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Research Professional have recently launched their new look funding databaseNavigating around  the new database has changed considerably (now more intuitive) and has new features which will make searching for suitable funding quicker and more precise. Therefore, we have organised a training day on the new Research Professional database.Date:     15th February, 2013

Time:    Session 1: 2pm – 2.50pm

Session 2: 3pm – 3.50pm

Session 3: 4pm – 4.50pm

Session 4: 5pm – 5.50pm

Place:    Jubilee Building, Room: G23

This training will:

–              enable you to search for funding opportunities with specific projects in mind

–              enable you to set up your own individual funding search lists

–              enable you to find new funders for projects

–              update you on new features

–              find your schools/departments funding opportunity folders

–              search for funding and HE news

Therefore, if you would like to take part in one of these training sessions, please send your reply to Gisela Hafezparast (, indicating which session you would like to take part in (allocated on a first come, first serve basis).


Tell the World About It! Media Training for Researchers

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How Media Training for Researchers led to the launch of our Researcher Reflections. The next Media Skills Training for Researchers workshop will be on 27th March 2012. Details and booking information for this and other workshops can be found on the Researcher Development pages of the Doctoral School website.

New Methods, Models and Codes Bank to assist with administrative data research

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From ADLS, via ARMA … 

ADLS logoThe Portal of the Administrative Data Liaison Service ( is a new online development designed to hold methods, models and code used in administrative data research.  The aim of P-ADLS is to improve the consistency, quality and quantity of administrative data related research by allowing researchers to view, replicate and develop existing resources.

There are currently over fifty resources in the P-ADLS Bank.  As examples, recent submissions shared by researchers include code to help define avoidable mortality and code to distinguish disabling and limiting health conditions.

The ADLS are keen to continue to expand  the resources already held in the P-ADLS Bank.   As it is recognised that the preparation and sharing of code requires goodwill, time and effort, the ADLS are currently offering a £20 Amazon gift token for code submissions that are subsequently published.  Full details on how to submit resources and offer terms are available from the link above.

The P-ADLS Bank is also a useful way to highlight your research work amongst the academic community.  All new resources added by you to the P-ADLS Bank will be tweeted by the ADLS.  You can sign up to receive these tweets by following ADLS at!/adlstweet.

Brighton-based researchers and their favourite music

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Français : Illustration de disque vinyl
Image via Wikipedia

Radio Free Brighton produces the “My Research Records” show, where Brighton-based researchers discuss their research and why it is important. Discussion is interspersed with their favourite music, which may (or may not) be relevant to the research.
You can listen to the broadcasts via Facebook (Radio Free Brighton) or from the webpage

Get involved:

My Research Records is growing, and needs more researchers to get involved. If you’d like to discuss your research and engage with the public, please send an email to Jonathan:

How tendon can turn to bone: doctoral researcher published in New Scientist!

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UPDATE 7th Feb 2012: Natasha’s post and article now published Researcher experience: Getting published in New Scientist

Natasha AgabalyanBSMS PhD researcher, Natasha Agabalyan, has written a feature article for the New Scientist. Published this week, the article ‘The disease that turns you to stone‘ discusses abnormal bone growth and how understanding the causes could help with aches and pains associated with ageing.

You can read a preview of the article on the New Scientist website; or consult a paper copy in the University Library, where we have a print subscription.

In January, Natasha will write a guest post for this blog, outlining the process and her experience of writing and publishing.

Natasha Agabalyan is currently studying towards a PhD at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, after having completed her undergraduate degree at Sussex. Natasha is researching the nature of tendon tissue and how, under certain circumstances and in some animals, tendon can turn to bone. She also runs a blog called The Science Informant which explains science to the layman, making it fun and accessible.

Researcher Reflections: Doctoral researchers discuss their work

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Researcher Reflections: image of spotlight on dark stage

A new set of online films will showcase the work of Sussex doctoral researchers.

The Doctoral School has launched its ‘Researcher Reflections’ series of films with a 45-minute presentation of her research by Dr Rosalind Barber, who completed her doctorate in May 2011.

Ros discusses what is known as “the Shakespeare authorship question”, i.e. the argument over whether someone other than William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the works attributed to him.

Ros did a shorter, 20-minute version of the presentation in 2010 at The Globe theatre in London, but this one was especially written for the Researcher Reflections initiative, and is intended for a general audience.

She says: “What I’m chiefly arguing for is a return to the first principles of historical research, a critical re-examination of evidence, and an appreciation of the extent to which our existing beliefs filter our perceptions of what is ‘true’. The presentation emphasises the importance of encouraging students to ask questions, rather than supplying them with answers.”

