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KENT The Magazine for the University of Kent | February 2014

New Chancellor Excellence through Partnerships

Welcome Dear colleagues, I am delighted to start this message with the exciting news that Gavin Esler has been appointed the University’s new Chancellor. Gavin has had a distinguished career as a journalist with the BBC, most recently as a presenter of the flagship Newsnight programme. He is a prolific and successful author. And he is, of course, an alumnus of this University. We look forward to welcoming him officially when he is installed formally later this year. Our new Chancellor will be in place in good time for our 50th Anniversary year. I am reminded each day as I pass the clock on the Senate Building that the opening ceremony on 1 October is getting ever closer. An exciting programme – involving staff, students, alumni and our local supporters – is taking shape. And in addition to the activities themselves, we have the opportunity to create a lasting legacy, so that Kent’s next 50 years will show even more success than the last. We are already beginning to face fresh challenges, not least the decision by the Government to lift the cap on student numbers from 2015/16.There is likely to be increased competition from both existing universities and new private institutions. Yet with challenges come opportunities and I am confident that we are well-placed to build our reputation further. Our submission to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) demonstrated the strength and breadth of our research base. In comparison with 2008, we have seen our academic staff numbers increase while the proportion submitting their research rose from 65% to 80%. My thanks to everyone who worked so hard to get our return completed on time. Impact – showing that our work is relevant – remains a cornerstone: be it the involvement of Kent researchers in projects such as the BBC World War One at Home; or the advice from our Law School that won an Afghan refugee asylum on religious grounds, despite being an atheist (see p14). I also want to thank all who are playing their part in helping to build Kent’s reputation for an excellent student experience. The new building works in hand – the refurbishment of the Templeman Library and Turing College – symbolise the investment that we want to make in the future of those who study with us. The University of Kent is a successful and respected institution. As we approach the second half of our academic year, I look forward to working with all of you to ensure that our reputation and our successes continue to grow.

Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow Vice-Chancellor

3 News 6 Feature: Honorary graduates 7 Enterprise 8 Research 10 Feature: Excellence through Partnerships 11 Human Resources 12 Staff profile 13 Sport 14 Kent in the news/Green Impact 15 People 16 What’s on Special thanks to: Lesley Farr, University Design & Print Centre. Photographs by Matt Fox, Tim Hailwood, Ady Kerry, Stephen King, Niki Rust, Tempest and Matt Wilson.


KENT We have set up a new group for staff to have their say on all aspects of internal communications, including KENT staff magazine. If you would like to become a member, please get in touch with us via Editorial team: Wendy Raeside (Editor), Karen Baxter and colleagues in Corporate Communications, University of Kent. To contact us or submit a story, email Next issue: the deadline for the next issue is 24 March with a publication date of 15 April 2014.

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Gavin Esler appointed Chancellor of the University Award-winning journalist, broadcaster and author Gavin Esler has been appointed Chancellor of the University of Kent. He succeeds Professor Sir Robert Worcester, who has retired from the position after seven years. Gavin Esler – who graduated from Kent with a BA in English and American Literature in 1974 – will be installed as Chancellor during one of the University’s congregations ceremonies in July. As Chancellor, his duties will include conferring degrees, chairing the University’s Court and representing the University on special occasions. He takes office at a time when the University is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Born in Glasgow and brought up in Edinburgh and Northern Ireland, Gavin Esler has worked for the BBC since 1977. He was its White Housebased Chief North American Correspondent between 1989 and 1998 and has more recently been one of the three main presenters on BBC2’s Newsnight and the main presenter on Dateline London (BBC World and BBC News Channel). He is the winner of a Royal Television Society Award and in 2007 a Sony Gold Award for his radio documentary report on Sami al-Hajj, one of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay. Following the broadcast, al-Hajj was released from American custody.


KENT The Magazine for the University of Kent | February 2014

New Chancellor Excellence through Partnerships

Gavin Esler is also a regular newspaper and magazine writer and commentator. As an author, he has written a book on American discontent (The United States of Anger, 1997), a book on leadership (Lessons from the Top – The three universal stories that all successful leaders tell, 2013) and five novels. He is a BAFTA member and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow said: ‘I am delighted that Gavin Esler has accepted our invitation to be the sixth Chancellor of the University of Kent. His achievements and international profile make him the perfect choice for the role, and as an alumnus and honorary graduate he has an important understanding of what the University means to its students and staff, past and present. I am confident he will be an inspiration to all our students and a marvellous ambassador for Kent in its 50th anniversary year and beyond.’ Gavin Esler said: ‘I am delighted and honoured to have become Chancellor of one of our great universities during its 50th anniversary year. I was lucky enough to be the first member of my family to achieve a university degree and my time in Canterbury inspired me greatly. I have a long connection with Kent and Canterbury and I hope to help other young men and women to achieve their ambitions through a wonderful university experience.’

The University awarded him an honorary MA in 1995 and an honorary Doctor of Civil Law in 2005.

Cover story The University’s new Chancellor Gavin Esler (photo: Jess Overs).

KENT Magazine



Kent awarded EC’s Erasmus Charter for Higher Education The University has been awarded the European Commission’s Erasmus Charter for Higher Education 2014-2020. The award recognises the quality of Kent’s Erasmus activities delivered under the auspices of the Lifelong Learning Programme which ran from 2007 to 2013. Each year, Kent exchanges students and members of academic and professional services staff with more than 100 partner universities across Europe under the Erasmus mobility scheme. In 2012-13, its outward Erasmus student numbers saw a 20% increase on the previous year, when the UK national increase was 7%. Kent is the lead institution for two Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral programmes: Text and Event in Early Modern Europe (TEEME) and Doctorate in Cultural and Global Criminology (DCGC). It is also a member of the Erasmus Mundus Action II Lotus consortium which facilitates mobility between Europe and South East Asia. Additionally, in 2013 the University was successful in all three of its applications for a Jean Monnet Award. This success led to the establishment of a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, a Jean Monnet Chair for Professor Elena Korosteleva (School of Politics and International Relations), and a Jean Monnet Multi-Lateral Research Group led by Dr Tom Casier, Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University’s Brussels School of International Studies.

