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"The Neph are still touring? Woah!" -- Niall H.
30 year anniversary show!

Mark

10:18 PM, 30/10/14
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The Neph are still touring? Woah!
Niall H.
9:47 PM, 30/10/14
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Very long shot, but anyone want to go from oxford to see Fields of the Nephilim in London on the 6th Dec?
Mark
9:28 PM, 30/10/14
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The grant is now closed and I'm full time clinical now, working at the jr. I've double checked and it's not covered. Not the end of the world, it's only stuff after all and I took care of a patient last night who is my age and dying of cancer which very much put things back in perspective.
Mary
6:17 PM, 30/10/14
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We have a similar situation here. I don't know about lap tops but our excess for phones is £250. When mine was stolen I was expected to find the money to replace it from one of my grants (which luckily I had).

It does seem to be swings and roundabouts with university insurance though. We are covered even if we forget to notify the university we are traveling, or if we travel to places the FCO don't want you to go, or we have existing health problems. I can drive any university vehicle - owned or hired. And when I lost my kindle on a plane the insurance paid up the full replacement amount, even though I only had got it on an offer. And they assured me I hadn't committed insurance fraud when my original kindle turned up......
Alison
3:22 PM, 30/10/14
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I guess the grant would be responsible for replacing the laptop i.e., paying the excess, but since the grant has finished it doesn't need a laptop anymore.

But do you still need an expensive work-capable laptop? Are you now employed on a new grant which can buy you a new laptop? Or even employed directly rather than on soft money - can the university buy you a new laptop? Essentially, if you need a laptop for work then it is up to your employers to provide it, not up to you.
Gillian
3:04 PM, 30/10/14
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That does sound a bit odd. If the dept wants you to have a laptop which remains their property then it's up to them to insure it - and if they picked a useless policy that has an excess higher than the laptop's value then you'd have thought that was their problem.

OTOH if it's your responsibility to replace it then your own insurance should cover it. My B&C paid out a few years ago when a work laptop was stolen because it was agreed that employees would cover them if they wanted to work from home on them.

It would be unfortunate if this situation managed to fall between these two.
Jamie
2:49 PM, 30/10/14
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Oh that's annoying...
Robert
1:56 PM, 30/10/14
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The grant has finished though so I think it's uni property? I'll check with my admin people. But my mum, who knows a bit about this stuff, thinks I can't claim.
Mary
1:48 PM, 30/10/14
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Mary, that sounds like a horrible loophole. I think I need to check with my boss what the situation is for us! If you were still funded by that grant, then that presumably means that the university essentially expect the grant to fund a replacement rather than their insurance having to, which seems very sneaky indeed. :-(
Bethan
1:22 PM, 30/10/14
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But doesn't that mean that your department or whatever gets billed for the first £2000, not you? Or does it mean that you are personally liable for the first £2000?
Robert
1:21 PM, 30/10/14
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They would replace it, but the university insurance excess is £2000.
Mary
1:18 PM, 30/10/14
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So it's University property that they won't replace when stolen?
Robert
1:18 PM, 30/10/14
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That's worth a thought re the bike. Might get it then see how it goes.

The laptop was bought through the grant and my understanding, confirmed by the dept, is that it always remains the property of the university. I use it, but it isn't a gift to me. Likewise when dad died we couldn't just keep his laptop. Bit of a pain, but there it is.
Mary
12:13 PM, 30/10/14
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If you could afford to wait for a while, you could ask one of the local bike shops if they'd sell the bike as new on commission? A 10% fee deducted from £840 would still leave you almost £200 better off.

