School of Biology Internal Newsletter: 17 December, 2018
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School of Biology University of St Andrews
In this Newsletter


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Compulsory university staff information audit: PLEASE READ AND ACT

As part of the University’s further work to ensure its GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) compliance, we’ve been asked to make you aware of an Information Audit, being undertaken by the University, of records held by our staff that potentially include personal data. As with the GDPR training, all staff are being asked to complete the Information Audit, with uptake being fed-back to schools and units. 

Please take the time to read the below information, complete the audit, and feed-back any questions you have to the Data Champion in your area (, details below) or directly to the University Information Audit team at

This year’s change to data protection regulations has required the University to take a proactive approach to data privacy and protection of personal data. As with Health and Safety, every staff member is responsible for data privacy in order to protect and maintain the privacy of students, staff and others with whom we work. Each staff member needs to ensure that the personal data they keep, stored electronically on their hard-drives and in hard-copy form in files, is used appropriately and that confidentiality is protected and maintained, so that the University can meet its legal obligations.

In order to understand the kinds of personal data (most broadly defined as: “any information that can be used to identify a living individual”) staff hold and how that personal data is kept, the University is running an Information Audit. For us, this will involve logging onto a university website and identifying the broad categories of information we keep (Research, Teaching, Administration), who the categories concern (staff, students, external contacts), where you keep it (hard drive, file cabinet, office) and why you keep it (to do my job, required legally).

You are definitely not being asked to sift through all the personal data you hold! What we are being asked to do is to identify broad categories of personal data, rather than details of actual records.

Biology has been involved with the University’s running of a pilot phase for the Information Audit, and seven Biology staff members have been identified as a team of ‘Data Champions’. These team members have a depth of understanding and regular contact with people in their area of the school or administration and will be able to either answer your questions about the audit, or direct you to the information audit team who can.

Sumit Bains: Undergraduate teaching
Lianne Baker: CBD
Katrina Gatherum: Postgraduate teaching
Joyce Haynes: Postgraduate research
Jane Williamson: SOI
Margaret Wilson: BSRC
Donna Pierz-Fennell: Information audit/Data Champion lead

What you’ll need to do:

  1. First, spend some time thinking about what types of personal data you have on your hard drive or stored as paper—data stored in your email account(s) is not being audited! Sumit Bains, Andy Gardner and Anne Smith have tested this for Biology, and found that this ‘thinking time’ takes roughly about 1 hour, often in several small sessions.
  2. ‘Personal data’ is any information that can identify a ‘living individual’. This means any documents you hold that include a person's name or any type of information that could identify someone, such as their contact details.
  3. Examples of records you need to identify include spreadsheets with student names or identifying numbers, staff or student meeting minutes, grant applications with collaborators names, and folders with personnel records.
  4. You do NOT need to log individual documents. What you do need to identify is broad categories, such as ‘Student Assessment’, ‘Research Opportunity and Planning’ and ‘Human Resource Management’. The audit tool gives a drop-down box of areas that you can select, and the attached useful GDPR Information Audit Tool Guidance document gives examples of the types of categories being recorded.
  5. Once you have an idea of the records you have, log on to the university web site for the data protection audit site:

The GDPR Information Audit Tool Guidance document also shows you what you need to add and, on pages 2 and 3, how to add it. If you look at page 5, 'Information Audit - Examples' you will see three scenarios that describe how to add much of the data we keep as a school: student assessment, electronic (example 1) and printed (example 2), and all electronic documents related to collaborative research proposals (example 3).

