I hope this message finds you well.
Research grant success
My warmest congratulations to all those colleagues who have recently received positive news about their research grant applications; it has been a particularly successful few weeks. I’m able to mention just a few here, sincere congratulations to:
- Professor Andreas Kyprianou and colleagues in the Department of Mathematical Sciences for the £7.3m programme grant from the EPSRC for MaThRad, Mathematical Theory of Radiation Transport: Nuclear Technology Frontiers. This project is led by Bath and is a joint collaboration with the University of Cambridge, NHS and the National Physical Laboratory. There are over 25 partners involved including NASA, Jacobs, EDF, Rolls Royce, and the UK Atomic Energy Authority. Through collaboration with experts in engineering and medical physics, this impressive project will ensure that faster, and more accurate and algorithms reach stakeholders in the sectors of nuclear decommissioning, modern nuclear reactor design (fission and fusion), heavy ion cancer therapy and the space industry.
- Professor Tim Mays and colleagues for the £615,000 EPSRC grant for senior researchers here at Bath and at Newcastle University. They will be leading multidisciplinary teams tackling the research and systems integration challenges blocking the wider use of hydrogen and alternative liquid fuels in the UK. This important research will help enable the future take-up of greener, hydrogen-based fuels in the UK.
- Dr Rosana Pinheiro Machado and colleagues in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences for being awarded €2 million ERC funding to lead ground-breaking research investigating the links between precarious work and authoritarian politics in the Global South. The research team includes academic colleagues in Brazil, India, the Philippines, and the UK.
- Professor Hendrik Weber for being successful in the same round of ERC Consolidator Grants, his being worth over £1.7m.
These are wonderful successes, and there are more to come which I hope to be able to pay tribute to in my next update, as we increase our research power and therefore the positive impact we can make for the global common good.
We should be rightly proud of our track record here at Bath in working with businesses, researchers, and students to enable new ideas, innovation, and growth. Of course, our University strategy affirms the importance of this crucial area of our work and our ambition to further grow our partnerships and support enterprise within our own community.
I’m delighted that there has already been so much interest in the University’s first ‘Enterprise Day’ on the subject of creating a green and resilient future. The event is being held on campus on 27 April. I understand we’ve already expanded the capacity and there are only a few places left. If you are interested in attending, or know someone who might be, you may wish to register soon to secure attendance.
SU Officers for 2022/23
Many congratulations to those students who have been elected as SU Officers for the next academic year; we are very much looking forward to welcoming them into their new roles in a few months’ time. I was pleased to hear that the elections had generated a lot of positive engagement and I pay tribute to the current SU Officer team as well as colleagues in The SU, who work very hard each year to make the elections a success.
Of course, we continue to work very closely with the current SU Officer team on their Top Ten as well as other emerging issues, as they are in post until June 2022.
I am aware that some staff are making the difficult decision about whether to take strike action next week in relation to USS. With the recently announced changes starting from 1 April, I hope that we can now focus our efforts on the future, looking to support national negotiations to develop the scheme to make it more affordable and sustainable. I understand that this a really important issue for many staff, and look forward to working with our local Trade Unions on the issues involved.
Reminder: rapid Covid tests available on campus until next Thursday
As a reminder, we are only able to distribute rapid LFT tests for free to staff and students for another few days. These home tests are still a useful tool, particularly given the case rates locally and nationally, and we’d encourage you to collect a couple of packs over the next few days. Until Thursday 31 March 2022, students and staff members can collect two packs of free home testing kits, from 9am to 4pm. This is a drop-in service with no need to book. Kits are available in boxes of seven at the Sports Training Village reception, Virgil Building reception, West Accommodation Centre reception, Students' Union Finance Office, the Fresh shop and the Market shop.
I’d also like to acknowledge that Covid is still affecting our community and our capacity and I am most grateful to all for your resilience and hard work in challenging circumstances. Please be aware that ahs continues to experience staff shortages for a variety of reasons, including staff illness, so thank you for being kind and patient in your interactions with colleagues in hospitality and retail.
And finally, congratulations to the Public Engagement Unit for securing €500,000 from the European Commission to deliver the FUTURES public engagement festival on Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October as part of a Europe-wide public event, European Researchers' Night. This programme is delivered in partnership with colleagues at the University of Bristol, University of Exeter and University of Plymouth. We look forward to hearing more about what this year’s programme has to offer, following the successful events put on since 2018 including comedy nights, exhibitions, hands-on experiments, and late-night openings of museums.
With best wishes,
Professor Ian White
Vice-Chancellor and President