Posts in EERC Category

Reader promotions 2017

Dr Robert Jehle (School of Environment & Life Sciences)

Robert JehleRobert has worked at the University since 2008, when he was appointed as a Lecturer in Wildlife before being promoted to a Senior Lecturer in 2012. From 2011-2015 he was a Programme Leader of two linked BSc programmes in Wildlife Conservation, which together represent one of the largest areas of undergraduate teaching within the School of Environment and Life Sciences (ELS). Robert’s research revolves around population biological studies on mostly (but not only) amphibians, amongst others resulting in 60 indexed journal articles to date. Since joining ELS, Robert has been awarded external research income for more than ten projects, funded by organisations spanning from national grant agencies and governmental bodies, to the commercial sector.

From 2009-2015 he was the Chief Editor of the Herpetological Journal, which under his editorship reached the highest ISI impact factor of all global scientific journals devoted to amphibians and reptiles, and has been Associate Editor of the Wiley-Blackwell journal Animal Conservation since 2009. Representing the University on external bodies, Robert is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the World Congress of Herpetology, and a member of the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group. He is also a Trustee of the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, which with about 30 staff members is the largest UK-based charity devoted to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles, as well as a Council Member of the Tropical Biology Association, a capacity-building NGO and a founding member of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative.

Dr David Pye (School of Environment & Life Sciences)

David PyeDavid joined the University almost a decade ago, as a Lecturer in the School of Environment and Life Sciences; he currently teaches at all levels across a variety of degree programmes. He has been an active researcher in cancer treatment and the field of glycobiology for more than 25 years and has an extensive list of research publications. David is currently the Scientific Director of Kidscan, which operates out of the University and supports research into children’s cancer at Salford and at other national centres of excellence. In his role at Kidscan, David has encouraged members of university staff to apply for a growing portfolio of research support grants. This has seen the total funding awarded from Kidscan to the University, increase to a level in excess of £1 million since the charity was founded. He has also instigated a Kidscan funded grant scheme that allows university undergraduates to undertake a placement year in a children’s cancer research laboratory. This year has seen a record number of nine Kidscan grants awarded to support Salford students in their placement year.

David also has a keen interest in science policy and has worked in this area, with the learned societies, for many years. He is currently Honorary Policy Officer, Chair of the Policy Advisory Panel and Trustee of the Biochemical Society, which is the largest discipline-based learned society in the biosciences. This role allows him to ensure that issues faced at Salford make their way into government consultations on policy in HE and research.


Professorial promotions 2017

Niroshini NirmalanDr Niroshini Nirmalan (School of Environment & Life Sciences)

Following her postdoctoral training at UMIST, MIB (University of Manchester) and CRUK (University of Leeds), Niroshini joined Salford as a Senior Lecturer in April 2010. Her landmark publications include the first annotated 2D proteomic maps for the malarial parasite P. falciparum, and the development of novel quantitative proteomic methodologies to investigate the malarial proteome and formalin-fixed tissue archives. Since joining us, she has developed two strong internationally recognised research themes, firstly in malaria drug discovery and secondly in research into biomarkers in major trauma. She has established a Class 3 pathogen facility at the University, to enable continuous malaria cultures. Her research group works on various aspects of drug discovery including repositioning, natural product leads, nano-drug delivery systems, etc.

Niroshini has also established a collaborative network between the University, NHS (Manchester Royal Infirmary and Salford Royal) and Waters Corporation to initiate a 200-patient study to define biomarkers of poor clinical outcome in major trauma. The study was awarded NIHR Portfolio status for four years (2015-2019), enabling ring-fenced NIHR funding to employ dedicated research nurse teams. The ongoing study has recruited nearly 100 patients so far, and has established a high fidelity human serum biobank for trauma patient samples here at Salford. Niroshini has concurrently led the School’s flagship Biomedical Science Programme (2011-2015), overseeing the implementation of changes that achieved upper quartile ratings in all key NSS parameters, including an overall student satisfaction score of 100%. She is currently the curriculum lead for the University’s pioneering joint venture with MMU to establish a new medical school in Greater Manchester (GMMedS).

