Applications open for Partnership PhD scheme

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UWE Bristol has recently announced another application round of its successful Partnership PhD programme.

A Partnership PhD bridges the gap between external organisations and university. It enables an organisation to gain access to cutting-edge real-world research that can help transform it.

The Partnership establishes a relationship between an organisation and UWE Bristol, based on a specific project that is mutually beneficial.

Organisations have the opportunity to choose a relevant research area and gain access to cutting-edge research. The researcher will work extensively with the organisation to provide a tailored piece of research.

In turn, the researcher will gain an opportunity to pursue their research in a real-world setting, developing transferable and interdisciplinary skills whilst gaining cross-sector experience.

Over the past two years, the Graduate School, part of the Research, Business and Innovation team at UWE Bristol, has been developing the Partnership PhD scheme. Through it, UWE’s investment in Post Graduate Research has been matched by over £1.5m from 40+ partner organisations.

Application deadline 1 July 2022 for Partnership PhD’s starting in 1 January 2023.

Email uwebusiness@uwe.ac.uk to find out more.

Please find below full Partnership PhD guidance, costings, useful information and the flyer for businesses:

See below for our slides for businesses:

Email uwebusiness@uwe.ac.uk to find out more.

UWE Bristol secure Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Sysmax

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UWE Bristol Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) team have secured a new KTP with Sysmax. The application, led by Ellen Parkes from UWE Bristol, was funded under Innovate UKs Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership (MKTP) scheme which is part funded from BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy).

Based in Guildford, Surrey, Sysmax is a compliance and competency management company specialising in project, risk, and engineering management offering a comprehensive suite of products that help their clients to evaluate competency, improve performance, and deliver compliance across their business.

Sysmax logo

With specialist support from the academic team at UWE Bristol Business School, the aim of the 24-month project is to develop and embed the necessary management capabilities and leadership skills required to grow the company in line with its strategic ambitions, and increase its effectiveness and productivity in a scalable and sustainable way. Through the collaboration with UWE, Sysmax will establish a strategic approach for the identification, analysis, and targeting of new markets for compliance and competency management systems.

This collaborative project between Sysmax and the Bristol Business School at UWE Bristol provides a route for the transfer of research informed knowledge in Marketing and Leadership, and best practice to the company, whilst providing rich case study material for teaching and applied research, in return.

Basil Omar, Senior Lecturer in Strategy and Enterprise, UWE Bristol and KTP Academic Lead

This partnership received financial support from the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme. KTP aims to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge base. This successful Knowledge Transfer Partnership project, funded by UK Research and Innovation through Innovate UK, is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy.

Find out more about KTP’s at UWE Bristol.

National Apprentice Week 2022: Meet the Apprentice Latifah Salawu

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As part of National Apprentice Week 2022, we will be highlighting some of our Apprentices, Employers and Academics.

In this Meet the Apprentice, we caught up with Latifah Salawu, L6 Chartered Surveyor Apprentice working with Faithful+Gould:

What attracted you to becoming a Higher or Degree apprentice? 

I was attracted to becoming a Degree Apprentice through loving the idea of learning on the job and obtaining a degree / professional accreditation at the same time. Also, I was attracted to gaining practical skills within the workplace which I knew would benefit the early stages of my career. I always knew I wanted to do some form an apprenticeship rather than taking the academic route of going to university straight after completing my A Levels.

Thinking about your apprenticeship experience to date, what have been the main benefits to your career development? 

1. Being able to work alongside industry experts who can pass down their valuable knowledge
2. Working in different multi-disciplinary teams and having the options to move around to learn new things.
3. Studying towards my degree (learning the academic side of the industry to support my training and allow me to apply theoretical knowledge to my job.
4. Being able to complete my APC (assessment of professional competence) with the help of industry experts / senior staff who can guide me on decisions to best support my development and allow me to become a chartered surveyor.

What are the top three things you would recommend to someone thinking about becoming a Higher or Degree apprentice? 

1. Be yourself. I am happy to be employed by a really great company where they are supportive with not only your career but also your day to day activities, hobbies etc.
2. Plan exactly what you want to achieve out of the apprenticeship. For example, if you believe that there is something in particular you would like to get involved with, plan how this would benefit your career development but also your personal development and make this clear in your application / interview.
3. Be willing to learn. Being an apprentice requires learning all the time, shadowing other staff but also learning new processes and knowledge at university.

What are your future goals beyond completion of your apprenticeship? 

After completing my apprenticeship, I am hoping to be sitting my End Point Assessment and become a chartered surveyor. I also hope to work on new projects within the United Kingdom or Internationally.

Find out more about Apprentices at UWE Bristol.

