Events Archive

This page holds information on MURG’s previous conferences and workshops:


MURG September Workshop, Friday 28th September 2012, Goodenough College, Mecklenburgh Square, London WC1N 2AB.

Catapult Centres, Local Enterprise Partnerships, Data Usage for Research

Local Enterprise Partnerships

Michael Heanue, Senior Policy Advisor, gave an “overview of the London Enterprise Panel. He explained that the London LEP is a pan-London partnership across all 33 London boroughs. He outlined the four working groups, whcih have been etsablished: (i) Skills & Employment; (ii) SMEs; (iii) Science & Technology; (iv) Infrastructure. He spoke about the Skills and employment working group, which will re-design the “Employment Observatory” to support schools, colleges and employers. He also outlined the fact that they will be working with BIS to produce business support products, as well as supporting the super connectedcity plan and helping the initial fours pilot areas across London.

Dr Martino Picardo, Chief Executive Officer of the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst gave a “Brief Overview of the Hertfordshire LEP and details of the GSK/Wellcome Trust investment in open innovation science.”  Dr Picardo was Managing Director of UMIC where he oversaw its successful development into a venture that helped to incubate more than 60 start-ups and small and medium enterprises, attracting significant venture capital and generating more than 500 jobs. Dr Picardo has a PhD in biochemistry from Cardiff University, and has 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector. In 2008, he was appointed as a non-executive director to the Board of UK Business Incubation, the UK’s leading professional body for the development and support of business incubation environments that support high growth and technology centres. Dr Picardo outlined the Bioscience Catalyst as a national project, which already has an innovation subgroup actively networking with businesses and universities. The Bioscience Catalyst is an open innovation campus – a joint partnership between GlaxoSmithKline and the Wellcome Trust to establish a not for profit site to support open innovation. BIS is also a partner in the enterprise. The idea for the open inovation campus is to provide high quality biotech and chemistry facilities for research suitable for individuals, small to large busineses as well as university researchers and companies. Everyone working on the site is encouraged to collaborate to generate new ideas for further reserach projects, as well as share best practice.

Data Usage for Research

Simon Kerridge, Director of Research Services, University of Kent spoke about the “Research Management and Administration System“. He is responsible for the office of 22 staff covering all aspects of research support including pre-award contracts post-award information, REF, ethics and governance. Prior to that he spent 18 years at the University of Sunderland, latterly as head of research support. Simon has led a number of JISC projects in the field of electronic research administration and has previously served on the research councils’ research organisation consultation group, joint grants processing steering group and Je-SA management board. Simon outlined the RMAS system as a computing system which allows a university to easily link up different administration programmes so that they can communicate effectively. It does this via a cloud computing system. RMAS is designed to minimise the problems associated with linking one administrative system to another; the framework can be accessed by universities for free.

Dr. Veerle Van Den Eynden, Manager, Research Data Management Support Services, UK Data Archive gave a presentation on “Best Practise for Data Sharing”. Veerle is currently on an 80 per cent secondment to the Medical Research Council, managing the MRC Data Support Service Project. Veerle manages the activities of the Research Data Management Support Services (RDMSS) section and the Data Support Service for the Rural Economy and Land Use programme (Relu-DSS). Veerle outlined that data-sharing policy is driven by several factors including the funders of research, journal publishers, the academic community as well as the the government, which is keen on maximising the returns on investment in data generation. Hence, best practise in storing and retrieving usable data is extremely important. The UK data Archive supports researchers with good data management practices; it emphasizes that there is a shared responsibility for data storage between the researcher and the university, where the research is performed, both in terms of  data storage policy and the development of a good infrastructure for storing that data. The practice of data management and storage must be costed into any grant. The UK Data Service goes online on October 2012; it will hold a lot of online data management guides.

Dr Liz Lyon, spoke on Digital Curation for Modern Universities”. Dr Lyon is the Associate Director of the Digital Curation Centre, University of Bath; she is also author of a number of direction-setting Reports including Open Science at Web-Scale: Optimising Participation and Predictive Potential (2009), Scaling Up (2008) and Dealing with Data (2007). Dr Lyon outlined that the Digital Curation Centre provides support on data management best practise. The issue of being able to cite and receive credit for the data produced is an extremely important issue for researchers. It is very important that good data management is included in the training of all postgrads. Dr Lyon stated that one of the most important questions a university can ask is “where is your data?”. Data management and retrieval are extremely important for quality assurance and FOI purposes and Dr Lyon went on to outline further key questions for university management in her presentation. Dr Lyon also spoke about her concept of the “institutional data scientist” role for all universities.

