Author Archives: Allie Burnett

Dr Tamara Rathcke and team awarded funding for a linguistic project

Dr Tamara Rathcke, Senior Lecturer in Linguistics for the Department of English Language & Linguistics, is a member of a European team of researchers who have recently been awarded a research grant from the Belgian funding body FWO. In collaboration with Professor Anne Breitbarth (Ghent), Professor Claudia Crocco (Ghent) and Dr Jacopo Garzonio (Padova), Dr Rathcke will contribute to the a project entitled Prosodic cues to syntactic reanalysis: experimentally tracking Jespersen’s cycle in progress.

This four year project will employ a PhD student to study, under the team’s supervision, how prosody interacts with syntactic structure at different stages of an ongoing syntactic change. Innovatively, it will do so using experimental methods, studying the interaction of syntax and prosody.

Besides contributing a new dimension to the modelling of language change by looking at the interaction between syntax and prosody, this project will devise new methods for the experimental investigation of syntactic change, which may eventually be expanded to the study of other instances of ongoing change.

Congratulations to Dr Rathcke and her European team of collaborators on this achievement.

pubTALK: Lies, Fake News and Statistics on 10 Dec

SSPSSR’s very own Dr Rob de Vries is giving a Q-Step ‘pubTALK’ on Monday 10 December at The Old Buttermarket, Canterbury, at 7pm for a 7.30pm start, followed by Christmas drinks.  Everyone is welcome!

Rob has recently published a new book, Critical Statistics: Seeing Beyond the Headlines and his talk, based on his findings, is called, ‘Lies, Fake News and Statistics’.

Browse your social media feed, turn on the TV, or open your news website of choice – chances are it won’t be long before you come across a story based on a statistic. Maybe it’s that ‘70% of married women have cheated on their partners’ (The Washington Post) or that ‘32,000 people in the US die from gun violence every year’ (tweet by US Senator Tammy Baldwin) or that ‘One in five British Muslims sympathise with Jihadis’ (The Sun).

The news is full of numbers for a good reason: numbers and statistics are vital to understanding what’s really going on in the world. But they can also be deceptive. In the wrong hands, they can easily end up giving us a distorted picture of reality. In this talk, Robert de Vries will show how understanding a few simple tricks and some basic statistical concepts can help us see the truth behind the numbers in the news.

alcohol and drugs policy

Alcohol and Drugs Policy

The University of Kent is committed to safeguarding the health, safety and welfare of its students, and accepts its responsibility by raising awareness of the risks of alcohol and drug misuse. We respect the privacy of students, but will be concerned if a student’s behaviour impairs his/her conduct, safety or academic performance and/or adversely affects other students, staff, campus life or the wider community.

The University of Kent policies and penalties associated with drug and alcohol related offences are outlined in the following documents:

1. University Policy Statement Concerning Alcohol (pdf)

2. University Policy Statement Concerning Drugs (pdf)

These are a part of the general regulations.

If you or any of your friends have any concerns about these issues, you can access support via Student Support and Wellbeing and the Masters’ Offices, more information can be found here: 

The Pride Award nomination deadline is nearly here!

The PRIDE (‘Personal Responsibility In Delivering Excellence’) Award recognises members of Kent Hospitality staff who go out of their way to deliver excellent customer service.

Any Kent Hospitality staff member (permanent or casual) may be nominated from Canterbury and Medway campuses. The award is given out four times a year with each winner receiving £100 of shopping vouchers, a certificate and badge.

Nominations can be made by any member of University staff, students or visitors. Make your nomination online or alternatively you can pick up a paper form next to the red nomination boxes located in all Kent Hospitality’s catering outlets in Canterbury and Medway, as well College reception areas.

Please make your nominations detailed, providing as much information as possible why the nominee is being put forward for a Pride Award. The panel are looking for staff who achieve more than just what is expected in their role (i.e. hardworking, professional, positive and friendly attitude).

Congratulations to September’s Pride Award winner – Becky Wyatt, Keynes College Receptionist.

For further information or for guidance on submitting nominations please contact:

Changes to the Campus Shuttle – have your say!

The University are making some changes to the Campus Shuttle service. We need your feedback to help us make these decisions.

If you are a user of the free shuttle service between Canterbury and Medway campuses, please select the link below to complete our survey. The results of the survey will be presented to the University’s senior managers so make sure you have your say.

Complete the Campus Shuttle survey

The survey should take around 5 minutes to complete. The deadline for the survey is 9 December 2018 (23.59).