English Literature and the Climate Crisis: Teaching Climate Literature to Young Adults

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As society responds to the changing climate, English literature provides useful and critical insights into the challenges we face, as well as helping to build resilience and activism. At Cop26 in November 2021, the education secretary Nadhim Zahawi promised to “put climate change at the heart of education.” To turn this promise into a reality, then climate change should be taught across the curriculum, from the Humanities to STEM.

This event, designed and led by UWE English Literature staff Dr Ann Alston and Dr Sarah Robertson, is for key stage 3 English teachers. It will explore how English literature can be more fully utilised as a vital tool in generating climate change awareness and for coping with climate anxiety. At the event, Dr Ann Alston will deliver a talk on climate change in young adult fiction, and Dr Sarah Robertson will present on approaches to teaching climate literature. The talks will be followed by a roundtable discussion where participants can share their thoughts on teaching climate change through English, exploring the challenges and benefits of such an approach.

The event will take place on Saturday 26 March, from 11:00-14:00 on Frenchay Campus. For more information and/or to book a place, please email Sarah.Robertson@uwe.ac.uk

UWE Bristol Academic Spotlight: Dr Patrick Crogan

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Patrick Crogan is Associate Professor of Digital Cultures at UWE Bristol where he teaches and researches in media, technology and culture. Originally from Australia, he completed a doctorate at the University of Sydney and taught at a number of institutions in Australia before coming to the UK.

He has worked at UWE Bristol since 2008, where he supports the Media Communications degree programme. He is also a founding member of UWE Bristol’s Digital Cultures Research Centre, a collaborative network focussing on practical approaches to responsible technological futures.

Patrick’s work specifically highlights the link between digital media making and theory. He works in both conventional ‘academic’ and practice-based modes, working with creative makers, an approach that he says keeps him “’fresh’ and ‘honest’”.

Area of expertise

Automation and AI:

Patrick was one of the UWE Bristol-led, AHRC-funded South West Creative Technology Network’s Automation Fellows in 2019-2020. He worked with other Fellows on the future of creative uses of AI and automation. Before that, Patrick was co-investigator on the AHRC Automation Anxiety Research Network (2017-18) which explored innovative methods by which the humanities might address contemporary cultural anxiety about new forms of automation.  He also works on military drone developments and the future of AI and automation in military and civilian circles. In addition to this, he is a collaborator and research lead on the I am Echoborg​ project. Led by colleague and interactive experience designer, Rik Lander, this interactive show challenges the audience to discover the best possible outcome for the relationship between humans and intelligent machines.

Video games and digital culture: 

Patrick’s 2011 book Gameplay Mode critically examines what videogames can tell us about the relations between war and computer-based technoculture. 

He also ran the Creative Territories AHRC Video games research network (2014-15). Its major report The Good Hubbing Guide outlines its major findings and recommendations about independent game maker colocation. 

Bernard Stiegler: 

Patrick’s work is strongly influenced by Bernard Stiegler, a French technology and media philosopher who argued that individuals and society as a whole are increasingly shaped by algorithms and automated systems, driven by economic rather than human interests.  

Patrick has written several pieces on Stiegler’s work’s relevance to film, media and digital cultural theory and translated some of his writings into English. He also guest edited a special issue of the journal Cultural Politics on Stiegler. He is currently working on a book about the philosopher’s relevance to digital media and cultural studies.

Fully Funded Inclusive Digital Skills Bootcamps

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Inclusive Digital Bootcamps will help you to secure new or better Digital Employment and are free to register for individuals based in the West of England. Inclusive digital skills bootcamps are delivered by UWE Bristol as part of the Digital Skills Investment Programme

Data Science & AI

Who is it for?

  • 19 – 25-year-olds*
  • Women*

Delivered mainly online with a few sessions at Frenchay Campus, BS16 1QY

*Anyone can still apply to take part, but priority access is given to those who meet one (or more) of the above criteria.

What will I learn?

  • Mathematics and computer programming
  • Data science fundamentals
  • Software development
  • Machine Learning & AI approaches

When does it start?

This free course is running twice with two different cohorts, starting in late November 2021 and February 2022

  • 17-weeks
  • 8-hours scheduled learning per-week plus self-study

UX Design

Who is it for?

  • Those with living with health conditions, learning difficulties or impairments*

*Anyone can still apply to take part, but priority access is given to those who meet one (or more) of the above criteria.

Delivered mainly online with a few sessions at Frenchay Campus, BS16 1QY

What will I learn?

  • Learn advanced aspects of UX design for digital platforms
  • Responsive design for smart phones and robots
  • Specialised support to access ‘Disability Confident’ employment
  • Understand UX design trends for a range of platforms

When does it start?


This free course begins in January 2022

  • 13-weeks
  • 8-hours scheduled learning per-week plus self-study

More information:

Employability Support

Each bootcamp has an embedded industry project element. This will allow you to:

  • Build and showcase your higher-level skills to potential employers
  • Implementing your learning in real-world scenarios

Mentoring

Throughout the bootcamps, you will be paired with an industry mentor to complement your learning and open up doors to future employment opportunities.

