The University of Sheffield

News in brief

Take the stairs to help beat heart disease

Arts TowerKind-hearted fundraisers are being challenged to climb the University of Sheffield’s Arts Tower to raise vital funds for the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

The Take the Stairs event aims to inspire people of all ages to climb all 390 steps and 21 floors of the 78-metre high, world-famous University building, which is the second highest structure in Sheffield.

The non-competitive event, hosted by the University of Sheffield, will take place on Midsummer’s Eve, Saturday 21 June 2014 at 9pm. Hundreds of fundraisers are expected to take part in the gruelling climb which will reward participants with phenomenal views across the city.

Stephanie Cheung, BHF Sheffield Major Events Committee Chair, said: “This is a unique opportunity to set yourself an exciting challenge in an iconic building at the summer solstice. Whether you choose to run or walk to the top, you will be rewarded with amazing views of our city at dusk. And you’ll know that you have made a difference and helped save lives.”

Dr Timothy Chico, a senior clinical lecturer at the university supporting the event, said: “The BHF is investing more than £5million in medical research at the University of Sheffield. This event is a great way for people to raise money for research into heart disease, while at the same time reducing their own risk of heart problems in later life.

"Although we've made great breakthroughs in understanding how to prevent and treat coronary heart disease, it is still the biggest single cause of death in the UK, and we need more research to find new treatments."

To take part, call 0300 330 3322, email or register online at

4 April 2014

Leading urban scholar to speak at public lecture

George GalsterOne of the world’s leading urban scholars will speak at a public lecture hosted by the University of Sheffield’s Department of Town and Regional Planning.

Professor George Galster will speak about the life of Detroit from the years of segregation and depopulation where it tore itself from within to its potential rebirth in the 21st century.

In his latest book Driving Detroit, Professor Galster dissects the urban condition in the city that has been described as the world's first post-industrial metropolis.

The talk will feature remarkable insights into the social history of a city that planners, politicians and policymakers have looked to in order to learn lessons about the future as well as the past.

There will be the opportunity for questions and answers and a drinks reception following the lecture in Firth Court Council Room from 5pm-6.30pm on Thursday 10 April.

Places can be booked online.

2 April 2014

Study Group awarded University of Sheffield International College contract

Sheffield International CollegeThe University of Sheffield has awarded international education provider Study Group the contract to operate its International College following the completion of a competitive tender.

The company will take over the existing Sheffield International College in September 2015, and will manage the delivery of international student pathway programmes. Sheffield International College is already one of the largest providers of pathway programmes in Europe, with hundreds of students progressing onto undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the university every year.

It will be renamed University of Sheffield International College from September 2015.

Professor Paul White, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield, said: “We're delighted to be partnering with Study Group on this exciting project. The University of Sheffield International College will play an important role in preparing international students for academic and professional success at the University. We look forward to working with Study Group to enhance further our foundation study opportunities for international students.”

David Leigh, Study Group’s CEO, noted: “I am delighted that we were able to demonstrate to the University of Sheffield that Study Group is the best placed pathway provider to help it fulfil its ambitious international student recruitment plans.”

James Pitman, Study Group’s UK HE Managing Director continues: “The University has a strong international profile and is a high quality institution which fits well with our portfolio of HEI partners. We look forward to working with the University of Sheffield to attract the brightest and best international students from all over the world to its pathway programmes in 2015 and beyond.

”Study Group is partnered with more universities than any other pathway provider in the UK and recruits students from all over the world into distinct pathway streams including Foundation, International Year One, Pre-Masters and distance learning programmes, based on the needs of each institution.

Study Group’s own Bellerbys Colleges in Brighton, London, Oxford and Cambridge offer accredited courses from accelerated GCSE and A Level through to Foundation and Pre-Masters courses, providing progression into over 50 top UK universities.

1 April 2014

Pioneering diabetes research given generous boost

ThumbnailGround breaking diabetes research at the University of Sheffield which focuses on self-management support for patients has been given a financial boost by the independent health care charity, The Health Foundation.

Dr Hasan Basarir, from the University’s School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), has been awarded a share of £480,000 to look at specific support interventions for people with diabetes in both quality of life and monetary terms.

Dr Basarir said: “Diabetes is a long-term condition with a rising prevalence rate. The condition creates a major challenge for the healthcare services all over the world as it is the biggest single cause of stroke, blindness, amputation and end stage kidney failure.

“In diabetes, it has been shown that self-management is the main factor determining success in achieving and maintaining control over blood glucose levels. However, the focus of the current research in this area is limited to the clinical outcomes and largely ignores eliciting the value the individuals with diabetes place on the self-management aspect of their condition.

“The funding by The Health Foundation will enable us to investigate the individual preferences and to inform policy-making by identifying and quantifying what is important to the patients and the general public in the self-management of diabetes.”

