can also get involved on the day by marshalling at Matriculation and Congregation, helping to make these events special occasions for students and guests and an opportunity to network with colleagues from across the University, with lunch and cakes provided too!

PHOTOGRAPH OF THE MONTH

@Durham_Uni

All staff are welcome to attend the Ceremonies and Services to be held over the next few months in Durham Cathedral:

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!

/durhamuniversity

Satisfaction with the Library has increased by five per cent this year, taking its rating to 89 per cent, which is above the national average of 86 per cent. High scoring subjects this year include History, Classics and Ancient History, Biomedical Sciences, Accounting, Finance, Philosophy and Law. Top of the class this year, however, was Educational Studies which achieved a satisfaction rating of 100 per cent – congratulations to the School of Education!

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


Exhibitions

LAST CHANCE TO SEE THE GOSPELS IN DURHAM This summer the Lindisfarne Gospels has brought a real festival feel to Durham City, with banners in the street and themed window displays in shops. The exhibition remains open until the 30th September so if you haven’t yet seen the Gospels this is your last chance! Go to www.lindisfarnegospels.com for information on how to get your ticket.

@gospelsdurham

/LindisfarneGospelsDurham

Over 45,000 visitors viewed the first opening of the Gospels, The Canon Tables, before the page was turned on 15th August for visitors to see the St John the Evangelist Portrait. A further 25,000 viewings have been booked until the end of September. The increase in visitors to the City has been to the benefit of all with businesses reporting increased trade and the Cathedral offering more tours as people took the time to view St Cuthbert’s shrine and the other Lindisfarne Gospels associated activities in this much loved building. But the Gospels fever has not just been limited to Durham itself; across the region hundreds of associated events have been taking place in museums, attractions, churches and theatres. From talks to walks, music and dance to art, and calligraphy exhibitions to the Knitted Gospels exhibition, the manuscript has certainly inspired whole communities. The comedy commissioned especially for Lindisfarne Gospels Durham, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Durham, played to packed houses at Gala Theatre Durham in July.

It received rave reviews and went on to tour the region throughout the summer. Visitor feedback on the exhibition has been overwhelming positive and the visitor book is crammed with such words as “excellent, amazing, superb, fascinating, awesome, inspiring” by the many UK and overseas visitors. Staff and volunteers at Palace Green Library have done a fantastic job and have ensured that the visitor experience has been a very enjoyable one, with many exhibition-goers praising them for being knowledgeable and engaging. Dr Keith Bartlett, Lindisfarne Gospels Durham Programme Director said: “As we expected, Lindisfarne Gospels Durham and the regional programme have really proven to be a massive draw for not only regional residents but for visitors from across the rest of the UK and beyond. Durham University and its partners are proud to be delivering such an outstanding exhibition […] Durham has shown that it can deliver world-class events in world-class facilities.”


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What’s next for Palace Green Library? Although the Lindisfarne Gospels Durham exhibition is drawing to a close, Palace Green Library is looking to the future, with new exhibitions, galleries and facilities on the way...

Exhibitions

Facilities

In November, ROBOT! opens at Palace Green Library, an exciting exhibition of robots, cyborgs and androids. Look out for more details in the next issue of Dialogue!

Palace Green Library’s four year building programme will be completed in 2014 and we’re looking forward to opening new world-class facilities. A space for schools and other learning groups will open in the spring along with a stunning reading room to provide improved research space for those studying our collections. Finally, our new café will provide a refreshing break for all of our visitors.

Galleries The free Wolfson Gallery has been popular with families throughout the summer and will remain open after the main Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition closes for visitors to enjoy. In 2014, the Wolfson Gallery will be transformed to house a permanent display of the Museum of Archaeology’s collections, celebrating the people and city of Durham.


Capturing black hole spin could further understanding of galaxy growth Astronomers from the Department of Physics have found a new way of measuring the spin in supermassive black holes, which could lead to better understanding about how they drive the growth of galaxies. Astronomers from the Department of Physics have found a new way of measuring the spin in supermassive black holes, which could lead to better understanding about how they drive the growth of galaxies. Professor Chris Done, from the Department of Physics, was the lead researcher. She said: “We know the black hole in the centre of each galaxy is linked to the galaxy as a whole, which is strange because black holes are tiny in relation to the size of a galaxy. This would be like something the size of a large boulder (10m), influencing something the size of the Earth.

Understanding this connection between stars in a galaxy and the growth of a black hole, and vice-versa, is key to understanding how galaxies form throughout cosmic time. If a black hole is spinning it drags space and time with it and that drags the accretion disc, containing the black hole’s food, closer towards it. This makes the black hole spin faster, a bit like an ice skater doing a pirouette. By being able to measure the distance between the black hole and the accretion disc, we believe we can more effectively measure the spin of black holes.

IMAGES Above: Professor Chris Done from the Department of Physics. Main: Black hole spin (courtesy of NASA-JPL-Caltech).

Because of this, we hope to be able to understand more about the link between black holes and their galaxies.” The Durham scientists were able to measure the spin of the black hole using soft x-ray, optical and ultra-violet images captured by the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton satellite. COVERAGE INCLUDES: International science and news websites (Nature, Huffington Post, Space.com, wired.com) and national and regional media (Sky News Tyne and Wear, Zee News (India), Metro and The Newcastle Journal).


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One in five NHS staff report bullying by colleagues According to research led by the Centre for Medical Education Research, one in five NHS staff report bullying by colleagues, with almost half saying they have witnessed bullying in the past six months.

Archaeologists discovered a 1,800-year-old carved stone head in an ancient rubbish dump at Binchester Roman Fort, near Bishop Auckland.

Alex Kirton, a first year archaeology student, found the artefact, which measures 20cm by 10cm.

