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Research & KT News Inside this edition: Update from the Director of Research - Professor Tara Dean (Page 2) Funding updates (Page 2) How we review ethics for research - David Carpenter explains (Page 3) ICG Dark Energy Survey Conference - Portsmouth hosts the international collaboration event (Page 4) Research conference reports (Pages 4 and 5) When research hits the headlines - Dr Jo Scurr on the bra crisis (Page 7) Focus on a Researcher - Dr Andy Thorpe (Page 9) Upcoming Research Conference (Page 10)

Issue 3 September 2011

University of Portsmouth major partner in a €7.5miillion neuroscience project Faculty of Science researchers, together with European colleagues, have been awarded an EU Interreg grant. The TransChannel Neuroscience Network (TC2N) involves 17 research teams and five technological infrastructure platforms (core facilities) from the so-called ‘2 Seas area’ of the European Union. These include French teams from Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Universities of Rouen, Rennes, Brest and Caen; one Belgian team (Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie, (Ghent); one Dutch team (Erasmus MCSophia, Rotterdam); one team each from the Universities of Sussex and Exeter and three teams from the University of Portsmouth. The overall project leader will be Dr David Vaudry from Rouen. The Portsmouth project leader will be Professor Darek Gorecki (pictured). The grant awarded to support this project covers 2011 to 2014 and provides funding to build cross-border scientific cooperation in the field of neuroscience. The total value of the TC2N project is more than €7.57 million, of which the EU provides half. The total Portsmouth share is €2.39 million, making us the second largest recipient of funds in this grant. The 50 per cent matched funding results from the research time contributions of 25 of our staff involved in the project from across the Faculty. Our team is composed of academic, research and technical staff and thus represents the true research effort of the Faculty. TC2N is designed to be an effective platform for communicating the research developments and scientific achievements of our consortium to both the international scientific community and to the local public. It aims to promote a better understanding of neurological diseases and to explain to the public the role played by scientists in finding new and improved treatments in our regions. To engage with the general public, we plan a series of neuroscience road shows. Discoveries with potential commercial application will be developed further together with the University’s Research and Knowledge Transfer Service, using their well-established links with industry and businesses. The first TC2N Project Steering Committee meeting took place on 11 July 2011 in the elegant setting of the Medical Faculty, University of Lille, France. It was a good opportunity for team leaders to meet personally to discuss details of collaborative projects as well as to become familiar with various aspects of project management. Considering the present difficulties in obtaining external funding, TC2N is an important element in our research strategy. Judging by the impact of our previous and a much smaller Interreg grant, we hope that TC2N will give us a great opportunity for a fruitful scientific collaboration and will become a springboard for obtaining further grants from the EU and other bodies.

Research and Knowledge Transfer newsletter • September 2011


Update from the Director of Research Professor Tara Dean Welcome to the third edition of Research & KT News. The new academic year is well underway and the summer break is a distant memory. There will be busy and testing times ahead. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is fast approaching and we are compiling our response on the draft panel criteria and the working methods consultation. Putting the REF aside, in my opinion there are two constants in research – to be quality and to be agenda-setting. Whatever sort of research you are carrying out, if the basic quality is high, then money, PhD students, recognition in your field, REF success, career aspirations and everything else that is desirable, can follow. Who is listening to us and who are we influencing with our research? We want our research to be played out not just on a local stage, but to set the agenda for the discipline. Most research is a global business and we must respond to that. When I started my career, research was a rather personal occupation and it wasn’t really the done thing to shout about one’s successes. That’s all changed now, and one of my key tasks will be to tell as wide an audience as possible about all the great research success stories at Portsmouth.

upward trajectory in celebrating our success. Early in January 2012 we will hold a Research Conference (page ten) with some recognised national figures in research. I hope we can demonstrate to them and to colleagues from other universities the excellent impact of the research at the University of Portsmouth.

Just looking at some of the events which have taken place since June (page four) demonstrates that we are on a steep

Lots to do but, as they say be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.