Music building wins prestigious Wood Award The University’s Colyer-Fergusson Music Building has won another top award in a prestigious national competition – this time for best public or commercial building featuring a design making extensive use of wood. Judges picked it from a shortlist of 30 UK architecture, furniture and design projects that feature wood to win one of the top awards in the Wood Awards 2013. The winners were announced at a ceremony in London on 19 November hosted by the Worshipful Company of Carpenters. The Colyer-


KENT Magazine



Fergusson Music Building, which opened on the Canterbury campus in 2012, won the award for the best project in the Commercial and Public Access Category.

Lancaster’s 160. Unfortunately, their score was not high enough to reach the next round. The allCambridge final, broadcast on 3 January, was won by a team representing Gonville & Caius.

Designed by Tim Ronalds Architects, the £8m Music Building is notable for its wide range of innovative design features. The architects employed timber throughout the public spaces to provide the warmth and acoustic qualities conducive to music.

Social scientists chosen as future research leaders

Alumni feature on Christmas University Challenge Four well-known Kent alumni appeared on BBC Two’s Christmas University Challenge, broadcast on 21 December. Competing against a team from Lancaster University, Kent’s contestants were: Fi Glover, writer and television and radio presenter; James Wong, television science presenter; Rebecca Lenkiewicz, playwright and film, television and radio screenwriter; and Robert Wade, screenwriter and co-writer of five James Bond films. Fi Glover graduated in 1990 in Classical Civilisation and Philosophy from the School of European Culture and Languages, while James Wong undertook a Master’s in Ethnobotany, graduating from the School of Anthropology and Conservation in 2005. Rebecca Lenkiewicz studied English and Film Studies, graduating in 1989 from the School of English. Robert Wade studied Film Theory and English and graduated in 1983. He also received an honorary degree in 2013. The Kent team competed in one of seven firstround matches, scoring 100 points to

Two social scientists at Kent have been selected as Future Research Leaders under a national scheme to recognise and support outstanding researchers early in their careers. Dr Ben Baumberg and Dr Heejung Chung, both from the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, are among only 60 researchers chosen by the Economic and Social Research Council to receive funding in its Future Research Leaders awards for 2013/14. Under the scheme, ‘outstanding’ early-career social scientists can receive grant support for an ‘excellent’ research project which is likely to have a big impact – with the aim of also developing the skills they will need to become future world leaders in their own research fields. Dr Baumberg will receive just over £247,000 to fund a study looking at the role of working conditions and job availability in incapacity claims, while Dr Chung will receive more than £243,000 for research into working time flexibility and work-life balance across Europe.

Environmental law prize awarded to Kent lecturer Sam Boyle from Kent Law School has been awarded the 2013 UK Environmental Law Association Simon Ball Prize for achievement. The Simon Ball Prize is awarded annually to recognise and celebrate student achievement in the field of environmental law.

News 1 Kent alumni on Christmas University Challenge 2 Lego League regional finals 3 Engineers of the future

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has funded 13 unique collaborative Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy to boost interaction between the academic research base and industry. Professor Mark Smales and Professor Martin Warren from the School of Biosciences will each direct one of the networks, which pool skills from academia and business to develop research projects with the potential to overcome major challenges in the industrial biotechnology and bioenergy arena.


Sam Boyle, who studied a postgraduate law degree (LLM) in Environmental Law and Policy at the University before becoming a Lecturer in Law within Kent Law School, was nominated for his dissertation on agricultural water pollution. The paper paid particular importance to his home state of Queensland, Australia, where run-off from farms continues to threaten the future of the Great Barrier Reef.

Attracting future engineers The University hosted a workshop in December to engage school pupils across Kent and south east London with engineering and science. Organised by the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, the two-day workshop saw the pupils finding solutions to real industrial problems provided by companies such as Pfizer, BAE Systems, Arup and Laing O’Rourke. The projects ranged from designing a new helicopter flight stick, to developing a low noise technique for breaking rocks. It was led by the Engineering Development Trust – a national charity and the largest provider of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) enrichment activities for young people in the UK. Technicians and academics from the University were on hand throughout the activities, which took place in specialist laboratories at the Canterbury campus.

Researchers selected for new bioscience networks Two University research scientists will play a leading role in new industry-academia networks providing innovative research to benefit the UK economy.

Adventure Leader of the Year A Kent student has won the national award for Adventure Leader of the Year at the 2013 Student Adventure Leader Awards. Laura-Jane Ryves – who graduated in 2013 with a first class honours in English and American Literature and now works in the Development Office – won the coveted prize for her voluntary involvement in fundraising with Kent Union and the University’s Raise and Give (RaG) society. As an Adventure Leader, Laura-Jane led a group of 37 student fundraisers in a challenge to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and raise over £90,000 for the Meningitis Research Foundation and Practical Action. She was presented with her award at the British Film Institute and received a personal message from Sir Richard Branson, chief executive of award sponsors Virgin. photo.php?v=748790528482548

Award for Honorary Reader Dr David Oliver, Honorary Reader at the Centre for Professional Practice and the Tizard Centre, has received a prestigious award in Croatia. He has been involved in education on palliative care in Croatia since 2000 and, for the last six years, has been the convenor and main speaker on the elective course on palliative care for students on the English Curriculum course in the Medical Faculty at the University of Zagreb, where he was elected an Honorary Professor in 2002. On 17 December, David was awarded the Certificate of Merit for his work in International Collaboration with the Medical Faculty. Professor Davor Jezek, Sub Dean for the English Curriculum Medical Course, spoke of David’s

significant contribution in supporting and leading the course, which is well attended and evaluated by students.