  • Colleagues have been able to enter data into the tool fairly quickly, and depending on the extent of the records you keep, entry time ranges from 20 to 55 minutes.
  • If you find that you are holding records that you have no reason to keep, you can delete or discard (appropriately!) and you do not need to record these on the database. This is an excellent opportunity to have that clear out you’ve been promising yourself!
  • The word 'audit' is often thought of as being negative, so please be assured that the University is only looking to get a snapshot of the types of data we are using. To improve the institutional awareness of what types of records are kept, it is important for people to be open and honest in their responses.
  • The University asks that we strongly encourage all staff to be proactive in completing the audit, as the more information they collect, the greater understanding it will have about any further actions needed to help us protect all our personal data.
  • The School is expected to have the information audit completed by the end of February 2019, which will allow the GDPR Group to review what the university holds and determine how we should treat the information going forward.

Thank you all for your help with this important piece of work.  If you have any questions about the overall audit process, please direct them to the Information Audit team at\

Clare Peddie, Head of School


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Welcome to New Colleagues

Dr Juan Valera joins the School of Biology from the University of Cambridge.  He brings with him a 5 year ERC Starter Fellowship and research expertise of single molecule tracking of receptors in cells within living tissue. He will be utilising these unique world leading capabilities to study the glymphatic system of the brain and how it is affected in Dementia. His project will complement much of the work in the Biophotonics initiative in St Andrews.

Dr Miguel Barbosa is taking up a fixed-term Associate Lecturer (Education-focused) position.  This appointment will be for 1 year as teaching replacement for Maria Dornelas’ Leverhulme Fellowship, and for 5 years as teaching replacement for Professor Anne Magurran who will be moving to a part-time research-only position.  We look forward to Miguel’s teaching contributions and his input towards the new MSc in Animal Behaviour.  This appointment has been supported by the Principal’s Office and represents a welcome step toward helping to support Dual Career Appointments and those academics who may become adversely affected by Brexit.

Clare Peddie
Head of School

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Staff Publications

All staff publications are drawn from entries into the PURE research database, so if you need help with PURE, please do get in touch (dp61, x3626) Donna
An inconvenient truth: the unconsidered benefits of convenience polyandry
Boulton, R. A., Zuk, M. & Shuker, D. M. (2018) Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 33(12), p. 904-915. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2018.10.002
Patterns of phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation in the wide elevation range of the alpine plant Arabis alpina
de Villemereuil, P., Mouterde, M., Gaggiotti, O. E. & Till-Buttraud, I. (2018) Journal of Ecology. 106(5), p. 1952–1971. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12955
More than the sum of the parts: annual partitioning within spatial guilds underpins community regulation
Magurran, A. E. & Henderson, P. A. (2018) Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 285(1883): 20180659. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.0659
Ring nucleases deactivate Type III CRISPR ribonucleases by degrading cyclic oligoadenylate
Athukoralage, J. S., Rouillon, C., Graham, S., Grüschow, S. & White, M. F. (2018) Nature. 562(7726), p. 277-280. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0557-5
Sperm is a sexual ornament in rose bitterling
Smith, C. H., Spence, R. G. A. & Reichard, M. (2018) Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 31(11), p. 1610-1622. DOI: 10.1111/jeb.13357
Steroidal alkaloids and conessine from the medicinal plant Holarrhena antidysenterica restore antibiotic efficacy in a Galleria mellonella model of multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection
Siriyong, T., Voravuthikunchai, S. P. & Coote, P. J. (2018) BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 18: 285. DOI: 10.1186/s12906-018-2348-9

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Biology Equality and Diversity Committee

Diversity and decision-making – pain and gain

Professor Uta Frith DBE FBA FMedSci FRS

Are decisions made in groups better than decisions made on one’s own? Very often the answer is yes, and especially so when solutions to tricky problems have to be found. Individuals mostly get it wrong. Groups mostly get it right. This is because different group members come up with different answers and argue about the solution.

The Royal Society has recently published a short (2-minute) animation that builds on the success of their previous animation explaining unconscious bias. This is one of the many projects overseen by the Diversity Committee, which Prof Frith has been chairing for the last three years, and you can read more on their website. The Diversity Committee at the Royal Society has also published a short list of evidence-based recommendations for groups that have to make decisions. These recommendations are now readily available in the form of a handy 1-page guide.