This academic year will be a busy year for all of us. We need to prepare for the REF. We will need to set the agenda for the future of our new Research Strategy (2012-2017). We need to put procedures in place to ensure that submitted research funding applications are of a high enough quality to make them competitive against others. We need to ensure our contract research staff are supported and that we are fully on board with the principles of the Research Councils UK concordat. We need to think of innovative strategies to grow our postgraduate student numbers. We need to increase our external and internal visibility on the University website...

Funding update Awards since June 2011 Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries Dan Pinchbeck thechineseroom: Commercialisation of Practice-led, Research Driven Experimental Storytelling in Games. Arts and Humanities Research Council - £95,821. Portsmouth Business School Lisa Jack Improving Performance Measurement and Managing Risk in Intermediary Food Chain Businesses. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants - £7,519. Faculty of Science Andy Gibson Zhouqu, China Disaster Data Capturing Modelling and Preliminary Assessment. Natural Environment Research Council - £14,554.

Geoff Pilkington Compound Testing as part of a FASILIS Voucher Project. Synovo GmbH - £4,615. David Loydell Biostratigraphy of Hot Shales in Morocco. EOG Resources UK Limited - £12,500. Susanne Dietrich Characterization of a Potential Novel Biomarker for Muscle Stem Cells. Association Française Contre Les Myopathies Spcs - £27,872. Eric May SEM Running Contribution. University of Warwick - £27,872.

The University has announced a new Principal Investigator Development Programme (PIDP). Initial details are below. If you would like to be considered for any of the sessions below, please email Research Excellence Framework 2014 19 October 2011, 12.00-14.00 Pathways to Impact 21 December 2011, 12.00-14.00 Fit to bid 22 February 2012, 13.00-15.00 Concordat Overview 18 April 2012, 12.00-14.00

Darek Gorecki EU Interreg Grant TC2N - £7.5M.

Research and Knowledge Transfer newsletter • September 2011

Principal Investigator Development Programme

Research Ethics 20 June 2012, 12.00-14.00


How we review ethics for research The very mention of research ethics, in the past, could be guaranteed to elicit a groan and accusations of constraints upon academic freedom and needless bureaucracy. Today, ethical review is fairly well normalised and plays a key role in funding applications and securing publication. The University has endeavoured to minimise bureaucratic demands and, in some cases, ethical review results in methodological improvement and design enhancement. Basic advice can be found in the University Ethics Policy which includes a substantial section on the topic of research ethics. Proportionality is the key concern; all research involving or impacting upon human subjects (for example, environmental research) must be reviewed, but many reviews will be light touch. The Economic Social Research Council (ESRC)’s Framework for Ethics Research (FRE) provides helpful examples of studies only requiring minimal review. There are some minor variations across the University, but as a general rule it is staff research and student research - above taught postgraduate level - that is reviewed by a full committee. The review of undergraduate research is usually a matter of discussion between supervisor and student, aided by a checklist of typical concerns. Again, the FRE includes an excellent example of a checklist.

burdensome research can still be ethical; it is equally possible that research involving few risks and burdens can be unethical. I sense a gradual shift in attitudes. For far too long researchers have been defending their studies and justifying human involvement. Surely it can be argued that there is a moral imperative to undertake worthwhile research. I have seen plenty of examples of studies where it would be unethical if they were not undertaken. The very best research might benefit humanity and researchers have a duty to conduct it rather than apologise to a REC. David Carpenter – University Research Ethics Adviser

Each faculty has an ethics committee and the Faculty of Science has some at departmental level. These committees have remits which extend beyond research to wider ethical issues, and all report to the University Ethics Committee. Some research is reviewed externally; the most common example is NHS research. As a matter of national policy, all research involving patients and their relatives or non-professional carers must be reviewed by a NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC). NHS RECs are also constituted to undertake reviews required by statute; this includes research involving mentally incapacitated adults and research involving human tissue. The University adopts a policy of single review so the final opinions of NHS REC reviews are logged and no further review is undertaken. It is worth noting some important linguistic points. Study protocols are submitted to a REC for review not approval and RECs give opinions rather than approvals. Approval can be very misleading. A REC can, at best, provide a favourable opinion; this means that it has concluded that if the research is conducted according to the protocol it will be ethical. Approval implies that the REC has authorised the research to proceed; RECs do not have such powers, this is a matter of governance. Any organisation might have perfectly legitimate reasons for refusing to host research that has been given a favourable opinion. Obviously RECs can also give unfavourable opinions and, most commonly, conditional favourable opinions. The main concern of a REC is to ensure that full consideration has been given to the welfare of participants. To over-simplify the matter, the REC must be assured that participants will be fully informed of any risks and that their participation will be entirely voluntary. Further advice and guidance on issues such as information and consent will be available on the University Research and Knowledge Transfer website soon. It is not part of the remit of a REC to evaluate methodology and design, however it is obvious that poor research will be unethical; if no worthwhile outcomes are likely then participants’ time will have been wasted and risks might have been taken unnecessarily. Most RECs look for a sensible balance between the value of the study and the burdens and risks involved for participants. It is entirely possible that high risk,