Lego League regional finals Over 250 pupils from schools across Kent took part in the First Lego League regional finals at the University’s Canterbury campus on 3 and 4 December. First Lego League is an international programme designed to bring science to life for schoolchildren aged nine to 16 through themed activities, including a hands-on robot challenge and scientific research. The regional finals showcased specially designed robots made by teams of pupils from each school. This year’s theme asked teams to design a way for people to prepare for, stay safe during, or rebuild communities after natural disaster. The event was covered by ITV Merdian news. watch?v=qGvQnlyHPkc&noredirect=1

Launch of Kent Student Awards The University, together with Kent Union, is launching a new awards scheme to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution students make to the Kent student experience. The ‘Kent Student Awards 2014’ aim to attract nominations in nine categories representing outstanding contributions to the University through arts and culture; community spirit; sports development; entrepreneurship; the environment; media and communications; international/multicultural initiatives; equality, diversity and inclusivity; and college life. In addition, one of those winners will also receive the ‘Student of the Year’ award. Presented at a gala dinner in May, winners and runners-up will receive cash prizes, official recognition from the University and unique opportunities to gain new experiences as students and alumni. Runners-up will also receive a prize and all nominees will receive a certificate to recognise their contribution. Nominations run from 17 February to 28 March 2014. Students, staff and members of the public can nominate a student. The award scheme is being administered by Student Services. KENT Magazine



Honorary graduates

1 2 3 4

Kate Bellingham Charlotte Green The Venerable Sheila Watson Admiral the Lord Boyce

English and American Literature, Charlotte Green joined the BBC after graduating. In 1985 she became a Radio 4 newsreader for programmes such as Today and The World at One. In 2009 she won the Roberts Radio Special Award for Excellence in Broadcasting and in 2013 the Broadcasting Press Guild’s Radio Broadcaster of the Year Award. The Venerable Sheila Watson received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree, in recognition of her contribution to women’s ministry in the Church of England and to Canterbury. First ordained as a deaconess in 1979 when women were formally admitted to Holy Orders, she became one of the first women to be ordained deacon in 1987 and priest in 1994 in historic services in St Paul’s Cathedral. She has been Archdeacon of Canterbury since 2007.


Kate Bellingham, the former BBC Tomorrow’s World presenter, and Charlotte Green, the first female to announce the classified football results on the BBC, were among those receiving honorary degrees from the University at ceremonies in Canterbury and Rochester Cathedrals on 20 and 22 November.


Kate Bellingham received an honorary Doctor of Science degree, in recognition of her contribution to the public understanding of science and science education. She presented Tomorrow’s World from 1990-94, and has also hosted the weekly science magazine The Acid Test on BBC Radio 5 Live and co-presented the ITV programme Big Bang. She is also well known for promoting science and engineering, particularly to schools.

Also receiving honorary degrees were the Venerable Shelia Watson, Archdeacon of Canterbury, and Admiral the Lord Boyce, Lord Warden and Admiral of the Cinque Ports.

Charlotte Green received an honorary Doctor of the University degree, in recognition of her contribution to radio broadcasting. She became the first female announcer to read the classified football results on BBC Five Live in September 2013. An alumna of Kent, where she read



KENT Magazine

Admiral the Lord Boyce KG GCB OBE DL received an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree, in recognition of his contribution to public life. He joined the Royal Navy in 1961 and, after qualifying as a submariner, commanded a number of submarines and the frigate HMS Brilliant. After becoming Director of the Naval Staff and Senior Naval Officer Middle East, he was promoted to the Flag List in 1991 and became Commander in Chief Fleet and First Sea Lord. In 2001 he was made the Chief of Defence Staff (professional head of all the armed forces). He retired in 2003 and in the same year was elevated to the peerage. He was appointed Lord Warden and Admiral of the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle in 2004.



Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) – an academic perspective the collaboration. The high success rate of KTP funding applications within the University made this route highly attractive and the proposed project fitted the project criteria well.

What is your experience of a KTP?

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) are one of the leading mechanisms enabling academics to work with innovative organisations requiring up-to-date research-based expertise to succeed. Academics can develop business-relevant teaching and research, apply knowledge and expertise to important organisational problems and identify new research themes and undergraduate/postgraduate projects. Dr Maria Alfredsson, from the School of Physical Sciences, worked with Hilger Crystals, a synthetic crystal manufacturer, on a three-year KTP project to advance Hilger’s manufacturing processes. Maria speaks about her experience of KTP below.

Why I became involved with KTP A colleague of mine had worked with Hilger Crystals for many years. This included a Collaborative Award in Science and Engineering and, following its completion, a KTP was suggested as a funding mechanism to continue

I found the KTP experience very positive and know that Hilger Crystals did too. We were able to achieve clear results and develop a project which enabled the expansion and eventual buyout of the company. The company and I received great support from Kent Innovation and Enterprise (KIE) throughout the application process. They were able to provide guidance, translating my scientific terminology to fit the requirements of the Technology Strategy Board application and collate the information provided by myself and Hilger Crystals. The application process was quite different to normal research proposals so the direction from KIE was invaluable.

How did you find the structure? I found the structure of the KTP very helpful as the regular formal and informal meetings kept all parties up to date with the project and enabled us to resolve any problems and challenges as they occurred. We had informal meetings every two weeks, sometimes through conference calls, and formal minuted meetings every month. During the course of the project, we got to know each other very well and I found it very beneficial being able to exchange ideas with someone from industry in order to develop a solution to any challenges we were facing.

What benefits did you gain? The KTP pushed me academically as the methods used were cutting-edge. I am currently working on research papers as a result of this project and have used my findings in a lot of my teaching. I have found it very useful to use the industrial knowledge I gained to show my students the industrial application of what they are learning in the lab. During and since the completion of the KTP, several students developed projects based upon the KTP. It also created fellowships to enable students to work with me on the KTP during the summer break.