The findings, published in the online journal BMJ Open, are based on the responses of almost 3,000 NHS staff who worked at seven different NHS trusts in the north east of England. The largest proportion of respondents was drawn from support staff, trainee doctors and dentists, healthcare assistants and nurses caring for adults. Professor Jan Illing from the Centre for Medical Education Research and the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health was the Principal Investigator. Medical and dental staff reported the highest levels of bullying. The most commonly reported behaviours were unmanageable workloads; withholding key information; public humiliation; being deliberately ignored; and being shouted at or being the target of an angry outburst. Men, and those with disabilities, experienced higher levels of negative behaviours, overall.

Less than 15 per cent of staff reported the bullying to someone in authority. The most frequently cited deterrents to reporting a bullying incident included disbelief that anything would change or lack of action by managers; fear of being seen as a trouble-maker; the seniority of the bully; and concern that it would make matters worse. The authors point out that the evidence shows that bullying can have serious repercussions on physical and mental health, and previous research has linked it with a higher risk of error and poorer performance, both of which can affect patient care. Bullying in UK organisations is estimated to cost £13.75 billion a year. COVERAGE INCLUDES: International and national coverage including BBC News, ITV News, Nursing Times, Top News New Zealand and WBUR (Boston Radio).

The sandstone head is believed to be a Roman god and dates from the 2nd or 3rd century AD. A similar sandstone head, complete with an inscription identifying it as Antenociticus, was found at Benwell, in Newcastle upon Tyne, in 1862. Dr David Petts, Lecturer in Archaeology, said: “We found the Binchester head close to where a small Roman altar was found two years ago. We think it may have been associated with a small shrine in the bath house and dumped after the building fell out of use, probably in the 4th century AD.

“It is probably the head of a Roman god – we can’t be sure of his name, but it does have similarities to the head of Antenociticus found at Benwell in the 19th century. Antenociticus is one of a number of gods known only from the northern frontier, a region which seems to have had a number of its own deities.” The find was made as part of a five year project at Binchester Roman Fort which is shedding new light on the twilight years of the Roman Empire. COVERAGE INCLUDES: International and national coverage including NBC news, BBC News, BBC Radio 5 Live, The Times of India, The Guardian, The Sun and The Daily Mail.


Dialogue 31 | September / October 2013

This is a very important time for the Governance Review project. Over the summer Project Board members have met at a total of nine workshop sessions (representing five full days) to consider the feedback from participants in the request for views phase and to develop proposals in accordance with the guiding principles for the review as set by Council and Senate.

A full and thorough examination of the issues and possible solutions has taken place. Emerging ideas are beginning to look quite far reaching and the Project Board has explored a range of issues in depth to test how proposals might work. In accordance with the project plan, an early stage discussion will take place with Council shortly, followed by discussion with Senate later this term and a request to Council and Senate to sanction formal University-wide consultation. As with the last consultation, there will be a consultation request document setting out proposals, a series of focus groups with members of the Project Board in attendance, and the opportunity to comment online. This information will be available through the project web pages and, if you have signed up for the project newsletter, you will be notified automatically, once consultation begins.

Further details of how you can engage in this process will be provided in the coming weeks but keep an eye out on Dialogue Signposts and the project web pages for the most up-to-date information. In addition to the focus groups and online questionnaire, during the consultation we will also be setting up a couple of critical review panels to include the opportunity to obtain external views from invited sector specialists. Once this consultation process has concluded, the Project Board will analyse the feedback given on the proposals and a final set of recommendations will be prepared for consideration by Senate and Council. All consultation comments will be recorded as part of the plan phase reporting.

The Project is following the agreed methodology, under which governance and supporting systems will only be changed once sanctioned by Senate and Council. We know that many of us at the University are keen to see the outcome of the review and look forward to commencing the consultation.

Find out more... Further updates and information on progress to date can be found on the project web pages. Visit https://www.dur.ac.uk/ governance.review


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On 1st July the new Officers of the Durham Students’ Union took up office. Dan, David, Chris, Krystina and Grace in their respective roles represent the entire student body of the University.

Dan Slavin, President Dan was elected last year after serving a term as the President of Stephenson College; he is excited about the new challenges that will come to face him as the President of the Union. “The scope for positive change within Durham is huge and I really want to give every student the opportunity to have the impact they want.”

David Morris, Academic Affairs Officer David was the President of St Aidan’s College and is taking a break from his Master’s in History after completing his undergraduate degree at Durham. Therefore he takes on this challenge with a wealth of experience.“With the face of Higher Education changing it is imperative that students are at the heart of the creation of new academic policy.”

Grace Abel, Community Officer Grace is really excited for the year ahead, particularly in continuing the Union’s good work in many areas of university life: specifically the well-being and health of students. By working with the Union’s societies, Grace intends to improve engagement between students and the

local community. “Together, we can help all students enjoy themselves whilst reaching their full potential academically, socially and in extra-curricular activities.”

IMAGE: From left to right, David Morris, Grace Abel, Dan Slavin, Krystina Warrington, Chris Pocock.

Chris Pocock, Development Officer In Chris’ final year of study he was the Challenges Officer within DUCK. He is aiming to improve the personal benefits which students gain from being involved in their activities. “The level of effort which students bring to their extra-curricular roles is incredible. I want to implement training that enables people to thrive within them, enhance the student experience, and articulate their skills to increase employability.”

Krystina Warrington, Activities Officer Krystina comes into her role as Activities Officer after active involvement in several societies including DULOG, Instep Dance and as the Endurance Officer within DUCK. She envisions societies taking an active lead in re-evaluating what they do for students; with emphasis on the events they organise and how they recruit their members. “I am determined to see students involved in societies to create a genuine benefit for themselves and the wider community.”

Induction Week 2013 A warm welcome awaits  our new students.

All Colleges and academic departments are running a lively programme of events and activities to introduce Freshers to both the academic and social aspects of student life at Durham University. For details of all induction activities visit www.durham.ac.uk/welcome


Dialogue 31 | September / October 2013

Open Access is about ensuring that access to research materials is free at the point of use to anyone, anywhere. Making research available in this way increases its potential reach, use and impact in academic circles and within wider society.

