News in brief

19 October 2016

Sheffield residents can take a tour of the globe during international language festival

Students at the University of Sheffield are giving members of the public a chance to try out a selection of 17 languages from across the globe in a single afternoon.

Spanish, Tamil, Luxembourgish, Cantonese and Urdu are among the diverse languages on offer during 50-minute taster sessions at the International Languages Festival – part of Sheffield Students’ Union’s World Week.

The event on Sunday 23 October 2016, from 1pm-6pm, will see students from different cultural backgrounds teaching a selection of languages including Russian, Farsi, Mandarin and Esperanto.

Ana Popa, International Officer at Sheffield Students’ Union, said: “The International Languages Festival is more than an opportunity to learn the basics of many languages in a day - it is a cultural journey from one country to another, from one continent to another.

“It is also a showcase of our diverse community and it sends across the message that, despite our language barriers and differences, we can find similarities in our communications. This ability to communicate in more than one language, even just a phrase - to understand and to learn – is the main trait that makes us all global citizens. We are international.”

The International Languages Festival is in its seventh year and is part of World Week – an annual celebration of the cultural diversity at the University of Sheffield. The Students’ Union’s official partner and sponsor is the British Esperanto Association, which founded the festival in France in 1995.

Tickets for the festival cost £2 and are available at the Students’ Union Box Office or online at

23 September 2016

From Sheffield to Broadway: researcher advises on 60th anniversary production of My Fair Lady

A researcher from the University of Sheffield has been recruited as an advisor in a landmark production of the Broadway musical My Fair Lady.

Dr Dominic McHugh from the University’s Department of Music has been advising the production team during their preparations for the 60th anniversary performance of the musical, directed by Dame Julie Andrews, which is a reconstruction of the original 1956 Broadway staging.

Dr McHugh was asked to work as an advisor after discovering lost songs from musical, which were then performed in public for the first time in 59 years during a production at the University of Sheffield last year.

The special 60th anniversary production is now being staged in Australia at the Sydney Opera House until November.

Understudies in the Opera House production sang seven of the lost songs and Dr McHugh appeared on a panel to discuss the musical alongside Tony Award winner Christopher Gattelli, who is the choreographer for the production. The panel was chaired by Emily Altman, President of the Frederick Loewe Foundation.

Dr McHugh said: "It was a dream come true to go and meet Julie Andrews and see the energetic work of the team at the Sydney Opera House behind this unique production. The Australian audience loved the opportunity to hear the 'lost songs' too, and it was an honour to be able to share a project that was such a special event in the life of the University in 2015."

5 September 2016

Olympic silver medallist returns to University

Olympic silver medalist Bryony PageOlympic silver medalist Bryony Page returned to the University of Sheffield last week (2 September 2016) to thank staff who supported her during her studies.

Trampolinist Bryony graduated in 2015 with a first in Biology from the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences.

She returned to Sport Sheffield at the University to thank those staff that supported her throughout her studies and training.

Bryony was a recipient of a scholarship from the University’s Elite Sports Performance Scheme which gave her financial support towards training and travel to competitions as well as mentoring and access to facilities.

Andy Cox, Director of Sport Sheffield said: “We are so proud of Bryony’s achievements at Rio. She is a fantastic role model for our students involved in sports at all levels, whether that’s our elite athletes or sports club members.”

More info on the Elite Performance Scheme:

21 July 2016

Pioneering university lab opens its doors for charity

Researchers funded by the Bone Cancer Research Trust will be offering a behind the scenes lab tour at the University of Sheffield on Saturday 23 July 2016.

The Bone Cancer Research Trust, which is the leading charity dedicated to fighting primary bone cancer, is working with the Sheffield Sarcoma Research Group (SSRG)at the University of Sheffield to open up a research laboratory for the morning, with talks from oncologists and researchers also on offer.

The SSRG is made up of clinicians and non-clinical researchers working together to better understand the causes of soft-tissue and bone sarcomas, to identify new prognostic markers and to develop new therapeutic approaches.