Research and Knowledge Transfer newsletter • September 2011


ESRC Seminar Series Post-transitional fertility in developing countries: cause and implications 20-21 July 2011

UK Cosmo Conference

12-14 September 2011 The Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) hosted conferences focusing on the more theoretical aspects of cosmology. The national UK Cosmo meeting brought to town cosmologists from the UK and abroad, including delegations from Japan and South Africa.

The Global Health and Social Care Unit, in the School of Health Sciences and Social Work, has been successful in obtaining funding from the Economic Social Research Council (ESRC) to lead three seminars on post-transitional fertility in developing countries. The first in the series was organised at the University of Portsmouth. It was coordinated by Dr Saseendran Pallikdavath, University of Portsmouth; Dr Chris Wilson, University of St Andrews and Professor Irudaya Rajan, Centre for Development Studies, India. This seminar was attended by over 30 researchers from UK, India, USA, Vienna, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Bangladesh, and Germany. The objective of the seminar was to discuss causes and consequences of below replacement level fertility in developing countries.

The initial meeting involved 80 people and lasted three days, covering various topics relating to the physics of the early universe, such as models of inflation and cosmic strings. This was followed by smaller workshops that ran until the end of September, to allow more time for discussion and collaboration.

ICG Dark Energy Survey Conference

Some of the eminent demographers from the UK and Europe delivered lectures on the topic. These included Professor Tim Dyson, London School of Economics; Professor John Cleland, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Professor David Reher, Universidad Complutense, Madrid; Professor Jane Falkingham, University of Southampton; Peter Richerson University of California Davis; and Dr Thomas Sobotka, Vienna Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences.

26 June-1 July 2011

The Institute for Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) hosted an international collaboration meeting for the Dark Energy Survey (DES). The meeting was attended by more than 120 astronomers from the 23 DES member institutes, located in the United States, Brazil, Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The Dark Energy Survey is designed to help uncover the nature of the mysterious ‘dark energy’ which gives rise to a repulsive gravitational force and is causing the expansion rate of the universe to accelerate. The collaboration is building a new optical instrument and large digital camera that will be mounted on the Blanco Four-meter telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, high in the Chilean Andes. Once complete next year, the collaboration will spend five years surveying the southern sky.

Participants at the ESRC Seminar Series, 20-21 July.

The speakers and organisers provided various perspectives on post-transitional fertility in developing and developed country contexts and highlighted that the developing world is fast approaching below replacement level fertility and that some of the consequences of low fertility experienced in the developed world cannot be ignored in the developing world. The second day was devoted to examining specific issues on low fertility in developing countries and focused on specific country contexts such as Bangladesh and Israel. These presentations were followed by discussions and identification of research questions and strategies. The seminar identified gaps in knowledge in this field and outlined questions for future research. Participants expressed interest in working in collaborative teams to develop research grant applications on these issues. The University will coordinate such efforts. A network of participants is already established to continue discussions on this topic.

As one of the first collaboration members, ICG has played a key role in the development of the survey, helping to purchase the glass from which the new lenses were made. ICG members play leading roles in the groups working to exploit the science results that will be coming from the survey. While in Portsmouth, collaboration members were hard at work making plans for analysing the tremendous amount of data that the survey will provide. However, they did have time to enjoy our cream tea, an atypical stretch of good weather, and a banquet held aboard the HMS Warrior.

