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

Trinity St David’s and People’s Collection Wales – Discovering Welsh Cider

People’s Collection Wales field officer Gruffydd Jones has been out scanning material  at  on behalf of Dr Emma-Jayne Abbots and Elaine Forde  as part of the collaboration work for the Consuming Authenticities project. You can now view the live items on the PCW website at


MCMCglmm in Stata (Part 2)

Last time, I showed how we can write R code for fitting a Bayesian Generalized Linear Mixed Model and insert it into a Stata do file, so that the computation is performed by the R program, MCMCglmm, while the results are available in Stata. The drawback of that approach is that it requires the user […]

Rebecca Moore

March Book Group: Put Out More Flags

The following is a guest post kindly supplied by Ben Doty. The upcoming conference Evelyn Waugh and His Circle has most of the regular staff at the blog tied up, so I offered to step in and report on April’s meeting of the book group. Put Out More Flags is a hidden gem among Waugh’s works, […]

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 […]

Emma Battell Lowman

Admin, Conference, and Website, Oh My!

In the year since I joined The Carceral Archipelago, it has been a pleasure to support the novel and extensive research being conducted by the project’s members. Our team is conducting research on and about five continents over as many centuries and making exciting connections and discoveries in archives, at heritage sites, and in fruitful […]

Simon Dixon

Poll Books in Special Collections

With a General Election campaign in full swing, it seems like a good time to for some blog posts about the sources we hold on the history of British parliamentary elections. As we all head off to our local polling stations on 7 May, one thing that we will take for granted is that when […]

Chris Grocott

Has Tony Blair Turned Hayekian?

Lecturer in Management and Economic History at the School, Chris Grocott, reckons so. This year, I ran the inaugural third year BA Management Studies module ‘Organisations in Economic Context’. It analyses how the political economy over the past thirty years has had a profound effect on the state and trade unions, as well as on […]

Andrew Dunn

Education for all 2015

The latest report for 2015 from UNESCO monitors progress towards achieving worldwide access to 6 goals.  These include access to primary education, secondary education, gender parity, adult literacy and quality of education. The website has some handy data visualisations with convenient data as well as access to the full text of the report.

Oliver Brett

Ghirri Research Project 2013-2015 – British School at Rome Conference 2013 – Vittore Fossati – ‘L’otto rovesciato. Appunti per un’idea di ‘infinito’ nell’opera e nella vita di Luigi e Paola Ghirri’.

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. […]

Reading with Armenian Embassy at London Book Fair

I’ll be reading from my novel, Entertaining Strangers (Salt, 2012), at the pavilion of the Armenian Embassy at the London Book Fair, in conjunction with the Armenian Institute. The reading will take place at midday on Thursday 16 April 2015. You can see more details here. The novel is set mainly in the U.K. in 1997, but […]

Maria Rovisco

The Lives of Others

The Lives of Others – A commentary on Anthony Minghella’s Breaking and Entering (2006)   This is a short commentary that I have written for the workshop ‘Bordering Strangeness’ organized by Chris Rumford (Politics and IR), Agnes Woolley (English), and Elizabeth Alexander (Geography) all based at Royal Holloway – University of London. The workshop intends to explore the […]

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 […]

Dawn Watkins

What a week!

Well – what an exciting week this has been. On Friday I travelled up to Newcastle to collect our 40 tablets from Enigma, newly loaded up with our game – Adventures with Lex. This journey involved a road trip, a rickety train trip and a walk on foot trundling empty suitcases down an everlasting flight […]

Alberto Fernández Carbajal

Hanif Kureishi: the Assemblage of a Native Informant

There are few writers alive in Britain today who can elicit such polarised, or at best highly qualified, responses as Hanif Kureishi (except, perhaps, his fellow writer and friend Salman Rushdie). When I attended an event on Muslim writing last year, I was surprised by the critical tone that some Muslim cultural practitioners took on prominent […]

Norman Housley

English charity and the Turkish threat

  English charity and the Turkish threat The Henry Smith charity When a friend of mine was at university he benefited from a charity established in his Wiltshire village for ‘indigent scholars’. He didn’t get much money, but it was typical of the thousands of similar bequests in towns and villages scattered across the country. […]

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 […]


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.

Ana Verissimo

Heart Health: A beginner’s guide to cardiovascular disease

  Last month, after hearing about this course through a departmental e-mail, I decided to enrol, to refresh my knowledge of cardiovascular disease. This is a free course, delivered in lay terms, produced by the University of Reading (all images were taken from their videos). The course comprised 4 modules in weekly instalments: Cardiovascular anatomy […]

Grant Denkinson

Ideas for tools for helping with Open Access publication

I find tools from SHERPA useful. I like to keep an eye on what I’d ideally like as well as what is currently available both for me and people I work with. In tools to help with Open Access publishing: For researchers: A clear choice between contractual choices for a journal, with a small number […]

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 […]

Dawn Watkins

Leicester Legal Eagles come in to land

Last Friday was the final day of activities for the Leicester Legal Eagles project.  Students handed in their group work materials; each group having created and trialed in St Peter’s School a workshop for children in years 4 and 5.  Our students had covered a variety of legal topics; animal rights, human rights, libel and […]

Andrew Burnham

A history of computing in 5 minutes… and 38 seconds

I thought that I would share this excellent short video which covers the history of computing in less than six minutes –   As a communications device it is very impressive – this style of using drawing is something I’ve seen before within Jisc projects (I think the University of Leeds produced one) and […]


The Landscapes and Communities Research (LACR) research theme aims to foster research that examines the constitution of and relations between communities and landscapes. Although run from the University of Leicester College of Science and Engineering the theme involves researchers from across the University and aims to foster the development of inter- and trans-disciplinary research, making […]

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