Dr Alison Gartland, Reader in Bone and Cancer Biology from the SSRG, said: “We are passionate about finding ways to cure and treat patients with this devastating disease, and funding from the Bone Cancer Research Trust is vital for that.

"It is also important to us at SSRG that we engage with both patients and fundraisers to let them know what we are doing and how their money is being spent! Opening the doors to our labs so that they can see exactly what we do is just one fun way to do that!”

Hannah Birkett, Research and Information Officer at the Bone Cancer Research Trust, said: “Primary bone cancer is a rare and brutal disease, and it can be very difficult for people to access the information they need as they navigate diagnosis and treatment.

It’s really important that the patients and families we support have the opportunity to find out more about the pioneering research being carried out to improve treatment options and quality of life and care.”

To book a press place for the morning, which runs from 10.30am until 1pm at the University of Sheffield, please email

21 July 2016

Superstar soprano’s three degree delight

Lesley GarrettSuperstar soprano Lesley Garrett CBE had double the reason to celebrate this week (18 July-22 July 2016) as both of her children graduated from the University of Sheffield.

The talented opera singer, recording artist and broadcaster was awarded an honorary degree for music from the University in 1997 and is now delighted to see her children, Chloe and Jeremy Christian, follow in her footsteps.

Jeremy graduated on Tuesday (19 July 2016) with a 2:1 degree in Computer Science and Chloe will be awarded her degree in Psychology on Thursday (21 July 2016) after also achieving a 2:1.

Proud mum Lesley was the former principal soprano with the English National Opera and has performed across the world in a number of operas and many major sporting events.

“I am so incredibly proud of both Jeremy and Chloe and all they have achieved. This is a wonderful week of celebration for them and their friends,” said Dr Garrett.

“Sheffield holds a special place in my heart as my grandfather lived and worked in Sheffield and used to play the piano with a small orchestra at cinemas around the region.

“My father, who started his working life as a railway worker, finally became a headmaster in a Sheffield school – it was his determination to better himself that inspired me to become an opera singer.

“I am also delighted to have my own honorary degree and it is wonderful that the University and the city now hold very special memories for all three of us.”

20 June 2016

University honoured by Sheffield Young Carers

​The University of Sheffield was one of five organisations honoured by Sheffield Young Carers with a 'Caring for Carers' Award during Carers Week 2016.

The award was given to acknowledge and thank the University for its commitment to helping young carers in the city.

Carers Week is an annual awareness campaign which takes place to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers.

The award winners were invited to a ceremony organised by the Carers Centre in the Lord Mayor's Parlour on Thursday 9 June 2016, where they were presented with their awards.

The event was also attended by a number of adult carers from across the city who had nominated professionals who had made a special difference to their lives.

Emily Ansell and Kate Smith from the University of Sheffield’s Student Services were nominated on behalf of the University. The award ceremony was the climax of a week of awareness raising events at the University, with staff and student Carer Champions encouraging everyone to ‘take a break with cake’.

An information-giving morning was held and the University’s Champions ran a cake stall in the Students' Union.

“It's a huge honour for us to accept this award”, said Kate Smith, Outreach Officer at the University of Sheffield.

“Emily and I represent a fantastic team of individuals here at Sheffield from the Outreach team, Student Transitions and Support and the Finance Team. Together we enable young carers to access higher education and support student carers to manage and succeed in their studies once they get to university. For example, our 2016 bursary of £4,500 for each year of undergraduate study can be used to reduce tuition fee costs or help with respite care.

“We also work very closely with our partners at Sheffield Hallam University and wonderful charities like Sheffield Young Carers and the Carers Centre to show that together, we care for carers.”

To find out more about the support offered at the University of Sheffield email:

14 June 2016

ACS procurement project funds fresh water wells in India

A clean drinking water project led by the Commercial Services team at the University of Sheffield has reached fruition with the announcement of the opening of a fresh water well in India.