Are you sure your laptop isn't insured? If it was your personal kit, then regardless of the fact a grant paid for it I'd have expected your contents insurance to cover it. Was it named on your policy?
Jamie
8:13 PM, 29/10/14
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Mary, if you get the bike and sell it on, will you get more cash for it than if you just took the cash from the insurers?
Lina
3:33 PM, 29/10/14
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Just out of curiosity, what's happening for the Halloween social?
(if anything at all)
James
2:42 PM, 29/10/14
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Gill - thanks - useful perspective. I wouldn't say it's really a trail for doddery old people or families - it's at quite a high altitude (for the Peak District!). Also I've found the usage survey here (p8) which shows that bikes are the second biggest user group but only just.
Alison
1:58 PM, 29/10/14
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Oh wise oracle, the insurance company will replace my bike like for like for value of £840. But is I go for the cash option its £540. Thing is I don't use my road bike much these days and my laptop isn't insured as it was bought thro my research grant and the university excess is £2000. I.e. To get a new laptop I have to find the money myself. Argh, should I still get the bike which will be nice or take the loss on the cash, or get the bike and sell it on?
Mary
1:22 PM, 29/10/14
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I don't think I have a general opinion on the mountain bikers are fellow sports enthusiasts/a menace - I think it depends on individual circumstances. If we were talking about a trail which had a lot more walkers than bikers - particularly if it were a trail popular with families with little kids and/or older doddery people - then I'd probably be in favour of a surface which was easier to walk on. Especially if it had previously been suffering from erosion problems. But there should also be trails of a more 'interesting' nature for those who want 'em. I guess the problem with Rushup Edge is that the DCC seem to have decided to turn it from an interesting trail into an easy trail without anything much in the way of consultation.
Gillian
11:41 AM, 29/10/14
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Someone said there was a survey that showed there were by far more bikers than walkers but I haven't it personally to see how fair it was! On erosion, it's a sunken lane with a bedrock surface so it definitely doesn't have an erosion problem. There is a path along the top of the bank too but it's pretty narrow and not expanding sideways.
Alison
4:22 PM, 28/10/14
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Are there more mountain bikers using that trail or more walkers? What are the consequences in terms of erosion?
Gillian
4:12 PM, 28/10/14
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So, we clearly need a bit more discussion to liven up our Tuesday afternoons. So, what do you think? A trail in the Peak District (Rushup Edge) has just been "maintained" by Derbyshire County Council (DCC). The trail surface consisted of a number of bedrock steps in a sunken lane. These were quite fun and challenging to ride down on a mountain bike. The "maintenance" has involved dumping a load of hard core on the track, making it very easy to ride down. Mountain bikers are up in arms as we see it as similar to demolishing Right Unconquerable. DCC say the trail has been maintained to "benefit the greatest number of users".

As climbers/walkers, what do you think to this? Where do you all sit on the "mountain bikers terrorize the countryside" to "mountain bikers are fellow sports enthusiasts whose wishes should be accommodated" spectrum?
Alison
3:44 PM, 28/10/14
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"For research David Pyle has been doing radical things in earth sciences like working interdisciplinarily and colloborating with people other than Cambridge....." -- Alison
In our department it's pretty radical to collaborate with Cambridge, we seem to work with nearly everywhere else! The positive about being a clinical research department working on is that it's naturally interdisciplinary as the clinical side needs engineers, mathmos, biologists, biochemists, physicists material scientists etc to actually progress many of the clinical issues that aren't immediately patient-based.
Sarah S
6:46 PM, 27/10/14
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For research David Pyle has been doing radical things in earth sciences like working interdisciplinarily and colloborating with people other than Cambridge.....
Alison
10:15 PM, 24/10/14
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Janet Dyson, although she's technically retired, has been doing a lot to fix up the disaster of last year's differential equations course. She's also responsible for the fact that Mansfield does quite a lot of interesting (and, IMO, good) things for its maths students, especially when they've just started.
Cameron
5:47 PM, 24/10/14
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The Mad Irene I mentioned to Sarah is not Irene Moroz. But thanks for all the names, folks - much appreciated.

Now can I repeat the question but wrt ”Leading in Teaching” instead of research? It could be anyone who’s done something interesting in the teaching sphere recently, although I’m particularly interested in people who have faced a challenge in changing something relating to teaching.
Clare
4:22 PM, 24/10/14
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Yes, although Irene is, as you say, really, really lovely. She's extremely supportive of her students and very good at her research, but I've noticed that she can sometimes get into funny little moods at times, and she can be a bit baffled by technology. (I once stood over her shoulder as she practised the coordination involved in 'click-and-drag' to rearrange something on her computer.)
Cameron
4:05 PM, 24/10/14
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"""Anyone else have any ideas? Sarah S? " -- Clare
Not Mad Irene!
" -- Clare