The Finch Report recommended that publicly funded research should be made freely and publicly available. This recommendation was subsequently accepted by the Government, and Research Councils UK (RCUK) was tasked with developing policies to implement this. This article examines some of the key changes and how Durham University has responded to them. For further information, see http://tinyurl.com/kvdp7lb

“Durham University recommends and prefers Green as the primary route for meeting Open Access requirements where appropriate, or Gold Open Access only in the case of pure open access journals (such as PLoS One) where this does not result in double payments to publishers. However, we do not mandate anything that restricts academic choice and whilst there is money in the RCUK OA allocation we will fund Gold OA in any journal which is compliant with RCUK Open Access policy upon request.”

What is the new RCUK policy? Green Open Access Under this model authors publish in a traditional subscription journal. A copy of the research (usually the author’s final manuscript, incorporating changes resulting from peer review) is also deposited in a repository such as Durham Research Online (http://dro.dur.ac.uk). This can then be read by anyone for free, usually after an agreed embargo period, whilst the final published version is only available to subscribers of the journal.

Gold Open Access The full text is immediately available to anyone on publication, from the journal website. Often, the author pays an Article Processing Charge (APC) to cover the costs of publication. Gold is not an indication of ‘quality’, it simply refers to the point of access and that the cost usually has to be paid by the author.

RCUK’s new Open Access Policy applies to all peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings submitted after 1 April 2013. Any RCUK funded authors must: 1) Include a statement in the research acknowledging the source of funding. 2) Include a statement in the research explaining how any research materials, such as data, samples or models can be accessed. 3) EITHER: Publish their research in a journal which provides immediate, unrestricted access to the final published paper. Articles must also be published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-by) licence and the publisher may charge an APC. OR: Publish their research in a traditional journal which permits the final accepted manuscript to be made freely accessible, within a certain period of time, for non-commercial re-use, via a repository such as Durham Research Online. For further information, please see http://tinyurl.com/lurvp5l


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Green Open Access Publishing @Durham Durham has long been a supporter of Green Open access and it is the University’s preferred method of open access publishing. Durham’s institutional repository, Durham Research Online (DRO) was established in 2006 and currently provides free access to the full text of almost 4,000 research publications written by Durham academics. Senate reaffirmed the University’s commitment to Green Open Access in 2013, approving a revised Open Access Policy requiring all Durham University researchers to deposit a copy of their research in DRO. A guide for academic staff on how to deposit their research in DRO is available at: http://tinyurl.com/kdz42b4

Looking forwards Open Access developments continue gathering pace. The EU is expanding its Open Access requirements under Horizon 2020, and Wellcome Trust policy is extending to monographs and book chapters from October 2013. Meanwhile, HEFCE are consulting on Open Access for the post-2014 REF with the proposal that journal articles and conference papers submitted for the REF will be required to be accessible from an author’s institutional repository – for Durham authors, Durham Research Online. Broadening access to high-quality research can only be a good thing and, as a leading research institution, Durham is well-placed to take advantage of the increased visibility and use of its research.

Gold Open Access Publishing @ Durham In order to meet the costs of Gold Open Access, RCUK provide a block grant each year which can be used to pay APCs. A central fund has been established to support Gold Open Access publishing for RCUK funded researchers. The fund is administered on a first come first served basis.

Guidance for RCUK funded authors Anyone who is funded by RCUK is asked to complete a form prior to submission of an article identifying where they intend to publish their research. The Open Access team can then provide advice on RCUK compliant options offered by the journal, the cost of any APC and how to confirm funding if required. Further information on the full process can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/k6tt76v

More information For more information on Open Access at Durham, see the Open Access webpages at: http://tinyurl.com/l9odal6 For help and advice, email: dro.admin@durham.ac.uk Simon Speight Head of Academic Support, Bill Bryson Library James Bisset Academic Liaison Librarian (Research Support), Bill Bryson Library.


Spotlight on...

C entre f or R esearch into V iolence and A b use The Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA) was launched by joint directors Professor Nicole Westmarland and Professor Simon Hackett in June 2013. Based within the School of Applied Social Sciences, CRiVA is dedicated to improving knowledge about interpersonal violence and abuse and to improving professional and societal responses. As such, the Centre has research impact as its core. Professor Westmarland explained: “Simon and I both have backgrounds in the voluntary sector – working towards ending violence and abuse in society. As academics, this remains a driving force in every piece of work we take on.” CRiVA may be a recent development as a university research centre, but its roots can be traced back to 2006 when Westmarland and Hackett initiated a Violence and Abuse research group in the School of Applied Social Sciences to provide a focus for the various work being undertaken across the

University in this area. Subsequently, both Hackett and Westmarland have attracted significant funding in this area including large grants from the Economic and Social Research Council for projects connected with sexual abuse of children, domestic violence and work with both victims of abuse and offenders. They have supervised over around 20 postgraduate researchers between them on these sensitive topics. Recent research from CRiVA includes the following findings: • The long term positive outcomes for children offered therapeutic support following abuse, with the identification of critical factors supporting resilient outcomes; • The benefits linked to police specialist rape teams, including better investigations and victim care;

• The role of domestic violence perpetrator programmes and the importance of broad based success measures including respectful communications, better parenting and increasing perpetrators’ understanding of the impact of their behaviour; • Ethical decision-making in violence and abuse research involves considering participants as active agents and stakeholders; prioritising the development of skilled researchers; developing situated processes of informed consent and confidentiality; and continuing to discuss and share practical experiences of feminist research practice that seeks to deliver justice and social change.

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Left: Members at St Mary’s launch reception drinks. Above: Professor Liz Kelly who gave inaugural lecture, with Professor Nicole Westmarland and Professor Simon Hackett (CRiVA directors).