Helen Hampson, who works on researcher development in the Teaching & Learning Development Unit (TLDU), initiated the Researcher Reflections project. She says:

“We work with the Doctoral School to provide professional development opportunities for research students. This project grew out of our media skills training, and is offered to those researchers who have attended the training and are interested in doing further media work.

The aim is to give PhD students an opportunity to develop a short professional video presentation showcasing their research, and to help raise their profile. It will also highlight the range of doctoral research being undertaken at Sussex. Further videos will follow from three or four other research students in the new year.”

The films are produced by Dr Phil Watten and his team in the Media Technology Lab in Informatics.

Does your research need ethical approval?

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It does, if you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions:

  • Will your research project involve human subjects, with or without their knowledge or consent?
  • Will your research project involve non-human animal subjects?
  • Will you have access to personal information that allows you to identify individuals or to confidential corporate or company information?
  • Is your research project likely to expose any person, whether or not a participant, to physical or psychological harm?
  • Does your research project present a significant risk to the environment or society?

Research ethics & integrity workshop – Tues 15th November, 10:00 -12:00

Only 9 places left. Book your place now.

This workshop is designed specifically for doctoral researchers and research staff at Sussex. The trainer is Dr Carmen Mcleod (Research Governance Officer, Research & Enterprise Services). Attending this workshop means you will:

    • Understand the ethical approval process for research at the University of Sussex
    • Get help and guidance on research ethics issues
    • Learn more about the application of good research practice

Using Skim with Scrivener for researching & writing your Thesis

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Every Wednesday night, between 19:30 and 20:30 UK time [1], a ‘brood’ [2] of doctoral researchers from different time-zones gather under the Twitter hashtag #phdchat, for a synchronous chat about different aspects of doctoral research.  The week before last, the selected topic was the Literature Review.  I mentioned that I often used Skim alongside Scrivener (on a Mac), and was asked if I could explain my workflow a bit, which is what I’ve tried to do here. Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. John Drury: Crowd Behaviour [Sussex research profile]

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In this first of an occasional series, Dr. John Drury, senior lecturer in Psychology at Sussex, presents his ongoing research into the behaviour of crowds in different situations.  The final paragraph perfectly illustrates the application of the group’s research, and demonstrates the social impact of the results.

Name: Dr. John Drury

I’ve just got an £80k grant from Leverhulme to continue my research on aspects of mass emergency behaviour:

Representations of crowd behaviour in the management of mass emergencies

Studies have consistently shown that mass emergency behaviour is orderly and cooperative. However, there are various popular representations of such events – called “disaster myths” – which include “mass panic”, social pathology, disorder and chaos. These “myths” suggest that crowds in emergencies are psychologically vulnerable and in need of top-down expert care and control.

Our research in the related field of crowd protest has demonstrated a pattern whereby certain forms of police intervention can inadvertently create and escalate the mass conflict that senior police seek to prevent. One factor in this recurring pattern is the adoption by senior police officers of pathologizing representations of the crowd (e.g. inherent crowd irrationality and tendencies to violence). These representations parallel the “disaster myths” surrounding mass emergencies.

The research on police-crowd conflict shows how particular representations of crowd psychology inform crowd management practices, often with negative and unforeseen consequences. Our central research question is the extent to which a parallel process occurs in mass emergencies.

The existence of “disaster myths” in the public is widely acknowledged, but there has yet to be a survey of their endorsement by UK crowd managers. The research that I will be conducting through the support of The Leverhulme Trust will comprise first such a descriptive survey to document the opinions of those in positions of responsibility for the preparation for and management of mass emergencies.

The second part of the project involves an analysis of official guidance documentation, to determine whether such “myths” have endorsement by policy-makers and others in higher authority on the management of mass emergencies.

Finally, we will examine how police and event managers’ representations of crowd events operate in practice, through a case study of two large dance-parties which took place on Brighton Beach. The first, in 2002, overwhelmed the local authorities, stewards and emergency services, as it was dangerously overcrowded. A follow-up event in 2007 was more closely controlled, being ticket only (rather than free). The question here is to what extent were the decisions of the organizers of the second event shaped by their concerns about potential disaster, following the earlier event? What was the balance between these fears, positive representations of the party crowd, and logistical and legal considerations? Finally, to what extent did attempts to prevent “disaster” (a) limit the enjoyment of party-goers, and (b) undermine party-goers’ practical and psychological abilities independently to care for each at moments of stress during the event?

We will be working alongside relevant end-users and existing contacts across the country. The results of this project will develop our theoretical work showing how crowd behaviours vary in relation to the way crowds are managed. This in turn will feed into the practical advice we provide to relevant agencies. Our overall aim is to enhance the scientific input in good practice in all forms of crowd management and policy.

If you’d like to showcase your current research in a future post in this series, email me (Sarah):