The next seminar series will be at the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, India during July 2012. This will focus on low fertility in South Asia region and will be a major event. The last and final seminar will be held at the University of St Andrews during 2013.

Research and Knowledge Transfer newsletter • September 2011


Portsmouth Business School Research and Knowledge Transfer Conference 7 June 2011

2011 Technology Research Day 8 June 2011

The fifth Annual Technology Research Day was held to celebrate the achievements of the Faculty of Technology and to promote cross-departmental collaboration. The morning started with a welcome from the Dean - Professor Djamel Ait-Boudaoud – followed by the first of the newly-established tradition of a keynote faculty address from newly-appointed Readers and Professors. Professor Will Percival from Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) was the first in the hot seat to explain Mapping the Universe to an audience of over 100 technically-literate faculty members, some of whom were remembering undergraduate physics to follow the latter stages of his well-paced address. The morning session also had updates on Research Excellence Framework preparations (from the Director of Research, Professor Tara Dean), The Graduate School (from Director, Dr Darren Van Laar) and The University Library (from Mr Timothy Collinson and Mr Andy Barrow – the Faculty Librarian and Institutional Repository Coordinator respectively).

This successful conference was an ideal opportunity to communicate the Business School’s research and knowledge transfer activities and was an excellent way to promote the School, both internally and externally, as a strong and research-active unit. The day was opened by Pro Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Arrell, followed by a full programme of 42 presentations and discussions from research and knowledge transfer active members of staff, allowing participants (who were a mixture of University staff and those from local business) an opportunity to find out about the many varied projects in which the Business School is involved. This year, we introduced special streams on the Principle of Response in Management Education (PRIME) and Responsible Capitalism and Sustainable Business, plus a plenary session entitled Make our Knowledge Your Business - Our customers’ view on how working with the University improved their bottom line, which included presentations from Mr Rik Prowen, Operations Director, JS Humidifiers, West Sussex and Mr Michael Lawther, Strategic Director, City Solicitor, Portsmouth City Council.

Over lunch, a PhD student poster competition was judged by an anonymous Research and Knowledge Transfer staff member. The winner of the £100 book token was Felix Hellwig from the Department of Mechanical and Design Engineering (MDE), for his computer-aided studies of femoral acebular impingement. The two runners-up receiving £50 book tokens were James MacMullen, also from MDE, for his study of hydroxil functionalised poly di-methylsiloxane and its incorporation into exterior facade emulsion treatments, and Rafal Szepietowski, from ICG, for his study of how to map dark matter and Bayesian weak lens reconstruction.

During lunch the winners of the Neil Rackham research prizes were announced as follows:

The afternoon followed a new structure with three parallel strands, designed to draw together themes across departmental boundaries. This included presentations covering materials, environmental technology and the interface of cosmology with computing. All departments were well represented and we were especially grateful for Professor Arthur Butt from the Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science for breaking Faculty boundaries with a talk on the similarity of the computing challenges on the molecular and cosmological scale.

Winners of the Neil Rackham research prizes.

Research excellence prize £10,000 Dr. Alessio Ishizaka, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Strategy and Business Systems, for the paper Does Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) help us make a choice? An experimental evaluation, Journal of the Operational Research Society, 1–12, 2010 (co-authors: D. Balkenborg, and T. Kaplan). Dissemination of research prize £5,000 Joe Cox, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics, for the paper entitled Seeders, leechers and social norms: Evidence from the market for illicit digital downloading, Information Economics and Policy, 22, 299–305, 2010 (co-authors: A. Collins, and S. Drinkwater).

At the end of what was considered a useful day, everyone retired to the Hub for canapés, prize giving and drinks.

Climate Change Conference 15 September 2011 Industry leaders, local councils, county councils, trusts and interested parties convened in the University’s Portland Building to show their commitment to the climate change agenda. This inaugural meeting was spearheaded by the University’s Environment Network (UPEN). With over 140 people in attendance from the academic sector, industry and support services, the conference was a great success as it highlighted the ability of local organisations working in partnership to develop ideas to help reduce the impact of climate change in the region. More than 75 businesses engaged in the conference. Members will now focus on taking forward the ideas tabled at the conference and developing effective proposals. If you would like to be involved please email Delegates of the Climate Change Conference.