Would you recommend becoming involved in KTP to colleagues? I found it very exciting to work with industry and see what I have developed on a computer screen become a real thing, not just a model. It was also very rewarding to see my lab research up-scaled to an industrial level. A KTP can really push your thinking. It forced me to think outside the box and I now use many of the new techniques I developed for Hilger Crystals in my daily practices. I have also learned how to think in terms of impact which has been very useful when developing research proposals. I would definitely recommend a KTP to my colleagues. For more information on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, see our webpage. To discuss any specific project ideas, contact Charlotte Bury or Clare Witcher on 01227 827376 or practical-partnering/ktp.html

Environmental Innovation Network (i-Net) Kent Innovation and Enterprise has been successful in applying for European Regeneration Development Funding, making Kent one of only three universities in the south east to become an Environmental Innovation Network. Environmental i-Net will help support innovation and growth in the SME low carbon and environmental goods and services sector. Funding will support a full-time Environmental Project Manager to drive forward new SME partnerships and help foster market-led links with SMEs to share knowledge and expertise in the environmental and engineering fields. The funding will enable the University to build on its strengths in this area, which stretch across all three faculties. The project will also open up opportunities for developing collaborative partnerships in this growing sector. SMEs will be able to access Academic Mentor Vouchers and Innovation Vouchers to help fund project work.

KENT Magazine



Kent receives share of £5 million for environmental research The University and its partners in Environment East (EnvEast) have received a £5m award from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to fund PhD students to carry out environmental research.

Guitar Heroes in Music Education? The University has become part of a new research network which aims to shape the future of innovation in the games industry. Dr David Roesner, Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre in the School of Arts, will lead on a research project titled ‘Guitar Heroes in Music Education? Music-based video games and their potential for musical performative creativity’.

The award will fund 60 PhD researchers over the next five years at EnvEast – a doctoral training partnership (DTP) between the universities of East Anglia, Kent and Essex, who together form the Eastern Academic Research Consortium (Eastern ARC) – alongside eight other core environmental partners. The funding will enable students to work collaboratively between two or more partners within or outside of the EnvEast partnership. Kent students will receive training under the ‘Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Sustainable Development’ theme of the programme. Professor Duncan Wingham, Chief Executive of NERC, said: ‘If UK environmental sciences are going to continue to prosper, we need to make sure we get the best from our students. These DTPs position us to compete in an increasingly competitive global environment by training students in the best possible way to use environmental sciences to help meet the challenges and opportunities facing us today.’ Core partners alongside EnvEast include: the British Antarctic Survey; the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology; Plymouth Marine Laboratory; the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science; the Marine Biological Association; the John Innes Centre; and the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science. Advertising for student applications began in November 2013 on the websites of the University of Kent and its partners. The first successful recipients of these awards will begin their studies in October 2014. postgraduate/research_council/nerc.html

The research will connect arts and humanities academics with video game designers, artists and musicians to explore the creative potential and influence that music games, such as Guitar Hero, can have on the future of game design and music education.

Guard dogs reduce killing of threatened species Kent research has revealed that guarding dogs can significantly reduce conflict between livestock and large carnivores, such as cheetahs or leopards, helping to reduce unwarranted killing of endangered species in South Africa. In a paper published in Wildlife Society Bulletin, entitled ‘Perceived Efficacy of LivestockGuarding Dogs in South Africa: Implications for Cheetah Conservation’, researchers from the School of Anthropology and Conservation studied the effect guarding dogs have on the protection of farm animals across South Africa. The research revealed that livestock-guarding dogs eliminated livestock losses from predators on 91% of the farms studied, with each farmer saving over $3,000 per year due to the reduction in killed livestock. The team also investigated the tolerance farmers have towards cheetahs roaming their land when they have a guarding dog present. They found that farmers were noticeably more tolerant of predators, resulting in a greater prevalence of cheetahs and other predators on their land compared to farmers that did not have livestockguarding dogs. doi/10.1002/wsb.352/abstract


KENT Magazine

‘Guitar Heroes in Music Education?’ is one of six research projects funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) which make up the AHRC Video Games Research Network. roesner-video-game-network

Greater religious diversity needed by the United Nations Research by Kent suggests that Christianity still dominates the United Nations (UN) and that a more diverse system is needed to increase nonChristian representation in world peace-making. Undertaken by Professor Jeremy Carrette with colleagues from the Department of Religious Studies and School of Politics and International Relations, the research reveals that more than 70% of religious Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) at the UN are Christian and there is historical privilege in allowing the Holy See (Vatican) a special observer status, as both a State and a religion. The report, titled ‘Religious NGOs and the United Nations’, calls for greater awareness, transparency and equality in the way religious NGOs operate within the UN and more emphasis on religious tolerance. It also calls for greater understanding of how religions enhance and constrain human rights.


Helping children research and evaluate happiness

Falcon to find creative ways (see picture below) to present their findings to the whole school.

Children in three Kent primary schools investigated what makes them happy as part of a University project to help them develop research skills.

A similar project two years ago found that when the children were asked what made them happy, they came up with a list that included Fridays, fish and chip lunches and family and friends.

The project, entitled ‘How to make a happy school’, was run by Dr Lindsey Cameron, of the School of Psychology. It took place during national Festival of Social Science week from 4-8 November, organised annually by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Dr Cameron, a child development specialist and Lecturer in Developmental Psychology, now hopes to roll out her approach with schools across the country by producing a ‘How to make schools happy’ toolkit so that they can use social science methods such as questionnaires to explore happiness in their own schools.

The Kent project started with around 113 children from the three primary schools learning about why happiness is important – and how scientists measure it – at a workshop at the University’s Canterbury campus. The children then used their new skills in their respective schools to create their own surveys to find out what makes their classmates happy. They worked with Kent-based arts organisation People United and artist Tracey

KRIMSON: Phase one pilot The project team behind KRIMSON – Kent Research & Innovation Management System On-line – is now preparing for its phase one pilot. The system aims to support the pre- and postaward management of projects funded via Research Services and Kent Innovation and

Enterprise. Three schools are participating in the pilot phase, one from each faculty. They are Kent Law School, School of European Culture and Languages and Engineering and Digital Arts. The pilot phase is due to commence in late March 2014 and will last for three months. Feedback from the pilot will be used to make any necessary changes to the system prior to a University-wide rollout in July 2014. The KRIMSON system will provide a facility for researchers to prepare and approve projects electronically prior to submission to the relevant funding organisation. It will also provide enhanced reporting on projects submitted through Research Services and Kent Innovation and Enterprise. Training for both the pilot and University-wide rollout will be provided by the KRIMSON project team in due course. Further information on KRIMSON is available on our website:

Recent research awards Professor Steven Gao (School of Engineering and Digital Arts), £402,358 from the European Commission for ‘GaN powered Kaband high-efficiency multi-beam transceivers for SATellites (GANSAT)’, and £214,645 from the European Commission for ‘DIgital beam Forming For low-cost multi-static spacEboRnE syNthetic aperTure radars (DIFFERENT)’. Dr Alessia Buscaino (School of Biosciences), £382,648 from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) for ‘Establishment, maintenance and modulation of heterochromatin domains’. Professor Martin Warren (School of Biosciences), £379,746 from the BBSRC for ‘Cell circuitry for metals: integrative metabolism for cobalt uptake and cobalamin production’. Dr Jeremy Rossman (School of Biosciences), £353,625 from the Medical Research Council for ‘Molecular mechanisms of M2-mediated influenza virus budding and scission’. KENT Magazine



Excellence through Partnerships 2014 launch conference

2014 started in style for school and faculty administrative staff at Kent with the launch of the Excellence through Partnerships initiative on 7 January. This one-day staff development conference, subtitled ‘finding solutions – breaking down silos’, aimed to encourage people to identify ways to strengthen relationships and build new partnerships between administrative, student and academic communities across schools, faculties and central services. The programme was attended by well over 200 members of staff in sessions staged in Woolf and Darwin Colleges on Canterbury campus. The conference was organised by a design team of administrative staff from all three faculties and HR. The team did an excellent job in attracting high-calibre external speakers alongside a range of accomplished workshop leaders from across the University.

Keynote addresses Keynote addresses were given by Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of Million+ and by Dr Kenton Lewis MBE, Partnership Manager at the Higher Education Academy. Kenton is a Fellow and Trustee of the Association of University Administrators and was recognised in the 2014 New Year’s Honours for service to higher education. Pam Tatlow described the changing nature of higher education over the past two decades, highlighting the importance of value, the demands placed on university administration and academics and the need for better partnerships to adapt to the changing nature of the sector. Kenton Lewis focused on the professional role of university administration, the importance of collective self-confidence and emphasised the value of building relationships to enable improvement and innovation within universities.


KENT Magazine

An international flavour was added, by video, through a specially-prepared presentation by Australian colleague Dr Carroll Graham from the University of Technology, Sydney. Her research revealed the impact of professional staff on student outcomes and the importance of working in partnership.

Interactive workshops Participants joined a series of nine interactive workshops during morning and afternoon sessions covering the theme of ‘Partnership’. The workshops were delivered by colleagues from the Academic Division, Information Services, Human Resources, Corporate Communications and Student Services, as well as Kent Union. An additional key feature of the event was the opportunity over lunch to talk with representatives from numerous central services departments who presented posters displaying their work. The design team wishes to thank HR Learning and Development for their active involvement and also give appreciation for the excellent input from all the speakers, workshop leaders, poster presenters and participants, who made the day such a success. In the words of one participant: ‘The day was excellent: it reminded me why I joined the University, and that the task is ongoing; we can, and will, still improve... that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning!’ The Excellence through Partnerships initiative will continue to encourage conference participants to engage in partnership work with their colleagues in schools and central services to support the development of the University. For more information, including links to all the presentation materials, please refer to the conference webpage on the Academic Division website:

Human Resources

The Aurora leadership programme for women in HE The University is proud to announce its participation in Aurora, a new Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE) sectorwide development programme for women in higher education. The programme is sponsored by our ViceChancellor Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, EG Champion for Gender at Kent, and has been unanimously supported by all three faculty deans. Dr Ruth Blakeley, Reader in International Relations, has been appointed as the Kent Aurora Champion and will be responsible for leading the drive for the University to be fully and actively engaged in the programme. Aurora provides career and personal development opportunities for women in roles up to the level of senior lecturer (and professional services equivalents). Kent has invested heavily in professional services staff leadership and management development over the past few years with over 150 participants – male and female – in our internal programmes and has a strong record of women in senior leadership roles in professional services. It is therefore focusing attention for this first pilot by using the Aurora programme as a vehicle to similarly support academic staff leadership development where women are under-represented. Ten members of the female academic staff – five from Social Sciences, three from Sciences and two from Humanities – are participating in the first iteration of the programme, which is running as a pilot this year, with the aim of rolling out similar programmes over the next five years. Ruth Blakeley commented: ‘Recent research has shown that there are fewer women in the most senior positions in higher education than ten years ago. It’s a privilege to be involved in a scheme that is aimed at enabling a wider range of women to think of themselves as leaders, to help them develop the skills they need, and to help the University enjoy the many benefits that ensue from improved gender equality across the board.’ The Aurora programme is designed as a partnership initiative between the LFHE and the individual participating HE institutions. For more information, contact Anne Rushworth in Learning and Development ( or ext 7897).

Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) – network news Women’s Network The Women’s Network, chaired by Dr Louise Naylor, has recently refreshed its terms of reference and hosted a lively discussion about the promotions process. The group meets regularly to provide a platform for identifying issues that impinge upon gender equality and to identify good practices for women at the University. Please join us at our next meeting, on 11 March from 12.30-2pm, which will be marking International Women’s Day.

LGBT History Month Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) History Month is held each February in the UK in order to celebrate the achievements of the LGBT community and to recognise the

historical and ongoing struggle for equality. To celebrate the month, the LGBT Staff Network at the University, together with the Gulbenkian Cinema, is hosting a series of films exploring LGBT. Everyone is welcome to come along and share in the celebrations. For dates, times and listings, please check: history-month-2014

Keep in touch Don’t forget you can stay up to date with other EDI networks such as the EDI Network and the Disabled Staff Network, as well as general EDI activities, on our website:

Mentoring There are lots of ways to get involved in mentoring at Kent. You can find out more about being a mentor or mentee by coming along to one of our workshops or joining our Mentoring Network. For details, see our webpages:

Our people practices/ your suggestions Following the Academic Division Excellence through Partnerships conference on 7 January, HR are keen to hear from staff on how we can improve staff feedback when reviewing our HR practices, policies and procedures. Tell us your ideas. You can submit your suggestions online at: Alternatively, email your suggestions to Nikki Hyde, HR Projects Manager ( An iPad will be awarded for the best suggestion received by Friday 28 February 2014. KENT Magazine


Staff profile

Ife Peters Which country would you most like to visit? USA – the most talked-about country in the world. What was your first/worstjob? My first job was a bookstore attendant after High School. My worst job was working as a part-time telephone sales assistant for a company while at university. What (if anything) would you like to change about yourself? I am fearfully and wonderfully made. How do you celebrate good news? I go over the moon and give myself a treat, cry or sing. It mostly depends on the type of news. What is your greatest achievement? At different points in time in my life, I have had various achievements but the one I hold very dear to my heart and makes me elated is to have married the best man in the world and be blessed with a beautiful girl.

