Faculty researcher shortlisted for national award

Sheena CruickshankA project led by Faculty researcher Dr Sheena Cruickshank was shortlisted in the Engage Competition 2014, run by the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE). The project, entitled ‘Educating Community Groups about Parasite Infection and its Impact,’ was praised for its work informing UK immigrants about how infections are transmitted.

Alongside Indira Mclean of Bolton College, Dr Cruickshank devised an education programme that is being used by language schools. The programme teaches people from around the world about how parasitic infections such as toxoplasma, whipworm, malaria, and schistosomes are caught, and how they can be prevented. Dr Cruickshank said:

“Globally, the biggest killer of people under 50 is infection. In countries where infections that are caused by gut worms are still very common, it is the main reason why children don’t get an education. We focused on explaining how people catch these infections, their global significance (in terms of prevalence and effects on global health and economy), and how they can be prevented.”

The programme underwent a pilot run during ESOL classes at Bolton College. The participants were of mixed nationalities including African, Iraqi, and Indian. Dr Cruickshank said:

“Apart from providing a vital information service, this is an incredible opportunity to learn from these people’s experiences. Hearing about worm infections and their impact on daily life has motivated many of us to change our research.”

PhD Programme with A*STAR Institutes, Singapore

rothwellProfessor Dame Nancy Rothwell visited Singapore recently, accompanying David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, during a visit to promote UK Higher Education in Australia, Indonesia, and Singapore.

The Ministerial visit included meetings with a wide range of government offices and institutions in Singapore, many of which Dame Nancy visited during a personal trip in January 2013. Meetings were held with the National Research Foundation, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and key partner institutions such as The National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University.

A highlight of the programme was the signing of an agreement between our university and A*STAR Graduate Academy for joint engagement in A*STAR’s Research Attachment Programme (ARAP). The University-wide agreement will extend the current engagement that the Faculty already has established (15 students registered to date). Students are registered in the Faculty and spend two years in Manchester and two years in a Singapore Research Institute. The Faculty funds their time in Manchester, and their time in Singapore is funded by A*STAR. Projects are identified by encouraging supervisors from Manchester and Singapore to collaborate and develop projects that create added value through two-centre research activities which advance joint research interests. Professor Martin Humphries, Dean and Vice-President of the Faculty, said:

“The University of Manchester is fortunate to have multiple levels of partnership in Singapore. I’m delighted that we were able to extend this through joint engagement with A*STAR’s ARAP programme which will support improved collaboration between researchers in Manchester and Singapore.”

Read more about our A*STAR programmes.