Dr Federica Sotgia (School of Environment & Life Sciences)

Federica SotgiaFederica has an outstanding track record of sustained academic excellence at the national and international level. As a young researcher, she was the first to discover a new form of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD-1C) due to mutations in the human Caveolin-3 gene. These findings were published in Nature Genetics. Later on, she shifted her research interest from muscular disorders to cancer, but always maintained her keen focus on mitochondria and cell metabolism, throughout her career.

Her most recent discoveries in the tumor microenvironment and cancer stem cells, have led to the development of a new metabolic model for cancer (termed “metabolic-symbiosis”), as well as a class of novel therapeutics (the “mitoriboscins”) and a Phase II clinical trial for re-purposing doxycycline as an anti-cancer agent in early breast cancer patients. Her most recent work is summarised in a series of high-impact articles published in Nature Reviews Cancer (2015) and Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology (2017). To date, she has published over 180 research articles, garnering more than 16,500 citations with 13,000 occurring since 2012. She has received significant research funding from numerous sources, including the American Cancer Society (ACS Research Scholar Award, USA) and the Healthy Life Foundation (UK), as well as the Foxpoint Foundation (Canada) and other private donors. Over the next five years, she plans to expand significantly her research programme, focusing on new drug discovery, for the development of anti-cancer and anti-ageing agents.

Dr Mike Wood (School of Environment & Life Sciences)

Mike WoodAn international leader in environmental radiation protection, Mike studies the behaviour, fate and impacts of radioactivity and other pollutants.  Author of over 180 publications, his high-impact research has led to significant national and international policy developments.  Recognising the quality and international significance of his research, he was awarded the Society for Radiological Protection (SRP) Jack Martin Prize (2013) for “outstanding academic excellence” and the highly prestigious Times Higher Education Research Project of the Year (2016) for his ground-breaking research. Since 2011, Mike has secured six RCUK grants, including a five-year NERC grant to support his Chernobyl wildlife research. He leads an interdisciplinary network of researchers from across the University and has positioned Salford as a key radioecological research institution internationally.

Mike plays central roles in various international expert groups, including for the EC and IAEA. He is an elected Member of Senate for the University, as well as a member of Council and trustee of the SRP and editorial board member for a leading radiation protection journal. In 2016, Mike was selected to chair the UK government consultation on new radiation protection legislation. He is a regular keynote speaker and delivered the University’s 50th Anniversary Alumni Lecture at the Royal Institution in London. His research attracts extensive media coverage, including Channel 4 news, a BBC4 documentary, ABC Australia, TIME, New Scientist, LA Times and IFL Science.  He delivers national and international capacity building activities, including for the EC and the Japanese Government. He has also led on initiatives, such as research mentoring, to enhance the research community at Salford.

 


High profile visit to the School of Environment and Life Sciences

David SweeneyDavid Sweeney, Executive Chair Designate for Research England, visited the newly refurbished Translational Medicine laboratories in the Cockcroft Building earlier this month, and met with researchers and postgraduate students from the School of Environment and Life Sciences (ELS). David, who first joined HEFCE in 2008 as Director, Research, Innovation and Skills, will become the first Executive Chair of Research England upon the formal creation of UKRI (Council of UK Research and Innovation) in April 2018.

Dean of School, Professor Sheila Pankhurst, said, “We were delighted when David accepted our invitation to come and see our new Translational Medicine labs, to find out more about the research work being done in ELS in areas such as cancer biology, drug development, biomarkers in trauma patients, ageing and metabolomics.

‘David spent a couple of hours with us, and met with a number of colleagues in our Biomedicine Research Group to talk about their research. He spoke at some length with Professors Michael Lisanti and Federica Sotgia, about their work in cancer biology and ageing. David also met with research funding leads from other areas in ELS, including Dr Priya Mondal (see photograph below), who is the Salford lead for a consortium recently awarded a major NERC grant for work on water quality in India, and Dr Erinma Ochu,  who has been appointed interim chair of the BBSRC Bioscience in Society Strategy panel.’