For more information about The Health Foundation visit

To learn more about the School of Health and Related Research visit

27 March 2014

Student goes top of the class in international science competition

Elizabeth KirkhamA PhD student from the University of Sheffield has scooped first prize in a prestigious international science writing competition.

Elizabeth Kirkham, from the University’s Department of Psychology, won the accolade ahead of 300 applicants from across the world in the Access to Understanding 2014 science writing competition.

The project, which is run by Europe PubMed Central in partnership with the science team at The British Library, aims to demonstrate the increasing importance of effectively communicating the results of publicly funded research.

In her winning entry Elizabeth explained research that investigated the brain structure involved in the prediction of musical beats. She was awarded her prize by Sir Mark Walport, the Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government., who gave his own perspective on the importance of using ‘plain English’ to communicate scientific findings.

Elizabeth said: “It was wonderful to be given this award, I kept checking it to make sure it really did have my name on it! Less than 20 per cent of the entries were from people in the first year of their PhD, the rest were from people in their second year or higher. So it was a real honour to win first place only 6 months into my PhD studies.

“It’s a difficult time for early career researchers, as there are hundreds of excellent researchers competing for very few positions. Competitions like this give us a chance to demonstrate our skills to the public and to the wider scientific community. I’d especially encourage people from northern universities to enter, as the University of Sheffield was the only northern institution to make the shortlist this year!”

For more information about the award please visit

To find out more about the University’s Department of Psychology visit

27 March 2014

First urban breeding pair of Peregrine Falcons welcome egg-citing arrival

ThumbnailThe pair of Peregrine Falcons who have set up home on a special nesting platform at St George's Church in Sheffield have laid their first eggs of the breeding season.

The arrival was captured live on the web cam which was launched by the University of Sheffield’s Department of Estates and Facilities Management to monitor Yorkshire’s first urban breeding pair of Peregrines.

This is the third consecutive year the pair have laid eggs on the picturesque platform which was constructed by dedicated volunteers from the University and the Sheffield Bird Study Group.

Professor David Wood, from the University’s Department of Hispanic Studies and Chair of the Sheffield Bird Study Group, said: “The arrival of the first three eggs is very exciting and marks the 'official' start of the 2014 breeding season at St George's.

“The pair can now get down to the serious business of incubating the eggs, which should hatch after 30-32 days.

“It looks as if the Easter weekend might be about right for a hatching date if all goes well. We're incredibly lucky to be able to enjoy these spectacular birds in the heart of the city on the University's campus.”

The Sheffield Bird Study Group's recently published Breeding Atlas charts the return of Peregrines to the Sheffield area in recent years, as well as the ongoing illegal persecution they face in areas of the Peak District.

With other pairs becoming established in nearby urban locations, the St George's birds are spearheading a terrific success story for this species.

Professor Wood will be keeping the Peregrine blog updated over the weeks ahead to help people follow the events and find out more about the birds.

You can also follow the birds events on twitter @peregrines2014

For more information about the Sheffield Bird Study Group visit

27 March 2014

Week of events explores the Art of Work

A series of debates, talks and performances will be held at the University of Sheffield next week (Monday 31 March 2014) to explore the concept of work and employability.

The University’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities will host a week of activities – including evening talks, practical sessions, public exhibitions and concerts – to bring students, staff and members of the public together to examine The Art of Work.

A public lecture at St George’s Church on Tuesday 1 April will see prize-winning scholar Professor Helen Small from the Faculty of English at the University of Oxford and Dr Peter Thompson, from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Germanic Studies, question the value arts and humanities can give to the understanding and practice of work in the 21st century.

On Wednesday 2 April, a panel of speakers from the University’s Faculties of Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences will gather at the Humanities Research Institute to discuss how we should understand the responsibilities of the unemployed, workers, employers, corporations and society during a public roundtable event.

Students will share their views on the challenges, inspirations, joys and stresses of their working lives through images and short written pieces during an exhibition in the University’s Jessop West building’s foyer, which runs from Monday (31 March).

During the week, there will also be a series of skills sessions for students, including how to use social media effectively and interview skills, as well as an event where staff and students will sell their own art, books, music and fanzines.

Three specially-commissioned pieces of music on the theme of employment will also be performed.

For more information, visit

18 March 2014

Economics alumnus handed top Bank of England job

University of Sheffield alumnus Andrew Haldane has been appointed as the Bank of England’s chief economist.Andrew Haldane

Mr Haldane, who graduated from the University with a BA in Economics in 1988, is currently the Bank of England’s executive director for financial stability.

He will begin his new post, replacing Spencer Dale, in June.

In February, Mr Haldane returned to the University to speak about the financial crisis in an event organised by the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI).

Professor Andy Dickerson, Head of the Department of Economics at the University of Sheffield, said: "Andy Haldane studied Economics here at the University of Sheffield in the 1980s and has been working at the Bank of England since then. It’s great to see yet another of our alumni doing so well in their chosen profession.“