Research and Knowledge Transfer newsletter • September 2011


Featured website - REF 2014 HEFCE’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) website is the essential guide to all matters and issues arising from the REF.

The site is also an ideal resource for the published standards and mechanisms that HEFCE will use to assess our submission to the REF.

What does it cover? It covers information on how REF will be implemented and the process that will dictate the levels of quality-related funding (QR) that institutions will receive.

How do I register myself for a personalised service? There is no need to register. The REF steering group will be organising the submissions for the University. In collaboration with each faculty, work is already underway to bring together the University’s final submission.

Specifically, it gives guidance on when the organisation should make its submissions, the category and make-up of the expert panels that will assess submitted work, information on their equality and diversity policies as well as the current timetable to implementation.

For additional support please contact the Research and Knowledge Transfer Service on ext. 6191.

Successful PhD students

Portsmouth Business School Salwa Abdullah Alhamoudi - Strategic Knowledge Management System in Public Sector in Saudi Arabia: An Adaptation of the Balanced Scorecard. Ruslan Grigoryev - The Interdependence between Stock Markets of BRIC and Developed Countries and the Impact of Oil Prices on this Interdependence. Hakkyong Kim - Dealing with Crises: A Comparative Study of Simulation Exercises in Korea and the UK. Thomas Maddocks - An Industrial Application of the Resource Based View: Towards a Universal Methodology for Identifying Core Competencies within an SME. Vyoma Nalinkumar Shah - Inter-Industry Wage Differentials and Returns to Education in Pakistan.

Since 10 May 2011, the following students have completed their research degrees:

Faculty of Technology Ifeyinwa Achumba - Intelligent Performance Assessment in a Virtual Electronic Laboratory. Laurence Dunn - An Investigation of the Factors Affecting the Lifecycle Costs of COTS-Based Systems. Prina Patel - Weak Gravitational Lensing at Radio Wavelengths. Shalini Varma Ramlall - Improving Customer Generation by Analysing Website Visitor Behaviour. Faculty of Science Saman Aghighi - Global Coagulation Assays in Haemophilia: Comparison and Correlation with Conventional Assays and Clinical Phenotype. Jamal Al Hameedi Al Ruwaili - Serum Proteomic Analysis of Prostate Cancer Progression. Michael Chase - On Being Human in Depersonalised Places: A Critical Analysis of Community Psychiatric Practice. David Greenfield - I.K. Brunel and William Gravatt, 1826 1841: Their Professional and Personal Relationship. John Harvey - The Contribution of Molecular Testing for Histocompatibility in Improving Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Outcomes. Jacqueline Ann Hillman - Do Speech Related Hand Gestures Provide Cues to Deception? Linda James - Finance, Marriage and the Land: A Comparative Analysis of Three Estates in Southern England, 1642-1850. Zakari Makama - Cathodic Delamination of Modelled Sea Cable Connector Assemblies. Mark Newton - The Initial Perception of Humidity. Katharine Anne Peregrin - Sensitivity to and Functional Effects of Tricyclic Agents on Glioma: An Immunohistochemical and In Vitro Study. Susan Mary Rennison - Student Engagement with Formal Lectures on the MPharm Programme at the University of Portsmouth. Kirsty Mhairi Ross - Joyful Expressions in Infancy: CrossSpecies Comparisons. Kate Thorsteinsson - Emotional Expression in Social Interactions of Infants with and Without Down Syndrome. Daljinder Ritu Virk - Sleep Disturbances and Psychological Functioning in Respiratory Diseases. Christopher Young - Abnormalities in P2X7 Receptor Expression and Function in Muscle of the mdx Mouse Model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Research and Knowledge Transfer newsletter • September 2011

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries Christopher Jesse - Intelligent Analysis of Aircraft Flight Data Parameters. Bongile Mzenda - Computational Intelligence Margin Models for Radio Therapeutic Cancer Treatment. Karen Ann Savage - Fading-Feminism-Practice-Process- A Practice as Research Exploration into the Fade as a ‘cite’ for écriture féminine. Edward Philip Smart - Detecting Abnormalities in Aircraft Flight Data and Ranking their Impact on the Flight. Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Stephen Nicholls - The Jews of Leszno 1918:1939: The Polish-Jewish Dilemma in the Western Borderlands. Anthony Welch - Security Sector Reform and the Confusion and Competition Nexus: The Case of Kosovo.

