Age Well 2015

Age Well went ahead as planned on Thursday the 10th September. This was the 6th annual event of its kind since it began in 2010. Once again, this year saw us move to a bigger venue as the event continues to grow in popularity with approximately 200 ‘delegates’ or attendees from the Birmingham 1000 Elders group –1000 Elders.

Age Well has become an annual public engagement event and is designed as a ‘thank you’ event in recognition of all the assistance the Birmingham 1000 Elders have provided over the course of the year in research studies, but also acts as an opportunity for researchers to communicate back to the Elders their latest research findings on how to age healthily.

Filming with the BBC

In the MRC-ARUK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research (CMAR) we all know the benefits of keeping active as we age, and on Sunday 27th of September we had the opportunity to play a major role in the filming of a new series of programmes about healthy ageing which will go out across the airwaves in the UK in the near future.  Star of the show and CMAR director, Professor Janet Lord had the pleasure of working alongside TV presenter Angela Rippon in Cannon Hill Park and a group of our local enthusiastic volunteers which included some of our Birmingham 1000 Elders cohort.

Angela Janet Camera 2

After a warm up delivered by Julie Robinson of Move it Or Lose it ( the volunteers were asked to perform a simple ‘sitting-rising test’.

Sit to Stand 1

Encouraged throughout by Angela Rippon and scored by Janet each person started with a total of 10 points. Points were then deducted for wobbles, loss of balance, and placing of hands or knees on the ground during the execution of the test, which is designed to be a simple, no frills measure of flexibility and strength and also a predictor of 6 year mortality (luckily nobody got a truly worrying score!).

Scoreboard original

Based on the results of this test a subset of the willing volunteers were selected to take part in a 10 week physical activity / training program designed for older adults and delivered by none other than Move it or Lose it director Julie Robinson. All recruits will be tested again at the end of the program to see how they have improved their scores – we can’t wait to see the results!

Find out how they got on by tuning into BBC1, the programme is scheduled to air in Spring 2016

CMAR members complete the Great North Run 2015 and raise money for arthritis research in the process

On the 13th of September,  12 members of the MRC-Arthritis Research UK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research (CMAR), ran the 13.1 miles of arguably the world’s greatest half marathon.  Starting in Newcastle upon Tyne the Great North Run route is lined with supporters all the way from the iconic Tyne Bridge, all the way out towards the coast (and finish line) in South Shields.

The centre team, comprising staff and students from the Universities of both Birmingham and Nottingham, were Janet Lord, Carolyn Greig, Phil Atherton, Beth Phillips, Matthew Brook, Andrew Murton, Jessica Cegielski, Joseph Bass, Colleen Dean, Francis Stephens, Aline Nixon, and Haitham Abdulla.

Running for Arthritis Research UK (Charity Registration No. 207711), the team managed to exceed their fundraising target of £4,500, it’s still not too late to donate to such an important and deserving cause – visit for more information.

JML and CAG GNR 2015

PhD Student shortlisted for the Max Perutz Prize

Max Perutz LogoCongratulations to Dan Craig a PhD Student in the Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research (CMAR), who is the author of one of Fourteen ‘outstanding’ articles (“Fighting flesh poverty: an apple a day?”) that have been shortlisted for this year’s Max Perutz Science Writing Award, the MRC’s annual writing competition.

The winner, who will receive a £1,500 prize, will be announced at the awards ceremony on 22 October at the Royal Institution, London. Their article will also be promoted on the BBC News website.

The Max Perutz Award, which is in its 18th year asks MRC-funded PhD students to write up to 800 words about their research and why it matters in a way that would interest a non-scientific audience.  Since the competition started in 1998, hundreds of researchers have submitted entries and taken their first steps in science communication.

Dan is mid-way through his MRC-funded PhD ‘Determining the muscle anabolic and anti-catabolic potential of Ursolic Acid in Ageing’ and is supervised by Dr Andrew Philp (University of Birmingham) and Dr Phil Atherton (University of Nottingham).

Max Perutz Science Writing Award

MAX PERUTZ_2015_logo
MRC’s Max Perutz Science Writing Award is currently underway. The award asks MRC-funded PhD students to write an 800-word article for a non-scientific audience, explaining why their research matters.

The winner will receive £1,500 of prize money and their article will be published on the BBC News website.

Application deadline is Wednesday 22nd of July, 2015

The Arts & Science Festival will return for 2016

Running Monday 14th – Sunday 20th March, the festival is a free programme of exhibitions, talks, performances, workshops and screenings open to staff, students, alumni and beyond.

The 2016 programming theme is Memory and Forgetting and we hope that this will be interpreted broadly. We’d like festival events to fit with the theme as much as possible, however events which do not link will still be considered for inclusion so please do forward your event ideas.

Call for proposals: ASE Annual Conference 2016 – Frontier Science Lecture series, University of Birmingham (7-9 January 2016)

In January 2016, the Association for Science Education will be returning to the University of Birmingham with this flagship science education conference that attracts over 2,500 participants from across the UK and beyond engaged in science teaching from Early Years to A-level.  A core part of the conference programme is the Frontier Science Lecture series. This is curated by the host University and aims to showcase research from all aspects of science to offer our audience of science teachers a chance to enhance their subject knowledge.

The proposal call is now open and you are strongly urged to take this major opportunity to promote your research to a large cohort of UK Science School teachers.  This may also be of interest to PhD students and/or research fellows.

Public engagement masterclass

Monday, July 27, 2015 – 9:00am to Wednesday, July 29, 2015 – 5:00pm
Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Cambridge

Application deadline: 1 June 2015

This new Wellcome Trust workshop is specifically aimed at newly independent and other mid-career researchers and will provide the opportunity to explore the role of engagement within your research and how you and your group can engage with people outside academia in an effective and rewarding way.

UoB Engineer wins national science communication competition!!

I have just won a fantastic outreach project called I’m an Engineer Get Me Out of Here (IAEGMOOH ) and I wanted to share my experiences with you all in the hopes of encouraging you to take part as well. IAEGMOOH is an online outreach activity where school students interact with engineers through live chats and an online forum where they can ask anything. In the second week students vote for their favourite engineer to win a £500 prize to continue communicating their work with public.