London, United Kingdom

University of East London

www.uel.ac.uk
London, United Kingdom

The University of East London is a newly established public university in the London Borough of Newham, London, England, based at three campuses in Stratford and Docklands, following the opening of University Square Stratford in September 2013. The university can trace its roots back to 1892, gaining university status in 1992. It has more than 28,000 students from 120 countries. Wikipedia.

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News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

School-aged children can be taught to better their mental health through intervention programmes delivered at school, suggests a new study carried out in east London and led by an academic at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, investigated whether a new psychological programme, which was integrated into the school curriculum could promote resilience - the ability to recover after setbacks - and prevent depression in 11-12 year old girls. It found that children who received the new programme called SPARK increased significantly in their self-reported resilience, and their depression symptoms decreased right after the programme. "This research shows that it is possible to promote psychological well-being in middle childhood through an integrated school-based intervention programme informed by concepts of positive psychology and cognitive behavioural therapy," said first author Dr Michael Pluess from QMUL's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, who led the research while previously based at University of East London. The study was conducted from 2010 to 2011 in a secondary girls-only state school in East London. Almost 400 girls participated in the research, reporting on their resilience and depression symptoms throughout the study. Developed specifically for deprived neighbourhoods, the SPARK Resilience Programme is based on established methods of cognitive behavioural therapy and concepts from the field of positive psychology. It provides students with tools to identify stressful situations, evaluate automatic responses and learn to control negative behavioural reactions. "Rather than focusing on preventing psychological problems in a few students, this programme aims at strengthening the psychological resilience of all children," said Dr Pluess. Organised around the SPARK acronym, the programme teaches children to break down their responses to stressful situations into five components: Situation, Perception, Autopilot, Reaction and Knowledge. To help students understand these, the programme uses the metaphor of "parrots of perception", which represent common negative thoughts or ways that our mind convinces us of things that are not really true. The students are taught to challenge their interpretation of adverse situations and consider other alternatives by putting their parrots "on trial". The programme also introduces children to the skills of assertiveness and problem solving, and helps them build their "resilience muscles" through identifying their strengths, social support networks, sources of positive emotions and reflection on previous experiences of resilience and self-efficacy. The researchers found that 12 months after the programme, depression symptoms were back to the levels before the intervention, which suggests that children may need booster sessions after 12 months in addition to the initial programme. "Our results suggest that it is important to repeat the content of the programme throughout the school year given that some of the positive treatment effects appeared to fade out after six months," he added. The team say that while more research is needed to investigate the positive effects of such interventions, their results show that short interventions such as the SPARK Resilience Programme can have positive effects for the well-being and mental health of children. The development and delivery of the SPARK programme was funded by the Newham Council.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: EE-08-2014 | Award Amount: 1.53M | Year: 2015

The EURECA project tackles the lack of knowledge and awareness of how to identify and procure environmentally sound and greener data centres. The work will encompass solutions for pre-commercial procurement (PCP) and procurement of innovative solutions (PPI). This will be achieved by consolidating recognised and emerging benchmark criteria into an easy-to-use tool that can be deployed by non-experts. EURECA will recommend an improvement roadmap indicating the procurement options(s) to reduce energy consumption, make efficiencies and minimise the environmental footprint. Key criteria will be presenting the Cost-Benefit analysis, covering the life cycle of the datacentre and the environmental impact. The project will strengthen business cases by presenting training and advisory resources on how to establish the options with both technical and commercially neutral information, without prejudice. These options include, as appropriate, to perform detailed studies on investing in existing staff, refitting facilities, consolidation actions, new builds, or outsourcing or specific combinations or subsets of these. The resources include RFI, ITT or RFP templates, technical & environmental data directories and a case study catalogue, structured along the procurement workflow. The ultimate goal is to enable procurement teams to choose environmentally sound buying options whilst producing true and robust cost-benefit visibility to enable successful triggering of tenders. To ensure efficient use of the projects developments, we will deliver a coherent set of targeted and efficient training components, developed throughout the project that supports the use of the EURECA tool and its resources. The consortiums existing comprehensive liaisons to European and international standards committees and industry groups will ensure the EURECA programme is a living resource that is sustainable, interactive and able to reflect the latest developments.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH.2011.4.2-1 | Award Amount: 8.99M | Year: 2012

