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Serpentarius contains important information about what is happening in the Department and staff news. It is published fortnightly on Wednesdays during term-time.

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

In this issue

Department News

University News


Department News

The Arup Refurbishment Project: the website goes live

The Arup Building project now has its own website at

The website contains interesting information about the history of the site, the nature and special features of the CCI project and some up-to-date photographs of building redevelopment.


Staff Meetings

Academic Staff - 12.45pm, 29 October (followed by the graduate poster competition in the Part II Common Room!).

Assistant Staff - 11.45am, 30 October.


Equipment Bids 2014

You are invited to request funds for research, teaching and other equipment, using the application form, by 12.00 noon, Monday 10 November 2014.

Funds are available only from the University’s annual equipment grant, which this year is expected to be around £50,000 in total.  There are no additional HEFCE-derived supplementary funds (“CIF”) this year.

Priority may be given to proposals which can be considered strategic – that is, with cross-group and long-term benefit to the Department.

You are asked to confirm that where funds are awarded, you will be able to complete the purchase (including receipt of invoice) within six months of notification.

Applicants are asked to give an estimate of costs in the application form.  Successful applicants will then have to follow the normal purchasing rules as regards quotations and best value, before orders can be placed.


University News

Annual Travel Survey

The 2014 annual Travel to Work survey is now LIVE. Please take a few moments to complete the form to help the University to shape its travel policies and support.

Click on

As you may know, the University of Cambridge takes part in a staff Travel to Work survey each year. The results help the University to monitor trends in commuting patterns and make travel improvements to sites and buildings. We are interested  in how you commuted from 11–17 October. Please select ‘University of Cambridge’ as your employer.

Complete the survey before 31st October 2014 to be entered into our prize draw, with the possibility of winning an Amazon Kindle e-book reader or two free trips to London by train.


Cambridge Festival of Ideas

This October, the University Public Engagement team will present the seventh annual Festival of Ideas – a celebration of the arts, humanities, and social sciences. With hundreds of free debates, workshops, talks, exhibitions, and performances held over two weeks, we are thrilled that the Festival is now one of the most exciting and dynamic occasions in the Cambridge cultural calendar. The events feature academics from the University of Cambridge, as well as renowned guests, including Booker-Prize-winning author Ben Okri, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, award-winning comedian Bridget Christie, leading economist Ha-Joon Chang and author Alexander McCall Smith.

This year’s Festival will be taking place from 20 October – 2 November. Events will focus on the theme ‘Identities’, exploring the ways in which people understand, construct and express their identity. From a panel discussion on 21st century nationalism to a day of events celebrating the achievements of women, the Festival is guaranteed to have something for everyone! The Festival also includes a huge variety of free events aimed at younger audiences. 

Visit for more information, online booking, and to download the free Festival app.


Women of the World Festival - 26th October

The University has partnered with Southbank Centre London, to hold WOW Cambridge in October 2014 and March 2015 to bring together women and girls from across the community to participate and enjoy the WOW experience.

WOW - Women of the World is a festival of talks, debates, music, film, comedy, performance and conversation that celebrates the talents of women and girls from all walks of life and all parts of the world.

Where: Cambridge Junction, Clifton Way, Cambridge CB1 7GX

When: Sunday, 26th October

Time: 10.30am-8.30pm


Tickets: £5 (£3 concessions)

For more information and full programme details please visit the WOW Cambridge website

Supervising Undergraduates: An Introduction

Monday 3rd November 2014, 1400 – 1630

King's College, Keynes Hall

Target audience:

Supervisors of undergraduate students


Please visit the link below for further details:


Places still available on PPD Courses

Supervising Undergraduates: An Introduction
Monday 3rd November 2014, 1400 – 1630
King's College, Keynes Hall

Target audience: Supervisors of undergraduate students.

Please visit the link below for further details:

Teaching Students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (Such as Asperger's Syndrome): Briefing
Thursday 6th November 2014 ,1245 – 1400
Disability Resource Centre, Bridget's Meeting Room

Target audience: University staff, College staff, Non-University Teaching Institutions staff, Students, Affiliated lecturers

Please visit the link below for further details:


RNA Sequencing seminar series

Cambridge Genomic Services is organising an RNA Sequencing seminar series with Illumina, presenting how sequencing solutions can be integrated into transcriptomic research (including library preparation options and data analysis).

The second in the series will focus on library prep options for RNA-Seq (coding, noncoding) including QC & troubleshooting, and other aspects of the experimental design such as read depth and read length.

When: 3rd November, 11.00 am
Where: Department of Pathology, seminar room

Please contact Emily Clemente ( if you would like to attend.


Public Engagement training opportunities

Workshop on Public Engagement and Animal Research: dispelling myths, being open.