Professor Lisanti added: “It was good to have the opportunity to speak to David about our work in cancer biology and ageing. Professor Federica Sotgia and I are currently exploring the role of cancer stem cells in particular in our research and we were able to show David some of the new discoveries that we have made and describe our key successes.

He was particularly interested in our ideas focusing on the re-purposing of FDA-approved antibiotics as new anti-cancer agents to target cancer stem cells. This approach will dramatically accelerate clinical trials, while possibly saving billions of pounds.  Thus, I believe that our work aligns with the crucial priorities of Research England.”

Pictured below, from left to right, are Professor Niroshini Nirmalan, Chair in Biomedicine; Jackie Njoroge, Director of Strategy; Professor Sheila Pankhurst, Dean of ELS; David Sweeney, HEFCE; Dr Enrinma Ochu, Lecturer in Science Communication and Future Media; Professor Karl Dayson, Dean of Research, and Professor Michael Lisanti, Chair in Translational Medicine.

Group picture

Main article image from left to right: David Sweeney, HEFCE; Dr Gianpiero Di Leva; Dr Arijit Mukhopadhyay; Dr Priya Mondal, Dr Dave Greensmith, and Professor Michael Lisanti


Major UK DNA Working Group meeting comes to Salford

UK DNA working group logo

 

We are thrilled to be hosting around 130 international delegates today and yesterday in our New Adelphi building for the 5th UK DNA Working Group Meeting.

The DNA Working Group provides an open and transparent forum for government agencies, academics and wider stakeholders to discuss priorities for DNA based method development, share learning and progress, explore technical challenges, develop collaborative opportunities and leverage research funding effectively.

Professor Stefano Mariani, Dr Allan McDevitt and Dr Owen Wagensteen from the School of Environment & Life Sciences are leading this event as part of the Scientific Committee along with colleagues from the Environment Agency, Marine Scotland and Natural England. The meeting is being run in parallel with the SeaDNA Project and you can keep abreast of the exciting and impactful programme by following #UKDNAWG on Twitter.

Professor Mariani said: “This community has explosively gathered around these new biodiversity assessment methods within the last 5 years. Working with governmental agencies on the ground give us the exciting opportunity to apply fundamental knowledge to real environmental issues; and our group at Salford is now playing a central role in implementing these approaches across a variety of aquatic environments across the globe, from UK coastal waters, to tropical coral reefs and polar seas.”

The two-day sold out event sees keynote speakers from across the globe share their research abstracts on topics such as standardising DNA monitoring methods for regulatory use and the monitoring of marine invasive non-native species using an eDNA approach.

Yesterday, Naiara Guimaraes-Sales from the School of Environment & Life Sciences presented her interesting paper on the Use of Environmental DNA for Fish Biodiversity Assessment in Brazilian Rivers and Dr Owen Wangensteen, Research Assistant in Marine Genomics shared his multi-marker comparative study entitled “Designing Metabarcoding Primers for Fish Biodiversity Assessment.”

Dean of the School of Environment & Life Sciences, Professor Sheila Pankhurst said: “We’re really proud to be hosting this event with such a brilliant programme and speakers. The first day went extremely well and there was a real buzz around the room.”

During break-out sessions, delegates were able to network and view the poster presentations.

You can see the full programme of events here.

We are thrilled to be hosting around 130 international delegates today and yesterday in our New Adelphi building for the 5th UK DNA Working Group Meeting.

The DNA Working Group provides an open and transparent forum for government agencies, academics and wider stakeholders to discuss priorities for DNA based method development, share learning and progress, explore technical challenges, develop collaborative opportunities and leverage research funding effectively.

Professor Stefano Mariani, Dr Allan McDevitt and Dr Owen Wagensteen from the School of Environment & Life Sciences are leading this event as part of the Scientific Committee along with colleagues from the Environment Agency, Marine Scotland and Natural England. The meeting is being run in parallel with the SeaDNA Project and you can keep abreast of the exciting and impactful programme by following #UKDNAWG on Twitter.