Ife Peters is the University’s dedicated In-Country Officer based within the UKEAS educational agency offices in Lagos, Nigeria. Her role is focused primarily on supporting our recruitment and conversion work, as well as alumni development in Nigeria, with some provision for also covering other West African nations. As a qualified barrister and UK graduate (LLB – University of Hull), Ife has a wealth of experience of the challenges facing international students coming to the UK to complete their educational studies. She has worked with the University through one of its trusted overseas representatives for the past five years and has been in this new role since October 2013. What would be your perfect day? A day on the beach with my family doing nothing but having fun! A perfect day during a working week would be to get to work without spending two hours in traffic at both the beginning and end of my day – i.e. a road-free day in Lagos. Which word or phrase do you use most? It sure is well – it’s a double affirmation that it must be well.


KENT Magazine

What is your favourite item of clothing, either now or in the past? My jeans and a baggy t-shirt – I like the freedom they create. How do you relax? Watching a romantic movie or food channel. What is your favourite TV/radio programme? It definitely has to be any X-Factor that Simon Cowell features in.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? You never know in life! What you sow you will surely reap, therefore do unto others as you wish to be done to you. Why did you choose to work for the University of Kent? The reputation, progressive development, strength, ranking and location of the University helped my decision. It is the UK’s European university, which carries a lot of prestige. Why did you choose to study in the UK? I was tired of waiting on Nigerian universities to offer me a place despite passing the cut-off mark for entry. What do you think are the biggest/best benefits of international students studying in the UK? The UK is respected all over the world for its world-class standard of teaching. The international exposure is second to none and opens up a student’s eyes to a whole new world of order!


New year... new you! Are you keen to compensate for festive indulgence and get into a healthy routine? If so, there is a new term-time fitness and dance class timetable at Kent Sport. The wide range of fitness and dance classes has something for everyone and includes Bodypump, Booiaka, Boxercise, Circuits, Fitsteps, Legs, Bums and Tums, Pilates, Spinning, Streetfit, Yoga and Zumba. The complete timetable can be viewed on the Kent Sport website – Classes are free to gold and silver members; bronze members pay an activity fee per class. Call 01227 823623 to book. Not a member yet? Visit for details.

Kent Sport Physiotherapy Clinic opens The new Kent Sport Physiotherapy Clinic opened on Monday 3 February. The clinic, on the Canterbury campus, is available to University students, staff, alumni and the public, with discounts for Kent Sport members. Regardless of whether or not you exercise and play sport to keep fit, the physiotherapy clinic will be able to assist you with recovery or rehabilitation. Linked to the fitness suite wellness area in the Sports Centre, the physiotherapy clinic provides a seamless pathway to improving performance; by working with the physiotherapist and the highly-qualified strength and conditioning coaches and fitness instructors you can enhance your fitness and wellbeing.

Our resident physiotherapist, Vicky Annis, has worked with a number of sports, including Great Britain Women’s Volleyball Team, British Triathlon, England Netball, Yorkshire Jets Netball Superleague Team, Leeds City Swimming Club, BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sports) teams and British Athletics. Vicky has worked in sports physiotherapy since qualifying at the University of Bradford in 2006.

and American football over a period of 20 years my levels of fitness used to be very good. I used to weight train, run and be generally very active. I have the determination and mental strength to fulfil and exceed expectations; I just need direction and assistance to do so.’

Vicky says: ‘With this new service, Kent Sport now provides the opportunity for everyone to improve their health, fitness and performance and make a positive impact on their overall lifestyle regardless of what point in that journey they are at. I am excited to be assisting a wide variety of people, from Kent Sport members to non-members across campus and to anyone else in the Canterbury area.’

Vivi Triantafyllopoulou, Lecturer in Learning Disabilty in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, will also be taking part in the Xercise Factor boot camp. Vivi (31) says: ‘Unless I have someone to motivate me to start exercising again, I could easily be working in the office until really late every night and not use my membership for the whole year! I am not sure that I have the Xercise Factor now; I probably used to have it a year and a half ago when I went to two classes per day. I really need your help to get the Xercise Factor back in my life!’

For further information including opening hours and prices, visit physio.html. To make an enquiry or book an appointment call 01227 824375 or email

Participants will be mentored by a member of the Kent Sport fitness team for two weeks and successful contestants will then proceed to the second phase and compete for the honour of becoming the Xercise Factor Champion 2014.

Xercise Factor 2014

Follow the contestants’ progress with regular updates at and on Facebook and Twitter (UniKentSports).

A number of lucky staff and student participants have been selected for Kent Sport’s Xercise Factor 2014 and are now preparing themselves for the initial boot camp. The challenge aims to make long-lasting changes to participant lifestyles. It is a complete overhaul of exercise and lifestyle habits and only the truly committed will succeed! Staff participants include 34-year-old Paul Sharp, Undergraduate Admin Assistant in the School of Arts. Paul says: ‘Having played rugby

The Pavilion Café Bar The Pavililon Café Bar is a fantastic place to relax and enjoy good food in a comfortable and spacious social area with viewing balconies overlooking the sports pitches, wifi and large screen TVs. See for counter-service hours and menu. The venue is also available for group functions – email:

KENT Magazine


Kent in the news

Global coverage for Kent Law Clinic landmark case A recent victory for Kent Law Clinic has resulted in extensive national and international media coverage for the Clinic, Law School and the University. KENT magazine talked to Press Officer Katie Scoggins, who led the story. Could you explain the background?