Professor Richard Drayton to deliver CeCIL Annual Lecture

Professor Richard Drayton, Rhodes Professor of Imperial History at King’s College London, will deliver the 2018/19 Centre for Critical International Law (CeCIL) Annual Lecture on Thursday.

His talk on ‘The right to property vs the property of rights: The British Empire and Private International Law’ begins at 18.00 in Grimond Lecture Theatre 1 (GLT1) and will be preceded by a reception in Aphra Foyer from 17.00.

Originally from Guyana and Barbados, Professor Drayton’s research explores how persistent forms of global inequality were constituted through the European imperial expansion. In 2001 he was awarded the Forkosch Prizeby the American Historical Association and in 2002, he was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize for History. His 2016 book Whose Constitution? Law, Justice and History in the Caribbean has been cited by the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago in the 2018 judgement that struck down the criminalisation of same sex sexuality in the country.

Each year, the CeCIL Annual Lecture brings leading figures in the field of international law to Kent to share their cutting edge contributions to international legal thinking. Previous speakers have included Professor Anne Orford (Melbourne Law School), Professor Peer Zumbansen (King’s College London), Professor Gerry Simpson (London School of Economics) and Professor Vasuki Nesiah (New York University).

In anticipation of this year’s event, CeCIL is posting a special series of Professor Drayton’s quotes on its Facebook page.

CeCIL is an innovative research centre which aims to foster critical approaches to the field of international law, and other areas of law that touch upon global legal problems. In addition to an annual lecture, CeCIL offers a busy programme of activities for Kent Law School students, including a speaker and films series and workshops for students keen to develop their employability and international law skills.

New programme: BSc (Hons) Human Geography

It may be 20 years since the University of Kent ran a Geography undergraduate programme but there is a wealth of Geography expertise on the Canterbury campus.  The BSc (Hons) in Human Geography draws together this expertise, enabling us to run a new programme which draws on the traditional foundations of Geography and energises it to tackle contemporary issues.

Having been discussed around the University for many years we are very excited to now have the programme ready to bring in students from September 2019!

Our aim is to train the next generation of geographers to creatively address the challenges facing the modern world.  Our programme is a fusion of major geographic themes such as social and cultural geography, economics and development studies, and environmental and landscape planning, with modules from Law, Sociology, Anthropology and Biodiversity Conservation.

The programme has been supported by the Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG).  We are in the process of applying for full accreditation of the programme with the RGS-IBG.  In excited anticipation of the launch of our programme we have been engaging with local schools and in July 2018 we welcomed 26 pupils to our ‘Thinking Geographically’ conference.

The Kent Interdisciplinary Centre for Spatial Studies (KISS) will provide an innovative and interdisciplinary research community to which our students can contribute and through which they can expand their interaction with world-leading experts.

£2000 scholarships

To celebrate the launch of this new programme, we are offering up to ten £2,000 scholarships for applicants starting in September 2019.  The scholarship recognises academic excellence and the contribution students can make to our geography research community. Full terms and conditions are available via the Scholarships Finder.

Find out more

Full details of the programme can be found via the online prospectus.  You are also welcome to contact us via

Researching the Rainbow Conference Call for Papers

The University of Kent’s LGBT+ Staff Network is pleased to open the call for papers for the third annual Researching the Rainbow Conference on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 February 2019 on the Canterbury campus.

The conference, which takes part during LGBT History Month, is to showcase the vast array of excellent research being done on or related to LGBT+ people and issues, and to encourage multi-disciplinary collaboration and networking.

Previous topics have included gay and lesbian representation in the media, transgender issues within mental health care and parenting law, British colonial laws on sodomy, homosexual WWII clandestine operatives, and queer exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Papers are welcome from academics at any stage of their career, students or professionals.

Research posters from any discipline are also welcomed for display. If you would like to do a talk (15 or 30 minutes) or display a poster, please email by Friday 4 January 2019.

The conference is free and open to all.

CHASE and SeNSS Briefing Sessions

Are you interested in applying for a CHASE or SeNSS-funded studentship but are unsure where to begin? Are you a supervisor or administrator supporting CHASE or SeNSS-funded students?

The Graduate School is hosting several information sessions for staff and students in the Autumn of 2018 on how to apply for CHASE-funded and SeNSS-funded studentships. Please click on the links below for more information:

Please get in touch with the Graduate School at with any queries and to reserve a place on one of these sessions.