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use ( C R i VA )

Anyone with an interest in violence and abuse research is welcome to join CRiVA. As well as academics and community members, students are particularly encouraged to join and get involved in academic research projects and discussions. There is a national surge of interest from students campaigning against violence and abuse on campus, particularly the way it links with ‘lad culture’, and CRiVA warmly welcomes the establishment earlier this year of the Durham Students’ Union Feminist Society. For Westmarland and Hackett, ensuring Durham is a place where students feel safe and not constrained by the threat of violence and abuse is a key concern. To join CRiVA please email: durham.criva@durham.ac.uk

Find out more... visit www.durham.ac.uk/criva

A conference at the United Nations in Geneva has brought together experts from around the world to investigate the role of legal regulation in the wake of the global economic crisis.

The Conference was held at the International Labour Organization – the UN Specialist Agency on labour rights – in July of this year. It was organised by Regulating for Decent Work (RDW), a global interdisciplinary network of researchers and policy-makers interested in the role of law in improving working life. Dr Deirdre McCann of Durham Law School is a co-founder of the Network and co-chaired the Conference Organising Committee. The Conference was organised in collaboration with the International Labour Organization and the Universities of Amsterdam, Duisburg-Essen, Manchester, and Melbourne. It brought together 300 experts from across the world who called for governments to adopt policies to ensure that the global economic recovery generates and sustains decent jobs and equitable outcomes. Dr McCann said: “This conference was a vital opportunity for researchers and policy-makers to debate real alternatives to austerity policies, which are increasing inequality and damaging job quality.

We also considered how low-income countries can better translate the substantial economic growth of recent decades into gains that benefit society as a whole.” Dr McCann researches labour law and policy, with a particular focus on precarious work, working conditions, and the influence of state laws in low-income settings. She has acted as an expert advisor to a range of policy bodies, including the European Union. Dr McCann co-founded the RDW Network in 2008 while she was an official with the International Labour Organization in Geneva. A publication drawn from the work of the Network will be released later this year (Creative Labour Regulation, McCann et al, Palgrave/ ILO 2013). For further information about the Regulating for Decent Work project visit: www.rdw.law.unimelb.edu.au or contact deirdre.mccann@ durham.ac.uk

Dr Deirdre McCann speaking at the conference in Geneva


Dialogue 31 | September / October 2013

Durham students top of the class in new web-based tutoring company Durham students are the most popular choice for parents of secondary and sixth form pupils in search of high-quality tutoring on the new online tutoring platform mytutorweb.co.uk

MyTutorWeb offers pupils of A Level, GCSE, IB, IGCSE and Scottish Highers one-to-one tutoring sessions with students currently studying at Russell Group universities all over the UK. Using a virtual classroom for live communication, undergraduates are able to use their domain knowledge and personal experience of those crucial years to support their peers with anything from exams to the university application process. Since its launch in January 2013, over 1,000 tutorial bookings have been made with the site, students from Durham University being the most popular choice for both parents and their children. Bryony Newey, currently studying for an MA in Medieval History at Durham, is a History, German and English tutor for MyTutorWeb and explains why Durham students have been in such high demand:

“Durham students are all academically gifted, but also tend to be well-rounded individuals with other extracurricular interests. This makes them approachable and confident as well as being reliable and dedicated to providing quality tailored tuition sessions.” All the students involved are eager to share what a valuable experience tutoring can be. Bryony says “Having completed over twenty tutorials, I have realised how important additional out-of-class support can be for some young people. It is really rewarding to see the benefits of my help on the students I tutor and to receive positive feedback from the lessons I give.” Similarly, Rebecca Waring, Maths tutor and fourth year Mechanical Engineering student, is full of enthusiasm for her job. “Initially I wanted to become a tutor to gain some income during term time” she says “but now it means much more than that […] I enjoy being able to help people and seeing the joy they feel when they finally understand something that has been difficult for them.” Her tutoring experience has even inspired her to consider a career in teaching after University.

The quality of the tutors is confirmed by the excellent feedback each tutor has received. One of Rebecca’s maths students, Cara, was featured in a recent report by The Independent. Cara’s father, David Gibson, is quoted saying that the tutoring is “marvellous.” He continues, “It has certainly helped her – she has come alive about it. It is absolutely fantastic – there is no doubt in my mind. It has been a really big factor in boosting Cara’s confidence.” Now a finalist for the New Kid Education Investor Award, MyTutorWeb is changing the landscape of private tuition as it is able to offer tutoring services at a fraction of the cost and from the comfort of the home. The sixteen Durham students who were involved in the last academic year have been able to help pupils from any social background across the globe. As it grows, the MyTutorWeb family are always looking for new pupils and student tutors to lend them a hand reaching their potential.

Find out more... visit mytutorweb.co.uk

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Left: Leigh Spanner, (Grey College, Combined Arts) in front of the MyTutorWeb homepage.


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Threesixty Campus

Find out more... visit www.threesixtycampus.com

Durham graduates develop a new mobile app and website dedicated to student extracurricular activities

Three of this summer’s Durham graduates have made a mobile app for iPhone and Android and an accompanying website that is set to radicalise the way students experience sports clubs and societies at University. It will be launched in time for Freshers’ Week 2013. Stephen Irvine (Combined Arts, Hild-Bede), Katarina Tencor (Combined Social Sciences, University College) and Rosie Minikin (Modern Languages, Hild-Bede), members of the founding team, highlight the comprehensive and transparent directory of active student groups, the built-in communication network and the seamless online payments system as a few of Threesixty Campus’ intuitive features. These have been designed to simplify event organisation and to allow active student groups university-wide visibility, all year round.