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HR Policy Updates

There have been a number of HR policy updates during the year, which you may not become aware of until you need to use them. One of which is the online management of the Sickness Absence Policy, which may be particularly relevant to you and your staff at this time of year. The full policy can be accessed via the HR website.     

Sickness Absence Policy  - updated April 2018.

New additions to note:

  • Attendance at Occupational Health is considered a contractual obligation.  Failure to attend without good cause or medical evidence will result in Occupational Sick Pay being withheld (if applicable).
  • The University reserves the right to consider information from OHS, GP and/or specialist.  Where there is conflicting advice the University has the right to prefer one set of advice over the other.

Head of School/Unit / Line manager obligations:

  • Ensure all employees are aware of this policy and the local rules for reporting absence.
  • Contact the employee if they have not reported their absence and have not turned up to work.
  • Complete Part A – Absence notification via Self-Service on the 1st day of absence.
  • Keep in contact with employees during sickness absence.
  • Make referrals to OHS in consultation with your HRBP.
  • Monitor employee absence and conduct return to work interviews.
  • Authorise Part B, return to work notification, via Self-Service within 2 days of the employee’s return.   If this is not submitted, it could impact on the employee’s pay.
Employee Obligations:
  • Report absence within 1 hour of their scheduled starting time giving a reason for absence and an indication of the likely length of absence. Please note: An employee is under no obligation to provide details of their specific health issues.
  • Provide regular update regarding their absence.
  • Provide a fit-note if the absence continues over 7 days.
  • Be contactable within 24 hours whilst on sickness absence.  If the employee is not going to be contactable, they must inform their line manager in advance.
  • While on sickness absence must not undertake any form of other employment during normal working hours or any comparable work at any other time.
  • Complete Part B - return to work notification, via Self-Service within 2 days of their return date (which goes to the line manager for authorisation).  If this is not submitted, it could impact on the employee’s pay.
Key points:
Employees can self-certify for the first 7 days of absence.
Persistent short-term absence trigger is:  8 days, or more than 4 occasions of self-certified absence within a rolling 12 months.Absences over 15 days are classed as long-term and a referral to OHS should be considered. 

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Christmas is coming :-)

I’m pleased to announce that the Autumn 2018 ISSF3 call for applications is now open.

Wellcome Trust ISSF support is meant to underpin current and future research and related activities within the WT remit, to leverage additional funding to support this activity and to lead to successful Wellcome Trust grant applications.

Excellence of the science, the people or activities supported and the future potential are the primary criteria considered during peer review.

We are inviting applications across all areas of ISSF3 funding – seedcorn, bridging funding, equality & diversity, public engagement and translating science. These headings are broadly defined and we have some flexibility in what we fund. 

Seedcorn and bridging funding

Please note we have very limited funds for bridging support. Think laterally, could you support the researcher for a ‘translating science’ project instead? Similarly, funding available for seedcorn projects is limited.


  • Applications are relatively brief and must be made on the relevant form (attached).
  • The closing date for applications is 9:00 on Monday 17th of December 2018.
  • Late or incomplete applications will not be considered – the intention is to review these promptly. We will endeavour to confirm support by close of play on 21/12/18.
  • All applications should be sent to with the subject line ISSF3 application
  • To help us sort applications by area (seedcorn, bridging etc) and academic please name application(s) “area – surname” e.g. Seedcorn – Evans.pdf

We are looking for applications that will lead to outputs – research, people and activities - to underpin an institutional ISSF4 application. Those considered unlikely to help this will not be funded. 

All recipients will need to provide a written report on outputs when required. I will be writing to colleagues to request interim reports on ISSF3 support shortly.

Be ambitious, be creative, be imaginative … some areas will probably be oversubscribed (e.g. seedcorn) and will be very competitive.

With Best Wishes
David Evans

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Safeguarding and the Prevent Duty online training

Under the terms of the Counter-Terrorism & Security Act 2015, UK Universities have a legal duty to comply with the Government's 'Prevent' strategy, designed to address the threat of radicalisation.

