Research Staff

New Enterprise – making the difference, Tuesday 15th December 2009 , HASS Postgraduate Training Suite, 7th Floor, Daysh Building

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The Newcastle University Graduate Skills Framework was developed and tested with employers of Newcastle University graduates to determine how important they consider specific skills to be to the future of their business. The results from the 131 organisations that took part show that over 80% of employers consider personal enterprise, the ability to respond to opportunities and initiate change in order to drive continuous improvement, very important or important. In addition 75% of respondents thought the same about commercial acumen, the ability to recognise, utilise and create opportunities in order to contribute to achieving organisational goals.

These results are supported by the recent CBI report ‘ Preparing graduates for the world of work’ (2009). “ Newcastle University Graduate Skills Framework 2007 .

On the 15th December hear how current postgraduate research students, staff and graduates are developing and using enterprising and entrepreneurial skills to progress their career ranging from the application of bespoke training and experiential learning to the start-up of commercial and social enterprises from their research.’

‘Enterprising skills and entrepreneurial behaviour are widely recognised as important elements of success in a wide range of sectors and professions including research. What does this mean for you? How might you take advantage of the ‘culture of enterprise’ and the opportunities it offers to enhance your career prospects?

Idea Generation

Job Vacancy – Technology Transfer Officer, Newcastle University

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Technology Transfer Officer, Newcastle University
Ref A509A (Faculty)
Faculty/Services Medical Sciences
Department Medical Sciences Faculty Office
Job Type Professional & Administrative
Hours of Work Full time
Salary: £36,532 up to £38,757, rising to £43,622
Closing Date: 17 December 2009

The Faculty of Medical Sciences is looking to recruit a Technology Transfer Officer to assist in the commercial exploitation of intellectual property and the core competencies, skills and resources of our Institutes of Cellular Medicine; Cell and Molecular Biosciences; and Human Genetics.

You should have an MSc or PhD in a life science related subject and an understanding of the principles, processes and issues underpinning commercialisation in a Higher Education institution.  Technical, strategic and commercial acumen will be required to link academic research, technology transfer and translation.  Previous experience in both academia and the industry sector will be an advantage (pharmaceutical, biotechnology or similar).
Tenable for two years.

For an informal discussion on this opportunity, please contact the Faculty’s Business Development Manager, Martin Cox, on 0191 222 7309 Email:

Apply here

Researchers say YES to Commercialisation

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Teams representing the cream of UK university talent have been competing in regional heats across the country for the past three months.

In the face of this stiff competition, three teams of postgraduate student and research scientists from Newcastle University have succeeded in being selected to compete in the BiotechnologyYes final this December.

Newcastle University teams are becoming regular contenders for the top prizes and we have high hopes for this year’s entries.

Last Year's Winners: Team Allez and Team Fybre having fun after the final

BiotechnologyYES is an annual competition, now in its 14th year, which aims to help the UK’s early career bioscientists gain the skills and contacts necessary to turn research into a commercial reality.

Young scientists competed for places in the final, mentored by a team of advisors including financiers, intellectual property experts and spin-out company heads.

In the running for prizes and fame this year, are:

  • Team Aquaestus (pronounced a-quest-us):

Miguel Angel Galindo, Jennifer Hannant, Joseph Hedley, Jonathan Pate and Andrew Pike. Their Product Bio-ad Pro was developed to conserve heat through the use of a biochemical obtained from a bacterium. Once added to liquid Bio-ad Pro maintains a steady equilibrium and dissipates heat at a slower rate compared to conventional cooling processes.

  • Team Atmosphane:

Andy Goodhead, Joseph Harwood, Ernest Chi-Fru and Carla-Leanne Washbourne. Atmosphane will exploit methane clathrates, using a novel bacterium and biostimulant, to provide low cost methane as an alternative to traditional fossil fuel.

  • Team Ecosphere:

Susan Fitzer, Mohammad Mehedi Hasan Khan, Helen Pagett, Rebecca Herdman and Liadi Kola Mudashiru. Ecosphere uses a second generation antibiotic called iBiotic2G to reduce methane from ruminants. Thus increasing cow meat yield and milk yield and lowering meat to market period. iBiotic2g has a molecular size too large for absorption in ruminant stomachs and therefore avoids resistance build up to antibiotics and passing this resistance onto humans.

All of these teams are sponsored by local business woman and entrepreneur Caroline Theobald whose company Connect North East specialises in bringing together high-tech companies and investors.

Watch this space in the New Year for an update on how our teams got on at the December 14th final in London!

 ‘When one of the judges got his cheque book out I knew we had nailed it.’ Jennifer Hannant; Aquaestus 

‘At one point I thought this was a real business, but it wasn’t.’ Jonathan Pate; Aquaestus

 ‘Environment YES demonstrates the numerous career paths available to research scientists, presenting entrepreneurship as a realistic long-term occupation’ – Carla-Leanne Washbourne; Atmosphane

‘It was very intensive during the Oxford workshop, it was hard work but altogether a very enjoyable and beneficial experience. Plus the food was good!’ – Rebecca Herdman; Ecosphere 

Fancy a fellowship here?

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Visiting Research Fellowships, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Salisbury Cove, Maine

Applications are invited for research fellowships at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL) ( for 2010.  MDIBL is an independent biomedical and marine-oriented research institution with expertise in regenerative and developmental biology, cellular stress biology, membrane physiology, toxicogenomics, neuroscience and marine ecology and conservation.  Fellowships cover lab rental, housing and user fees.  Teams of scientists are encouraged to propose collaborative research projects and apply as a group.  The length of fellowship appointments is flexible.  Candidates must possess a Ph.D. or M.D. degree and demonstrate a record of research productivity consistent with their current academic rank.  Application instructions and forms, and details on MDIBL resources are available at  Applications are due January 15, 2010.

Women in SET – developing networks

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vitaelogoVitae SWW Hub and Wales Resource Centre for Women in SET
Building & Sustaining Research Networks for Women in Science, Engineering & Technology

Thursday December 10th

University Hall Conference Centre, Cardiff UniversityThe importance of building collaborative networks to enhance research development, identify funding sources and further your career opportunities cannot be underestimated.  This one-day workshop will enable you to:

  • understand the purpose and benefits of developing research and support networks
  • identify and build internal and external networks
  • explore the potential for setting up women’s networks and overcoming  challenges and barriers
  • learn about the importance of role models and mentoring for women’s research and career development – both inside and outside academia.

Sessions include

  • representative from BBSRC on the Research Council’s view on the importance of collaborative research
  • the role of the Athena Swan Charter in women researchers’ career paths
  • Building networks & peer mentoring circles for professional development
  • Life outside the lab – building balance & flexibility into career management

Speakers include:

  • Professor Averil Macdonald, The University of Reading
  • Rachel Tobbell, Manager, Services for Women, UK Resource Centre for Women in SET
  • Janet Wilkinson, Skills Trainer & Consultant, 3×3 Consulting
  • Ayo Bakare, Services for Women Co-ordinator, UK Resource Centre for Women in SET

The full  programme will be available online shortly. The day will run from 10.00- 16.30.

To book a place go to:

Please note: This event is open to all, with priority going to researchers from the South West and Wales region.  Any enquiries, please contact Anne Goodman, Vitae SWW Hub Manager

Research Staff National Conference – 5th November 2009

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vitaelogoVitae are organising their first national research staff conference which will be held in London on 5 November 2009.

This one day national conference will enable attendees to

  • consider the research environment and examine issues that impact on research staff across institutional and disciplinary barriers
  • examine issues around researcher’s career paths and discuss how professional development activity for researchers should be organised
  • discuss how research staff can get their voices heard more effectively in national and local policy discussions
  • develop an action plan for a wider community of research staff who want to make an impact in their own institutions and nationally
  • This one day national conference will bring together up to 100 postdocs and other research staff from across institutions and disciplines to discuss the researcher experience. The day will consist of plenary sessions and a choice of interactive workshops and will include opportunities to network with other researchers and policy makers.

The conference will focus on the following themes: * Developing researcher communities * How can researchers get their voice heard around national policy issues? * The changing research environment * Careers and professional development The conference is open to all members of research staff in higher education.

In particular the conference is designed for researchers who can represent a wide range of different institutions and subjects. Members of local research staff networks, UCU activists or co-ordinators of subject based networks are encouraged to attend and then subsequently engage their own networks.

Places on the event are free. Participants will need to cover their own travel costs.

Vitae Career Stories Portal

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vitaelogoVitae have launched their new Career Stories portal. From the portal there is access to the new “What do researchers do?” publications. One has a breakdown of destinations of doctoral graduates by individual subject area and the second contains some 40 career profiles of doctoral researchers. You should find both publications useful in considering your career options. The portal also includes links to a diverse range of projects where career stories are featured. Career stories on film will be available on the vitae site in the Autumn but in the meantime go to the site and click on the show reel to give you a snap shot of what is to come….