Dates for your diary

dates for your diary




Wednesday 7 June, 17:30 to 20:30 - Higher education advice evening
Year 11 and 12 students and their parents/guardians will be joining us as a family for a higher education advice evening to get accurate information for starting the university application process.

Knowledge and awareness of higher education issues such as admissions and finance are important, not only for those applying to university but also to their parents and guardians. The evening will include sessions on student finance, UCAS, the transition to university and employability. The event is free to attend and light refreshments are provided. More details here

Wednesday 14 June, 12:00 to 14:00, MB259 - Complete Funding Series
Charities and Societies - what funding is available?

This seminar will give an overview of the main societies and charities (Welcome, Leverhulme, Royal Society and British Academy etc.) providing academic research funding and provide information on how to access this funding. To register, please email RKE@aston.ac.uk

Wednesday 14 June, 09:00 to 16:45, Conference Aston Meeting Suites -The future of marketing practice
The way we do marketing is as much a part of our success as what we do. Do you agree? In this one day conference, our focus is on challenging how we do marketing now, sharing what we can learn from each other to improve our practice and finding out from experts in their field what emerging best practice looks like.

We'll be hearing from major brands what they are doing differently to drive success, discovering how we can develop new ways of working to improve the influsence of marketing and discussing the senior figures in the marketing industry 'what we do next'.

To book a space, email Paula Eccles or for more information, click here.

Thursday 15 June, 07:30 to 09:30 - Fresh Perspectives: Brexit and interest groups
The question of a fallout from Brexit is challenging a number of analysts. Most of the analysts draw a distinction between the immediate short term effect of the ‘leave’ result stemming from the referendum and the long term consequences of the UK going out of the European Union (EU). A similar approach can be deployed while looking at the changes that will emerge regarding the UK interest groups’ lobbying capacity. Dr. Patrycja Rozbicka’s talk will focus on identifying the short and long term consequences and how to counterbalance them. Book your free place here.

Wednesday 21 June, 17:30 to 20:00 - Aston Business Network
The Aston Business Network is our regular networking event that provides an opportunity for local businesses to meet each other in a friendly and informal setting, and hear from a topical guest speaker. 
Book your free place here

Thursday 22 June, 13:00 to 16:30, MB554 - The three minute thesis competition (3MT®)  (Lunch provided)
Originally developed by the University of Queensland, Australia, this competition challenges PhD students from all years of their studies to describe their research topic and its significance to a general audience in just three minutes using a single PowerPoint slide. There will be prizes for the best presentations as well as an opportunity for the audience to vote for their favourite speaker. The Research and Knowledge Exchange team invite you to take part either as a competitor or an audience member. Please email
rke_research_training@aston.ac.uk to register or for further details about the competition. See also: https://www.vitae.ac.uk/

Thursday 29 June, 18:30 to 20:00, Sumpner Lecture Theatre - Adventures in applied microbiology (and other short stories): An Inaugural Lecture by Professor Anthony Hilton

Professor Anthony Hilton, Deputy Executive Dean of LHS, will consider how understanding of the relationship between humans and microbes has developed over time. In this lecture, Professor Hilton will lead you on a journey to discover the invisible world of microbiology, where microbes lurk and how to avoid becoming their next victim!  

To register for the lecture, click here.

Wednesday 3 May, 12:15 to 14:00 - Engaging with the media
The final engaging with the media session of the academic year for all academics and ECRs wanting to know more about how to successfully communicate with journalists or improve their media presence. The event includes presentations from The Conversation, an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community and Journalista, the University’s external PR agency. For more details and to book a place or a 1-2-1 slot with an editor from The Conversation to discuss your research, please click here.

Tuesday 2 May, 12:00 to 14:00, SW407 - Why are we using 1st century AD techniques to examine 21st century students?
We encourage students to learn in groups when they have access to local and remote resources without time constraints. But when we assess students in the main we isolate them, remove resources apart from a pen and sometimes a calculator and expect them to problem solve with limited time. Nothing in this assessment process relates to any real world tasks likely to be faced during employment. Surely there must be a better way. During this CPD session we will discuss alternative forms of formative and summative assessment and encourage colleagues to move away from time constrained written exams. The session will explore staged/portfolio assessments, group assessments and opportunities to involve students in their own assessment. To confirm your attendance please contact Marika Jones.

