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Update from the Dean

14 Sep 2018

Latest news from Peter Clayton

Professor Peter Clayton

Welcome to the new academic year and a bumper first edition of the Faculty newsletter!

Hopefully you all managed to take a well-earned break over the summer, although I do appreciate that this remains a very busy time of the year for many colleagues, not least for our student recruitment and admissions team who handled thousands of calls and on-line enquiries when A level results were announced in August. Thanks to the hard work of the team the Faculty’s admissions targets for 2018 are broadly on track – a tremendous achievement given the highly competitive national and international HE landscape.

And of course we all have a part to play welcoming our new students when they arrive on campus for the first time next week. Even if you’re not directly involved in Welcome Week activities, could I please encourage you to contribute by taking part in the AskMe initiative – either simply by dusting off your AskMe badges or signing up to be an AskMe ambassador. More details on how to take part are available on StaffNet HERE.

Earlier this week the Our Future initiative was launched, and hopefully you will have seen my earlier invitation to join members of the FLT at one in a series engagement sessions taking place throughout October to share ideas and input into the development of a new strategic vision for the University.  Once again I’d like to encourage as many of you as possible to take part – details of dates, venues and how to register can be found HERE.

We’re currently in the process of finalising the Faculty’s Annual Performance Review (APR) submission and last week at an FLT away day, we discussed and agreed the operational priorities for the next 12 months that will feed into this key document.  I’d like to thank all those who have contributed to the preparation of the APR, which we will share with you in due course, pending sign-off by the University’s Senior Leadership Team on 23 October.

Under the directorship of Professor Dame Nicky Cullum, the Faculty has submitted an application for Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) funding, a new scheme launched by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) earlier this year to support high quality, applied health and care research. Our bid proposes five research themes – digital health, mental health, organising care, healthy ageing and economic sustainability – and places great emphasis on further developing our research partnerships with local health and social care providers. A maximum of £9 million over five years is available, and if our bid is successful, the ARC funding will come on stream in September 2019.

I recently visited the Christie Hospital to tour the impressive new Proton Centre which will be treating cancer patients for the first time later this year.  The considerable benefits of proton beam therapy were highlighted on Tuesday this week at the Professorial Inaugural Lectures of Professor Karen Kirkby, the Centre’s Director and Professor Neil Burnet, Chair in Clinical Academic Proton Therapy. You can read more and view a video of both lectures HERE.

At the end of the month I will be welcoming a delegation from Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine to Manchester, to build on our existing, very successful relationship by discussing further opportunities for research collaboration. Led by Professor Keith Brennan, Associate Dean for Internationalisation, Faculty colleagues will lead sessions on a range of topics including biomarkers, radiotherapy, immunotherapy and potential funding schemes.

In closing, I’d like to acknowledge the successes and achievements of a number of teams and individuals, some of which are featured elsewhere in this e-update.

Hot off the press, I’m pleased to report that all three Schools in the Faculty have attained Athena SWAN silver accreditation as a result of a lot of hard work from a large group of people led by Hema Radhakrishnan, Associate Dean for Social Responsibility and the School self-assessment teams. This really is tremendous news and it’s particularly pleasing that we have achieved a consistent level of Athena SWAN attainment across the Faculty.

Our Integrated Clinical Academic Training (ICAT) programme, continues to go from strength to strength, demonstrated by the recent news that the NIHR has recently awarded funding for 20 posts for 2019. This includes six Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) posts and three Clinical Lectureships (CL) posts awarded as part of a competitive bidding process, plus 11 posts allocated by formula to participating institutions. Many congratulations to the ICAT team.

Finally, I’d like to offer my congratulations to Professor Anne-Marie Glenny , who has been appointed Head of the Division of Dentistry; to Professor Caroline Bowsher, who has received a National Teaching Fellowship; to Dr Simon Clark , whose research has been recognised by the Macular Society; Dr Robina Shah, who has been named as one of the UK’s most inspirational women; and to Professor Melissa Westwood, who is leaving the Faculty to become the University’s Associate Vice-President for Research.

Peter Clayton
Interim Vice-President and Dean