The vision for Threesixty Campus originated whilst founder Stephen was on his year abroad as part of a Combined Honours degree. He noticed that worldwide, despite the colourful extracurricular landscape often available to university students, their discovery of and participation in these opportunities was dependent on word of mouth and Freshers’ Fairs.“Given the proliferation of social media and technology in the lives of students worldwide, it seemed remarkable that society organisation had not been updated to suit the pace of modern life” he tells us. Yet Katarina reminds us that the product is merely the means to achieving Threesixty’s wider goals: “We’re not building a society management system, we’re creating a gateway that will allow every student to do things they love at university.”

IMAGES Left: Students contributing to Social Media Marketing campaigns.

Centre & right: The app in action on desktop, and Apple / Android smartphone platforms.

During their time at Durham, all three alumni were part of the student society, Entrepreneurs Durham. “The journey of creating this app is a testament to what can be achieved and enjoyed at university when you are surrounded by people who inspire you and involved with projects that interest you” says Rosie. You can follow Stephen, Katarina and Rosie’s progress as they prepare to launch Threesixty Campus on Twitter @threesixtyteam


Dialogue 31 | September / October 2013

Durham International Brass Festival We’re always looking to provide great customer service and improve the Library resources and facilities we offer. To do this, we need to know what’s important to you as a Library customer, and what’s not so important. Your comments and suggestions will feed into upcoming policy and planning for the Library and Heritage Collections and ensure that the future development of Library services is based around your needs.

To help us make the Library better for you, make sure you take part in the Library Survey this autumn. We’ll be asking all students and staff to complete the questionnaire in October and November 2013 – look out for the links in your inbox! The Library Survey will be available for three weeks and should only take a few minutes to complete.

Everyone who completes the Library Survey will be entered into a prize draw to win a Kindle Fire or some Amazon vouchers – don’t miss your chance to win!

Find out more...

www.durham.ac.uk/library/survey

Book a Bill Bryson Library Tour New to the Library? We’re offering short introductory tours of the Bill Bryson Library during October and November 2013.

Find out more...

From 5th - 21st July Durham’s International Brass Festival took place across the whole of Durham County and included a range of art installations and musical and theatrical outdoor performances from a number of international street bands.

Book your place online and explore Level 2 with your tour guide to learn about the different services, facilities and resources we offer.

www.durham.ac.uk/library/tours

One of our own, Susan Hayton from Estates and Buildings performed during the festival. Below she speaks about her experience and why she loves being in a brass band. Durham International Brass Festival brings together collaborations between international bands and our own local bands introducing them to a different culture and style of brass playing. The festival has a great atmosphere as you can watch a wide range of performances and take part in a variety of sessions. The Northern Regional Brass Band Trust visit schools every year during the Brass Festival to encourage children to take up playing a brass instrument which will hopefully contribute to the sustainability of our bands in the region.

I have played in brass bands for over 40 years and have loved every minute of it! Belonging to a brass band brings together people from all walks of life and definitely has that community spirit. I have managed to do things I would never have dreamed of, my personal highlights have included performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London, making an album and playing in the local stage adaption of Brassed Off. We are always on the lookout for new players, so if you are an academic or student and are interested in playing email Susan at susan-53@hotmail.co.uk for further details.


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Procurement Welcome to the Procurement Service’s second Dialogue update. In this feature we’ll bring you information, hints and tips, and introduce you to key people.

Staff volunteering

Recently, a team spent a morning at the Lionmouth Centre at Esh Winning, a centre that offers creative activities to promote mental and emotional wellbeing. The team helped to transform the landscape of the

garden into a habitable place. A team of staff also took part in a supermarket sweep type trolley dash around Consett in aid of the Willowburn Hospice.

Adrian Curtis

Category Management

acquire implementation

We are pleased to welcome Adrian Curtis, Senior Category Manager (IT) who has been brought in to deliver the procurement aspects of the New World Programme, working with CIS. Adrian has a wealth of procurement experience in the public and commercial sector and is a welcome addition to the team.

Information was provided in ‘Buy In’ (Dialogue issue 30), that the Procurement Service implemented a strategic sourcing strategy in 2012. The purpose of the strategy was to create a defined process for procurement that included greater emphasis on the planning phase. Through 2013/14 we will be implementing a category management structure to support this. Category Management is the strategic process of acquiring goods and services focussed by category, and aims to create centres of excellence with in-depth knowledge of the industry or market for which they are responsible. It moves away from the traditional value driven procurement to a set of processes more closely aligned with the organisational business need and will ensure the University maximises its buying power and adapts to any changes in the marketplace. Meetings will be held with key stakeholders in due course. If you would like to be involved in this, please inform Alison Holmes or Laura Watson.

Since the last edition of ‘Buy In’, acquire, the e-procurement system, has been rolled out to the eight remaining Durham colleges; Grey, Collingwood, Hild-Bede, Ustinov, Josephine Butler, Hatfield, St Cuthbert’s and University College. At the end of August a number of Professional Service departments; Libraries, HR, the Academic Office, Governance and Executive Support and the University Secretary to Senate and Council, as well as Retail Catering, Central Catering, Experience Durham and Colleges Office also went live on the acquire system. Implementation into departments in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities is underway. Implementation is being undertaken by members of the University Implementation Team under the direction of the Implementation Steering Group. For more information, contact Peter Holmes.

The Procurement Service continues to engage with local community organisations through its participation in the staff volunteering scheme.

Please have a look at our Buyers Guide (www.durham.ac.uk/procurement/local/ buyers_guide) for the list of current contracts. We welcome all constructive feedback on how we can improve our communications. Please email alison.holmes@durham.ac.uk or laura.watson@durham.ac.uk for further details.

Viator Travel System Readers are reminded that from 30th September 2013 the online travelling system “Viator” will replace the current process of paper travel forms used to request travel cover. The means of confirming travel cover will be more streamlined, efficient and sustainable. Most departments are already using Viator and from 30th September paper travel forms will no longer be accepted. For more information, contact Claire Robinson.