This duty requires us to provide our staff with adequate training, so that they understand the 'Prevent' duty, how this is being managed within our institution, and what this means to them individually.

The University has taken the view that this sits alongside existing duties relating to the safeguarding of vulnerable people, and it is within this 'safeguarding' context that we have framed our response.

In order to ensure that the University is meeting its obligations, please complete the short online course - 'Safeguarding and the Prevent Duty'.

This training is part of our statutory duty, and is not optional. I would therefore ask for your cooperation in completing the course by the beginning of March 2019. We will be following up with those who have not completed the course within this time frame.

The course is hosted on Moodle, and can be accessed via the link below, where you will find further information and instructions.

Start online 'Safeguarding and the Prevent Duty' training.

Further information is also available on the University's Safeguarding and the Prevent Duty webpage.

Should you have questions regarding our statutory duty or the online training, please email


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Biology School Manager drop-ins: SOI, BSRC and HMB/Dyers Brae

SOI: Monday morning, 17 December, from 8.30am to 12.00 noon in the foyer.

BSRC: Tuesday morning, 18 December, from 9.00am to 1.00pm, in Purdie 352

HMB: Thursday afternoon, 20 December, from 2.00pm to 5.00pm, in Dyers Brae room 15.

Everyone is welcome and invited to stop by with questions, complaints or for just a chat. Donna

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Service of thanksgiving for Prof Willie Russell

A Service of Thanksgiving for Emeritus Professor Willie Russell, Chair of Biochemistry, who died earlier this year. 

It will be in St Salvator’s Chapel on Wednesday 3 April 2019, at 12 noon, followed by a reception at the Beacon Bar, Students Association. 

And then can we repeat it at the end of February and twice in March.


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The Beauty of the Biological Cell event 15/16th December

Researchers within the BSRC, ranging from PhD students to Professors, have contributed images from their work to present an art gallery in the Byre Theatre Studio in the run up to Christmas, to show the public, as well as colleagues, what we can do with microscopy. We have tried to pool images from different organisms to show how intricate the cell and tissues are in nature, as well as the similarities and differences that we share.

All the activities in the event are free and the structure is as follows: 

  • All day (10am-4pm) art exhibition on both days
  • Family friendly workshops on "What does a cell biologist do?" with activities ranging from looking at your own cheek cells to building a cell out of christmas decorations. Target age is 7-11 years (accompanying family members welcome!), but we can accommodate slightly younger ages too - These will run twice a day 11am and 2pm start on both days
  • Networking Drinks Reception on the Saturday 15th 5:30pm-8pm 

The workshops and drinks reception need to be booked in advance to avoid disappointment, at the Byre theatre website ( or box office. Note that for the workshops, you only need to obtain a ticket for every child attending as we have a limit of 10 children per workshop, accompanying older family members are welcome.


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Carnegie & St Leonard's Widening-Participation Postgraduate Scholarships (2019 entry)

The University has released details of the next round of the Carnegie PhD Scholarships competition and also of two new St Leonard’s College Widening Participation Postgraduate Scholarships competitions.

First, the Carnegie PhD Scholarships competition. In brief:

- this funding is available only for graduates (or students who are on track to graduate) with a first class honours undergraduate degree from a Scottish university and who which to pursue a PhD at a Scottish university

- there is no restriction on nationality (although Carnegie will only cover fees up to the Home rate, the University will cover the difference between Overseas and Home rate for international students)

- candidates must submit their applications by 7 Jan 2019

The School will be provided a list of the applications that have been submitted in relation to Biology on 10 Jan 2019, and will be asked to nominate up to two applicants for further consideration by the University by 21 Jan 2019. So we expect to be interviewing applicants during the week beginning 14 Jan 2019.