Wednesday 26 April, 14:00 to 15:30, MB155 - Chief Invigilation briefing session
The Examinations Office is running a chief invigilation training session in room MB155 on 26 April from 14:00 to 15:30. To register your attendance/book a place, please contact Raihan

Wednesday 12 April, 12:00 to 14:00, MB231 - Complete Funding Series: Fellowships
This seminar will look at the type and role of fellowships at all stages of the academic trajectory. It will also investigate the various external funding mechanisms that staff can apply: Leverhulme, RCUK, RAEng, RS etc. If you are interested in attending, please register by emailing REO@aston.ac.uk

Thursday 6 April, 13:00 to 14:00 - Build a Bug Hotel
Help the environment and gardening teams to build Aston’s second bug hotel! The gardeners have already made the structure out of stacked pallets by car park 6 – all that’s left to do is fill the gaps with items to help make a home for Aston’s little critters! Please bring along any useful items if you can e.g. bamboo canes, pine cones, dead wood, unwanted clay pots, bricks and tiles. Meet in the Main Building reception at 13:00. Please e-mail environment@aston.ac.uk to book your place.

Wednesday 29 March, 10:00 to 12:00, MB220 - Coffee morning and drop in session for ECRs
The Research and Enterprise Office is holding a coffee morning for early career researchers. The event will allow Aston’s ECRs a chance to meet the REO team and fellow researchers across the university over tea, coffee and cake. Attendees can drop in at any point within the two hours to hear from our team. If you are interested in attending, please register here.

Wednesday 29 March, 17:00, Conference Aston - Annual Knowledge Transfer Showcase
Aston’s annual Knowledge Transfer Showcase & Networking event is taking place on 29 March from 17:00 in Conference Aston. The event will include a competition for our Innovate UK sponsored Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and Collaborative R&D projects, with prizes being awarded by the Vice Chancellor. This is an excellent opportunity to see some of the innovative work being carried out at Aston, meet representatives from the funding body, project partners, academics and local businesses. Food and drinks will be provided. Please register here if you are able to attend.

Friday 24 March, 11:00 to 17:00 - Final year students hosting 'Aston Street Food Festival' for Comic Relief 
This Red Nose Day (Friday 24 March), five final year students are hosting 'Aston Street Food Festival' outside the library on campus. The vendors are donating 20% of ALL sales to Comic Relief, so please come along and support this fantastic cause. There is no entry fee and everyone is welcome so bring along your colleagues for an afternoon of delicious food from around the world. Follow the Facebook event here.

Wednesday 22 March, 11:00 to 12:00, MB427 - IT open drop in session

Do you have a project that you would like to discuss with IT? Please come along to the next drop in session in MB427 and meet with the IT Directors. 

Friday 17 March, 18:30, AUEA - BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions with Jonathan Dimbleby
Aston University Engineering Academy (AUEA) isdelighted to announce it is hosting BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? with Jonathan Dimbleby.

The audience will be a mixture of the school community including students, governors and trustees, staff and members of the local community. Also invited are the political parties and independent representatives from Birmingham. Doors open at 18:30. The programme warm-up starts at 19:30. The live broadcast runs from 20:00 to 20:50. A limited supply of free tickets is available to anyone who wishes to attend and are available on a first come, first served basis by emailing AUEA. Tickets will be reserved upon receipt of request (limited to a maximum of 2 per person), and will be available to collect from the main AUEA reception before the day of the event.

Wednesday 15 March, 12:00 to 14:00, MB373 - Learning and Teaching Technologies in times of Student Instrumentality (including lunch)
Are you disheartened by students’ obsession with ‘passing the test’ and little else? Saddened that only a few students want to share your enthusiasm for your subject? Disheartened that despite years of scholarship and research, your value as a teacher is reduced to whether your lectures are entertaining (whatever that means) and fun?

This seminar offers a sideways look at some of the common myths and stories about student instrumentality and whether learning and teaching technologies, such as problem based learning, can bridge the gap between conventional understandings of the university experience and student expectations. To confirm your attendance please contact Marika Jones.

Tuesday 14 March, 12:00 to 13:00, SW407 - Teachers’ Anonymous
Teachers’ Anonymous was launched in autumn 2016 to provide a confidential supportive community for teachers at Aston University. It is a place to discuss the challenges (and rewards) of teaching with colleagues in a safe and confidential space. There are no attendance lists; no minutes; and no agenda other than the topics proposed at each meeting. No need to book a place, just turn-up but please do attend on time to ensure the quality of attention within the group meeting.  

The next sessions will be on:

Tuesday 14 March 12:00 - 13:00, SW407
Tuesday 4 April 12:00 - 13:00, SW407
Wednesday 10 May 13:00 - 14:00, SW407

Friday 10 March, 13:00 to 14:00, Susan Cadbury Lecture Theatre - In Conversation with… David Bishop
Aston alumnus and gaming expert David Bishop will be coming to Aston to share his expertise of the games industry on Friday 10 March. Since graduating from Aston, David has been involved in creating some of the world's biggest mobile games, including Moshi Monsters, Plants V. Zombies and Bejeweled. David will share his expert knowledge of the industry, the innovative processes involved and how new gaming products are developed. Book your place

Wednesday 8 March, 18:00 to 20:30, G11 - Professor Jill Poole Memorial Lecture
Following the tragic and untimely death of Professor Jill Poole last year, Aston Law School has instituted an annual lecture series in her name. The purpose of the series is to celebrate and further Jill’s enthusiasm for legal scholarship in the areas that most characterise her work; most notably commercial and contract law, contemporary issues in legal practice and women in The Academy. We are delighted to announce that the inaugural lecture will take place on 8 March and will be delivered by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd. As the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Thomas is the most senior member of the judiciary in England and Wales. Click here to register your attendance.

