Staff Blogs: University of Leicester

Welcome to the University of Leicester academic and staff blog site.

From Royal Society Fellows to early-career researchers, corporate services to academic related – all members of staff are engaged in creating new knowledge, whether in the sciences, social sciences, business, the arts or wherever their interests lie. This wealth of research expertise means Leicester has a unique and critical role to play in helping to overcome major challenges faced by society.

This site aims to provide a platform for University of Leicester staff – whether early-career, established or somewhere in between; whether researching and rehearsing ideas, networking with peers, or an early form of publication. As you would expect from Leicester, it’s inclusive and accessible so we look forward to your comments.

Latest posts from the staff blogs

Barbara Cooke

July Book Group: A Little Learning

A Little Learning is the first of Waugh’s planned autiobiographies, and the only one he finished before he died in 1966. Join us to discuss the book with the editor of the new OUP edition. When: Saturday 25 July, 11am-1pm Where: Leicester Central Library Contact: New members always welcome. Refreshments provided.

Ana Martins

Acarajé diaries. Day 6

  Here, people aren’t born, says Lázaro, my tourist guide. They come up on stage. They don’t die, they have a curtain call. The paulistas in the group find this comment very amusing. But Lázaro looks like he knows what he’s talking about. He’s a painter, and our driver is a ballet dancer.  We are […]

Tour du dopage: How do doping cyclists legitimate their cheating?

With the Tour de France about to get under way, Charlotte Smith, Lecturer in Management at the School, considers the tension between sporting success and good sportsmanship Whether your interests are in sport or in anything but sport, the Lance Armstrong case cannot have escaped your attention. Last year, when Oprah Winfrey interviewed him, he […]

Carrie Crockett

Sounds in the silence of political exile

My recent discovery of Alexander Sochaczewski’s painting, Farewell to Europe!, in the Museum Pawilon-X in Warsaw compelled me to think anew about the experience of political exile and about the innate “wordlessness” that the state intended it to symbolize.  Although Sochaczewski never sold a single painting during his life, today his work is viewed by thousands of visitors who […]

Andrew Dunn

IFES revamp website

International Foundation for Electoral systems has launched a new version of its website with its latest annual report which covers its work in promoting free elections worldwide. Other great features of the site include a searchable database of election observation reports, surveys, ballot papers and documents from around the world.

Alberto Fernández Carbajal

Impossible Desires: the Novels and Films of Shamim Sarif

As part of my Queer Diasporas project, I’ve been researching the work of the still not too widely known British novelist and filmmaker Shamim Sarif, whose existence I’ve been alerted to by my kind colleague at the University of Leicester, Emma Parker. A British citizen of Indian Muslim heritage, Sarif’s family migrated first to South Africa and then to […]


Stan with Stata, Part VI: More about HMC

Last time I discussed the HMC (Hamiltonian Monte Carlo or Hybrid Monte Carlo) algorithm that forms the basis of Stan and I likened the algorithm to kicking a marble around in a bucket. The multi-dimensional shape of the bucket is defined by minus the log-posterior and the marble represents the current value of the estimator. We give […]

Veronica Heney

Using Theory in Improvement Research

A recently published paper seems the perfect start to this blog, exemplifying as it does SAPPHIRE’s concern with integrating the theory of social science academia with the practical world of healthcare improvement research. Mary Dixon-Woods and colleagues propose that better use of theory could enhance improvement efforts in quality and safety in healthcare. A popular […]

Philip Shaw

Witnesses, wives, politicians, soldiers: the women of Waterloo

Witnesses, wives, politicians, soldiers: the women of Waterloo By Katherine Astbury Associate Professor and Reader of French at University of Warwick Visit The Last Stand: Napoleon’s 100 Days in 100 Objects: The nature of warfare 200 years ago made the Battle of Waterloo a predominantly male affair. But, two centuries on, the history of […]

Grant Denkinson

What to ask users?

We want to make the process of depositing, finding, reading and acting on our research as simple and efficient as possible and to remove barriers to access. A good way to improve usability is to watch real users perform real tasks. To do this, we need to pick a few tasks and some sample users. We […]

Two upcoming festivals

Over the next couple of weeks, I (Jonathan Taylor) am taking part in two Literary Festivals, both of which are open to the public. On Saturday 20 June, 12-1pm, I’ll be chairing a session at the Tablet Literary Festival in Birmingham. The panel, which is entitled “The Spirit and the Story,” will include well-known and award-winning novelist, […]

Oliver Brett

Ghirri Research Project 2013-2015 – UoL Conference September 2014 – Paolo Barbaro – ‘Ghirri prima e dopo. Come un falso movimento.’