Full details of the Carnegie PhD Scholarships competition are available here

Second, the St Leonard’s College Widening Participation Postgraduate Scholarships competitions. There are two competitions here, one for PhD scholarships (which covers fees & stipend) and one for Masters scholarships (which covers fees only).

- this funding is available for students who hold a Bachelors degree from the University of St Andrews, and who meet at least one of the following criteria:

   i. been awarded a University of St Andrews means tested bursary at undergraduate level

   ii. been part of a widening access initiative at the University of St Andrews (e.g. Sutton Trust Summer School)

   iii. joined the University of St Andrews under its contextual admissions arrangements.

Preference will be given to applicants who meet two or more of the above criteria. The closing date for applications for both the PhD and Masters competitions is 30 Jan 2019.

Full details of the St Leonard’s Widening Participation Postgraduate competitions are available here (PhD competition) and here (Masters competition).

Best wishes
Andy Gardner
(on behalf of the PGR Recruitment Committee)

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Elizabeth Garett Mentoring Programme open for applications

The Elizabeth Garrett Mentoring Programme is now open for applications until Friday 4 January 2019. This leadership mentoring programme is designed to support women in academic roles and to increase the representation of women at senior levels of academia. Participants are supported to develop their leadership capabilities as a key contribution towards achievement of their potential, in whatever capacity.

More information, including mentee eligibility criteria, can be found on the Elizabeth Garrett Mentoring Programme webpage.

The sign-up form for the programme, as a mentee or a mentor, is accessible here


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Important changes to ‘SAULCAT’ and ‘Seeker’ in the new year – action required

After the implementation of the new Library Management System (LMS) on 14 January 2019, ‘SAULCAT’ and ‘Seeker’ will no longer be used or accessible. We would be grateful if all Schools and Units could ensure that links and terminology on webpages, any new handbooks and other information relating to these two systems be updated by Monday 10 January. Following user consultation and best practice guidance, the new Library Management System (LMS), which is replacing ‘SAULCAT’ (the Library catalogue used to find print and electronic books, rare books and journals held by the Library) and ‘Seeker’ (the Library discovery service, primarily used to search for journal articles and other online material), will be referred to simply as ‘search’, ‘Library search’, or ‘search the Library’.

Once the Library search system goes live it will be accessed through our new and improved Library homepage, which will also launch on 14 January 2019.

Online links to ‘SAULCAT’ ( and ‘Seeker’ ( will need to be removed. In their place please use text such as ‘Library’, ‘Library search’ or ‘search the Library’ and link to the Library homepage URL: In training material ‘SAULCAT’ and ‘Seeker’ should be replaced with references which indicate searching Library or University collections or holdings. 

The new system will be represented by the action or function it performs rather than a name. ‘Search’ was chosen as it was the most frequent term staff and students used in relation to this functionality of the Library Management System. 

Below are some suggested examples:

  • “books listed in SAULCAT” could become: “books listed in the Library collections
  • “in SAULCAT” could become “in the Library search results” or “in the Library collections”
  • “Search SAULCAT for” could become “Search the Library for” or “Search the Library collections for”

We would be grateful if you could share this message with any relevant colleagues. If you would like further advice on making these changes, Library staff will be on hand to help and support you. If you have any comments or questions, please email


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Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) European Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) 2019 call now open

The European Commission has opened the 2019 call for proposals for the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) European Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) with a deadline of 2 April 2019.

The available budget is €80 million and the scheme is designed to promote cross-border and cross-sector collaboration from research to market and vice versa within Europe and beyond. The call documents, including the Guide for Applicants, and links to the online submission, are available on the Participant Portal.?

JPI Oceans - Second MarTERA Call Open

MarTERA, the European Research Area Network (ERA-NET) for marine technologies, has opened its second joint call for transnational research and innovation projects on marine and maritime technologies, running from 30 November 2018 to 29 March 2019. ERA-NETs support joint programming initiatives between Member States in their establishment of networking structures, as well as the design, implementation and coordination of joint activities.