Jill’s family and Aston University have established an Educational Fund to support students wishing to study Law. Further information can be found here.

Wednesday 8 March, 12:30 to 14:30pm, Council Room - International Women’s Day: Be bold for change - An event for ALL!
Join us on International Women’s Day, for an open discussion about some of the work on gender issues being led at Aston by our researchers. Help stimulate debate and explore where new ideas and research collaborations could occur, support teaching and professional work.Both genders are welcome! Lunch will be available from 12:30pm. To register your attendance or if there are any questions you’d like to submit in advance, please click here. An updated event schedule has now been added to the Eventbrite booking link.

Wednesday 8 March, 12:00 to 14:00pm, MB231 - Complete Funding Series: Open Access & PURE
This session will provide an overview of the Open Access compliance criteria, in force since 1 April 2016, which will ensure eligibility for REF. A key component of ensuring publications are compliant is the use of PURE and the upload of full text documents. Top tips for the use of PURE will also be provided. If you are interested in attending, please register by emailing REO@aston.ac.uk

Wednesday 8 March, 15:30pm - 10th Aston Feminist Café
The 10th Aston Feminist Café will be held on International Women's Day in the Cadbury room (10th floor of North Wing), on the topic of Not seen and not heard? Women politicians in the media. This is an informal discussion and everyone is welcome. For copies of the readings that we will be discussing please contact Katy Pilcher or Olga Castro.

1 February, 2-3pm, Mike Wright Lecture Theatre - Google Digital Garage
Academic staff are being urged to encourage students to attend a Google Digital Garage workshop on 1 February. The workshop aims to help improve digital capabilities and awareness through exploring a range of digital topics and is open to Aston University students only.  It is free to attend and runs from 2-3pm in the Mike Wright lecture theatre. Places must be booked in advance and students can register here.

Friday 17 February, 12 – 2pm, G11- Brexit event
The Research and Enterprise Office, International Office and Aston Centre for Europe are jointly hosting the following lunchtime event for all staff and students – Brexit: What Happened, and What Happens Next? The aim of the event is to provide information on Brexit past, present and future.

The event will be chaired by David Farrow, Executive Director Of Marketing & Strategy Communications. There will be a Q and A session following the presentations. If you would like to attend, please register here.

Tuesday 10 January, 11.30-12.30pm – Employee Travel Scheme
The next issue day for the purchase/renewal of bus and rail passes will take place in Room MB737, 11.30 am -12.30 pm. For more information and to download an application form visit the website. Completed forms must be returned to Barbara Power, Human Resources, by Thursday 5 January 2017. 

Academic Promotions

The Academic Staff Promotions round for 2016-2017 has been launched with a closing date for applications of 27 January 2017.  The Promotions Procedure, application forms and guidance are available on the Human Resources website. If you are considering making an application for promotion, we are arranging a number of workshops where the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, Paul Maropoulos, and the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Helen Higson, will be available to answer questions.  Both applicants and those who manage or mentor junior colleagues are strongly advised to attend these sessions.  The dates of these sessions are: 
  • Thursday 5 January, 10.00-11.00 in MB220
  • Monday 9 January, 11.00-12.00 in MB246B 

Please confirm your attendance at one of these sessions by emailing Claire Freeman.

Wednesday 18 January, 12 to 1.45pm- Engaging with the Media
Engaging with the media session for all academics and ECRs wanting to know more about how to successfully communicate with journalists or improve their media presence. The event includes presentations from The Conversation, an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community and Linstock Communications, the university’s external PR agency.  For more details and to book a place, please click here.

Tuesday 24 January, 10-11am or 2 -3pmSharpen your Open Access & Open Data Know-HowDo you have questions about Open Access publishing or Open Data? Would you like to know more about the policies and how to achieve compliance, e.g. for HEFCE, RCUK and the EC? Do you need help using Pure to upload publications and/or datasets?

Whether you are a new to Aston or require a refresher session, specialists in Open Access (Malcolm Horne), Open Data (Ammar Wahid) and Pure (Paul Jones) will be running training sessions in MB525b. After each of the above sessions there will be time for optional hands-on help. To book your place on one of the above please contact openaccess@aston.ac.uk

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