Professor Mariani said: “This community has explosively gathered around these new biodiversity assessment methods within the last 5 years. Working with governmental agencies on the ground give us the exciting opportunity to apply fundamental knowledge to real environmental issues; and our group at Salford is now playing a central role in implementing these approaches across a variety of aquatic environments across the globe, from UK coastal waters, to tropical coral reefs and polar seas.”

The two-day sold out event sees keynote speakers from across the globe share their research abstracts on topics such as standardising DNA monitoring methods for regulatory use and the monitoring of marine invasive non-native species using an eDNA approach.

Yesterday, Naiara Guimaraes-Sales from the School of Environment & Life Sciences presented her interesting paper on the Use of Environmental DNA for Fish Biodiversity Assessment in Brazilian Rivers and Dr Owen Wangensteen, Research Assistant in Marine Genomics shared his multi-marker comparative study entitled “Designing Metabarcoding Primers for Fish Biodiversity Assessment.”

Dean of the School of Environment & Life Sciences, Professor Sheila Pankhurst said: “We’re really proud to be hosting this event with such a brilliant programme and speakers. The first day went extremely well and there was a real buzz around the room.”

During break-out sessions, delegates were able to network and view the poster presentations.

You can see the full programme of events here.

Pic: Dr Owen Wangensteen

 


Research Impact and Funding

There is a growing body of opinion that holds that researchers have a responsibility to articulate the impact of their research to non-academic audiences. Indeed, the way in which research funding is allocated now increasingly reflects researchers’ ability to generate and demonstrate impact.

A renewed emphasis on the importance of both planning and evidencing research impact requires researchers to develop increasingly robust and integrated ‘pathways to impact’ (as illustrated by Research Councils UK) within research funding bids in order to identify and reward the contribution that high-quality research will make to the economy or to society.

 

Newton's cradle impact imageIn the current research funding climate there is also an urgent need for HEIs to generate income streams from sources other than the Higher Education Funding Councils. Now more than ever HEIs are seeking to raise their profiles and develop relationships with industry, policymakers and other stakeholders in a bid to identify new sources of revenue and facilitate knowledge exchange.

Generating impact, and consequently ensuring that a full range of stakeholders will benefit from the research, is therefore integral to Salford’s research strategy and feeds into its single strategic priority around the Industry Collaboration Zones (ICZs).

The recent announcement by HEFCE that Impact will have a 25% weighting in the forthcoming REF2021 exercise (compared with its 20% weighting in REF2014) serves to further reinforce the importance and relevance of the research impact agenda to HEIs today and in the future.

 

Research Impact Fund

To support researchers at Salford in becoming more ‘impactful’, the University operates an internal Research Impact Fund.

This offers small grants of up to £1000 (match-funded by School/Research Centre) to individuals and groups in support of activities that:

  • reflect the University’s desire to increase the impact and reach of its research
  • highlight strategic engagement that builds upon the University’s vision to pioneer ‘exceptional industry partnerships’

The Fund is currently open for new applications, with a deadline of Friday, 19th January 2018 for the latest round. Further details and the application form can be found here:  https://teamsite.salford.ac.uk/sites/sc02/REF2021/SitePages/Impact%20Funding.aspx

 

If you would like to find out more about the Research Impact Fund, or impact in general, please contact Emma Sutton, Interim Impact, Engagement and Environment Coordinator on research-impact@salford.ac.uk

Alternatively, please visit the Impact pages on our REF intranet site for further details on impact resources, funding opportunities and upcoming training events: https://teamsite.salford.ac.uk/sites/sc02/REF2021/SitePages/Impact.aspx

 


How to Write a 4* Journal Article

Professor Mark Reed, Professor of Socio-Technical Innovation at Newcastle University

In December, Prof Mark Reed, Professor of Socio-Technical Innovation at Newcastle University and the man behind Fast Track Impact, tweeted some thoughts on how to write a 4* paper for the REF and wrote a blog about it. This post is published here with the author’s permission.

How do you write a 4* paper for the Research Excellence Framework (REF)? It is a question I’ve asked myself with some urgency since the Stern Review shredded my REF submission by not allowing me to bring my papers with me this year to my new position at Newcastle University.