Professor and Reader appointments

The following appointments were recently made: Professor David Brown, Institute of Industrial Research. Appointed to position of Professor of Industrial Systems. Professor Honghai Liu, School of Creative Technologies. Appointed to position of Professor of Intelligent Systems. Professor Jim Smith, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Appointed to position of Professor of Environmental Science. Dr Patricia Pulham, School of Social, Historical and Literary. Studies. Appointed to position of Reader in Victorian Literature.

Congratulations to you all.


When research hits the headlines The University Press Office walks us through a news story from initial contact to press citation.

Two weeks after the broadcast of The Sex Education Show, we presented at the UK’s largest apparel trade show at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, and were pleasantly surprised to find that, following the Channel 4 programme, the event’s organisers had given us top billing. This increased our profile at the event, boosting our networking opportunities during the two days and prompting many organisations to approach us.’

The Channel 4 Sex Education Show is a well-known programme offering advice for young people and teenagers. Its producers were keen to incorporate a segment on breast health when exercising and approached the University after hearing about the work undertaken by the Research Group in Breast Health headed by Dr Joanna Scurr.

What Lisa Egan from the University’s Press Office says: ‘It’s not every day that the Press Office takes a call from a producer on the UK’s most straight-talking sex education show. But the Research Group in Breast Health has been gathering substantial publicity for several years so when the show’s researchers were looking for someone to talk about breast health we were their first port of call.

The Research Group in Breast Health was born from extensive work in the area of breast biomechanics. The aim of the group is to improve women’s quality of life by broadening the understanding of the breast and using the information to inform bra design. The group is about to launch a new initiative aimed at educating school-age young women on the importance of breast support so the opportunity was a perfect fit.

After the initial enquiry came in, we spent considerable time researching the show and had several in-depth conversations with the producer. We always weigh up the pros and cons behind media publicity and don’t automatically say yes to every potential opportunity. The outlet and the circumstances have to be right for the academic and for the University and sometimes we will turn the offer down.

What Jo says: ‘Being asked to appear in a show airing on national television was a daunting but exciting prospect and a timely opportunity to promote our new educational initiative. The Press Office team often field television enquiries and handled all the negotiations on my behalf. A researcher from the production company came to the University to discuss our research in advance and see the laboratory where we carry out our testing.

In this case we were happy that Joanna’s expertise was right for their educational purposes and that the research would be presented in the right tone. We were particularly delighted that the subject of the show was a great fit for the research group’s latest initiative and, after negotiating the terms and conditions under which Channel 4 would film on campus, we made the logistical arrangements. On the day itself, Channel 4 arrived with an entire crew plus around a dozen teenage girls who would be filmed listening to Joanna describing how her research reveals that ill-fitting or poorly supporting bras may damage breast tissue. Filming took most of the day for what would in fact be a piece lasting around four minutes, which is always the price to pay for television coverage.

Girls examine supportive bras.

On the day of filming I was surprised by the number of people that arrived from the production company, but the crew were very professional and everyone was very friendly. Our segment of the show was focused on me delivering a workshop on breast science to a group of teenage girls. The best part of the experience for me was seeing the girls in the audience interested and engaged in breast science. Following the workshop, the girls commented (on camera) that they had learnt a lot and that they now recognised the importance of appropriate breast support. I really felt that our research had made a difference to these girls, and I hoped that the show may also highlight this important aspect of women’s health to a wide range of viewers.

The feature worked extremely well in a show which is seen by millions and Joanna was able to send our press release to her existing contacts giving them a heads up about the show. We had coverage in national, trade and international press and the interest generated has more than re-paid the time invested.’ If you need support or help then the Press Office are available to help you. Contact the team:

Our research group has received substantial publicity in the past, and appearing on national television has boosted the public and commercial recognition of our research. The educational initiative, which was launched on the Channel 4 programme, was covered in a number of national newspapers the following day and following this we received offers of sponsorship for our educational initiative from the UK’s two largest lingerie manufacturers. Several companies have offered us sample bras for use in our research. Additionally, we’ve received several new enquiries and considerable public interest. Dr Joanna Scurr (left).