The story related to a case undertaken by Kent Law Clinic, part of Kent Law School, which successfully secured asylum in the UK for one of its clients based on religious grounds, despite him being an atheist. The case was believed to be the first of its kind and, despite not being decided in court and therefore not setting a legal precedent, it has effectively set a precedent due to the extent of publicity we have received. Can you describe the process you went through from first hearing about the case?

As soon as I heard from Kent Law Clinic, I knew the story had the potential to secure a huge amount of media coverage. I worked with Professor John Fitzpatrick and Sheona York, a supervising solicitor from the Law School, alongside second-year Law student, Claire Splawn, and drafted a news release detailing the outcome of the case. To ensure the media could prepare articles and request interviews, I decided to issue the news release under embargo, which means the news should not be publicly reported until the following day. This also meant we had time to prepare for any interview requests and secure appearances on highprofile news outlets, such as BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme. Were you able to fulfil many interview requests?

As soon as I distributed the news release to media contacts, including the Press Association and Associated Press, I started receiving calls. Sheona York discussed the case over the phone with many journalists, including correspondents at the Guardian and Newsnight. Sheona also gave live radio interviews to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show, BBC World Service, and Radio Five Live, from the University’s campus radio studio. We also had several requests to interview the client, which we had to politely decline to preserve anonymity.

How much news coverage did the story obtain?

So far, we have recorded over 200 items, including articles in the Guardian, Daily Mail, The Times and a front page article in the Daily Telegraph. There were also multiple mentions in media outlets across the world, including Al Jazeera, the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC Global News, BBC Afghan Services, New Zealand Herald and Times of India. Sheona York from Kent Law Clinic commented: ‘Besides the sheer breadth of coverage the case received, it was gratifying to see the careful and intelligent way the case was reported in all the newspapers which featured the story. It was good to participate in wellprepared radio debates and interviews which gave space to the issues raised by the case and, we hope, will have made a contribution to a more open discussion about asylum and immigration.’ Colleagues who would like to engage with the media or provide expert comment on a topical news story should contact the University’s Press Office, part of Corporate Communications, on or ext 3581.

More headlines Other University stories which have featured in the news recently include research on ‘uptalk’ by Professor Amalia Arvaniti, Head of English Language and Linguistics in the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL). Professor Arvaniti’s research into ‘valley girl’ talk being a gendered phenomenon appeared in the Washington Post, the Daily Mail, National Geographic and on BBC News, among many others. Professor Arvaniti was also interviewed for BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science programme. KENT Magazine

We encourage all our teams to strive for a Gold award, but if you are new to Green Impact, or thinking of joining, then getting to Bronze is achievement enough! Get yourself a team, big or small, register online and you’re off. Last year, a couple of University staff completed, from start to finish, the Bronze criteria of the Green Impact workbook… within an hour. While the workbook submission deadline is looming (14 March), there is still time to tackle as many of the criteria as you see possible and be rewarded for your sustainable behaviour at a special awards ceremony. Please contact your Green Impact team ( with any questions. If you’re getting through the criteria but eager to do something different, why not go beyond the workbook? We are happy to see the growth and development of three very distinct projects carried out by some of our winning teams from last year. Find out more about these projects at our Awards Ceremony on 7 April 2014. sustainability/green_impact.html

Small ad Also from SECL was national and international coverage on research from the Department of Religious Studies into the religious diversity of the United Nations (see p8). Undertaken by Dr Jeremy Carrette, alongside colleagues from the School of Politics and International Relations, the research appeared in the Independent and the Guardian, as well as in religious titles, such as The Church Times, The Methodist Recorder and The Way. You can follow media coverage featuring the University via regular updates at:


Green Impact – it’s not too late to get involved

Allport Cars Our business is picking up. City of Canterbury Licensed cars, specialising in airport & long-distance travel with competitive prices. All major credit cards accepted. Contact us on: 01227 370 370 or 07720 597 700. Visit the website at: or email:


Congratulations Successful start for MA in Higher Education The Centre for the Study of Higher Education is celebrating the success of its first cohort of students to complete the University’s MA in Higher Education. The eight students – Lynn Shaw, Daniel Clark, Steve Bailey, David Roberts, Alan Le Grys, Zoe Davies, Toby Huitson and Catherine Lee – are all University of Kent or associate college staff. They studied educational research methods and a range of theories and practices associated with higher education. Three of the students have been awarded a PGDip in Higher Education; five of the group went on to complete an individual dissertation and they receive the full MA. Several are now considering embarking upon a PhD with the Centre. Dr Joanna Williams, Programme Director for the MA in Higher Education, said: ‘I am delighted that the students’ efforts, interest and enthusiasm have been rewarded. I’d like to congratulate this group of students for achieving the MA while simultaneously keeping up with work and family commitments. This is a testament to their efforts.’

Lunch to mark 25 years Thirteen staff marked 25 years at Kent during 2013. Among those attending a celebratory lunch in The Beagle restaurant on 17 October were (pictured from left): Vanda Janes (Kent Hospitality); Peter Laraman (Kent Hospitality); Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow; Jane Newton (British Cartoon Archive); Jane Buckman (IS Collection Management); Angela Kennett (IS Planning & Administration); Director of

Book now for debut play by Kent staff

Human Resources Margaret Ayers; Rita Benstead (Kent Hospitality); Clive Roberts (Kent Sport); and Lesley Phippen (Centre for Journalism). Margaret Ayers said: ‘We very much appreciate the contribution all of these staff have made across different schools and departments over 25 years and the lunch is our way to recognise this and to thank them.’

Marathon run for Julie in Timetabling Terence Rattigan, centering on the lives of an RAF community in the lead-up to the Battle of Britain. The play is being directed by Neil Hornsey and the cast includes Kyle Farrant (as Peter Kyle), Chris Grace (Teddy Graham), Natalia Crisanti (Patricia Graham), Sarah Cooke (Countess Skriczevinsky), Jason Patrick (Count Skriczevinsky), Paul McNamara (Dusty Miller), Laura Withers (Maudie Miller), Zarina Hawkins (Mrs Oakes), Beth Flowers (Percy) and Mark Crutchlow (Squadron Leader Swanson).