Museums and Attractions

Botanic Garden Visitor Centre Celebrates its 25th Anniversary In July 1988 the Botanic Garden Visitor Centre was officially opened by Dame Margot Fonteyn de Arias, who was the Chancellor at the time. Over the past 25 years, the Botanic Garden has gone from strength to strength and is now one of the most popular attractions in Durham City. To celebrate this 25th Anniversary, a celebration weekend was held in July. A variety of activities took place over the weekend, including: face painting, bouncy castle and demonstrations including traditional crafts, woodworking and Samurai sword demonstrations.

Durham World Heritage Site releases a new guidebook The World Heritage Site has just released a new guidebook, “Durham World Heritage Site: A Guide to the Cathedral and Castle.” This is geared towards both towards visitors, local residents, staff and students and provides easy to remember

facts about Durham that you probably did not know. For example, did you know that the masons building Durham Cathedral and Castle would have had to stop building work in winter because the mortar would have frozen, making it impossible to lay the stones? Or that Palace Green was not always the large rectangular lawn it is today? Or that the Castle’s Black Staircase is said to be haunted by the ghost of a Durham bishop’s wife, whose presence is said to felt by the fragrance of lavender on the stairs? The guidebook, which retails for £5, is available for sale at the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre, at the Cathedral Shop, and in Palace Green Library.

Check out our new websites! We are excited to launch a suite of new websites to improve our online presence for the Museums, Botanic Garden, Durham Castle and Palace Green Library. Whether you’re part of the University, living locally or just visiting Durham for a day out, our new websites are designed to be welcoming and open to all. There’s something for teachers too! Visit the new 4schools website where you can find out about the Museums and Attractions’ outreach programme and organise your school visit: www.durham.ac.uk/4schools And don’t forget to explore our new What’s On page, which brings together events, exhibitions and activities across all of the University’s Attractions in one place! www.durham.ac.uk/whatson

Find out more... visit www.durham.ac.uk/attractions


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Event Durham, Retail & Catering

Event Durham Throughout the summer vacation the University welcomed delegates from across the globe to academic conferences taking place in Durham.

• 15th International Conference on Density Functional Theory and its Applications, Department of Chemistry.

To support hosting these conferences Event Durham offers a complete Conference and Event Management Service, removing the administrative burden and allowing the organisers to concentrate on the academic programme.

We have received some great feedback from the conference organisers:

Conferences opting to take advantage of our Conference and Event Management Service this summer included: • Good Practice in Spirituality Conference, Department of Theology & Religion • British Neuro Oncology Society (BNOS) Conference, School of Medicine, Pharmacy & Health • 10th International Conference on Optical Probes of Conjugated Polymers and Organic Nanostructures, Department of Physics • Ripples in the Cosmos Conference, Department of Physics • International Conference on Advanced Polymers via Macromolecular Engineering, Department of Chemistry

“Thank you for all your efforts on the conference organisation. The OP2013 was an excellent conference and you did a fantastic job. I’m getting a steady flow of emails from people saying what a great conference it was and how well organised everything was.” Professor Andy Monkman, Department of Physics “Event Durham enabled our conference to run smoothly and took all the worry out of the logistical arrangements. It was good to be able to concentrate on the programme and the speakers, without having to worry about all the practical things. Event Durham staff were a pleasure to work with.” Professor Chris Cook, Department of Theology & Religion For more information on our Conference and Event Management Service please contact Louise Elliott on ext. 42883 or louise.elliott@durham.ac.uk IMAGES The British Neuro Oncology Society (BNOS) event at Durham Castle.

Retail The Retail Office has been busy over the summer in preparation for the start of the next academic year and the re-opening of our Howland’s and Queen’s convenience shops. Both shops stock an assortment of daily essentials, snacks, drinks and refreshments as well as a selection of official Durham University merchandise including stationery, clothing and gifts. Howland’s is situated directly between Josephine Butler and Ustinov Colleges and opens 9am-9pm Monday-Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday during

term time – handy if you need to stop off for bread or milk on your way home from work. Queen’s Campus shop is located inside the Holliday Building and is open 8:30am-4:30pm Monday-Friday during term time so make sure you pop in and see what’s available if you are based at Queen’s Campus. Finally, make sure you visit our online shop www.durham.ac.uk/shop and keep an eye out for some new Fairtrade clothing lines arriving soon, including men’s shorts, polo shirts and soft cotton rugby shirts.


HR news... Eligibility to work in the UK Many of you will be aware that Non-EEA staff and students require permission to work in the UK. These requirements are often obtained by a visa at the recruitment stage. For students, a Tier 4 visa allows them to work for a specified period of time within term time. If you are a student who is working under a Tier 4, please check your visa for the maximum hours you can work each week (normally 20 hours per week). If you are a student studying a Masters degree or a PhD, there are no official vacation periods scheduled into your course. After 18 months of rigorous market testing the University has appointed Core International to provide our new Human Resources and Payroll System. This is exciting news as a new generation of HR systems enable secure, controlled access by individuals across the organisation to key staff and management information. As you can imagine there is a lot of work to do to implement and define the new system to ensure security levels are correct and that personal data is protected. We are planning a phased implementation with phase one taking place in June 2014 and final implementation by 2015. A project team is already established with experienced staff from HR, Payroll and CIS. The project team is currently based in the Highwood Rooms beside the Calman Learning Centre.

Members of the permanent project team (pictured above) are: Project Manager Antony Dinning HR Lead Kevin Ferguson Payroll Lead Carolyn Cook, Caroline Hall and Craig Pearson Business Analysts Louise Anderson and Les Sherlock-Hewkin CIS Lead Adrian Betchette Other active members of the Project include Trudy Forster from HR and Clare Butcher and Janet Robertson from Finance and Michael Swales from CIS.

WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU • As a member of staff you will be able to control your personal information and view your own personnel record. • As a supervisor, team leader or manager you will be able to access certain elements of HR records for your team, such as training, hours worked and absence records. We will keep you up to date on progress via Dialogue and our People+ project web pages at www.durham.ac.uk/hr/peopleplus Each department has a representative on the project who will help to give updates and feedback comments from across the University. If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact a member of the project team.