Ana Verissimo

Takeaway Tuesdays are back!

To improve our working lives and promote informal and relaxed interaction between all staff and students, we have introduced Takeaway Tuesdays at RKCSB. Once a month, we choose what takeaway to order and we all get together for lunch at the newly refurbished seminar room. Everyone from the department is welcome to join us, and […]

Maria Rovisco

Workshop Arts and Citizenship, 3 June 2015, University of Leicester

This is a public workshop and all are welcome to attend.   Workshop Arts and Citizenship, 3 June 2015 Venue: Department of Media and Communication, Bankfield House, 132 New Walk (Lecture Theatre) This event is sponsored by the Department of Media and Communication and the College of Social Science at the University of Leicester. The workshop […]

Simon Dixon

East Derbyshire Election, 1868

Our look back at past elections in Special Collections is rounded off today with a gallery of from an impressive volume of East Derbyshire Election Cartoons, 1868. The book was printed and published by Richard John Smithson of Chesterfield. Shown here are 21 political cartoons. Numbers 1-18 (Liberal Cartoons) were drawn by J. Priestman Atkinson, […]

Norman Housley

A tale of three cities: Constantinople 1453, Belgrade 1456, Olomouc 1468

A tale of three cities: Constantinople 1453, Belgrade 1456, Olomouc 1468 In my essay ‘Giovanni da Capistrano and the crusade of 1456’, published in 2004 in Crusading in the Fifteenth Century, ed. Norman Housley, I briefly (pp. 112-13) made reference to a fresco in the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Olomouc. The church, which […]

One down… seven to go

Things are charging ahead here in the Law in Children’s Lives project. Just to recap, last autumn we worked with children, experts and games company Enigma to design and build our tablet game ‘Adventures with Lex’. The game is a fun way (alien included) to find out what children understand about the Law. In March, […]

Stephen Walker

Blackboard Teaching and Learning Conference 2015

I recently attended the Blackboard teaching and Learning Conference in Liverpool. This is Blackboard’s main showcase event for Europe. There were no big surprises in the Blackboard ‘Road Map’ at this event, most of the information about improvements to Blackboard Learn and Mobile had been made at previous events. However there were to changes that […]

An Academic Career – the ambition of every postgraduate researcher?

So you are doing a PhD?  Why?  In career management terms we find that PhD researchers can be categorosed in one of four ways, in terms of their reasons for doing a PhD.  These are: 1. doing it as a natural progression from their previous studies, with a view to starting a professional career; 2. […]

Kerry Dobbins

Creating an effective e-learning resource: some helpful tips for a challenging process

One of my initial tasks when I started on the ‘Learning Outcomes Project’ was to develop an online resource that aimed to improve students use of their learning outcomes.  My brief was as general as that, however, I knew that we wanted a resource that students would find useful as a learning support and would help them to […]

Behind the Scenes at the 21st Century Museum

You can now sign up for our MOOC (Massive Open Online Course): Behind the Scenes at the 21st Century Museum, which will run for 6 weeks from 1st June 2015. Over the last few months we have been working away with our friends and colleagues at National Museums Liverpool on this great new project that […]

Sarah Hodgkinson

Reflections of Revenge: an International Conference on the Culture and Politics of Vengeance.

I am currently co-organising a major international conference on the study of Revenge, as part of my ongoing collaborative work with film directors Rex Bloomstein and Justin Temple. Details are as follows…. On 2 September 2015, the University of Leicester will welcome scholars from around the world to consider the topic of Revenge. From film […]

Paul Boyle

Student experience at Leicester

In this video blog, I discuss the strengths of the student experience we offer here at Leicester. Having met with a number of students since I arrived, I am extremely proud of the experience we provide to our students and the reputation we have for student satisfaction. Of course, there is always room for improvement […]

Laura Dean

Congratulations to Mindhacks has won the British Psychological Society’s Public Engagement and Media Award.  Whilst this site aims to increase engagement with academic research by ordinary members of the public, it is also a useful and interesting resource for psychologists in training too.

Amy Jane Barnes

The ‘China Dream': conference programme and registration

Planning for ChiSRA’s inaugural conference (24th/25th September) continues apace. A provisional programme is now available to download from our website. The presentations will cover a range of themes and subject areas, including literature and film, visual arts, design and marketing. We are delighted to announce that Professor Zhong Xin from Renmin University will be delivering […]

Charlotte Barratt

Universities Week and Adult Learners’ Week 2014

Putting some of the Richard III projects to one side for a moment, I thought I would write about the events of the next two weeks that I have been working on with colleagues. Firstly, Universities Week 2014 is 9-15 June.    Universities Week is run by Universities UK to highlight the research that takes place […]

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