There will also be opportunities to access specific mentoring support if you are from an underrepresented group within the digital industry.

Job Preparation

Each of the bootcamps will finish with a 2-week ‘Preparation for Employment Module’.You will be provided with a range of in-person and online support tools to help you secure higher-level employed roles.

Support includes:

  • CV & Cover letter writing
  • Interview preparation
  • Introductions to relevant employers

Contact

If you would like to speak to a member of the team before registering your interest, email digitalworkforce@uwe.ac.uk and we will be happy to help.

Vacancies – Green Skills for Jobs and Entrepreneurship

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7-month secondment opportunity

Green Skills for Jobs and Entrepreneurship (Green Skills) is a new 7-month project – led by UWE Bristol in partnership with NatWest Bank and Black South West Network (BSWN) – funded by the Government’s Community Renewal Fund.

Launching in January 2022, this project will address the skills shortages needed to deliver the West of England’s net zero ambitions by providing training, entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for young people. The Project will encourage participation from Black British and British Asian heritage young people, in recognition of the employment gap that exists for black graduates and inspired by the #10000BlackInterns initiative.

A major legacy of the Project will be a Green Skills for Jobs and Entrepreneurship Hub, hosted on an online platform and accessible to the wider West of England skills, innovation and enterprise ecosystem.

UWE Bristol are looking to recruit 5 roles to support this project. These roles will be 7 month fixed term contracts, with an immediate start in January 2022. We would welcome applicants from private and public sector organisations as a secondment opportunity.

We are looking for:

  • Project Manager
  • Partnerships Manager
  • Mentor and Cohort Manager
  • Project Officer
  • Finance Officer

Project Manager

We are looking for a confident and experienced Project Manager to coordinate project activity and design an 8-week green skills programme, co-delivered by the Project’s partners and external consultants. You will line manage and coordinate the activity of the Green Skills Cohort Manager (providing mentoring and coaching to young people) and Green Skills Partnerships Manager (developing and managing partnerships with SMEs and employers for green internships).

Project Manager vacancy

Partnerships Manager

We are looking for a dynamic and experienced business Partnerships Manager who will be responsible for promoting the project to local employers and securing internship placements for young people. You will co-ordinate and deliver an employer and ‘pitch’ events where young people can find out more about internship opportunities, further training, and incubation support.

Partnership Manager vacancy

Mentor and Cohort Manager

We are looking for an enthusiastic and experienced Mentor and Cohort Manager to provide mentoring and coaching to 5 cohorts of young people and be responsible for ensuring that all participants have access to the information and learning support they need. You will hold regular 1:1s with each young person during their 8 weeks of study and will provide additional support once participants have moved on to any internship, incubation or further training activity.

Mentor and Cohort Manager vacancy

Project Officer

We are looking for a clear communicator with an excellent eye for detail, who is able to offer exceptional customer service to all of the project stakeholders, whilst ensuring compliance within funding regulations. You will need to enjoy solving problems quickly and implementing these solutions across the project.

Project Officer vacancy

Finance Officer

We are looking for someone who is finacially minded, has an excellent eye for detail and who is able to offer exceptional customer service to all of the project stakeholders. You will need to oversee the project budget, handle day to day financial transactions, maintain accurate expenditure records and project forecasts.

Finance Officer vacancy

Become an Industry Mentor and support our Skills Bootcamp learners

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Do you work within a digital skills role in areas such as data science, AI, cyber security, digital engineering, UX Design, games technology or sustainable development? Would you like to share your experience with our skills bootcamp learners? 

UWE Bristol are looking to work with a number of individuals to act as mentors across our skills bootcamps, supporting our learners as they develop their new skills and search for their next career opportunity.   

Register your interest to become a mentor

What is an industry mentor? 

Acting as a mentor you will support learners by providing guidance and share your experiences and knowledge from your area of expertise.
As part of your mentoring sessions, you will look to help your mentee(s) to:

  • Map their next steps in their chosen career path
  • Identify key skills needed for potential job opportunities 
  • Provide feedback on work they develop as part of their bootcamp portfolio 
  • Provide your perspective on your industry and give exposure to best practice 
  • Introduce them to your role or other suitable roles to understand the industry further  
  • Provide a networking experience to your mentee

Why become a mentor?

While you will be supporting our learners, acting as a mentor, you can also support your own personal development. Mentoring can be rewarding and provide you with insight from those looking to enter your industry and for you to learn from their experiences.

