News in brief

12 September 2014

Garden of Eden cabaret spectacular

Garden of EdenThe University of Sheffield’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies is hosting a Bible belter with a difference - the magnificent Garden of Eden Cabaret Evening.

The enthralling Hidden Perspectives event will see a host of cabaret and variety acts take to the stage to perform spectacular show-stoppers including biblical burlesque, miraculous magic and amazing mind-reading.

The audience will enjoy a huge range of talents including; award winning burlesque from Eliza Delite, entertainment from the Silent Clown Kiki Lovechild, delightful music from the Neil Pennock Quartet, heavenly boylesque by Chris Stuart Wilson and mystical magic from Griffith and Jones amongst others.

The unique evening of entertainment, which is part of the University’s 11-day Festival of the Mind, will take place in the stunning, specially erected 1920s Spiegeltent at Barker’s Pool (outside John Lewis) on Friday 26 September 2014.

Doors and the bar open at 7.30pm and the performance which is suitable for over 18s only will begin at 8.30pm.

Tickets are £11 in advance or £15 on the door, concessions are £8.50.

To learn more about Hidden Perspectives please visit

10 September 2014

Global institute hosts delegation of senior government officials from China

A delegation of senior Chinese government officials visited a world-leading institute at the University of Sheffield to learn about the challenges facing democratic engagement and party politics in the UK.A delegation of Chinese government officials visit the Crick Centre

The 20-strong contingent was given an in-depth talk by Professor Matthew Flinders, Director of the University’s Sir Bernard Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics, analysing topics from the Scottish referendum to the rise of UKIP.

The visit, organised by Sino-UK Link, a non-government organisation established to promote the exchange on economy and culture between the people of China and Britain, further enhances the Crick Centre’s reputation as a global leader in promoting the public understand of politics.

The centre, which is based in the University’s Department of Politics, strives to close the gap that has arguably emerged between politicians and the public and provides a vibrant intellectual environment of scholars engaged in research across all areas of politics and beyond.

Professor Flinders said: “It’s a reflection of the international reputation of the Department of Politics and the rapidly increasing profile of the Crick Centre that led this large delegation of senior Chinese government officials to visit Sheffield.

“With the Scottish referendum in a week and a general election next year, this is a great time for them to visit. Hopefully this initial meeting will lead to further discussions in the future.”

Since the Crick Centre launched last year, it has cemented itself at the heart of a global network of research centres, campaign groups, policy makers, international bodies and a myriad of organisations committed to breathing new life into politics.

As well as securing research grants and delivering specialist training, it has organised a series of public events including hosting a Parliamentary Select Committee at the University’s Arts Tower.

Professor Flinders added: “The Crick Centre is studying and promoting engaged citizenship around the world. This visit was hopefully the beginning of a new link between East and West that may have an impact within and beyond academe.”

29 August 2014

Leading researcher appointed director of new Sheffield Methods Institute

Leading urban researcher Professor Gwilym Pryce has joined the University of Sheffield as director of the newly founded Sheffield Methods Institute (SMI).Gwilym Pryce

The Professor of Urban Economics and Social Statistics will bring his expertise and experience in developing and applying robust research methods to the Institute which aims to raise the profile of ‘best practice’ quantitative research techniques.

The Sheffield Methods Institute (SMI) will promote cutting edge research that aims to answer the big questions in society and influence policy.

The SMI launches in September and will offer two undergraduate courses from September 2015, including the UK’s first BA in Quantitative Social Sciences, linked to the £19m Q-Step initiative.

The course will teach quantitative research methods in a bid to raise the level of numeracy and statistical understanding in industry and amongst policy makers, bridging the gap between research and social change.

Professor Pryce, Director of the Sheffield Methods Institute, said: “I’m keen to start my mission at the Sheffield Methods Institute to raise the bar of quality research methods.

“One part of this will be training the next generation in robust quantitative data techniques that can be applied to the big questions facing our society. But also to facilitate the transformation of the research environment by breaking down boundaries within social science disciplines, and ultimately bringing quality data closer to policy makers.

“Understanding quantitative data is not only the responsibility of researchers and Government, it’s our collective democratic responsibility to be an informed electorate with a social understanding of statistics and to be critical of the numbers we are presented with.”

Professor Pryce will continue his personal research interests through his role as Co-Director of the £4m ESRC AQMEN Research Centre, where he will continue to conduct major research projects in urban segregation and inequality.

The SMI will also make constructive links with business and Government departments to facilitate their research needs and to develop world-class research projects, as well providing ‘real world’ experience for students through internships and placements.

29 August 2014

World-leading scientists gather in Sheffield to showcase pioneering deafness research

Ear-nibMore than 200 ear specialists and clinicians who are fighting to find a cure for deafness and other life-changing conditions will join forces at the University of Sheffield at a world-leading event.

Scientists from across the globe will meet to discuss the most pioneering hearing and deafness research being conducted in Europe at the conference which will take place between 30 August and 2 September 2014.

