UAS Newsletter – April 2008

UAS Newsletter – April 2008

Dear Colleague

Welcome to the April edition of the UAS Newsletter.

UAS continues to grow and we are pleased to welcome the Department of Chemistry at the Imperial College London, the Department of Pharmacy and Chemistry at the University of Kingston, the Department of Food Biosciences at the University of Reading, the School of Mathematical Sciences from University College Dublin and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Greenwich as our most recent recruits. For a full list of the 108 UAS departments please click here

Ogden Trust Funding

We are pleased to announce that the Ogden Trust has recently awarded UAS two grants. The first is a grant of £10,000 to support our general activities, the second is a grant of £40,000 over 2 years to help recruit new departments in Physics (principally) and Mathematics. The Ogden Trust was set up in 1999 by Sir Peter Ogden who was educated at Rochdale Grammar School and went on to gain a BSc in Physics and a PhD in Particle Physics at Durham University. He subsequently completed an MBA at Harvard Business School before a career in investment banking in both the UK and the US, principally with Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. In 1981 he co-founded the computer services company Computacenter, of which he was Executive Chairman from 1981 – 1997. When Computacenter became a UK public company in 1998, Peter Ogden placed the entire proceeds of the 3,500,000 shares that he sold in the flotation (£22.5m) into the Ogden Charitable Trust. The mission of The Ogden Trust is to encourage and promote the teaching and learning of science through the sponsorship of

  • talented students studying maths and physics at sixth form and undergraduate level
  • undergraduate and postgraduate students who wish to become science teachers
  • programmes and projects supporting maths and science teaching in primary and secondary schools

and so fits in well with the mission of UAS. At present there are 13 out of around 50 Physics departments and 25 out of around 75 mathematics departments in the UK who run a UAS module. Work will start shortly to approach all those Physics and Mathematics departments who do not currently run a UAS module.

University College Dublin launches UAS

The first UAS module to be offered outside the UK is currently in full-swing at University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland. The module, which this year was open to final-year mathematics undergraduates, is coordinated by Dr Maria Meehan from the School of Mathematical Sciences. With assistance from the university’s New ERA Office (the UCD widening participation programme), the undergraduates have been placed in government designated-disadvantaged secondary schools in the local area. Initial feedback from the participating students has been very positive. It is hoped that this will be the first of many UAS modules to be offered both in UCD and in Ireland.

If you would like further information regarding UCD’s involvement in UAS, please contact Dr Maria Meehan, School of Mathematical Sciences on
+353(0)1 716 2581 or via maria.meehan@ucd.ie.

UAS Conference in Ireland

We are pleased to announce that a conference The Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme in Ireland has been organised for Friday 2nd May 2008 at University College Dublin.

The conference will provide an opportunity to learn more about UAS and it will include presentations about setting up, launching and running a UAS module from UAS department coordinators. There will be opportunities to ask questions, collect information and learn how UAS can benefit your department.

It will take place in room Q004 in the Quinn School of Business, UCD, starting at 10.30am and finishing at 2.45pm. There is no attendance fee for this conference. However, if you are interested in attending please email Dr Maria Meehan at maria.meehan@ucd.ie to request further details and / or register your interest so that we can make appropriate arrangements for tea/coffee and a light lunch.

UAS Conference in Scotland

An Undergraduate Scheme Conference has been organised for Thursday 19th June 2008 at the University of St Andrews, Fife.

The conference will provide an opportunity to learn more about UAS and it will include presentations about setting up, launching and running a UAS module from UAS department coordinators. There will be opportunities to ask questions, collect information and learn how UAS can benefit your department.

It will take place in Lecture Theatre D of the Bute Medical Building, University of St Andrews starting at 10.30am and finishing at 2.30pm. There is no attendance fee for this conference. However, if you are interested in attending please email Brian Lockwood at Brian.Lockwood@uas.ac.uk to request further details and / or register your interest so that we can make appropriate arrangements for tea/coffee and a light lunch.

Joint UAS / Royal Society of Chemistry – Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Section (RSC-BMCS) initiative update

In January 2007 UAS entered into a 2 year joint initiative with RSC-BMCS to increase the number of chemistry departments offering a UAS module within their degree curriculum. The funding of £40,000 over two years from RSC-BMCS has allowed us to target, recruit and support chemistry departments to implement a UAS module. The initiative is proving to be a great success, and can be measured in part by the increase in number from 9 to 16 chemistry departments now offering the UAS module within their degree curriculum since the initiative began.

We hope to welcome more new departments to UAS in the near future as we continue to target and recruit chemistry departments and support them in the first few years in getting UAS up and running. The RSC-BMCS funding is mostly directed at providing pump priming support of £1,000 a year over the first 2 years (£2000 total) of a new UAS chemistry module. Potential new UAS chemistry department are eligible for the funding if they decide to run a UAS module.

Help with the UAS Mission

You may be able to help us with out recruitment mission, since we find that the hardest thing is trying to find out who is the right person to contact in a given department and you may have this local knowledge. So if you run a UAS module in an institution which has a mathematics, physics or chemistry department (or, indeed, any other suitable discipline) not currently running UAS, then perhaps you would be prepared to contact someone appropriate in that department and tell them something of the advantages in running the scheme. If they are interested then please put them in contact with Brian Lockwood on Brian.Lockwood@uas.ac.uk for further information.

We hope you have found the information provided in this newsletter of interest. For further information about UAS, or if you have any information to contribute for the next newsletter please contact Ray.dInverno@uas.ac.uk or Brian.Lockwood@uas.ac.uk or please see www.uas.ac.uk

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