Colleagues from across the University will be taking to the stage, many of them for the first time, at the Gulbenkian from Wednesday 19 to Saturday 22 February. They are members of the newly-formed University of Kent Players drama society, set up last summer by Senior Building Surveyor Neil Hornsey. The Society’s first production, Flare Path is a World War Two drama written by

Tickets, priced from £8-£12, are available from the Gulbenkian box office or website ( The play is being staged in support of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust and it is hoped that around £5,000 will be raised from ticket sales for the new Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-leFerne.

Timetabling Assistant Julie Noble is in the running for a good cause. Julie is running the London Marathon on 13 April to raise money for Canterbury & District Cats Protection. So far, she has raised £336 through sponsorship and a cake sale before Christmas, but her aim is to raise £1,400. You can support Julie and the charity via: KENT Magazine


What’s on

Music Wednesday 12 February, Colyer-Fergusson Hall, 1.10pm. King and Harding Lunchtime Concert, with Daniel Harding and Matthew King – pianos.

dance theatre show, entitled Love&Sex aka PerMission, targeted at young people aged 13 to 25.

Wednesday 19 February, Colyer-Fergusson foyerstage, 1.10pm, Celebrating Britten. As part of LGBT Month, University Music Scholars and the Cecilian Choir present music by Benjamin Britten.

Sunday 16 March, Lunch: 2pm for 2:30pm start and Dinner: 6:30pm for 7pm start, Interactive Theatre International presents Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience. Only one third of this two-hour show is scripted, so anything can happen as audiences take their seats in the ‘Fawlty Towers’ restaurant.

Friday 21 February, Colyer-Fergusson Hall, 7.30pm, The Guardian Angel, with Rachel Podger – baroque violin.

Sunday 30 March, 2pm, The Little Match Girl, a dance theatre adaptation based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story by awardwinning choreographer Arthur Pita.

Friday 28 February, Colyer-Fergusson Hall, 7.30pm, Bolero! featuring the University Concert and Big Bands.

Sunday 6 April, 7.30pm, Peatbog Faeries, the figurehead trailblazers of the Celtic Dance Music renaissance.

Saturday 15 March, The Nave, Canterbury Cathedral, 7.30pm, The Colyer-Fergusson Concert featuring the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra, performing Bach arr. Elgar – Fantasia in C minor, Vaughan Williams – Symphony No 3 (Pastoral), Fauré – Cantique de Jean Racine and Elgar – The Spirit of England.

Sunday 13 April, 7.30pm, Sherlock Holmes. The Pantaloons Theatre Company put dynamic detective duo Holmes and Watson through their paces in this hilarious show for all ages.

Friday 28 March, The Crypt, Canterbury Cathedral, 7.30pm, University Chamber Choir.

Gulbenkian Film Friday 14 February– Thursday 20 February, 12 Years a Slave (15). Friday 14 February, Only Lovers Left Alive (tbc).

Gulbenkian Theatre

Saturday 15 February, Philomena (12A).

Friday 14 February, 7.30pm, Folk in the Barn in association with the Gulbenkian present The Lock In… Dance Extravaganza! A clash of dance cultures set in an old English pub with live music by folk powerhouse The Demon Barbers.

Friday 21 and Sunday 23 – Wednesday 26 February, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom (12A).

Saturday 22 February, Gulbenkian Café, doors 8.30pm/start 9pm, Cocos Lovers, a distinctive musical force, seamlessly channelling influences from Africa to the US Deep South, while staying faithful to their Kentish roots. Tuesday 25 February, 7.30pm, The Reduced Shakespeare Company present The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged). Friday 28 February, 7.30pm, James Wilton Dance in Last Man Standing.

Sunday 23 February, 3pm, ENO: Peter Grimes (live). Thursday 27 February, 7pm and Saturday 1 March, 2pm, NT Live: The National Theatre’s War Horse. Saturday 1 – Thursday 6 March, The Wolf of Wall Street (18). Tuesday 4 March, The Orphanage (15). Friday 7 – Thursday 13 March, The Invisible Woman (12A). Saturday 8 March, Plot for Peace (tbc)/FilmTalk: Followed by Q&A.

Monday 3 and Tuesday 4 March, 7.30pm, Pilot Theatre and Lincolnshire One Venues present Ghost Town by Jessica Fisher.

Friday 14 – Sunday 16 March, August: Osage County (tbc).

Friday 14 March, Gulbenkian Café, 7.30pm, State of Emergency presents a brand new hard-hitting

Friday 21 – Wed 26 March, The Book Thief (12A).

Banff Film Festival returns to Gulbenkian Cinema Travel the world and experience some inspirational adventures from the comfort of your own theatre chair as the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour returns to Canterbury. The festival showcases the best of the latest films from the global mountain sports community including climbing, alpinism, mountain biking, adventure travel, skiing and kayaking. New activities in the line-up this year are base-jumping, surfing and trail running. The diverse film programme is selected from 360 films, including award-winners and audience favourites, entered into the prestigious Banff Mountain Film Festival held in the Canadian Rockies in November 2013. The Tour is much more than a series of incredible film nights. It brings people together with all kinds of outdoor passions who leave with new enthusiasm for their own next adventure. The Canterbury showing is screening at the Gulbenkian Cinema on Saturday 12 April. Tickets can be bought via the Gulbenkian box office or the Banff website:

Worldfest 2014 Monday 17 – Sunday 23 March 2014 The annual festival, organised by staff and students, celebrates diversity and multiculturalism at the University. Highlights this year include a world food market, a Brazilian carnival, Irish and belly-dancing classes, a caricaturist, and live music, including a performance from local band Coco and the Butterfields. Find out more at:

University Events Calendar To find out more about these and other events across the University, click on:

Kent staff magazine february 2014  

KENT staff magazine is the official journal for University of Kent staff.