Catapult Centres, Industry collaborations & Modern University Research

 Peter Reid outlined his role to launch the Technology Strategy Board’s Connected Digital Economy Catapult Centre in his presentation Overview of the Catapult Centres including the Connected Digital Economy Catapult. He stated that the CDE Catapult is focussed on “digital enabling”  – a new digital revolution. It is envisaged that the CDE Catapult will use an “open innovation” model, whereby it will facilitate networking between innovators, researchers, scientists etc to achieve the commercialisation of new ideas. It will not commercialise any products itself. It is envisaged that the Catapult will bring together bespoke groups to commercialise research conducted by members of the Catapult.

Dr Jill Stewart, Head of the School of Engineering, University of Lincoln gave a presentation on Modern Universities  – Research Collaboration With Siemens To Produce Industry-Ready Engineers”. Jill Stewart’s research interests are primarily connected with experimental investigation and modelling work in relation to complex flows, with particular emphasis on embedding heuristics into CFD models. She has previously collaborated on a number of EPSRC and DTI projects conducting fundamental research into IC engine combustion processes, emissions and performance for diesel, gasoline, HCCI, free-piston and dual fuel engines including substantial research into alternative and sustainable fuels. Jill outlined the history of the University of Lincoln School of Engineering, which was established in 2009, took its first undergraduates in 2010 and has a flourishing PhD programme. The school has been designed specifically  for engineering projects and works closely with the main industrial partner Siemens. It is an “engineering hub” which has also networked with 450 SMEs to date and combines teaching, research and enterprise in one facility. The facility supports not only the need of Siemens for industry ready graduates, but has also developed a robust research programme to enable Lincoln university to develop its STEM profile.

Prof Chris Birch Director of Enterprise & Innovation, Systems Management and Strategy, University of Greenwich will give a presentation on FLASH Innovation Projects For SMEs”. For the past ten years, Professor Chris Birch has worked at executive level in two universities, including Pro and Deputy Vice-Chancellor roles. Currently, he is Director of Enterprise & Innovation at the University of Greenwich Business School. His responsibilities have included research, enterprise, employer engagement, income generation, regional development, estates and marketing. Prof Birch outlined the need for integrating research, enterprise and teaching and also covered the FLASH workshops for SMEs developed by the University of Greenwich. 40 workshops have been delivered to over 300 companies. Each company at the workshop was encouraged to apply for an innovation voucher by writing a about what they felt their company needed to develop. All university staff were trained in how to deliver the innovation vouchers and how to adapt their own research expertise around the problem identified by the company. The main premise behind the vouchers was to support businesses to “work in a clever way, not to just work harder for longer hours”. Each voucher gave the company a member of university staff’s time for 3 days to work on the issue. Some of the collaborations have since developed into KTPs. Each of the innovation voucher projects was written up as a case study and used in teaching at the university. Entrepreneurs were also encourage to attend lectures and give advice to students, some of whom were taken on as interns. Prof Birch is also looking to develop entrepreneurship amongst students by giving them an industry mentor. A programme of events for business to be run in autumn 2012 was also outlined.



MURG Spring Conference 2012: Postgraduate Training & Research for the News Era


MURG autumn workshop 16th September 2011 – The Future of Modern Universities in Europe

16 September 2011

Welsh Higher Education Brussels, Wales House, 6th Floor, 11 Rond-Point Schuman, Brussels B1040



Session 1: ERA AND HORIZON 2020


Welcome, opening remarks

MURG Chair, Professor Peter Strike, Vice Chancellor, University of Cumbria  

Introduction to session one

Session Chair: Professor Hefin Rowlands, MURG Executive Committee, and Dean of Research & Graduate Studies, University of Wales, Newport / Deon Astudiaethau a Graddedigion Ymchwil, Prifysgol Casnewydd


EUROPE 2020: Towards and ERA Framework

Fabienne Gautier, Deputy Head of Unit, European Commission, DG Research and Innovation, Directorate B – European Research Area, Unit B1 – ERA Policy


