News in brief

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)

29 April 2016

Bus tour of schools to highlight higher education options to students begins

BusA three-month tour of more than 40 schools, colleges and community centres across the region has kicked off this week involving the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and Further Education Colleges.

The HEPP&CO Outreach Bus will be on the road travelling to schools throughout the Sheffield city region delivering inspirational and engaging activities to highlight the vast array of opportunities available in higher education to young people.

HEPP&CO is collaboration between universities and colleges funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and is part of the Higher Education Progression Partnership, which has been working with schools in the region since 2012.

The tour is supported by the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam and six local colleges: Doncaster, University Campus Barnsley, Dearne Valley, Chesterfield, Rotherham and Sheffield. The tour, which started at Barnsley College, is running until mid-July, and will provide impartial and independent advice and information to students in years 9-12 about higher education.

James Busson, Head of Outreach and Widening Participation at the University of Sheffield, said: “The HEPP&CO bus allows us to spread the message about the benefits of Higher Education, and the wide range of options available across the region, directly to prospective students in their school or college. By providing access to impartial information and advice, prospective students can start to make an informed decision about their future and their journey to Higher Education.”

Alex Bairstow, HEPP&CO programme co-ordinator based at Sheffield Hallam University, added: "Our custom bus allows us to invite students to participate in different activities themed around helping them to understand their options after school or college, raising their horizons and ensuring they know what they can do now to prepare for their future.

"We want to show young people the vast range of opportunities they have, locally and nationally, and ensure that they are considering their futures now."

For more information, including a list of schools being visited, please visit

21 April 2016

Queen awards South Yorkshire companies with University links

Five South Yorkshire companies linked with the University of Sheffield have received a Queen's Award for Enterprise - the UK's highest accolade for business success.

The Floow, co-founded by Professor Fabio Ciravegna from the Department of Computer Science, has brought telematics into the mainstream and work with leading insurance companies such as Direct Line Group.

Aldo Monteforte, co-founder and CEO of The Floow, said: “The Queen’s Award for Enterprise provides invaluable recognition and an opportunity to highlight the benefits of telematics to our growing client base.”

The other award-winners 3Squared, AESSEAL, Polypipe and Gripple are all members of the Sheffield Universities' Managing Directors' Club. The club provides a forum for regional business leaders and key academics to exchange knowledge and ideas for future partnerships, supporting innovation & growth in the Sheffield City Region.

21 April 2016

Honour for promoting Catalan language and culture

LouiseA society led by an academic at the University of Sheffield has been honoured for its exceptional work promoting Catalan language and culture.

Dr Louise Johnson, Reader in Catalan and Spanish at the University’s School of Languages and Culture, accepted a Pompeu Fabra prize on behalf of the Anglo-Catalan Society at an award ceremony in Barcelona.

The Pompeu Fabra prizes are awarded every two years to entities, companies and individuals for their work in projecting and disseminating Catalan.

The Anglo-Catalan Society was the recipient of one of six awards for its work promoting Catalan language and culture in Great Britain and Ireland.

The Society was founded in Oxford in 1954 by Catalans resident in the UK – some of whom were exiles from Franco's repressive dictatorship in Spain – as well as academics and Catalanophiles.

Dr Johnson accepted the award on behalf of the Society from the Catalan Minister for Culture, Mr Santi Vila.

She said: “This is a tremendous honour for the Society, for members and friends, who each do their bit in organizing conferences and events, translating lectures, editing articles for our journal and website, and keeping our social media feeds up to date.

"It was a special pleasure for me to accept the award because Sheffield itself has a long and important tradition of supporting the study of Catalan, and former students have themselves become academics working in the field. I’d like to extend my thanks to all of them too, and of course to the Catalan government, for recognizing our contribution. It means a lot. ”

The awards remember Pompeu Fabra, Catalan philologist, engineer, and modernizer of the Catalan language, which at the beginning of the twentieth century was benefiting from the rise of political Catalanism following centuries of repression and censorship. Fabra founded the renowned Philological Section of the Institute for Catalan Studies.

For more information about the Anglo-Catalan Society, visit:

14 March 2016

The UK banking sector and the corporation tax surcharge

The latest British Political Economy Brief by the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) considers the impact of the changes to taxes on banks made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget in July 2015.

It specifically focuses on the introduction of an 8 per cent corporation tax surcharge on bank profits and a reduction in the Bank Levy.

The new research brief, by SPERI Doctoral Researcher Adam Barber and Policy Research Officer Tom Hunt, presents analysis of the impact of the new surcharge on three categories of banking institutions: the big global banks headquartered in the UK; building societies; and new 'challenger' banks. It looks at the rationale used to make the bank tax changes and in doing so raises questions about the purpose and proportionality of taxes levied upon banks in the UK.

SPERI’s research, based on analysis of 2014 bank results, estimates that challenger banks and building societies will pay a higher surcharge rate as a proportion of their overall balance sheet than the biggest global banks based in the UK. The biggest banks will make the biggest surcharge contributions but the new findings suggest that small and new challenger banks are right to be concerned about the fairness and proportionality of the surcharge, and whether it will undermine diversification and greater competition in the UK banking sector. The Brief contributes to ongoing debates about whether, over eight years on from the global financial crisis, the restructured UK bank tax regime has become more favourable to the interests of the biggest banks.

The Brief can be downloaded here.

4 March 2016

Discover the secrets of science at Discovery Night

Back by popular demand for a fourth year, Friday 11 March 2016 sees Discovery Night return to the University. The event will include science demonstrations, hands-on activities, and talks based on research in science, engineering and medicine.

Budding young scientists will be able to pull on a lab coat and try their hand at a number of exciting experiments and there will also be an opportunity to tour the labs, see research robots in action, walk on custard, and try some liquid nitrogen ice-cream.

Everyone is welcome to the free event which is on from 4pm-8pm in Firth Court and in the Alfred Denny Building. No booking is required.

Last year’s Discovery Night attracted 2,000 people and this year’s event is expected to be just as successful.

Discovery Night is part of British Science Week 2016 - a fortnight-long series of events bringing science to life and inspiring the next generation of scientists. The national event kicks off on Friday 11 March and includes 155 events in schools and colleges across the region, along with 37 free public events in the city’s universities and museums.

23 February 2016

MP praises University’s pioneering health research

MP Paul BlomfieldPioneering health research at the University of Sheffield which is helping to shape government policy and create life-changing assistive technology has been recognised by MP Paul Blomfield.

The Sheffield MP was given a unique insight into the ground breaking work being conducted at the University’s School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) and Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare (CATCH) during a visit to campus last week.

Established in 1992, ScHARR is one of the largest and most dynamic schools of health research in the UK tackling some of the world’s biggest health challenges to improve the health and care.

Research areas which have positioned ScHARR as a leader in its field include; the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model, urgent and emergency care reviews, health economics and informing decision making.

After his visit Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield, said: “I was impressed by the breadth and depth of the research at ScHARR and will be working with the team there to help ensure that their work informs policy making.”

Mr Blomfield also visited CATCH which is researching, developing and implementing new technologies to enable people to live well and age well.

CATCH is helping to empower people to have choice and be able to self-manage their conditions through the use of technology.

To find out more about ScHARR please visit

For more information about CATCH please visit