As a Masters or PhD student you are allowed to request up to six weeks annual leave in a twelve month period. During this time you are considered to be ‘on vacation’ and can work in excess of the hours specified on your visa. Students who work in excess of the hours on their visa will be reported to the Home Office and this could limit their ability to obtain another visa in the future. If you are a member of staff offering work to a student, you are responsible for checking that they are not working any hours over and above those specified on their visa. If you are unsure, please contact Trudy Forster, Helen Symcox or Michelle Hoult in HR or Mike Parks in the Student Immigration and Financial Support Office. Contact HR ext. 46519 Mike Parks ext. 46057


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CIS news...

The view from the new world... we have lift off!

Printing... better, cheaper, safer

We’re delighted to announce that the CIS New World Programme (NWP) was officially launched on 1st August.

Summer saw the introduction of a new central print service for students which provides multi-functional printers (they print, scan, fax, copy, send emails, staple, fold and punch holes too!) with a more transparent and cheaper charging process.

Carolyn Brown (Chief Information Officer) and CIS colleagues welcomed the Treasurer, Paulina Lubacz and guests from UEC, departments and colleges to showcase our ambitious programme of work to transform University IT. CIS staff were on hand to take our guests through the details of the programme including specific projects and activities within it and to share their impressions of the changes seen over the last nine months. Colleagues also demonstrated some of the communication tools which we will be rolling across the University as part of the Programme, which generated a lot of excitement! Guests reported that they could see things happening already and were impressed by the relatively short space of time in which activities were being delivered: they were looking forward to what was coming! “I am tremendously impressed by the prospects and the progress. Long live CIS!” To find out more about the New World Programme, including job opportunities and how to get in touch, see our web pages: www.durham.ac.uk/cis/nwp

In addition to all this, it allows students to print from their laptop, via email and even from a mobile phone. Once this has been rolled out to the student community we’ll be expanding it to staff users too. In addition to the extensive features already mentioned, the University will enjoy some great efficiency and green benefits: fewer printers means less electricity used, less toner and paper and better support (less types of printer to look after) on top of the improved functionality. Last but not least, security will be much enhanced with ‘pull-printing’ enabled so your printing won’t be released until you’ve confirmed it at the printer (using your campus card or a PIN).

Wireless... expanding The next 15 months will see a huge expansion of the University wireless service (DU Wireless) with the aim of providing coverage right across our campuses. The initial push will be to the colleges as we want to provide wireless coverage in all student bedrooms before the end of this academic year. We will liaise directly with the colleges affected but to check out our current schedule, take a look at www.durham.ac.uk/cis/wireless

Newsflash! CIS have moved. Whilst the IT Service Desk is still in the Palatine Centre and we have support colleagues located in lower Mountjoy, CIS administration is now located in Rowan House, Upper Mountjoy. All contact numbers and emails are unchanged but if you want to post something to us, or come to visit us, we’re now ‘up the hill’!

Find out more about CIS visit www.durham.ac.uk /cis


Experience Durham...

Find out more...

visit www.durham.ac.uk/ experiencedurham

Through Experience Durham, both staff and students have the opportunity to contribute and support our local communities. Our staff volunteering programme is one of the most generous on offer within the Higher Education sector, giving all members of staff the opportunity to volunteer for up to five days per year, subject to line manager approval. So why volunteer and what can you do?

Team Challenges continue to be a popular choice, with over 24 challenge events taking place over the past year, involving staff from 18 different departments. Working with 13 local organisations, Durham staff members have contributed 667 hours to these community groups. Getting to work with new people, working with colleagues in a different environment and helping out in the community are just some of the reasons that staff members take part in challenge events, and many say that the experience is useful in developing communication and teamwork skills. Many departments decide to volunteer together, but the Staff Volunteering team organises one-off activities that can be joined by members of staff from any department. This year we’ve worked with Human Resources, developing a team volunteering day for members of staff enrolled on the Institute of Leadership & Management course. Get in touch if you or your department would like to find out more about team challenge opportunities – bespoke activities and events can be arranged to suit your needs, regardless of team size or preference for indoor or outdoor activities.

We know that many staff members already volunteer with organisations of their choice, and staff have the opportunity to continue to develop these roles through the Staff Volunteering scheme. But we also have new individual volunteer opportunities on offer. Working with Durham Education Business Partnership, 20 members of staff have become Business Ambassadors, volunteering in Primary and Secondary Schools to support enterprise and career related activities. From mock interviews, to making and selling paper ducks, the Business Ambassador programme asks for a commitment of just two to three activities per year. We’re recruiting for more volunteers and full training is given.

We don’t just do volunteering for staff members…. Working with a small cohort of students, we are currently piloting a programme which involves postgraduates volunteering with local community groups, to give talks and presentations on their research. For the fifth consecutive year, we will work with Software Engineering students, providing them with the opportunity to work with community based clients. Last summer three teams of MBA students worked with community organisations on a fast paced consultancy project, providing new business and income generation ideas. To find out more, or to see if we can support you in developing community based projects please get in touch. For more information about volunteering, our outreach projects and some of the community partners that we work with, take a look at our website www.durham.ac.uk/volunteer get in touch with us by email community.engagement@durham.ac.uk or give us a ring on ext. 42193.


23

Greenspace...

Phase One of our Carbon Management Plan (CMP) comes to an end in July 2014 and we’re about to embark on the development of Phase Two. We intend that this will be a holistic plan encompassing options for energy generation, and estates infrastructure and maintenance projects informed by the current asset management review, but behavioural change will continue to play a key part in meeting the targets we set.