Future EU Research and Innovation Funding

Mr Marnix Surgeon, Policy Officer for the Framework Programme, DG Research


Strategies For Successful Framework Programme Grants

Dr John Latham, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Business Development), Coventry University


The Work of ERRIN and the Role of EU Research Networks

Richard Tuffs, European Regions Research, and Innovation Network (ERRIN)






Introduction to session two

Session Chair: Berwyn Davies, Pennaeth Swyddfa/Head of Office, Addysg Uwch Cymru Brwsel/Welsh Higher Education Brussels


EU initiatives to Stimulate University Business Collaboration

Peter Baur, Deputy Head of Unit, Oversight of Economic Partnerships, European Institute of Technology, DG Education and Culture


The European Business & Innovation Centre Network

Philippe Vanrie, CEO European Business Network and Innovation Centre Network






Introduction to session three

Session Chair: Professor Neil Forbes, MURG Vice-Chair, Director of Research, Coventry University


Researchers’ Career and Mobility: From political will, to policy to action

Dr Sohail Luka, Policy Officer, European Commission – DG Research, European Research Area – Skills (Unit B2)


Marie Curie Actions

Mike W Rogers, Acting Head of Unit for- People Programme; Marie Curie Actions, Directorate C – Lifelong learning: higher education and international affairs, in DG EAC – Education and Culture 








MURG Spring Conference 24th – 25th March 2011, Manchester Metropolitan University



Thursday 24th March 2011. Modern University Operational Issues:


Research leadership, Graduate Schools, Career progression, Education Communities.


2.00 – 2:05

Welcome and Introduction to Session One, Professor Peter Strike, MURG Chair, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Knowledge Exchange and Business Engagement, University of Sunderland:


Research Leadership, Graduate Schools


2:05 – 2:35

Coaching to develop research leadership skills for the changing higher education sector


Dr Annette Fillery-Travis

Director of Programmes MProf/DProf

Middlesex University


2:35 – 3:05

Strategic role of graduate schools”


Professor Neil Forbes,

Director of Postgraduate Research,

Coventry University




3:20 – 3:25



Welcome and Introduction to Session two, Neil Forbes, MURG Executive Committee, Director of Research, University of Coventry:


Leadership structures and other routes for career progression

Support for Educators


3:25 – 3:40

Case studies of leadership and career progression structures – reintroduction of the post of readership at the University of Sunderland”


Professor Peter Strike,

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Knowledge Exchange and Business Engagement,

University of Sunderland

[Also: Vice Chancellor designate, University of Cumbria]


3:40 – 3:55

Case studies of leadership and career progression structures – is there a role for the associate Dean?”


Professor Andrew Slade,

Deputy Vice Chancellor

Leeds Metropolitan University


Professor Alison McCleery

Director of Research

Edinburgh Napier University



3:55 – 4:10

Case studies of leadership and career progression structures – Professorial grading to support applied research”


Professor Tom Barnes,

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research & Enterprise

University of Greenwich


4:10 – 4:40

Education Communities


Professor Marilyn Leask

Dean of the Faculty of Education, Sport & Tourism


Annika Coughlin, Research Assistant

University of Bedfordshire




Friday 25th March 2011

Modern University Strategic issues:


Business and Community Engagement Programme; HEIF


10:00 – 10:05

Introduction to Session Three, Prof Waqar Ahmad, MURG Executive Committee, Assistant Vice Chancellor & Director of Research, Middlesex University


JISC Business and Community Engagement


10:05 – 10:35

Strategic partnerships with externals: opportunity or business imperative.”


Simon Whittemore,

Programme Manager Business and Community Engagement



10:35 – 11:05

“Business & Community Engagement: synergies and opportunities for modern universities.


Prof Di Martin

Dean & Chief Information Officer

University of Hertfordshire


11:15 – 11:20

Introduction to Session Four, Professor Hefin Rowlands, MURG Executive Committee, Dean of Research & Graduate Studies, University of Newport:





11:20 -12:20

Discussion on the HEIF consultation


With introductory presentation from

Dr Mark Gray,

Director of Knowledge Transfer and CPD,

Middlesex University


MURG submitted a response to the HEIF consultation which can be read here.





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