Obviously the answer is going to differ depending on your discipline, but I think there are a few simple things that everyone can do to maximize their chances of getting a top graded research output.

I’m going to start with the assumption that you’ve actually done original, significant and rigorous work – if you haven’t then there is no point in reading any further. However, as I am increasingly asked to pre-review papers for colleagues across a range of disciplines, I am seeing examples of people who write up work as a 2* or 3* paper that has the potential to get a better score. I should point out that I believe that there is an important role for 1* and 2* papers, and that I regularly write these on purpose to address a problem of national significance and frame it for the specific, narrow audience that is likely to be able to benefit most from my work. However, whether I like it or not, as a Professor in a research-intensive University, there is an expectation that I will be submitted as a 4* researcher, which means I need a few 4* papers as well.

You can see some more detailed thoughts on what I think makes 4* for different types of paper in this Tweet:

https://twitter.com/profmarkreed/status/801348612345253888/photo/1

As you’ll see from the discussion under that tweet though, my more detailed thoughts probably only apply to Units of Assessment across panels A-C, and probably isn’t relevant to the arts and humanities.

Having said this, I think there are a number of things we can all do to maximize the chances of our work being viewed favourably by REF panelists.

  1. Write to the criteria:when I was learning to drive, my instructor told me that in the test I should make sure I moved my head when I was looking in the rear view mirror, to make sure the examiner noticed I was using my mirrors. We’re all used to writing to the criteria of funding calls, and in fact we are all perfectly used to writing papers to the criteria of our target journals. In the last REF, research outputs were judged against three criteria: originality, significance and rigour. Whatever the interpretation of these criteria in your discipline, have you made it explicit to REF panelists reading your work exactly what is original, and why it is so original? Have you explained and effectively justified the significance of your work? And have you included evidence that your methods, analysis and interpretation is rigorous, even if you have to use supplementary material to include extra detail about your methods and data to get around journal word limits?
  2. Get REF feedback before you submit your work for publication:find out who is going to be reviewing research outputs for REF internally within your Unit of Assessment at your institution and ask them to review your work before you submit it. They may be able to make recommendations about how you might improve the paper in light of the REF criteria. Sometimes a little bit of extra work on the framing of your research in relation to wider contexts and issues can help articulate the significance of your work, and with additional reading and thinking, you may be able to position your work more effectively in relation to previous work to demonstrate its originality more clearly. Adding a few extra details to your methods and results may re-assure readers and reviewers that your approach is indeed rigorous. This is not just about doing world-leading research; it is about demonstrating to the world that your work is indeed world-leading. For me, these criteria are nothing new and are worth paying attention to, whether or not we are interested in REF. Meeting these three criteria will increase the chances that you get through peer-review and will increase the likelihood that your work gets cited.
  3. Analyse and discuss good practice in your own area: the only way to really “get your eye in” for REF is to actually look at examples of good and poor practice in your own area. Below, I’ve described how you can design an exercise to do this with your colleagues. You can do it yourself and learn a lot, but from my own experience, you learn a lot more by doing this as a discussion exercise with colleagues who work in your area. If you can, take notes from your discussion and try and distill some of the key lessons, so you can learn collectively as a group and more effectively review and support each other’s work.

How to organize a discussion to work out what makes a 4* paper in your area:

  • Identify top scoring institutions for your Unit of Assessment (UOA): download the REF2014 results, filter for your UOA (columns E or F), then filter so it only shows you the outputs (column J), and then filter for 4* (column L), showing only the institutions from your UOA that had the highest percentage of 4* outputs. Now for those institutions, look across the table (columns L-P) to see which has the highest proportion of outputs at either 3* or 4*. For example, an institution may have 80% of its outputs graded at 4* and 15% graded at 3*, meaning that 95% of its outputs were graded at 3-4*
  • Download a selection of papers from the top scoring institutions: go to your UOA on the REF website, find and click on the institutions you’ve identified in step 1, under “view submission data”, click on “research outputs”, copy and paste output titles into Google Scholar (or your search engine of choice) and download the articles. You may want to select outputs randomly, or you may want to go through more selectively, identifying outputs that are close to the areas your group specialize in
  • Repeat for low scoring institutions so you can compare and contrast high and low scoring outputs
  • Discuss examples: print copies of the high and low scoring outputs, labeled clearly, and in your next UOA meeting, let everyone choose a high and a low-scoring example. Given them 10-15 minutes to quickly read the outputs (focusing on title, abstract, introduction, figures and conclusions so you’re not there all day) and then ask the group (or small groups if there are many of you) to discuss the key factors that they think distinguish between high and low scoring outputs. Get your group(s) to distill the key principles that they think are most useful and disseminate these more widely to the group, so that anyone who wasn’t present can benefit.

