University of Stirling

Development and External Affairs

Media

 

News Archive

June 2005

Clinical Doctorate is Going Strong

Scholarship Support from Bookshop

Computer Trained to Think Like a Salesman

Minister Launches New Labs at Stirling

Stirling Summer Honours

Stirling the Dominant Force in Student Golf

Wanted: Your Views on Cancer Services

 

Clinical Doctorate is Going Strong

Date released: Wednesday 1 June 2005

Scotland’s first clinical doctorate is now in its third year at the University of Stirling. The course, launched in 2002, is designed for nurses and midwives who wish to remain in practice while making a significant contribution to the improvement of patient care. It integrates practical experience, research and project management giving students the tools to solve the problems that they are faced with professionally. For example, how to reduce the level of drug administration errors or how to increase referrals from a general ward to a specialist service.

The programme it takes four to six years to complete by part-time study. Cathy Hutchison, a Cancer Consultant Nurse for North Glasgow University Hospitals NHS Division, is in her third year. She said:

 “The course is academically challenging, encourages creative thinking and innovation and is really committed to addressing the gap between research and clinical practice. In every module throughout the programme the subjects taught in the classroom are related to practice through discussion and through written assignments. It broadens your thinking and because the classes involve nurses and midwives with a wide range and variety of knowledge and experience in different specialties, there is much to be learned from the other students and it has been really helpful developing new personal and professional networks.”  

The course has allowed Cathy to develop research and practice in cancer care in a variety of areas. She has researched how to harness and develop the clinical expertise of Clinical Nurse Specialists involved in cancer care; ways to improve the early detection and referral of Malignant Spinal Cord Compression, a devastating condition which affects many cancer patients; and caring for patients involved in anticancer drug trials. She is now investigating the effectiveness of using audiovisual tools in recruiting cancer patients to such clinical trials.

Cathy said: “I am trying to find out whether the addition of a patient information video, CD-ROM or DVD, to supplement written information given to patients considering participating in trials, increases their knowledge and reduces the likelihood that they will refuse to take part. The video is set in the hospital environment, involves members of the clinical team and shows patients taking part in a trial. We hope that it will improve patients’ understanding of randomised clinical trials and raise their awareness what is involved.”

The study, which involves around 160 patients with colorectal, breast or lung cancer, is being funded by the Chief Scientist Office and the Beatson Oncology Centre Fund.

Lesley Pollock

Media Relations Manager

(01786) 467058

For further information:

 

 
contact us > > >
address

John Paley

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 466399

 
contact us > > >
address

Cathy Hutchison

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 141 211 2344 


Book voucher winnersScholarship Support from Bookshop

Date released: Wednesday 1 June 2005

Ten access students at the University of Stirling have each received £100 in book vouchers from John Smith & Son Booksellers to help support them in their studies:

  • Laura Shreenan of Alloa
  • Laura Penman of Tillicoultry
  • Andrina Johnston of Bridge of Allan
  • Eilidh Kettle of Stirling
  • Elaine Calderhead of Crieff
  • Suzanne Denny of Stirling
  • Kendell Cummings of Kippen
  • Yvonne Gilfillan of Dennyloanhead
  • Debbie Straiton of Tillicoultry
  • Lynne Ball of Cumbernauld

Mr John Gray of John Smith & Son Booksellers presented the students with their awards at a ceremony hosted by Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Christine Hallet on Tuesday 31 May.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

For further information:

 
contact us > > >
address

Khlayre Mullin

Development and Events Manager

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 466675


 

Computer Trained to Think Like a Salesman

Date released: Monday 6 June 2005

 

Customers of the future could get less irrelevant junk mail thanks to the University of Stirling’s Electronic Sales Engine (ESE). The computer system will give companies a greater understanding of prospective customers’ buying behaviour, allowing them to target their direct mailings and marketing activities more effectively.

With only an individual’s name and address, ESE will be able to predict which products they are most likely to buy, what type of offer they are most likely to be attracted to and when they are most likely to make a purchase.