This particular call is initiated by by funding organisations and members of JPI Oceans from 11 regions. The call will only be open to organisations from the following countries:

  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Malta 
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Spain
  • Turkey

UKRO understands that there will not be funding for UK participants in project proposals under this call. UK universities and companies are welcome to participate, but will have to self-fund.  

The call targets the following five priority areas:

  1. Environmentally friendly maritime technologies;
  2. Development of novel materials and structures;
  3. Sensors, automation, monitoring and observations;
  4. Advanced manufacturing and production;
  5. Safety and security.

There will be a two-step procedure for proposal development: a pre-proposal stage followed by submission of a full-proposal. The deadline for the pre-proposals is 29 March 2019 and submissions should be made via the MarTERA website. Further details on how to submit a proposal are available online.

MarTERA has also organised a brokerage event in Lysaker, Norway, to support the call, which will take place on 13 February 2019. The event will allow participants to network and identify partners.

MarTERA resulted from the collaboration between JPI Oceans and former ERA-NET MARTEC. The consortium launched the first co-funded call in December 2016, information on the projects funded from this first call is also available.


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Save the date – Science Discovery will be back on 9th March 2019!

The University of St Andrews will be holding its annual Science Discovery Day on the 9th of March 2019 as part of British Science Week, a celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths, featuring entertaining and engaging events and activities across the UK for people of all ages.

The Science Discovery Day gives visitors the opportunity to explore the fun side of science. With exhibitions and demonstrations from researchers across the University. 

This year we’d like to highlight the intersection of sciences with the arts and humanities. So no matter what your subject, whether that be international relations, history or philosophy, if you feel your subject can broadly relate to the topic of science we’d love to have you involved.

Applications for contributing to the Science Discovery Day have now opened and you can register your interest by filling in our online form. Deadline for registration of contributions is Friday 8th February.

For any queries regarding this form please contact the Public Engagement with Research Team


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Recruitment to Food Standards Agency Scientific Advisory Committees

The Food Standards Agency is looking to appoint new members to their Scientific Advisory Committees. We would like to highlight this opportunity to researchers at the University of St Andrews in a wide range of fields relevant to safety assessment of food and feed, such as toxicologists, microbiologists, epidemiologists, food technologists and more, and would be grateful for your assistance in reaching them.

Please click here to view the letter from the FSA Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Guy Poppy, for more information about our Committees, the benefits of being a member for researchers and how you can help us.

Dr Julia Heckenast,  Science Governance and Communication Lead
Chief Scientific Adviser’s Team
Science Evidence and Research Division
Food Standards Agency

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University Professional/Personal Development: Sessions that might be of interest

The following are just two of the many sessions and workshops CAPOD is offering over the next few weeks. If you want to see other options, CAPOD's full listing is on the university's Personal Development Management System (PDMS) web site.

Early Career Academic Networking

Tuesday 18 December 2018
12:00 - 13:30, Sandy's Bar, Students' Association

This is part of a series of informal & informative networking events for early career research and teaching staff. This session includes pre-Christmas pizza, catch-up, networking, informal discussions and topics of interest. 

Christmas Jumpers welcome! 

Topic for this session: Research Staff Associations

Hear from our Scotland & Northern Ireland Vitae Rep, Dr Emma Compton-Daw, about the role of Vitae in supporting the career development of researchers and the potential benefits that Research Staff Associations bring to their research staff constituents and the wider University community.

These events take place regularly and include a range of formats, from informal presentations from invited speakers, to audience-led discussions, or just coffee! All will focus around continuing professional development (CPD) and important topics relating to early career research and teaching staff.

If you would like anything in particular to be discussed during this or other sessions, please e-mail your Research Staff Developers (Diane Munday & Marie Paterson) in advance:

Wellbeing for Carers

Wednesday 16 January 2019
10.00-15.00, C5 seminar room, Bute building

As a carer your wellbeing is of double importance. This informal, interactive course will help you to establish ways of staying well under the pressures of caring. Caring needs consideration and time to reflect and plan how to be the best you can be whilst maintaining the everyday demands placed on you and learning to cope with change.