It would be great if I could tell you that these are my “three easy ways to get a 4* paper” but doing work that is genuinely original, significant and rigorous is far from easy. If you have done work that is of the highest quality though, I hope that the ideas I’ve suggested here will help you get the credit you deserve for the great research you’ve done.


New Chernobyl grant for Salford researchers

Award-winning researcher, Dr Mike Wood, is back in Chernobyl.  This time he’s accompanied by fellow Salford academic, Dr Neil Entwistle, as they undertake fieldwork in Chernobyl’s ‘Red Forest’ for their latest NERC grant.

The Red Forest is the most anthropogenically contaminated radioactive ecosystem on earth.  Located just a few kilometres from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant where the 1986 accident occurred, this 4 – 6 square kilometres area of coniferous forest was killed by high radiation levels.  Before the trees died, their needles turned a red/orange colour and the area was named the Red Forest.  In the 30 years since the accident, the area has transitioned into a deciduous woodland (deciduous trees are more resistant to radiation than conifers).

A severe fire in the Red Forest during July 2016 was reported to have burnt approximately 80 percent of the forest. This presented a unique opportunity to study the effect of fire on i) radionuclide mobility/bioavailability and ii) the impact of radiation on the recovery of the forest ecosystems exposed to another stressor (ie. fire).

The new NERC grant, RED FIRE (Radioactive Environment Damaged by Fire: a Forest in Recovery), is funding an international research team to study the aftermath of the fire.  Dr Wood and Dr Entwistle, both from the School of Environment & Life Sciences at the University of Salford, are working in collaboration with the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, University of Nottingham, Chornobyl Center, the Ukrainian Institute of Agricultural Radiology and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

Dr Wood and Dr Entwistle

Dr Wood (second from left) and Dr Entwistle (4th from left) with some of their ‘RED FIRE’ collaborators at the edge of the Red Forest

The team are using a combination of techniques, from soil analysis to drones, to study the fire damaged area.  The project builds on Dr Wood’s previous radioecology research collaborations, including those developed through the NERC TREE project (www.ceh.ac.uk/TREE).  Dr Entwistle, an expert in drone-based research, is a new and valuable addition to the research team due to his specialist expertise.

 

RED FIRE drone

RED FIRE drone-based research begins

RED FIRE is led by Prof Nick Beresford at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.  Initial findings from the project will be reported at the 4th International Conference on Radioecology and Environmental Radioactivity (ICRER) in Berlin in September 2017.


ESRC Festival of Social Science 2017 – Call for Proposals

ESRC Festival 15th Year BannerBuilding upon the successful collaboration from last year, University of Salford will partner with the Economic and Social Research Council, the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University to deliver the ESRC Manchester Festival of Social Science.

The aim of the Festival is to showcase Manchester social science research to a broad non-academic audience. Last year we hosted an eclectic blend of activities designed to celebrate the social sciences, including discussions and debates, exhibitions, schools visits, workshops, and lots more.

The call for applications is now open. The Festival runs from 4-11 November and will involve academics working alongside community and cultural partners to create engaging and inspiring research-led events, aimed at a broadly non-academic audience. The goal is to provide an insight into the many ways social science contributes to social, economic and political life across our cities, regions and beyond.

Any researcher or team can apply to hold an event under the ESRC Festival banner. Applicants can also request up to £1,000 sponsorship from the University of Salford to hold an event as part of the Festival. This will also be an excellent opportunity to tag these events to the University’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Events must include social science and seek to engage groups outside of academia including young people, third sector organisations, business, local government, policy makers and the general public.