Our mentoring scheme will also give you the opportunity to:

  • Engage with our curriculum
  • Take part in a half day mentoring skills workshop to gain new transferrable skills
  • Receive a digital badge to showcase your experience in mentorship

Required skills/commitment

As a skills bootcamp mentor, you will:

  • Have 3+ years’ industry experience in one of the following areas:
    • Data Science & AI
    • Digital Engineering
    • User Experience &Design
    • Games Technology
    • Cyber Security
  • Be able to commit to meeting with your mentee(s) once a fortnight over a 2- 3-month period (this will usually be online)
  • Be willing to inspire, encourage and guide learners looking to start their career in your industry
  • Share your own experiences and examples with your mentee(s)

FAQ’s

I have less than 3 years industry experience, can I still become a mentor?

While we ask for 3 years industry experience, we would be happy to speak to anyone with less than this, that feels they would be able to contribute positively to the programme

Do I need to live in/near Bristol?

As sessions will run online you do not have to live in the Bristol area

Will I be paid for this?

Our mentoring positions are generally unpaid; however mentors will receive half day training workshop to develop their mentoring skills and a digital badge at the end of their involvement.

Register your interest to become a mentor

Introducing our research strength focus: Digital Futures

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At UWE Bristol we are proud of our active and collaborative research community of bold and innovative thinkers that are breaking research boundaries. 

Our four key research strengths are:   

  • Creative industries and technologies 
  • Digital Futures 
  • Health & Wellbeing 
  • Sustainability and Climate Change Resilience

Over the past three months we have been sharing content around our research strength, Sustainability and Climate Change Resilience. We are now moving onto our next focus: Digital Futures.

 Our research strengths in this area include: 

  • robotics, artificial intelligence and advanced engineering 
  • industrial digitalisation, high-value design and next generation services 
  • future mobile communications, ubiquitous computing, data science and cybersecurity. 

To introduce this research strength, we are going to share with you two of our Digital Futures research case studies: 

Cyber crime: Helping authorities worldwide to tackle financial crime 

Being as vast and intangible as it is, the internet has proved one big loophole for cyber criminals – until now. Turning the tables on fraudsters is the raison d’etre of experts in cyber security and financial crime, who are helping police forces across the world to close in. 

“We know that the rapid exchange of information between cyber criminals, and the lack of information sharing across police forces and countries is a major barrier to success in tackling the issue,” says Professor Phil Legg, Associate Professor of Cyber Security. “Our goal is to work with police forces to understand what tools they currently lack and how we can help by using our research intel to come up with a solution.” 

Phil is working alongside Professor Nic Ryder, Professor of Financial Crime, on a multidisciplinary project to address the evolving nature of crime online, and to develop technological solutions for facilitating law enforcement in this globally connected space. 

Much of Nic’s work has already helped shape improvements in how law enforcement agencies across the world tackle terrorism financing and money laundering. As well as training police authorities in Rome, the Netherlands and the UK, he has worked with NATO, the UK Home Office and the Centre of Research Evidence and Security Threats (CREST). 

A seminal piece of work is the development of a fraud typology that enables agencies to identify where financial crime is being used to fund terrorist activity. The typology is a robust toolkit based on evidence from convicted terrorism cases, which revealed how terrorism is often connected to fraudulent activity in areas including immigration, identity theft, credit cards, tax, student loans and insurance. 

View the full case study  

Digital ethics: Balancing creativity with ethics on and off screen 

What happens when you give people the power to raise the dead? Aside from the creative potential for screen directors to shock audiences into paying attention, the deep fake phenomenon which does precisely that, raises a host of ethical and legal challenges. Who better to test the balance of such powers than Maggie Thatcher…? 

Digital face replacements are commonplace in the high budget film industry, with the widespread use of CGI and digital effects by Disney and the Star Wars franchise, among others. Since 2017 the open source, lower resolution alternative of deep fakes has become widespread, providing an affordable means of translating existing images into a simulated context. 

For television and film directors like UWE Bristol’s Dr Dominic Lees, Associate Head of Department, Filmmaking, this is interesting territory that poses both creative and ethical questions when it comes to examining a director’s intentions and the potential for shifting perceptions. 

“We have a moment in technological development that is really exciting,” says Dominic. “It’s the democratisation of what has been an extremely elite part of the studio and film process for some years. Philosophically, it raises questions around why we would want to do this, how we do it, and whether we even ought to.” 

These are the questions that Dominic is exploring in collaboration with colleagues from Law, and Engineering and Technology, via the Virtual Maggie project, digitally resurrecting the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for a contemporary short film set in the 1980s. 

Having filmed several scenes with a real actor, they are now testing out open source (artificial intelligence) AI technology to recreate the actor’s scenes with a simulated version of Thatcher’s face. 

Dominic says: “It’s both interesting and rattling to consider whether I want people to completely believe that this is Margaret Thatcher, which I could never do because the audience knows she wasn’t alive when I was shooting this film? Or whether I want it to be slightly unbelievable so that viewers are aware of the artifice of what I’m doing, and appreciate the fakeness?” 

View the full case study

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