Research and Knowledge Transfer newsletter • September 2011


Finance For help with the financial aspects of research or knowledge transfer activity, contact Research Finance on ext. 3309.

Grant applications The University Grants Officers are here to help with identifying funding opportunities and the application process. Contact the Research and Knowledge Transfer Service on ext. 6191.

Business interaction The Business Development team can help match your knowledge and expertise to business. Contact the Research and Knowledge Transfer Service on ext. 6191.

Publicity materials The Research and Knowledge Transfer Service can assist you in writing case studies and getting your work to a wider audience. Contact us on ext. 6191.

Press and media The Press Office can help you get your work into the media and support you throughout the process. Contact the team on ext. 3748. If you are unsure where to go please contact Research and Knowledge Transfer Service on ext. 6191 or via the website

Royal Society International Exchanges Scheme Sponsors including the Research Councils, The British Academy, The Royal Society, The Leverhulme Foundation and The Wellcome Trust use a grant application process where all applications are submitted electronically through the appropriate system. The set up of these systems mean there is an additional electronic approval layer between the applicant and the sponsor to allow for the appropriate institutional approval. For Portsmouth, this is the University’s Finance Department. Please ensure that you allow appropriate time for this institutional approval to be given. This will include verification of the finances and ensuring there is support from the applicant’s home department or school. The individual sponsors give appropriate guidance on this matter and will therefore not consider any applications where the deadline has been missed even if the applicant has submitted the application to the institutional approver before the deadline. This is particularly relevant where some sponsors have a midnight deadline. For any questions regarding electronic applications please contact the Research and Knowledge Transfer Service on ext. 6191 or Research Finance on ext. 3309.

Upcoming events Some of the events you may wish to attend over the coming months: EU Funding Day (UKRO visit) Thursday 13 October 2011 To coincide with the visit of UK Research Office’s Jo Frost, Research and Knowledge Transfer Service is organising this event to provide advice and insight on European funding for the UK research community. REF 2014 Wednesday 19 October 2011 Update on the University’s submission to HEFCE. Identifying Research Funding Opportunities Wednesday 26 October 2011 The aim of this event is to provide a working introduction to all research funding services available to academic and research staff. Collaborate 2 Innovate 2011 Tuesday 1 November 2011 This is an annual event, now in its third year, which is dedicated to building profitable partnerships between organisations in the Solent region.

Applying for Research Funding Wednesday 14 December 2011 This workshop aims to provide guidance and information on best practice and the support available within the University to assist researchers in applying for external research funding. Pathways to Impact Wednesday 21 December 2011 How to demonstrate the impact of your research and find the support available to you within the University. Fit to Bid Wednesday 22 February 2012 Learn how to make sure that you have everything you need to ensure a speedy and complete application. Concordat Overview Wednesday 18 April 2012 What will the concordat do for you? Learn from Human Resources the services that are available to you. If you would like any further information on the events advertised or to book your place please email

Alan Thorne – new Associate Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Science I was appointed as Associate Dean of Research (ADR) for the Faculty of Science on 1 August. I am a Reader in Biochemistry and have spent almost my entire career here at the University. After completing my first degree in 1973 I stayed on in the Biophysics group as a PhD student and then as a Postdoc, before becoming a member of academic staff in 1991. My main research interests continue to lie in the chromatin field, with a particular focus on ‘where’ modified histones are located in the genome, ‘when’ they appear in development and ‘how’ they regulate gene expression and other events in the cell nucleus. My new job brings a significant change in direction and I look forward to being involved in developing the research agenda in the University, though am very much in the learning-theropes stage. Outside of the University I like to stand in rivers throwing bits of fluff at fish.