The event, which is open to the public, will give professionals and patients an insight into revolutionary treatments such as cochlear implantation, genetics of deafness, stem cells and regeneration development and cell physiology.

Conference Chairman Marcelo Rivolta, Professor of Sensory Stem Cell Biology at the University of Sheffield, said: “We are delighted to host such an important event, and to have the opportunity to welcome such a distinguished group of experts to our city.”

The audience will include clinicians and scientists from disciplines related to hearing and balance such as audiologists, otolaryngologists, molecular geneticists, neuroscientists and cell and stem cell.

It will also attract voluntary organisations supporting deafness and other inner ear conditions.

Visitors wishing to attend the event must register at

28 August 2014

Students celebrate after becoming European Debating Champions

Debating championsTwo talented students from the University of Sheffield have been crowned the European Universities Debating Champions 2014 after competing in a prestigious international event in Zagreb, Croatia.

Adam Hawksbee, 22, and Matthew Willmore, 21, represented Sheffield Debating, an inclusive society which helps students to develop their rhetorical skills and public speaking confidence, in the popular annual event which took place earlier this week.

The pair faced tough competition from the best student debaters across Europe but clinched the title ahead of the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh in the final debate.

This is the first time a Yorkshire university has claimed the prestigious title, subsequently establishing Sheffield Debating as one of the most well established in the world.

For more information about Sheffield Debating visit Debate

28 July 2014

Virtual physiological human project awarded additional funding

Professor Frangi from the University of SheffieldThe development of a virtual human body to provide personalised treatments for patients is taking another step towards transforming global healthcare after receiving additional funding.

Researchers from the Centre for Computational Imaging & Simulation Technologies in Biomedicine (CISTIB), part of the INSIGNEO Institute for in-silico Medicine at the University of Sheffield, have been awarded funding to support further collaborations with leading medical researchers from across the UK. 

The funding will enable medical imagining experts from the University to take part in two Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) networks that collaborate with health researchers in the NHS, strengthening its relationship with leading engineering and physical science researchers from across the UK.

Professor Alex Frangi, Director of CISTIB at the University of Sheffield, said: “The participation in these networks is recognition of the leading role that the CISTIB plays in the national landscape of medical imaging analysis and our commitment to clinical translation of the results of our research.”

As part of the networks, Professor Frangi will run a series of workshops aiming to identify the engineering and physical science challenges relevant to the mental health field and attempt to develop a prioritised road map to address these.

11 July 2014

World leading humour experts set to shed light on all things funny

Students laughingA unique international summer school looking at humour and laughter will be hosted at the University of Sheffield next week (Monday July 14 to Saturday July 19).

Psychologists, sociologists, computer scientists, and academics studying culture and politics will all give lectures on why we have humour, and how humour works at the 14th International Summer School and Symposium on Humour and Laughter.

Dr Elena Hoicka, from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Psychology, said: "Humour is so important in everyday life. It allows us to bond with friends, think in more open and creative ways about the world, and deal with stress, amongst many of its uses."

Dr Hoicka and Professor Gina Mireault, of Johnson State College in Vermont, USA, will give lectures on how children develop their sense of humour, including how parents are involved in shaping humour, and when children make up their own jokes.

Professor Christie Davies, of the University of Reading, and Dr Jessica Milner Davis, of the University of Sydney, Australia, will discuss historical and cultural perspectives on humour, including jokes in relation to social class, and medieval humour.

Dr Sharon Lockyer, of Brunel University, will consider sociological perspectives on comedy, including discussing comedy and disability.

Other speakers include Dr Graeme Ritchie, of the University of Aberdeen, and Dr Alessandro Valitutti, of University College Dublin, will give lectures on how computers can be made to generate jokes; Professor Willibald Ruch, of the University of Zurich, will consider psychological elements of humour, including Gelotophobia, a fear of being laughed at; Dr Natalia Skradol, from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, and Professor Daniel Weiss, of the University of Zurich, will discuss political aspects of humour, such as humour in the time of Stalin, and more recently, Putin’s humour.

The summer school has attracted students and academics from all over the world, including the USA, Brazil, Russia, Poland, Spain, Italy, and many more countries.

10 July 2014

National Student Employee of the Year winner

LewisA talented student from the University of Sheffield is celebrating after scooping a national award for going ‘above and beyond’.

Lewis Yates triumphed with double success at the Student Employee of Year awards, winning both the National Employee of the Year and the Above and Beyond categories.

Lewis has been working with the Alumni Fund team at the University of Sheffield since autumn 2013, contacting Sheffield alumni about their time in Sheffield and raising awareness about the vital Alumni Fund.

Lewis found the job through the University’s Job Shop whilst studying for his Civil Engineering degree and saw it as an opportunity to make the most of his university experience.

“The job was fantastic, as I got to meet students outside of my degree course and find out loads more about the University,” said Lewis.

For more information about the University Job Shop visit

For more information about the Alumni Fund visit