Does Sarah know a Mad Irene as well?! It must be something to do with the name..." -- Cameron


Cameron, do you mean Irene Moroz? She was my tutor at St Hildas. She's mad but lovely Happy
Jenny
3:15 PM, 24/10/14
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When she gave a lecture on a subject she deemed particularly dull for us she used to bring in cakes she'd baked with her kid. She is a genuinely lovely person and really intelligent, fab scientist, great mother. I'd love to be like her too!
Sarah S
11:57 AM, 24/10/14
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On that episode of The Life Scientific she says at one point she had to use her baby's hair to construct a mount for her crystallography method because she didn't have access to any other fibres fine enough! I aspire to be an awesome a scientist mother / have babies that are awesome enough to put up with that some day!
Bethan
11:17 AM, 24/10/14
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"Clare - Elspeth Garman in biochemistry? I don't know her personally but she spoke at a science communication & public engagement training session that I went to, and (a) she was a good communicator, and (b) seemed very down-to-earth about things, at least when it came to being misrepresented by the press - I assume she'd be equally as honest about leading research. Oh, and she was on The Life Scientific a few weeks ago..." -- Bethan


Actually Elspeth would be amazing. She was one of my lecturers.
Sarah S
11:12 AM, 24/10/14
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"""Anyone else have any ideas? Sarah S? " -- Clare
Not Mad Irene!
" -- Clare

Does Sarah know a Mad Irene as well?! It must be something to do with the name..." -- Cameron


I do. She'd be interesting to get as she's quite extreme. We're working with her a bit and her work is pretty cool!
Sarah S
11:11 AM, 24/10/14
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Clare - Elspeth Garman in biochemistry? I don't know her personally but she spoke at a science communication & public engagement training session that I went to, and (a) she was a good communicator, and (b) seemed very down-to-earth about things, at least when it came to being misrepresented by the press - I assume she'd be equally as honest about leading research. Oh, and she was on The Life Scientific a few weeks ago...
Bethan
11:10 AM, 24/10/14
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Peter Taylor in ndorms is excellent too but is clinical so will have a slightly different experience to academics in pure basic science, humanities etc.
Sarah S
11:10 AM, 24/10/14
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"Clare: I'm drawing a bit of a blank. Alain Goriely is an excellent researcher and leader of research, and a great communicator, but I can't really imagine him wanting to give a talk on it. Let me know if you draw a complete blank, and I might have a chat to some people here.

Mark: Congrats on the job! I can't think of anybody with a spare room at the moment, but I'll let you know if I hear anything. Maybe try posting on the fb page as well?" -- Cameron


Cheers Cameron - good idea!
Mark
11:01 AM, 24/10/14
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Clare - Kate Nation (Experimental Psychology/SJC) is great. She studies speech development in kids, which is a pretty challenging thing to do. Plus she is lovely Happy
NickD
10:57 AM, 24/10/14
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""Anyone else have any ideas? Sarah S? " -- Clare
Not Mad Irene!
" -- Clare


Does Sarah know a Mad Irene as well?! It must be something to do with the name...
Cameron
10:36 AM, 24/10/14
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Clare: I'm drawing a bit of a blank. Alain Goriely is an excellent researcher and leader of research, and a great communicator, but I can't really imagine him wanting to give a talk on it. Let me know if you draw a complete blank, and I might have a chat to some people here.

Mark: Congrats on the job! I can't think of anybody with a spare room at the moment, but I'll let you know if I hear anything. Maybe try posting on the fb page as well?
Cameron
10:24 AM, 24/10/14
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"Anyone else have any ideas? Sarah S? " -- Clare
Not Mad Irene!

Clare
10:23 AM, 24/10/14
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Thanks Gill - she sounds great (and it's good to have women do this) but for this purpose it really does have to be someone at Oxford. Sesh, he looks like a possibility - thanks very much.

Anyone else have any ideas? Sarah S?
Clare
10:22 AM, 24/10/14
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Clare - a good person to ask* might be Pedro Ferreira.

*Don't really know what you need or whether he'd be interested, but he's a leader of good research, an excellent communicator and probably not gung-ho.
Fred
8:32 AM, 24/10/14
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