School of Biology Internal Newsletter: 24 June, 2017
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School of Biology University of St Andrews
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Successful Research Award

Congratulations to...

Clare Maynard and David Paterson on their award from Leader (European Rural Development Fund) for ‘Green Shores Coastal Plant Hub’, £50,000, as part of a total award of £160,000.  

'Green Shores' is a conservation project that includes the Ministry of Defence, the Royal Dornoch Golf Club, the St Andrews Links Trust and Fife Council. The project aims to restore coastal habitat to key sections of shoreline in the Eden and Tay Estuaries and the Dornoch Firth, in an attempt to move away from hard engineering structures and develop softer and more natural approaches to protecting valuable land assets from erosion and flooding.

A coastal plant hub facility will be established with the St Andrews Links Trust to grow saltmarsh and sand dune transplants for field trials testing the use of bio-rolls as wave-protection devices. Closely working with business and local communities, the project will explore sustainable restoration practices that can help society adapt to, and mitigate for, contemporary coastal and climate change.


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Biology Equality and Diversity Committee

School of Biology Policy for Leave and Return-to-Work

Taking any type of leave is an important life-decision for an employee, and has the potential to complicate research, career progress, or ability to cope with work-life balance.

The School of Biology works to create a work environment that is supportive of the personal needs of all staff, and to that end have created a policy, approved by Management Group, that describes our procedure to provide more support to staff members before, during and following leave that lasts more than 4 weeks.

This procedure is relevant to all staff and applies to leave taken for any justified reason, but most commonly for parental reasons, including maternity leave. You can find the School of Biology Policy for Leave and Return-to-Work here and on biointernal, in both the “Shared Documents” and “Committees/Equality and Diversity” folders.

You can also find the HR leave policies for adoption, maternity, paternity, parental and special circumstances on the university web site.


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Summer applications deadline for Undergraduate Research Assistant Scheme

Please be reminded that the deadline for summer projects is Friday 30 June.

Here are some key points regarding the scheme and application process:

  • These are projects for Undergraduate students in any year of study (4th year students should finish all work by graduation).
  • Projects are allocated in blocks where each block represents 6 hours of research work. Students are awarded a bursary of £50 per block.
  • Projects must be based on academic research and be supervised by an academic member of staff.
  • Projects may run for one or more semesters, but duration should be indicated at time of application if it is more than one term.
  • The Director of Research and the Research Committee is responsible for reviewing and approving applications at the School level, so please send your application to
  • Each School should strive to employ at least three interns each academic year, and no student should be given a level of work which might interfere with their studies.

Additional information and the deadlines for the rest of the year can be found online


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

The following are just a few 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.

New Staff Essentials

Wednesday 28 June 2017
14.00 to 16.45, C5 Seminar Room, Bute Building

There will also be a session on Thursday 27 July 2017, 09.30 to 12.15

This course will introduce the key policies and areas of the University and will provide essential information for all new staff. These short, friendly, events are run at least once every month and complement the All New Staff Induction courses which are run twice a year in September and January. The University has a legal obligation to provide this information and all staff are strongly encouraged to sign up as soon as possible after commencing employment.

Environment Culture

Wednesday 5 July 2017
09.30 to11.30, C5 Seminar Room, Bute Building

This session will discuss what the University is doing with regard to Environmental issues.  Specific projects and plans will be outlined and will also discuss what actions individuals can do in their workplaces to help. 

PostDoc Pizza Friday

Friday 14 July 2017
13:00 to 14:00, Gateway Lecture 2

This is a short summer networking & informative event for Postdocs across the University.

Come along and meet your fellow Postdocs and enjoy the pizza provided!

On hand for a chat

  • Bhavya Rao - Careers Advisor
  • Golsa Raoufi - Wellbeing Coordinator
  • Amy Hayward - Public Engagement Officer 
  • Diane Munday -  Research Staff Developer

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Are you a researcher or research student? Please take part in our 10 minute survey about the use of Open Researcher and Contributor IDs (ORCID)

This survey aims to establish the extent to which researchers at the University of St Andrews are using ORCID identifiers during their work. The survey will collect anonymous data about the awareness and use of ORCID iDs amongst researchers and will only take 5 - 10 minutes to complete. 