We particularly welcome applications that:

  • Seek to bring together two or more festival partners
  • Seek to deliver interdisciplinary events
  • Consider the role and future of social science as a discipline
  • Involve early career researchers
  • Address issues pertinent to the Manchester city-region

For inspiration and ideas for the kind of event you might run, you can find out about the 2016 events at www.esrcmanchesterfest.ac.uk

Please note, applications SHOULD NOT be made directly to the ESRC, but rather via the University of Salford. The application deadline is 4pm on Friday 5th of May. The application form and guidance can be requested through research-impact@salford.ac.uk.

Further details can be found on the ESRC website, including eligibility criteria: www.esrc.ac.uk/public-engagement/festival-of-social-science/apply-to-organise-an-event/

 


Publishing in Scholarly Journals

Peer review of scholarly writingAs a researcher, sharing your work is essential to furthering the discussion, development and potentially even funding of your findings. The sheer quantity of guides available on “how to write” and “how to target X journal” perhaps signifying the impact of targeting the right place and the best audience for your research.

Before reaching the stage of submitting in the hope of publication, many publishers expect researchers to have already made some key considerations:

  1. Is your research original, engaging, innovative?
  2. Who do you expect to be the audience for your research?
  3. Which journal(s) do you think might be interested in accepting your article for publication and does your article fit with their aims, scope and style?
  4. What are your open access needs?
  5. Is your manuscript suitably and well written (free from grammatical error, solid narrative, clear abstract and conclusions) in accordance with the journal’s style guide?

Your researching peers and foremost, your supervisor, are the best place to start for advice on where to publish and whether your manuscript is ready. Then, once you think you have found the right journal for your article, you should read their Author’s Guide and make sure you can freely submit to them as some journals are invitation-only.

Read more…..


Research Project of the Year Award at THE Awards 2016

THE Awards TeamLast night, the University of Salford’s Dr Mike Wood collected the Research Project of the Year award at the esteemed Times Higher Education Awards in London. The awards, now in their twelfth year shine a spotlight on the outstanding achievements of those working in UK higher education.

Dr Mike Wood from the School of Environment and Life Sciences collected the Research Project of the Year award for his work around the Chernobyl disaster. His research hugely increased understanding of how nuclear radiation affects animal life and used a ground-breaking technique to provide new evidence about what happens to the diversity and abundance of large and medium-sized mammals after radiation exposure.

He worked alongside academics from the Univeristy, the UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and Ukraine’s Chornobyl Center on the international collaboration project. Together they used the area around the Chernobyl accident site as a laboratory to study the continuing effect of the disaster on wildlife.

Mike set up more than 250 motion-activated camera positions and bioacoustic recorders to track animals over a year. The cameras provided more than 45,000 images that allowed the researchers to answer fundamental questions about the relationship between radiation exposure and biodiversity. Dr Paul Kendrick from our Acoustics Research Centre also collaborated on the project by placing special bio-acoustic recording devices across the area, providing more detailed information about the zone’s animal life.

The team found a thriving community of large and medium-sized species. This challenges existing academic work, which had suggested that mammals have declined in the area. Their findings have also contributed to high-level debate about the potential creation of a Chernobyl nature reserve and garnered a huge amount of press coverage. The judges said that the research project was impressive in the way that it used “ground-breaking radiological methods to explore the impact of nuclear radiation on wildlife in the Chernobyl area”.

On collecting the award, Mike said: “The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), which reached its 30th anniversary this year, represents a unique natural laboratory to study the impact of radiation levels on wildlife.

“This project has not only enabled myself and my colleagues to challenge some of the claims about declining animal populations in the CEZ, it has also allowed us to work closely with international organisations and to contribute to important global debates about nuclear power, about conservation and particularly about the rewilding of our planet’s wilderness areas.

“It’s a huge honour for the project to have been shortlisted for this award, and it’s a testament to the many talented people who have worked with me to make it such a success.”

Huge congratulations to Mike and the whole team!

 


Story originally posted on the Internal Comms News page