Participants will receive a certificate of attendance and supporting handouts.

Lecture Capture Workshop

Wednesday 16 January 2019
11.00 to 13.00, Swallowgate PC classroom, School of Classics, Butts Wynd

In this Workshop you will Learn how to use our lecture capture system Panopto. The course contains the following:

  • How to install Panopto on your machine.
  • How to make a recording using Panopto in both classroom and office environments
  • How to edit your recording, for both basic and advanced users
  • How to approve your recording
  • How your recording will appear in Moodle
  • How to embed a recording into your course on Moodle

If you are unable to attend this day/time, additional sessions will be held on Wednesday 20 March 2019 and Tuesday 30 April 2019.

Jump Out Of January

Friday 18 January 2019
12.30-13.30, Large Rehearsal Room, Student's Association

Start 2019 by improving your approach to physical activity and nutrition, beginning with a workshop which will give you the impetus you need if you're at the start of your fitness journey.

Featuring contributions from Sport & Exercise and Occupational Health, you will learn about the importance of physical activity and healthy eating. As well as this, you will be encouraged to set a personal activity change plan and will learn about local resources in place to support them.

Following on from the workshop, you have the opportunity to book a personal fitness consultation, sign up for a 6-week get fit programme, Occupational Health assessment, or work with a workplace coach to help your changes stick. 

Participants will be supported throughout the programme by weekly group interactions with a personal trainer. 

Attending the launch workshop does not commit you to joining the 6 week programme – it will provide all the information you need to decide whether the programme is right for you.

And of course, a healthy lunch will be provided!


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Accommodation available


Small furnished single room available to let in Leuchars from January 2019. £275 per month plus bills for electricity/gas, (fibre broadband included). Sharing with two quiet post-grad students in a clean mid-terrace house including dishwasher and tumble dryer. Would suit postgraduate student/final year student or young professional happy to cover council tax.

Email for more information.


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Visitors seeking Accommodation

Does anyone have, or know of, a room available for an Intern from France arriving in February next year? Bonnie Martins will be working with Prof Laland group. She will arrive on the 1st February 2019 and is looking for accommodation until 30th June 2019. If anyone can help Bonnie, please get in touch with Karina Vanadzina ( or contact Bonnie directly at


A French undergraduate student is visiting David Ferrier’s lab next year and is looking for accommodation. Laurane Lesourd will be in St Andrews from April to June.

If anyone might be able to help Laurane then please contact David Ferrier ( or get in touch with Laurane directly ( 


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Edinburgh Genomics Workshop: Bioinformatics for Genomics

Calling all budding bioinformaticians:

'Bioinformatics for Genomics' is a weeklong introductory workshop combining our popular 'Linux for Genomics', 'R for Genomics', and 'Introduction to RNA-seq Data Analysis' workshops.

Under the expert guidance of  Edinburgh Genomics' Bioinformaticians you will be introduced to Linux command line, allowing you to navigate through directories, managing files, and using bioinformatics tools; you will be introduced to the statistical environment R, including everything from basic skills up to producing publication ready graphics; and finally, you will be guided though RNA sequence analysis, from QC and processing tools through to differential expression statistics, interpretation, and gene set analysis.


Tim Booth (Edinburgh Genomics Bioinformatician/Programmer) Dr Frances Turner (Edinburgh Genomics Bioinformatician/Analyst) Dr Urmi Trivedi (Edinburgh Genomics Bioinformatician/Analyst) Dr Katie Emelianova ( Edinburgh Genomics Bioinformatician/Analyst) Nathan Medd (Training and Outreach Manager)

Cost: £750
Dates: 18-22 February 2019

For more information on this and other courses we offer see our training page

To register please complete this form (your place is not confirmed until we receive payment from you or your institution).