Lead researcher, Mr Kevin Swingler of the Department of Computing Science and Mathematics said: “The technology will deliver significant savings to companies who sell direct to consumers and will also allow charities to collect donations far more effectively. It will bring a more human element to electronic interactions such as e-commerce, treating customers as individuals with their own needs and preferences. It will also reduce the amount of junk mail and nuisance telesales calls people receive by providing companies with better ways to target prospective customers.”

ESE will employ artificial intelligence techniques to train a computer to automatically choose the most effective way of serving a customer or prospect. The decisions the system makes will be based on the customer’s previous transactions with the company and other demographic factors describing that customer.

The project received Proof of Concept funding of £88,675, with additional resources to patent the technology, from Scottish Enterprise at an awards ceremony today (Monday).

Lesley Pollock

Media Relations Manager

(01786) 467058

For further information:

 
contact us > > >
address

Mr Kevin Swingler

Lead researcher

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 467676

 
or > > >
address

Professor Leslie Smith

Researcher

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 467435 or

07932 178 464


Minister Launches New Labs at Stirling

Date released: Monday 6 June 2005

Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development, Mr Lewis Macdonald MSP visited the University of Stirling on Monday 6 June to launch newly refurbished laboratories in the Institute of Aquaculture.

The internationally renowned Institute, which is the largest department of its kind in Europe, received £2.4 million from the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council to upgrade its existing laboratories and equipment.

Director of the Institute, Professor Randolph Richards, said: “The refurbished laboratories and equipment will be used to carry out studies using the most modern molecular techniques in fish genetics, reproduction, resistance to disease and toxicology. As well as ensuring a sustainable future for aquaculture both in Scotland and the rest of the world, our expertise is already helping thousands of poor people. Through funding from the Department for International Development, we are at the heart of helping those in developing countries improve their livelihoods. For example, in Bangladesh – where we have worked for over 25 years – we are investigating how poor farmers can effectively produce fish as a secondary crop from rice fields. We have also recently begun a study to examine the possible link between fatty acid deficiency and childhood autism.”

The Institute of Aquaculture is a research and postgraduate based department with around 170 staff and students. It has an international reputation for its research and teaching and was awarded a grade 5 in the last Research Assessment Exercise.

After opening the laboratories, Mr Macdonald was given a tour of the Institute and met with researchers specialising in fish health, reproduction, aquaculture development, nutrition and environmental impact.

Lesley Pollock

Media Relations Manager

(01786) 467058

 

For further information:

 
contact us > > >
address

Professor Randolph Richards

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 467870


Stirling Summer Honours

Date released: Tuesday 28 June 2005

Dame Diana Rigg will confer more than 1400 degrees on University of Stirling graduands this Thursday and Friday in three ceremonies. The Chancellor will also present four honorary degrees:

Thursday 30 June - 2.30pm

The Baroness O’Neill will be presented with the Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University for her contribution to philosophy and public affairs. Professor Onora O’Neill is Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge – a post she has held since 1992. A former member and chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, she now chairs the Nuffield Foundation. She is also a member of the House of Lords and was awarded a CBE in 1995.

At this ceremony the Honorary Degree of Master of Arts will be conferred upon Mr Eric Williamson (posthumous award) and Mrs Joyce Williamson to acknowledge their contribution to enhancing the profile of the University. Mr and Mrs Williamson lost their only son, an undergraduate at the University of Stirling, in a car accident in 1981. The couple turned this personal tragedy into a public good by establishing a Trust Fund which since 1983 has brought  major political figures such as George Robertson, Michael Howard and Charles Kennedy to the University to deliver an annual address, and provides a travel fund for students undertaking research in politics. The award will be collected by Dr Ian Williamson, a close relative.

Friday 1 July - 10.30am

Sir James Armour will be awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University in recognition of his contributions to veterinary science and the development of the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling. Previously Vice Principal and Professor of Veterinary Parasitology at the University of Glasgow and Chairman of the Glasgow Dental Hospital and School NHS Trust, he is internationally renowned as one of the most eminent veterinarians of his generation. He was awarded a CBE in 1989.