Life Water, which is sold in all Commercial Services and UNICUS outlets across the University campus and residences, is a life changing charity, providing clean drinking water to communities that desperately need it. For every bottle of water sold, funds are raised towards new wells in India.

Commercial Services has worked with Life Water for 6 years which has led to the University being assigned its own Life Water drop4drop clean drinking water project. The construction of the well in the M.Kothapalle community in Andhra Pradesh India will be completed in September 2016 and will provide 1070 people with a safe, sustainable and long lasting source of clean drinking water.

Gavin Brown, Head of Commercial Services for ACS and UNICUS said: “At the University there is a steady demand for bottled water, and we wanted to provide a solution that delivers a wider social benefit.”

For more information please visit

13 June 2016

Rainbow flagFlying the rainbow flag for Orlando

Landmarks around the world are uniting to show solidarity with victims of the Orlando shooting on Sunday by flying the rainbow flag – a symbol of LGBT pride and diversity. We too are flying the rainbow flag at Firth Court. 

Candlelit vigil

People gathered in Sheffield (13 June 2016) in Hallam Square to a hold a candlelit vigil in honour of the victims of the Orlando nightclub mass shooting.

9 June 2016

Sheffield walks together in solidarity for refugees

SWFRMore than 250 people from across the city came together to show their support for the millions of people who have been forced to leave their homes around the world in the first Sheffield Walk for Refugees.

The event, organised by the University of Sheffield which took place earlier this week (Sunday 5 June 2016), celebrated the invaluable contribution refugee scholars and academics have made not only to the city but across the UK.

Walkers of all ages trekked three miles from Forge Dam Café near Fulwood to the University’s Students’ Union off Western Bank, in solidarity with those currently walking hundreds of miles to escape war or persecution.

On Saturday (11 June 2016) 21 members of staff from the University will go one step further and embark on the Big Walk 2016. The dedicated group will split into two team to walk over 120 miles in six days.

The teams, led by Professor Wyn Morgan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching, and Professor Gill Valentine, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Social Science, will race from both side of the Trans Pennine Trail to see who can get to the finish line in the middle of the country first. The walkers are hoping to raise more than £100,000 in total.

On the final stage of their journey, on Friday 17 June, they will be supported by a number of staff and students who will walk the last 17 miles from Tankersley into Sheffield as part of the One Day Challenge.

Funds raised during the Sheffield Walk for Refugees, The Big Walk and the One Day Challenge will help people who may never be able to return home and give them a starting point from which they can rebuild their lives.

So far, generous staff, students, alumni, members of the public and friends of the University have helped to raise more than £28,000.

For more information about The Big Walk 2016 please visit

3 June 2016

Secret agents dish the dirt on soil

Open FarmSecret agent scientists from the University of Sheffield will be dishing the dirt on soil at the Our Cow Molly dairy farm in Dungworth on Sunday (5 June 2016).

Scientists from the University's Plant Protection and Production Centre (P3) will be hosting a number of interactive and educational events as part of Open Farm Sunday – a national initiative which sees farms across the UK open their gates.

There will be a variety of opportunities for children to get their hands dirty and discover a hidden world beneath the ground and leading researchers will also be explaining how farmers can protect us all from floods and food shortages by taking care of their soils.

Lizzy Parker, a PhD student at the University of Sheffield, who developed the activities, wanted to bring soil science to a wider audience: “Farmers and scientists know that soil health is important for producing great food.
“The problem is making soil exciting for the public. I wanted to design fun soil science activities that farmers could set up using stuff they had lying around the farm.”

By working closely with the Our Cow Molly farm, local schools and cafés, P3 scientists hope to bring their enthusiasm for soil science to as many people in Sheffield as possible.

In collaboration with Biotechnology Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF), P3 are supporting farmers nationwide to use science activities to help show why their stewardship of the soil is so important.

Plant Protection and Production Centre (P3)