In order to gauge its significance, conceptual change in the study of borders must be seen in relation to fundamental social, economic and geopolitical transformations that have taken place in the past decades. In addition, major paradigmatic shifts in scientific debate, and in the social sciences in particular, must also be considered. Recognising the close interrelationships between social change and paradigm shifts, the EUBORDERSCAPES project will analyse the evolving concept of borders in terms of a mutually linked emergence of post-national, post-colonial, post-modernist and post-Communist strands of inquiry. State borders are the frame of reference, rather than ethnographic/anthropological boundaries. However, this approach emphasises the social significance and subjectivities of state borders while critically interrogating objective categories of state territoriality and international relations. The research proposed here will, furthermore, not only be focused at the more general, at times highly abstract, level of conceptual change. This approach will also allow us to compare and contrast how different and often contested conceptualisations of state borders (in terms of their political, social, cultural and symbolic significance) resonate in concrete contexts at the level of everyday life.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: KBBE.2013.2.3-02 | Award Amount: 4.46M | Year: 2013

The TRADEIT project is a multidisciplinary, multi-sectorial collaborative project supporting a Network of Traditional Food SMEs and Food Researchers in the areas of Collaboration, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Knowledge and Technology Transfer to increase the competitiveness and inter-regional advantage of Traditional Food Producing SMEs. This will be achieved through focused regional coordination and support activities and events facilitated by the establishment of 9 Regional Traditional Food Knowledge and Technology Transfer Hubs. Each Hub will host a TRADEIT stakeholder sub-network (defined by region, language and/or food group), the members of which will benefit from a suite of knowledge and technology offerings over the course of the project. Food researchers from across Europe will be provided with the opportunity to attend the TRADEIT Entrepreneurial Summer School in which an entrepreneurial skillset will be developed to facilitate future R&D&I Enterprise and Commercialisation activities. The regional focus of the project will be further developed in the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda which will promote regional R&D&I for pan-European benefit. The TRADEIT project aligns with, and contributes to, the goals and objective of a number of EU Initiatives, Strategies and Policies including Europe 2020 the Innovation Union Flagship Initiative, Horizon 2020, Cohesion Policy in particular Smart Specialisation Innovating for Sustainable Growth: a Bio-economy for Europe and Food Law Regulation


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2014 | Award Amount: 571.50K | Year: 2015

DiasporaLink is a 4-year exchange program between 24 universities and research institutes representing EU, the Americas, Africa and Australia and will investigate, evaluate and facilitate transnational diaspora entrepreneurship, TDE as driver of development and wealth creation in countries of origin and residence. The partners in DiasporaLink have together a unique possibility to have a substantial impact on a global, European and national level targeting different groups and stakeholders: The international research community Institutions and policy makers in the social, economic and development field Diaspora organizations and communities Media and press This is underlined by the specific network of the partners GEM Global Entrepreneurship Monitor IMISCOE International Migration, Integration, Social Cohesion International Council for Small Businesses Swedish TDE network Core tasks are: Structure research on diaspora cross-border entrepreneurship in migration corridors Create awareness among policy and decision makers of the potential of TDE through publications and a web-site Build a IT-curricula for transnational entrepreneurship within and outside the universities Build an ICT-platform for internal communication and for transnational team building The exchange of staff is built around research in common WPs and around regular and touring workshops both internal and external. The objective is to create a global, extended university network with the mission to monitor the entrepreneurship in migration corridors, define obstacles and support the corridor stakeholders with information and tuition. Essential is close contacts with diaspora entrepreneurs and diaspora organizations are systematically approached through workshops and media, for involving diaspora organizations as active partners.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.1.5 | Award Amount: 4.58M | Year: 2013

Traditional security solutions based on custom hardware like smart cards, set-top boxes, and dongles, are not convenient on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Software protection is therefore utterly important; it can be a maker and breaker in domains like multi-screen mobile TV, software licensing, and credentials and sensitive data stored on mobile devices. However, current software protection techniques are incredibly hard to deploy. Moreover, they cost too much and limit innovation. Therefore many stakeholders in mobile devices need more trustworthy, cheaper software security solutions and more value for the money they spend on security.\nIn this project, three market leaders in security ICT solutions and four academic institutions join forces to protect the assets of service, software and content providers. From their perspective, mobile devices and their users, which can engage in so-called Man-At-The-End (MATE) attacks, are not trustworthy.\nOur goal is to establish trustworthy software execution on untrusted mobile platforms that have a persistent or occasional network connection to a trusted entity at their disposal. With the ASPIRE solutions, we want mobile software security to become (1) trustworthy by leveraging on the available network connection and developing a layered security approach of strong protections; (2) measurable by developing practical metrics based on validated attack and protection models; (3) cheaper by integrating support for the protections into an industrial-strength ASPIRE Framework; (4) more valuable by enabling shorter time-to-markets; and (5) more productive by being more widely applicable.\nTo provide software protection that is equally strong as the existing hardware-based protection, we will develop software protection techniques along five mutually strengthening lines of defense: data hiding, algorithm hiding, anti-tampering, remote attestation, and renewability. We will integrate compiler support for all lines of defense into the framework to enable service, software and content providers to automatically protect the assets in their mobile apps with the most appropriate local and network-based protection techniques. A decision support system will assist non-security-expert software developers to tune the tool chain for their assets and protection needs. This decision support system will reduce their time-to-market and lower their market entry ticket price. Research into appropriate models and metrics, as well in a protection evaluation methodology will support the systems design and development.\nWe will demonstrate and validate the developed technology on three real-world use cases from the industrial partners in the mentioned domains, and in a public challenge. Whereas Europe currently leads in hardware protection, the ASPIRE project will allow it to remain competitive in the rapidly growing global mobile economy and society by allowing its mobile service providers to embrace software protection.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: REGIONS-2012-2013-1 | Award Amount: 1.89M | Year: 2013

Data centres are the cornerstones which underpin the digital economy, and create the essential environment for both business and employment to flourish. It is becoming urgent for established data centre states to contribute to R&D, share and develop skills, define standards and promote strategies for network investment. All of these activities will lead to increased trust of new technology such as cloud computing and encourage collaboration and interoperability. EU states with a less established data centre industry and footprint, but with a need for it to grow can benefit greatly from the knowledge transfer, insight, experience and raised profile. Initial research and workshops held between industry leaders and academic institutions within UK, The Netherlands and Germany has confirmed that Europe would benefit greatly from the creation of a Pan-European Data Centre Research and Development Academy. Most data centre related standards, guidelines and research comes from the USA which often causes a confusing mix of conflicting information with little relevance to Europe. Therefore, many new innovations that promote energy efficiency and general improvements are misinterpreted, not taken up or developed. This is due to a perceived risk factor due to lack of testing, validation and education. The vision, which is shared by the vast majority of the data centre sector, is to build upon existing collaboration within the data centre industry via the DCA. The foundations of such a initiative and broad agreement has already been reached. The proposal is to establish and extend the facility to all European Union states encompassing both higher education and the wider data centre industry. This is in order to meet the challenges laid out within the Europes Digital Agenda.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: ICT-20-2015 | Award Amount: 7.62M | Year: 2016

The MaTHiSiS learning vision is to provide a product-system for vocational training and mainstream education for both individuals with an intellectual disablity and non-diagnosed ones. This product-system consists of an integrated platform, along with a set of re-usable learning components (educational material, digital educational artefacts etc.), which will respond to the needs of a future educational framework, as drawn by the call, and provide capabilities for: i) adaptive learning, ii) automatic feedback, iii) automatic assessment of learners progress and behavioural state, iv) affective learning and v) game-based learning. To achieve these educational innovative goals, the MaTHiSiS project will introduce a novel methodology in the education process. The so-called learning graphs which, acting as a novel educational structural tool and associated with specific learning goals, will foster novel ways to guide how the different learning material and artefacts can be deployed throughout a prespecified learning scenario. The building materials of these graphs are drawn from a set of Smart Learning Atoms (SLAs) which will constitute the vertices of the graphs. SLAs are learning elements that carry stand-alone pieces of learning materials, targeting certain problems. More than one SLAs, working together on the same graph, will be able to help individuals reach their learning/training goals. The learning goals as well as the SLAs involved will be decided and pre-agreed based on common practices, goals derived from formal and non-formal education (general education, vocational training, lifelong training or specific skills learning) as well as learners own goals (so as to equally serve in-formal education contexts).


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: ESRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 148.69K | Year: 2016