Lesley Pollock

Media Relations Manager

(01786) 467058

For further information:

 

 
contact us > > >
address

Khlayre Mullin

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 466675


 

Stirling the Dominant Force in Student Golf

Date released: Tuesday 28 June 2005

The University of Stirling proved its worth as the strongest institution in UK golf by winning the British Universities’ Team Strokeplay Championships at Murrayshall, Perth, last week (20 – 22 June). The victory sees Stirling achieve the student golf ‘Grand Slam’ –  holding the British Universities’ team matchplay and strokeplay titles as well as the Scottish Universities’ Winter and Annual Team Championship trophies in the same season. Moreover, it is the second time in 4 years that Stirling’s golf team has achieved this triumph.

The team, led by captain Blair Paterson (Business Studies), included two Scottish senior internationalists, Jamie McLeary (Computing Science) and Richard Ramsay (Sports Studies), as well as Scottish Youth internationalist Gordon Yates (Sports Studies). Finishing on a team score of 422 over 36-holes, the Stirling golfers triumphed by 9 shots over Northumbria (431) and Bournemouth (437).

Head coach, Gordon Niven, said: “The players have shown consistency throughout the season due to hard work and focussed effort. It has been a pleasure working with the team. We are keen to maintain this momentum and to continue to lead the way in student golf.”

 

In the BUSA Individual strokeplay event, played over 72 holes, Stirling’s Blair Paterson surged to a third place finish after a final round of 5-under par over the Murrayshall Championship Course. The event was won by Will Shucksmith (Durham).

In the British Universities’ Order of Merit event, Stirling dominated the women’s programme with Olivia Briggs (Business Studies) winning with 1350 points, ahead of her Stirling colleague Dawn Dewar (1175 points). Ulster’s Conor Doran topped the Men’s Order of Merit title with 1100 points. Blair Paterson (Stirling) finished third on 1000 points.

Sports Performance Manager, Raleigh Gowrie said: “The last grand slam winning team from Stirling used the British Universities’ success as a platform to arrange a memorable trip to America where they were victorious over the American NCAA champions, Minnesota. A similar trip is anticipated for this year, with ambitions of taking on Georgia Tech and Georgia State Universities in their own backyard. The trip will require considerable fundraising and sponsorship. Any interested parties should contact me on 01786 466901.”

Lesley Pollock

Media Relations Manager

(01786) 467058

For further information:

 
contact us > > >
address

Raleigh N. Gowrie

Sports Performance Manager

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 466901


Wanted: Your Views on Cancer Services

Date released: Tuesday 28 June 2005

The University of Stirling’s Cancer Care Research Centre (CCRC) would like to hear from anyone on Lewis or North Uist with experience of cancer, either as a patient, family member, friend or carer.

The Centre, which was set up in October 2003 to find out more about the experiences of people affected by cancer, is looking for people to take part in new Patient and Carer Advisory Groups on Lewis and North Uist that will inform cancer treatment and care in Scotland. We will be visiting the area in July and again in the autumn.

Deputy Director of CCRC, Dr Allison Worth said: “Getting involved with the Cancer Care Research Centre to talk about your experiences and views is a great way of getting your voice heard and making a real difference. Your views will influence the kind of research we do. Together, we can influence how services are developed and help other people affected by cancer.”

It is hoped that the Patient and Carer Advisory Groups will meet once every three months or so. The groups will be helped in their discussions by one of the research team and someone from a local voluntary organisation.

Allison Worth said: “You don’t need any qualifications, special skills or medical knowledge to take part. The most valuable thing you bring is your experience, both good and bad, and your willingness to share your views and experiences with others. Some people will be involved in groups for up to two years or more, but you don’t need to make that kind of commitment. See how you feel and if you want you can pull out at any time, you can. If you can’t make a particular meeting we will be happy to see you the next time.”

If you would like to help, you can find out more by logging onto: www.cancercare.stir.ac.uk You can also call Allison Worth or Neneh Rowa-Dewar on 01786 849260 or E-mail: cancercare@stir.ac.uk for further information.

Lesley Pollock

Media Relations Manager

(01786) 467058

For further information:

 
contact us > > >
address

Dr Allison Worth or Neneh Rowa-Dewar

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 849260