British Science Festival heads for Brighton

british-science-festival-logoOne of Europe’s leading and longest established science festivals is coming to Brighton next year. And we will be co-hosting it!

The University of Brighton will co-host the 2017 British Science Festival with the University of Sussex from 5-8 September.

The festival, organised by the British Science Association, will have a programme of over 100 events featuring cutting-edge science from world-leading academics covering everything from technology and engineering to social sciences.

Welcoming the announcement, Vice-Chancellor Professor Debra Humphris said: “I am delighted that the University of Brighton will be co-hosting the British Science Festival next year. We were keen to grasp this wonderful opportunity to showcase our world-leading research alongside cutting-edge science from around the globe in an accessible and engaging way.

“The city of Brighton & Hove is world-renowned for its Arts Festival. By hosting the British Science Festival, we can throw open the doors of our facilities to the wider community, including our new state-of-the-art Advanced Engineering Building that is currently under construction.”

We’ll keep you posted as more details are confirmed, and hope to see you all there!

University building scoops top award

The project to refurbish the University of Brighton’s iconic Cockcroft Building has won in the Higher Education category of the prestigious Architects’ Journal Retrofit Awards 2016.

The Cockcroft Building on the University’s Moulsecoomb campus has been a familiar landmark on Brighton’s Lewes Road since the 1960’s.
The awards jury said: “This is a bold project, particularly from a sustainability point of view – and a model for future similar projects. It focuses well on how people use the building. The exterior has been elegantly improved and the interior creatively revamped.”

Welcoming the award, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Debra Humphris said: “This is really excellent news and I congratulate the team involved in this major project. The refurbishment of the Cockcroft Building is an important part of our ongoing investment programme which aims to ensure that our students have access to world-class facilities.”


The multi-million pound refurbishment programme, which took three years to complete, was carried out whilst the building was still being used by staff and students and included:
• Development of state-of-the-art new learning laboratories and office spaces to house schools within the university’s College of Life, Health and Physical Sciences
• Installation of new windows to improve insulation throughout the building
• Exposing the ceiling space to highlight the architectural features of the building’s interior
• Opening up corridors in the building to improve lighting, people movement and provide social and informal learning spaces for students and staff to use.
• Reducing noise levels by putting in place sound buffering and dampening features
• Installing a new roof surface to improve insulation and energy efficiency.

Train to teach this September

If you have considered training to teach after graduating in a STEM subject this year, this post is for you…

Train to teach and inspire hundreds of young minds along the way. Start your teaching career on a Maths, Physics or Physics with Maths train to teach course this September.

Tax-free bursaries and prestigious scholarships of up to £30,000 are available while you train as a teacher. The department of Education (DfE) website has additional support available to help you get started…

  • Read these five simple steps to get into teaching
  • Register to attend the next DfE online event on 18 July; which provides specific advice for new STEM graduates like you.

Or you can register an interest in our programmes here.

Get up to £30,000 tax-free to Train to Teach a STEM subject

maths train to teachGood teachers are always in demand but STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects at secondary school are particular priorities and attract additional support and higher levels of funding.

The teaching profession is a great way to make your degree, skills and knowledge really count. At the moment, tax-free bursaries and scholarships worth up to £30,000 are being offered to top graduates who choose to train as teachers.

Our teaching courses at Brighton are perfect if you have graduated with an honors degree or equivalent, in a subject relevant to the specialism. Or if you think you may need additional support we also offer subject knowledge enhancement routes (SKE) which you can do ahead of the teaching course.

We offer courses in a number of STEM subject areas including:
Mathematics
Physics with Mathematics

Specialising in a STEM subject at postgraduate level means that you will be able to take a role in the leadership and development of this subject area throughout your career.

You can find out more at the Department of Education (DfE) website.
Or you can register an interest in our programmes here.

Do you need some help with job hunting?

Student Services are offering their annual ’Transform Your Life’ two day graduate employability course.
‘Transform Your Life’ 2 day University of Brighton graduate employability course

Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 June 2016
This course is particularly suited to any final year students or graduates who may be finding the next stage of their career rather challenging.

It includes:
* confidence boosting activities
* applications/CVs
* online presence
* presenting yourself well at interview (including practice interviews)

Find out more about the course, including how to book a place, here.

dreamjob-rvfn9d-300x225

Soapbox science

A scientist from our school left her lab to stand on a soapbox to explain nuclear physics to members of the public and to help eliminate gender inequality in science.

Chantal Nobs, a PhD student at the University of Brighton, was one of 12 women selected to participate in the Soapbox Science London event on London’s Southbank.
Her session ‘Nuclear physics: Exploring the centre of the atom and harnessing its potential’ involved discussing her work and her experiences as a female scientist.

Chantal said she was impressed with the reaction from members of the public. One said: “Now, not only do I know what it means, but I know that women can do it.”


The key aim was to help eliminate gender inequality in science by raising the profile and challenging the public’s view of women in science. In addition to sharing their research with the general public, all 12 women became role-models for future generations.

Chantal said: “Although I was incredibly nervous before stepping onto my soapbox I thoroughly enjoyed the hour-long session. As soon as I had introduced myself, out of no-where, a full crowd had formed around me. A complete mixture of young and old, male and female, some who knew all about nuclear physics, and some who had never heard of a nucleus.

“The best part of the event for me was the variety of questions asked, everything from ‘how did you get into nuclear physics’ to ‘how do we know whether we have created a nucleus if we cannot see it’.”

Watch video highlights from Chantal’s talk here

Can maths help treat spinal deformities?

'WHAT'S YOUR ANGLE ?' A NEW FESTIVAL SHOWING HOW MATHS RELATES TO EVERYDAY LIFE AT THE SCIENCE MUSEUM Pix.Tim Anderson

The University of Brighton researchers hope to help doctors better understand deformities in the human spinal cord by using mathematical modelling.
Dr Paul Harris and research student Jenny Venton, from the university’s College of Life, Health and Physical Sciences, will explain their work at the London Mathematical Society’s 150th anniversary Mathematics Festival at the Science Museum.
They will be presenting at the festival’s schools day on 27 November and to the general public on 28 and 29 November.
Visitors will be invited to become ‘undercover journalists’ to discover how mathematics helps us to understand the world around us and how it transforms people’s lives.
The University of Brighton’s research is part of an ongoing collaboration with the Brighton Centre for Regenerative Medicine and is funded by a grant from the Leverhulme Trust (RPG-2013-178).
A key part of their research is focusing on a deformation that can occur due to the formation of fluid-filled cavities in the spinal cord. Previous medical investigations have failed to find any chemical or biological process which is responsible for the formation of the cavities.
The scientists hope that a mathematical model will be able to demonstrate how the changes in the pressure of the cerebral-spinal fluid can cause the cavities to form and grow without the need for invasive medical investigations.
They hope that providing an accurate mathematical model will lead to improved treatments of spinal deformities.

The diverse nature of maths at Brighton

Rochelle Cheema-WellsRochelle tells us more about his course and his year spent at Albion in the Community, Brighton and Hove Albion

Rochelle Cheema-Wells
Mathematics BSc(Hons)
I really enjoy being in Brighton.  Brighton is a different culture, it’s much more relaxed and as a student it’s great.  The support structure on the maths course is so nice, there is an open door policy which means I can go to my tutors and they are always willing to help.
I did my placement at Albion in the Community, Brighton and Hove Albion. I love the diverse nature of the job and the fact that I’m not just sitting behind a desk inputting numbers.  Working with coaching groups on the programmes organised by this charity has solidified my direction after graduation – I would like to use my knowledge of maths to help people: as a teacher or in a more analytical role.