As well as the need to deliver our environmental commitments as a Responsible University, there is a financial imperative to contain our spending on utilities so that we can focus investment in our staff, research, and the education of our students. Expenditure on utilities last financial year was £7.3m. Without further efficiency savings this is forecast to increase by over 60 per cent by 2016/17. The increase represents the annual costs of around 80 academic posts or more than 200 PGT studentships. Heads of Departments, Colleges and Professional Support Services need to be aware of the relationship between this increased spend and the resources available for addressing educational and research priorities. A UEC task and finish group has been looking at the way our behaviours (individual, group and corporate) can help reduce our carbon emissions and particularly at the three areas below which colleagues advise us have been acting as barriers:

1. Lack of clear accountability The task and finish group has clarified that accountability for achievement of carbon reduction targets is through the normal management line from the DVC through Faculty/Division Heads to Heads of Department/College/Professional Support Service. The group has strengthened the support to these colleagues through the appointment of Carbon leads for each Faculty/ Division whose role is to champion the agenda within their areas working with their faculty/divisional head. The environmental champion (EC) scheme at departmental/college level has also been refreshed. Full details of this can be found at: www.durham.ac.uk/ greenspace/groupsandteams/environmentchampions

2. Lack of timeliness and analysis of data To provide accurate, timely and relevant energy consumption data, a new energy management system (SystemsLink) has been procured to be in place in September. This will provide day +1 data on a web based dashboard. Selected users, including Department, College and Support Service Heads, Faculty/ Division leads and ECS, will be able to access this system and select data relevant to their building(s). There will be a choice of formats to view the data so you will be able to manipulate, compare and view them as you wish. Improved data quality and timeliness will help us achieve a better understanding of the pattern of energy use in our buildings and to identify where changes are needed.

3. Lack of Incentives There was positive discussion in the task and finish group about ways we can incentivise changes in behaviour to reduce our carbon footprint. The group is acutely aware of the importance of this given all the other pressures on colleagues’ time. This will be discussed at UEC early in the autumn term.

UEC is committed to supporting the CMP and would like to warmly thank all those staff who are working hard to help reduce the University’s carbon emissions. For more information on carbon management in the University visit www.durham.ac.uk/greenspace/cmp

Date for the diary National Liftshare Week will be running from 7-11th October. Find out more about the University’s carshare scheme at www.durham.ac.uk/greenspace/travel/carshare

Find out more... visit www.durham.ac.uk/ greenspace


/durhamuniversity

@Durham_Uni

DurhamUniversity

Under investigation Constantino Kapsalis a.k.a Costas Technical analyst, CIS

Have you got any pets? No, pets die, they make a mess and it makes going on holiday complicated. What are you reading at the moment? Nothing, but I have recently finished The Last Man by Vince Flynn. What would you like you epitaph to be? I haven’t planned that far ahead.

What skill or talent would you most like to acquire? I don’t have a musical bone in my body and I’m envious of people that can grab a guitar and strum out a tune, so music would be a nice talent to have. Give me a picture of your ideal day: Wake up late, have a large breakfast and larger coffee, play with the kids, do plenty of DIY and finish the day with a film and a glass of wine.

September Lindisfarne Gospels Exhibition Until Monday 30th September Palace Green Library The Lindisfarne Gospels tells the tale of our famous Saint Cuthbert, and this beautiful manuscript – its creation, its journey and its special symbolism for the people of the North. Don’t miss seeing the Gospels before they return to the British Museum.

October Durham Book Festival Saturday 12th – Saturday 19th October

On a scale of 1-10, how much do you care what other people think of you?

The annual Durham Book Festival hosts a wide variety of literary events, bringing writers and authors to venues throughout Durham City and across the county.

It was a vinyl record from ZZ Top.

Do I know you? Then 10, it’s very important. If I don’t know you then I couldn’t care less.

Inaugural Lecture Series - Prof Nancy Cartwright Monday 28th October, 6pm

What achievement are you most proud of?

Any nicknames?

Without a doubt it would have to be my children, Cecilia and Angelos, although some might dispute this claim as it was a team effort.

When I was living in Mexico some friends called me “La Cosa”, “The Thing”, it came about after an eating competition…I won.

What was your best subject?

What’s your favourite place in the world?

At university the only subject that I remember being easy was economics. And yet I became an electronic engineer.

Favourite country Mexico, where I spent my teenage years. Favourite City Katerini, Greece, 15 minutes from the beach in summer, 30 minutes from the ski slopes in winter. Favourite area Uxbridge, London, where I did my Masters - the best year of my life and where I met my wife, Georgia.

Which historical figure would you most like to be? I’ve never thought of being anybody but myself. Costas is cool. What was the first record you bought?

When was the last time you laughed and why? I’m generally a happy person and it doesn’t take much to make me laugh. What did you want to be when you were a child? A racing car driver or an astronaut or a super hero. Where will you be going for your next holiday? Somewhere warm, anywhere warm during the winter months. Cape Verde looks like a nice place.

What luxury item would you take to a desert island? My circular saw, I might need to do some DIY while out there. Pass the buck: Finally, who would you like to see in the hot-seat? Nuaim Ahmed, a great friend who is always willing to help and has a mean lamb bhuna recipe.

Celebrate Science Tuesday 29th – Thursday 31st October, 10am – 4pm Palace Green Now in its fourth year, this popular three-day festival returns for the schools half-term holidays, bringing FREE science-themed experiments, activities and events for children of all ages to the heart of Durham. Visit the science marquee on Palace Green to join in the fun. LUMIERE Thursday 14th – Sunday 17th November Durham City LUMIERE returns with a spectacular raft of installations and projections to illuminate Durham’s buildings, streets and bridges. Local and international artists, lighting designers, and community groups will breathe new light into the city with a breath-taking series of light works, transforming Durham into a city-wide celebration of light.

For more information on University events go to www.durham.ac.uk/whatson

Dialogue Magazine - Issue 31  

Dialogue Newsmagazine Issue 31 for Staff and Students at Durham University.

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