You will be able to indicate your interest in taking part in a follow-up interview. This is entirely voluntary and does not affect participation in the online survey or its results.

You will also have a chance to win a £100 Amazon voucher by providing your email address at the end of the survey. Again, this is entirely voluntary and will be independent from participation in the voluntary follow-up interviews. 

This research is carried out in the context of an MSc project by Eva Borger at the School of Computer Science, and former biology neuroscience postgrad, in collaboration with the University Library. For more information, contact Eva at .

To access the survey, follow this link:

Responses will be collected until 14th July 2017.

Ethics approval: CS12882

If you would like help setting up an ORCID ID or linking it to your Pure Profile, you can contact Jennifer Pritchard or Norman Stewart at .

The Library’s Digital Research division also holds Open Office Hours every Wednesday 2pm-4pm, in the Old Union Diner, Butts Wynd (off North Street) where the team are available for advice regarding Open Access, Research Data Management, Pure, ORCID, Research Computing and Digital Humanities  
Research Support


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Exploration Call 2017


You are invited to take part in Explorathon, our Scotland-wide celebration of research held on European Researchers’ Night on Friday 29th September 2017

On this one day, and night, Arts, Humanities and Sciences researchers are all invited to participate and engage with our communities, and each other, with research conducted at the University of St Andrews. More details can be found here.

There are many ways you can be a part of this festival, from visiting participating schools, bringing a short performance to the Byre auditorium, to setting up an interactive table-top activity at the research fair. You can also participate in established events or assist behind the scenes in running the festival; the perfect opportunity for you to take your first steps in public engagement.

The links below will take you to online forms to register your interest:

We can help with developing activities, although we unfortunately cannot offer financial support. Please contact us at with any queries and for more information on Explorathon.

To find out more about Explorathon, including details of events from 2016, please see 


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Summer Exhibition

Presented by Doing Art in the Bell Pettigrew Museum

17 June - 29 July
Open Tuesday and Friday 2-5pm

The Bell Pettigrew Museum is the University's zoology museum.  It is a rare survival of a Victorian teaching museum, and wonderfully atmospheric.

All welcome!

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Biology School Manager drop-in: SOI

SOI: Monday morning, 26 June, from 8.30pm to 12.30pm in meeting room 2.26, next to Katrina and Louise's office, and at coffee. Everyone is welcome and invited to stop by with questions, complaints or for just a chat. Donna

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De-Stresstival: Tuesday 27th June 2017

De-Stresstival is a day dedicated to de-stressing! You're invited to book yourself on some of the activities organised by the Wellbeing and Engagement Group, with the following activities available as part of the day:

Experience the eight active ingredients of Tai Chi
Using simple yoga techniques you will experience how easy it is to keep yourself centred in the midst of your busy life
During the session you will explore and practice different relaxation techniques for both your mind and body which are helpful during times of stress -- find what works for you, and incorporate it into your daily life
Nordic Walking originates from Nordic skiing and is a fun way to have a walking workout and build up your fitness levels. This is a 45-minute session to learn the basic Nordic Walking skills and have the opportunity to put these into practise
When you walk a labyrinth you can come out feeling  a variety of ways: calmer, happier, energised, bursting with ideas, it varies with each experience.  The beauty is, they are very easy to use, and in this session we will learn how to engage with them back in our daily lives
Enjoy a half hour massage to the soundtrack of relaxing music and aromatherapy sticks to aid relaxation
Join the WWOW group for a brisk walk along the East Sands Loop

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Visitors form Overseas: A guide for Staff

Visitors from Overseas: A Guide for Staff

HR has published a guide for staff who plan to host non-EEA visitors to the university. The guide outlines what you need to do, types of visitor visas, and an overview of the visa process a host and non-EEA visitor will need to undertake.

If you have any questions, or require further guidance, please contact Cameron Little in Human Resources on extension 2497 or email





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


Seminars and Events (24/06/17 to 25/07/17)

Gigantothermy in whale sharks – behavioural strategies to maintain constant body temperatures while accessing prey in the deep, cool waters of the tropical ocean
Mark Meekan (Australian Institute of Marine Scince) Bute: LTD, 1:00 PM, 29 Jun 2017
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 Malcolm White
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