Research and Knowledge Transfer newsletter • September 2011


Focus on a Researcher – starter for ten Professor Andy Thorpe Professor of Development Economics in the Department of Economics, Portsmouth Business School. Research area: Development Economics (very broadly!). Current project titles: • Rehabilitating Fisheries in Central Asia (with Ben Drakeford for Food and Agriculture Organisation, United Nations). • Doing Drugs in India (with the Global Health research team in the School of Health Sciences and Social Work (SHSSW)). • Sport Participation and Academic Success (not really development economics, but I enjoy working with Martin Snell, when he’s not on holiday, and more recently Richard Thelwell in the Department of Sport and Exercise Science). I am presently trying to put together a project with Richard Teeuw (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences) and colleagues at Amsterdam University on socio-economic vulnerability in the Indian coastal zone for the Economic Social Research Council (ESRC)/Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWo) funding. I have irons in fire with regard to further fisheries research too.

What is the biggest challenge you have ever undertaken? Many moons ago I applied to teach agricultural economics at postgraduate level at the National Autonomous University of Honduras – the only problem being that the language of instruction was Spanish (of which I spoke hardly a word at the time). Fortunately I survived the experience, though bucked the challenge of learning Russian vis-a-vis the research I have been undertaking on Central Asian fisheries over the last four years.

Why did you become a researcher? I fell into it. As I can’t sing, dance or play sport to any meaningful level, the chances of pop stardom and/or displacing Beckham in the England team were out. Equally, I wanted to do something where I didn’t have to wear a suit and tie, could work on what I wanted and when I wanted to, so there weren’t too many options left. Describe a typical day at work Arrive in office. Switch on computer to discover 60-plus emails. Learn I have won 13 lotteries I never even knew I had entered, am recipient of eight confidential business proposals involving sums running into millions of dollars from people I have never met, and discover there are four Ukrainian, two Russian and three Colombian women very keen to share their life with me. Delete all these and instead settle down to more mundane issues like chasing up outstanding annual/major reviews from research degree students.

What is your greatest achievement? Numerous. Holing all eight pool balls directly from the break (though only did it once). Managing to arrange eight weeks of rural fieldwork in Honduras around the local football calendar. Avoiding a forced marriage in Tajikistan. Most recently giving an hour-long keynote presentation in Spanish to the Mexican government, environment officials and University lecturers on the implications of the financial crisis for natural resource exports in Latin America (I only found out on the day that the other keynote did not speak Spanish, so I could have spoken in English as there were translation facilities available).

Presently I am in almost daily contact with Nicky from Amsterdam University, sorting out budgets and the like on the India project proposal, can guarantee that before the day is out a research degree student will drop by to update me on their research. I have given over time in the afternoon for the next few weeks to progress the research with Sasee, Reuben and others from SHSSW on Indian pharmaceutical distribution.

Who has influenced you most in life and why? Various – answers to be provided at my inaugural lecture on Wednesday 5 October. What are your interests outside of work? Lewes Bonfire, Sussex cricket, watching the kids play (football, rugby, surfing, fencing), real ale and long pub walks. If you could invite any three people to dinner (past or present) who would it be? Joe Strummer (lead singer with The Clash), Alexei Sayle (alternative comedian) and Barbara Castle (post-war Labour politician). If any couldn’t come then would invite my 13 year-old daughter Nat, who has a wicked sense of humour. Pick five words that you associate the most with research Fun, relevant, collaborative, thought-provoking, useful.

Professor Andy Thorpe undertaking field work.

Research and Knowledge Transfer newsletter • September 2011


University of Portsmouth Research Conference 25 January 2012 Current Research Issues and the REF Professor David Sweeney (Director of Research, HEFCE)

Policy, Practice, Plans and Prospects: A Four Year View

Professor Rick Rylance (Chief Executive, AHRC)

Developing and Implementing a Research Strategy that will deliver world class results

Professor Robert Allison (Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, University of Sussex) Lunch and 'Portsmouth Impact' poster viewing

University of Portsmouth Research Strategy 2012-2017 Research within the Faculties

To book your place please register at Alternatively, if you would like any further information on this event please email

Research and Knowledge Transfer newsletter • September 2011


Research and Knowledge Transfer News - Sept 2011  

University of Portsmouth's Research & Knowledge Transfer News - September 2011

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