Stress energizes learning. The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), which is the pattern of nerves running through the body that enacts the bodys stress response, acts to maintain a state of anticipatory readiness - one in which we are alert and ready to receive new information. Information presented during this alert state is subsequently better retained. For my recent research, hosted at the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, I have been leading a small research unit to study stress and learning in typical, middle-class young children. Our research has focused on exploring these good aspects of stress. We have shown, for the first time, that children who show a larger spontaneous response to an experimentally presented stressor are also better at learning pictures of other childrens faces. Using new, advanced analytical techniques based on time-series analyses, we have also shown that children who show more spontaneous, sudden fluctuations in stress levels show better learning. However, there is also a down-side to stress. This is shown most markedly in individuals from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds. A number of recent studies have concluded that the associations widely observed between low SES and poor academic performance may be entirely attributable to the fact that individuals from low SES backgrounds tend to experience more frequent, and intense, stressful early life events. Although the exact mechanisms are unknown, it is thought that increased stress during early life associates with a poorer ability to concentrate, and therefore to learn. So how to reconcile these good and bad aspects of stress during early development? Understanding this question is vital - both for understanding the mechanisms that disrupt early learning in high-risk individuals, and for developing new techniques to improve learning across all children. Yet remarkably little previous research has recorded whether different individuals are exposed to different levels of external, environmental noise during early development - nor investigated how these associate with differences in their internal stress reactivity. Under this Fellowship, I would use recently developed technologies to do this for the first time. To address these questions, I shall take a cohort of infants from mixed socio-economic status backgrounds, recruited at birth in East London, and quantitatively track how attention, learning, ANS activity and external environmental stressors vary during early life. Using cutting-edge new technologies I shall examine whether children differ in the total amount of environmental noise to which they are exposed - and whether relationships can be found between how much noise and individual is exposed to, and how well they perform on attention and learning. To mentor me on this project I have been fortunate to secure the support of three leading international scientists. Professor Cynthia Fu, based at the University of East London, will assist me in setting up the recruitment of children from mixed SES backgrounds. Professor John Duncan, in Cambridge, is an internationally renowned expert on attention, and will advise me on the cognitive and analytical aspects of the project. Professor Mark Johnson, at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, is an expert on understanding early typical and atypical development, including the early development of Autism and Attention Deficit Disorder, and will advise me on potential links to clinical populations. The proposal also includes a visit to the lab of Dr Ronny Geva, in Israel, to learn new techniques for measuring early stress from experts in her lab.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 24.60K | Year: 2016

The central aim of the network project is to facilitate collaboration between academics and industry professionals to explore branded content practices and their media policy implications. This will be the first interdisciplinary network of UK scholars investigating the intersections of media and digital advertising. This network will also aid the advancement of broader networking amongst academics studying media and advertising, and between academics, industry practitioners and policy networks. Across digital media new forms of integrated advertising are developing rapidly. Branded content is occurring in different forms across news media, entertainment and social media. Emergent forms include paid content in news and native advertising which is an online variant of advertorials, where advertisements follow the form and user experience associated with the context in which they are placed. In entertainment media, marketing integration includes advertiser-financed television, product placement, virtual advertising and advergames. Boundaries between media and advertising are being tested, crossed and erased. The emergence of new forms of integrated advertising raise a host of issues ranging from consumer awareness and acceptance, to editorial independence and creative autonomy. Branded content is both an economic and cultural phenomena that requires cross-disciplinary resources and new approaches in analysis. Assessing the impact and policy implications of these practices requires a better understanding of the cultural forms, working arrangements and practices that are developing amongst producers and users and the attitudes of various practitioners, publics and stakeholders. Fast-evolving practices of media-marketing integration require research to inform debate on the values and objectives for public policy and the suitability of different forms of governance. Studying these phenomena requires political economic, legal and policy analysis as well as historical, cultural and social enquiry. The network activities therefore engage concerns at the intersection of the ESRC and AHRC. Much industry discussion focuses on the most effective ways to develop branded content amidst efforts to secure the support of politicians, regulators and key publics. However, these practices face opposition and have provoked controversies such as those surrounding the development of Facebooks Sponsored Stories, Twitters Promoted Tweets, Yahoos Stream Ads. The relaxation of rules to permit product placement in television has generated on-going controversy and debate. UK media governance has historically benefitted from clear demarcation between marketers sponsored content and the medias own editorial content. The evolving forms of branded content online have intensified challenges to the separation of editorial and advertising that were already being felt across print and television. Most of the discussion of branded content to date has occurred within the work of industry practitioners and specialist media, with limited discussion in general media. However issues surrounding branded content engage the concerns of a much wider range of civil society organizations that include trade unions, consumer groups and cultural organisations. This network will help to promote knowledge exchange across a very wide range of interests and perspectives. The project will comprise seminars bringing together academics, industry practitioners and other stakeholders, parliamentary and public meetings. A dedicated website will be created to support research and network activities, and there will be themed series of articles published in the online journal openDemocracy as well as reports, briefings and academic publications to build knowledge, share perspectives and promote collaboration amongst key stakeholder groups interested in the implications for practitioners, researchers and policy-makers.

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