Time: 2pm – 4.30pm
Date: Tuesday 11 November 2014
Venue: Lecture room 1, Mill Lane Lecture rooms, 8 Mill Lane, Cambridge

Description: This workshop, led by Dr Bella Williams, Head of Engagement at Understanding Animal Research, outlines the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research and provides advice and practical information on how best to talk about the use of animals in your research including how best to deal with difficult questions from the public, the media and campaigners.

Open to: Research staff and students (30 places)
Book online


Your research message

Time: 2pm – 4.30pm
Thursday 20 November 2014
Seminar room 5, Mill Lane Lecture rooms, 8 Mill Lane, Cambridge

Description: Your research message explores how research ideas can be translated and discussed in the public domain, using storytelling as one tool for organising a structured research narrative.

The workshop helps participants identify practical ways for developing their research message, and shows them how to use communication skills effectively.

Open to: Research staff and students (25 places)
Book online at


Communicating Creatively: Public Engagement through Poetry

Time: 2pm – 4pm
: Tuesday 25 November 2014
: Scott Polar Research Institute

Description: As part of The Polar Museum’s project, The Polar Muse, we are offering a unique opportunity to learn the skills to communicate your academic discipline to new audiences in a creative and interactive way. Working with the collection at The Polar Museum, you will get the chance to learn how to use writing exercises to engage a different audience, use objects and artifacts to entice participants in an activity and develop the skills to communicate your subject through poetry. This session is interdisciplinary and we welcome people from the sciences, arts and humanities. The session will be led by a local published poet and a science communicator based at The Polar Museum.

Open to: undergraduates, research staff and research students (15 places)
Book online by contacting
: and include a very brief description of your research.


Your research video

Time: 10am – 5pm
: Friday 5 December
: Phoenix 2 Training Room, New Museums Site

Description: Your research video is a one day course which teaches researchers the skills required to make a short film. The course shows how very low-budget short films can create excitement and generate discussion about research. Participants will explore filmmaking techniques and plan, film and edit footage to give them the skills to produce a short film.

Open to: Research staff and students (15 places)
Book online at


Other opportunities

We are looking for Cambridge scientists who like novels, short stories or poetry and who would be happy to talk about their reading on camera, as part of a series of short films (1 or 2 mins max) for the University website. In particular, we’d like to know if reading (or even a specific book) had any influence on your choice of career, or whether it impacts on your current practice.

This idea has been inspired by the work done a couple of years ago by of one of our English Faculty members, Sarah Dillon, who interviewed scientists in Scotland about their reading habits:

If you’re interested in taking part, please contact Jessica Penrose in the Communications Office on  or (7)48174


Cambridge University Assistants’ Contributory Pension Scheme Annual Members’ Meeting

The annual meeting of the Members of the Cambridge University Assistants’ Contributory Pension Scheme has been arranged for Friday 5 December 2014 at 12.30pm in Mill Lane Lecture Room 3 and will last for approximately one hour.

Any members of the Scheme who wish to attend this meeting are encouraged to do so.


Cambridge Experimental and Behavioural Economics Group

Who is CEBEG?

CEBEG is a research group established to facilitate and advance experimental research in economics, psychology and management at the University of Cambridge.

What do we do?

CEBEG carries out a number of exciting experiments throughout the year and we always need new volunteers. It is not only fun and a good learning experience to participate in experiments, you also get an average pay of £10 per hour. In some experiments, we also use ‘real monetary incentive’ which means you will be paid for your performance.

We also have some exciting news as the Experimental Lab now has a new home on the first floor at 10 Trumpington Street – just a few doors down from the Cambridge Judge Business School. This new lab will allow us to run lots of studies throughout the year and we hope you will be able to take part in them. Without participants to take part in the studies, the lab would not be able to run so we really appreciate your time when you come in to take part.

Who can take part?

Anyone can register to participate in experiments. When you register the relevant information will be gathered to help the team recruit suitable individuals for each of the experiments being carried out. CEBEG uses the Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments (ORSEE) to manage registrations for experiments. Register to take part via ORSEE through the following link:

Once registered, you will be added to a mailing list of people happy to receive emails inviting them to take part in experiments. If you have any questions about the lab or taking part in experiments please email or visit our website

We look forward to seeing you at one of our experiments soon!


Amphibian Conservation Research Symposium

The 4th annual Amphibian Conservation Research Symposium will be held at the University of Cambridge on 11–12 April, 2015. The conference brings together amphibian conservation researchers across the United Kingdom and beyond to discuss their research in a highly supportive and collaborative environment. 

They are currently looking for enthusiastic, well-organised people who are interested in any aspect of amphibian conservation to join the Organising Team for ACRS 2015. Along with the expected responsibilities associated with organising any conference, team members will also enjoy the benefits of connecting with leaders of the amphibian conservation community while also gaining an impressive line on their CV. 

Please contact Collin VanBuren: