Monthly Archives: October 2019

PhD Funding Success for Biosciences

New multi-million pound investment to support flagship Bioscience doctoral training centre at Kent

The School of Biosciences has been awarded a multi-million pound investment from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC, a part of UK Research and Innovation) to provide new PhD studentships as part of a South Coast Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SoCoBio DTP). The flagship programme will generate a pipeline of highly skilled researchers by creating a supportive and interdisciplinary environment where students learn to innovate and add value to society.

Professor Colin Robinson, Head of School, Biosciences, University of Kent is quoted as saying;

“The University of Kent is excited to be part of the SoCoBio Team that has been awarded this prestigious BBSRC DTP. We look forward to ensuring that the students enrolled in this programme will benefit from the excellent academic and industrial expertise that exists across the consortium. This DTP represents a valuable investment in the future of scientific excellence in the UK”

The first students will start in September 2020 and the projects will be advertised soon. Watch this space for updates!


Ben Hutchinson on the controversial Nobel laureate Peter Handke

Ben Hutchinson, Professor of European Literature in the Department of Modern Languages and Academic Director of the Paris School of Arts and Culture, has published an article in the Times Literary Supplement titled ‘Peter Handke: entering the curious canon’, a consideration of the legacy of the controversial Nobel laureate.

Ben writes that the Austrian writer’s reputation had long preceded him, even before the Nobel committee’s decision to award him the 2019 prize for literature. He notes that “the decision has not so much polarized opinion – to use the customary cliché – as galvanized it: ‘dumbfounded by the selection’, the president of Pen America speaks for many when she concludes that ‘the literary community deserves better’. In 2019, the Nobel committee seems to have achieved something it very rarely does, namely to unite everyone in agreement”.

The crucial issue, however, is not Handke’s politics, but his poetics. Does his work matter? Ben asks whether Handke will continue to be read a century from now, or whether he will fall into obscurity like a number of Nobel laureates. “Framed this way, the question is not so much about Handke’s questionable political interventions – above all, his defence of Slobodan Milošević – as about his literary merit. Is he any good?”

Topology- a story of doughnuts, power lines and the London Underground

The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science are giving a public lecture open to all.

Topology is a new form of geometry that looks at things quite differently compared to the classical, Euclidean approach. The lecture will explore how this can be applied to the world today as well as how it can be used to solve problems that have been open for several thousand years.

When: Tuesday 19th November 2019, 18:00-19:00

Where: SIBLT1

Who: Dr Constanze Roitzheim, University of Kent

Tickets are free so just come along!

Free fireworks display in Gillingham, 2 November

Students and staff are welcome to attend the 2019 Medway Bonfire and Fireworks Night at The Great Lines Heritage Park, Gillingham.

A bonfire will be lit by the Mayor of Medway at 19.00, followed by a fireworks display at 19.30.

Hot food and drink will be available on site.

Find out more about the Medway Council Bonfire and Firework Night.

Kent students can also attend St Mark’s Vicarage Hall after the fireworks for soup and games 20.00-22.00 (suggested donation £1) with the Medway Chaplaincy.

Alumna Dr Lucy Scott-Moncrieff awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

Kent Law School alumna Dr Lucy Scott-Moncrieff has been presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award  at the prestigious annual Law Society Excellence Awards for solicitors in England and Wales.

Dr Scott-Moncrieff, a former Law Society president, graduated with a degree in law from Kent in 1975. She is a former patron of the Kent Law Campaign (to raise funds for the Wigoder Law Building) and was made an Honorary Doctor of Laws at Kent in 2009.

As a solicitor specialising in mental health and human rights, Dr Scott-Moncrieff has been widely recognised for her contribution to society. She was named Mental Health Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year in 2005; won the Association of Women Solicitors’ award for best manager of a legal aid practice in 2011; was invited to attend the 2013 Women of the Year Lunch in October in recognition of her work with detained patients; and was awarded the CBE in January 2014 for her services to legal aid.

