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Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin: the Blog

News for researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University

European Conferences of interest to BERA members

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012


“More information about ICERI (International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation) is available at:  This event is held in Madrid (Spain), on 19th, 20th and 21st of November 2012.”

“The deadline for abstract submission is 19th of July 2012. You can submit your abstract proposals at:

The Educator’s View of the Human Being: Consequences for Schools and Teacher Education

“For more information please go to the event website:

“This event is held in Vienna (Austria), on 1st, 2nd and 3rd May 2013” 

[Source BERA website: ]

BERA (British Educational Research Association) Annual Conference 2012

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

4 September 2012 – 6 September 2012 – University Manchester

Keynote speakers:

Professor Jean Clandinin, Director of the Centre for Research for Teacher Education and Development (CRTED)

Jon Coles, Former Director General for Education Standards at the Department for Education

Professor Stephen Heppell, Bournemouth University

Professor Zeus Leonardo, University of California, Berkeley

For more information go to the conference website:

Olympic records available online

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

“Hundreds of historic documents and images relating to the Olympic and Paralympic Games have been made available online by The National Archives for the first time.”

The Olympic Record includes a timeline feature which enables visitors to track back through time and browse material from every summer Olympics, from Athens in 1896 to Beijing in 2008.”

“Sarah Hutton, records specialist at The National Archives, said: ‘These files show the impact the Olympic movement has had on our history in the 116 years since the modern Games were revived. From a brief dispatch in 1896 to the huge online presence today, the records reflect the growth of the Games throughout the 20th century as well as its remarkable survival through two world wars, political turmoil and boycotts.’”

View The Olympic Record at:

[Source National Archives news: ]

Design for Wellbeing: Ageing and Mobility in the Built Environment

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

“The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is leading a call with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and invites proposals from interdisciplinary consortia for evidence led research into ageing and mobility in the built environment. This call is being run under the auspices of the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) cross-council ageing research programme which supports research addressing factors throughout life that influence health and wellbeing in older age.”

“This call is seeking to create a step change in interdisciplinary engineering, social science and design research for wellbeing in the built environment. There is up to £7M available (EPSRC up to £4M, ESRC up to £2M and AHRC up to £1M) to support a maximum of five large multi-disciplinary projects of up to three years duration.”

“Prospective applicants will need to complete an Expression of Interest form by 12:00 on Monday 10 September 2012.

[Source EPSRC website: ]

Nesstar 4.0 to allow enhanced access to ESDS data

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

“The Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) has recently upgraded Nesstar, its online data exploration system, to the latest 4.0 release, giving users even more sophisticated access to a variety of key economic and social data.”

“Those who have used Nesstar in the past will find a similar look and feel to Nesstar 3.5, but with new features including different icons in the toolbar, a new charting library, improved searching (including highlighting of search terms), and a subscription facility that allows users to register and then be alerted by email when a catalogue or study has been updated.”

For more information go to:

[Source ESDS news as above]

Early Career Forum in Manufacturing Research

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

“The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) seeks expressions of interest for membership of a newly-constituted forum of early career academic researchers in the scope of the Manufacturing the Future challenge theme. Applicants should have a strong focus on advancing the UK’s international reputation in manufacturing research, be open to developing inter-disciplinary research agendas, and have an interest in participating in research policy development.”

“Members of the Early Career Forum will have the opportunity to interact with other early career researchers from across the breadth of engineering and the physical sciences, forming new professional networks that may generate future innovative research programmes. Forum members will also have targeted opportunities to participate in EPSRC strategic advisory activities, interact with senior staff of the EPSRC Centres for Innovative Manufacturing, and will receive insight into, and practical advice relating to, UK funding body policy and practice.”  

“This is not a call for a direct funding opportunity, but rather an expression of interest for membership of the Manufacturing the Future Early Career Research Forum.”

Closing date: 16:00 on 14 June 2012

[Source EPSRC website: ]

Enzyme corrects more than 1 million faults in DNA replication

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

“Scientists from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM) at the University of Edinburgh have discovered an enzyme that corrects the most common mistake in mammalian DNA.”

“The mistake is the inclusion of individual bits of RNA within the DNA sequence, which the researchers found occurs more than a million times in each cell as it divides. The findings, published in Cell, suggest the RNase H2 enzyme is central to an important DNA repair mechanism necessary to protect the human genome.”

The paper, ‘Enzymatic removal of ribonucleotides from DNA is essential for mammalian genome integrity and development’, by Reijns et al, is published in Cell (article in press).

[Source MRC news: ]

Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands 11 May – 25 September 2012

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

“As the world’s attention turns to the UK this summer, Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands explores treasures from the last 1000 years of English literature that have been shaped by the country’s unique spaces and places. From idyllic rural landscapes to gritty cities, the exhibition will showcase a literary map of the British Isles and highlight how writers, from William Shakespeare and Walter Scott to John Lennon and J K Rowling, have recorded the changing spaces of the British Isles in some of their greatest literary works, and in turn inspired their readers to explore the country in new ways.”

“Curated by the British Library’s English and Drama team, the exhibition will feature over 150 literary works, including first-time loans from overseas and personal loans from modern authors, such as Posy Simmonds, Jonathan Coe, Hanif Kureishi, and J K Rowling.”

To find out more go to:

[Source British Library press release: ]

More with less: Engineering solutions for resource efficiency

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

“The UK is a small nation with limited resources that has a high material dependency. With the ever growing concern of material and resource scarcity we look to the ingenuity of the research base to find long-term sustainable solutions.”

“The Engineering theme will lead a sandpit in response to the challenges raised by the research community in the Resource Efficiency Scoping Workshop in April 2012 and in line with Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) strategy. The primary aim is to invest in ambitious, engineering-led, cross-disciplinary research with the potential for long-term transformation across many and diverse sectors, especially among those that have yet to embrace these concepts.”

“EPSRC are looking for enthusiastic participants from a wide range of disciplines who will bring their expertise to explore the challenges of:

  • Dematerialisation (eg lightweighting, novel materials functionality, novel materials from waste products, materials security and efficiency);
  • Designing for resource sustainability (eg energy, water and materials efficiency, considerations for engineering processes, whole systems and resource flow modelling);
  • Reuseability at any scale (closed and open loop recycling, remanufacturing, extended product life).”

Closing date: 13:00 on 11 June 2012

For more information go to:

[Source EPSRC website as above]

How a study of walking in high heels could help improve prosthetic limbs

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

“People walking normally, women tottering in high heels and ostriches strutting all exert the same forces on the ground despite very differently-shaped feet, according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). The finding suggests that prosthetic lower limbs and robots’ legs could be made more efficient by making them less human-like and more like the prosthetics used by ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius.”

“Walking involves a repeated process referred to by scientists as ‘crash, vault, push’ – landing (‘crashing’) on the heel, vaulting over the stationary leg and then pushing off with the toes. This is the most economical way of walking and, as research published today in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface shows, the force exerted on the ground is the same for people walking normally or in high heels and for ostriches.”

Usherwood, J et al. The human foot and heel-sole-toe walking strategy: a mechanism enabling an inverted pendular gait with low isometric muscle force? JR Soc Interface; 9 May 2012.

[Source BBSRC news: ]