Not the course you're looking for? Please let us know what training course you need here

Nathan Medd
Training and Outreach Manager 

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Online GDPR training required for all staff members

As part of the University’s ongoing work to promote awareness of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), ALL staff are required to take the online GDPR training, with staff reports sent back to the schools and units.

Thank you to all those who have already taken the module, and if you haven't had the opportunity yet, can you please take out some time soon to complete it? The information it comtains might surprise you, such as the university's ability to be fined up to 4% of global annual turnover (or €20 million) for some failures to comply with the new GDPR regulations!

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) training is now live, hosted on CAPOD’s LearnUpon portal, which can be accessed here:

(If you are a new user to LearnUpon, please sign up here -

Please note this system does not recognise your University credentials, however you can sign up with your University email address, but you MUST use a different password, this is an essential security precaution.

Once you have logged in to the system;

  1. Select “Catalogue” 
  2. Choose “General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)” and select “Enrol in Course” then "Yes"
  3. Select “Launch” 
  4. You will then be logged into to the start of the ‘GDPR' course.

The training module will take approximately 45 minutes to complete, and there is a short test, with a pass mark of 80%. You will need to pass the test in order to be considered as complete with respect to the training. Please note that, in order to ensure that the University is moving towards full compliance with GDPR, the training is compulsory for all staff. This is to ensure that we are all aware of our responsibilities under the new data protection legislation.

We would welcome any feedback on the training to, if possible by the end of October.

Chris Milne, Head of Information Assurance and Governance
Cris Treacher, BTPO – GDPR Project Manager

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Christmas Closure 2018

The University will be closed from 5.00 pm on Friday 21 December 2018 and will re-open on Thursday 3 January 2019.

For operational reasons, the University will be closed on Monday 24 December 2018.  Staff will not be required to use additional annual leave, nor will any pro-rated entitlement arise for staff not contracted to work on 24 December 2018. If a member of staff has already booked this day as annual leave this should be cancelled, and if staff book annual leave via HR Self Service they will need to delete the day.

Statutory days are 25 and 26 December 2018 and 1 and 2 January 2019.  Staff will, as normal, be required, unless local arrangements are in force, to take the intervening working days (27, 28 and 31 December) as part of their annual leave entitlement. Any holiday request which spans the closure period should not include the statutory dates as these are in addition to annual leave entitlement.


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Exam module board dates

Semester 1 module boards:
18 January 2019
Semester 2 module boards:
5 June 2019
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Dates for your Diary!!

Staff Away Day:  

Wednesday 12th June 2019. The whole day, booked at Rufflets from 9.00 – 5.00 



School Meetings (17/12/18 to 18/03/19)

Management Group meeting
BMS: room 4.14, 10:00 AM, 19 Dec 2018



Current vacancies tagged for 'School of Biology' from the University Vacancies Feed are listed below:

Seminars and Events (17/12/18 to 17/01/19)

Wildlife photography, Prof Steve Buckland, University of St Andrews.
Prof. Steve Buckland (CREEM, University of St.Andrews) The Observatory: Seminar Room, 2:00 PM, 19 Dec 2018

Towards detection of animals in aerial photography, Chrissy Fell, University of St.Andrews.
Chrissy Fell (University of St.Andrews) The Observatory: Seminiar Room, 2:00 PM, 16 Jan 2019
School of Biology University of St Andrews

Contacting the newsletter editor:
Do you have any information that you would like people in the School to know about in the Friday Newsletter? Or do you have any news items which should be published to the School of Biology web site for public information? Items could be about events, new appointments, publications, grants, research news, or any other interesting work-related stories. Please send items to indicating if you think they should be published to the Newsletter, and/or as news items to the School of Biology public web site. The deadline for the Newsletter is Friday morning of the current week.

The current Newsletter also appears on a public web page, and earlier posts may be reviewed online as a monthly digest.

Head of School: Professor Clare Peddie
tel:+44 (0) 1334 463401email:
fax:+44 (0) 1334

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