Earlier this year, in her contribution for Kent Law School’s commemorative 50th anniversary book, Dr Scott-Moncrieff said: ‘I was at Kent from 1972/5, and it changed my life. I learnt that the law could be used to challenge social injustice and give power to people who are often powerless, and that lawyers could be agents for change, rather than for conformity.’

Dr Scott-Moncrieff currently sits as the House of Lords Commissioner for Standards. Appointed in 2016, she is responsible for the independent and impartial investigation of alleged breaches of the House of Lords Code of Conduct. This includes investigating breaches of the rules on the House’s system of financial support for members. She is also the managing director of Scott-Moncrieff & Associates Ltd.

Nostalgia Podcast with Andy Crome

Fandoms, Doctor Who and My Little Pony; Nostalgia Podcast with Andy Crome

In the latest episode of his Nostalgia podcast series, Chris Deacy, Head of the Department of Religious Studies, interviews Andy Crome, Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at Manchester Metropolitan University.

We find out about Andy’s work in early modern history and fandom and how it relates to Dr Who and the ‘My Little Pony’ fandom. The pair reflect on the cross over in these areas of Andy’s research, such as Dr Who episodes set in early modern history and we discuss whether there should be a Dr Who musical. Andy then reflects on seeing Bon Jovi in concert; Manchester and live music; what artists think about what academics are writing about them; feeling guilt in academia; what being an academic is about; the sadness around people we have lost; how the history of apocalypticism is about people who have been wrong in their predictions; and how ‘geeky’ passions are now a normal part of popular culture.

Lauren Ware on philosophy and emotion

Dr Lauren Ware, Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, has been invited to do a series of public talks on her philosophy of emotion research, the first set of which is on the Netflix show Black Mirror and the philosophy of pain and punishment the show engages with.

The first talk will be on Wednesday 23 at Sway Bar in London, with future talks happening in Bristol on 7 November and in Manchester on 11 Nov. Future talks will be on feminism, witchcraft, and political emotions.

A number of other well-known philosophers, including Julian Baggini (Kent honorary graduate and Academic Director of the Royal Institute of Philosophy) and Simon Blackburn, have also taken part in this series.

Three girls sitting at desk looking at laptop

CodeFirst Girls: free weekly coding workshop

Are you a girl interested in learning how to code? Are you a girl ready to join the technological revolution and make a change in the world?

Students from the School of Computing are running a free weekly coding course exclusively for girls! They will be teaching you how to write in languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and JQuery – the basics of making your own website.

At the end of the course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion which will be a great valuable addition to any CV.  Sign up for the coding workshops, but hurry spaces are limited!

Discount for Canterbury Fireworks Night, 5 November

Kent County Cricket Club is offering University of Kent students and staff a discounted rate to attend their annual Fireworks Night.

The Fireworks Night takes place on Tuesday 5 November 2019. Gates to the Spitfire Cricket Ground in Canterbury will open at 17.00. The evening offers a night of entertainment in addition to the fireworks display with live bands and a funfair from 17.30. The Fireworks display is planned for 19.15.

Enter the code ‘Uok2019’ when buying tickets online in advance to receive the 25% discount making a single adult ticket only £6.

Visit the Kent Cricket website for more information.

Lots of European flags flying

Kent to host European network meeting

Kent will host the annual meetings of the SGroup European Universities Network (SGroup) 6 to 8 November 2019.

This event will see representatives from the SGroup’s 32 member institutions from 17 European countries attend as well as the network’s associate partners from Armenia, China and Colombia.

The Network, which was established in 1989, is based on four core areas of co-operation – internationalisation strategy, academic collaboration, academic mobility, and transfer of knowledge.

Kent joined the SGroup in April 2011 and has used its membership of the network to strengthen both its European and international partnerships, giving rise to a range of mobility opportunities for students and staff.

The SGroup Think Tank, which focuses on global engagement, will meet prior to the main SGroup meetings, 4-5 November. These meetings will focus on the network’s collaboration with Africa, China and Latin America.

For further information about Kent’s membership of the SGroup, please email

Primrose Paskins (, International Partnerships

Learn more about the SGroup European Universities Network.