UEL College Applied Health & Communities Seminar Series: 23rd January 2019

Date:  23rd January 2019

Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm

Venue: CW.2.69, Stratford

Targeting Antimicrobial Resistance

Dr. Mukhlesur Rahman, Senior Lecturer, School of Health, Sports and Bioscience, University of East London


Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a serious and complex problem for today’s healthcare system. Although numerous antibiotics have been discovered since the discovery of Penicillin, microorganisms are becoming increasingly resilient to these. AMR infections currently claim at least 50,000 lives each year across Europe and the US alone. The situation in developing countries like India, Bangladesh and Nigeria is even worse because of self-medication and irrational uses of antibiotics. If no action is taken, it is predicted that AMR will be the leading healthcare problem counting in excess of 10 million deaths per year by 2050.

The disastrous issue of AMR has been debated in the UK parliament which led to the development of a policy- ‘UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2013-18’. Optimizing prescribing practice and development of new drugs are emphasized among 7 key areas for future actions to control AMR. The World Health Organization has emphasized the use of indigenous medicinal plants to treat various diseases including infections. It is necessary to focus on medicinal plants that have been used for centuries in Ayurveda and Unani, Chinese herbal medicine to explore the key chemical compounds that are responsible for the potential antimicrobial activity.

So, in order to combat AMR, it is no doubt important to carry research covering two main areas- (i) raising public awareness on the brutality of AMR and irrational uses of antibiotics and (ii) systematic drug discovery approach for new antimicrobial agents. Whilst the first part could be achieved by conducting surveys, the scientific part require focus on the characterization of antimicrobial compounds from the traditional herbs or soil microbes in tackling AMR which is expected to have significant long-term positive impact on healthcare.


Mukhlesur Rahman is a Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Science and Programme Leader for Pharmaceutical Science at UEL. Dr Rahman completed Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) and Master of Pharmacy from the University of Dhaka with first class in both programmes. He obtained PhD in Natural Product Chemistry from the University of Strathclyde. His research is focused on the bioassay guided isolation and identification of secondary metabolites from natural sources. Mukhlesur worked at Organon (Bangladesh) Ltd, University of Rajshahi, UCL School of Pharmacy and Novacta Biosystem before taking up the position at UEL in 2011.

Dr Rahman is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), member of Royal Society of Biology (MRSB), American Society of Pharmacognosy, International Society of Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemical Society of Europe and Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Great Britain. He is deputy chair of the Natural Products focus group at the Academy of the Pharmaceutical Science of Great Britain (APSGB).

Dr Rahman’s main research area is natural product chemistry with particular focus on anti-infective drug discovery. His research interests includes bioassay directed isolation, purification and identification of antibacterial metabolites from medicinal plants and microbes as well as the synthesis of their analogues to fit them for SAR study. Dr Rahman has been working on numerous medicinal plants from different parts of the world for the isolation and characterization of bio-active metabolites from a variety of structural classes including anti-MRSA compounds and efflux pump inhibitors (EPIs). In order to confirm the structures of the compounds of natural products, Dr Rahman exploits high field NMR (both 1D and 2D) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. He has published 84 articles in peer review journals and attended several international conferences in UK, USA, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Bangladesh and India as invited speaker. He supervised two Postdoctoral Research Fellows and five Commonwealth Professional fellows at UEL investigating the isolation and identification of bioactive compounds from medicinal plants and mushrooms. He is currently supervising PhD and MRes students which are focused on the characterization of anti-infective secondary metabolites from medicinal plants and soil microbes. He has received external grants from the Commonwealth Commission, Newton-Bhabha fund, British Council and Royal Society of Chemistry.

Session Chair:  Professor Olivia Corcoran, School of Health, Sports and Bioscience

Details are also in the Psychology Sharepoint calendar: https://uelac.sharepoint.com/Psychology/Lists/Psychology%20Calendar/calendar.aspx

All sudents and staff are welcome. There is no need to rsvp.

We will also try to record the talk (if the presenter gives us permission) and it will be available on Moodle on the Psychology noticeboard. Here’s a link to previous talks and where this talk will be:


For any queries about the recording, please follow up with our Chief Technician, Kevin Head.

Future of social science – insights, opportunities and expectations

Research funding is going through a period of rapid change, including the introduction of a number of significant new research funds. The content in this section provides information on these changes and the funding opportunities for social science research to make a contribution to society. It is designed to help you navigate new UKRI funding streams and explain how you can get involved with them. 

There are a number of large UKRI funds that offer significant opportunities for social science. These opportunities often have relatively short deadlines and may require researchers to work in new and agile ways. It’s vital that the social science community is ready to respond effectively when relevant opportunities are announced.

There are high expectations for what social science can contribute to our prosperity, security and wellbeing as part of delivering UKRI’s vision. Our Executive Chair, Jennifer Rubin, provides some further information on this: 

Changing context

Changes to the funding landscape, with the addition of new funds, are providing valuable new opportunities for social science research. It’s vital that social scientists have a good understanding of these changes so that they can exploit new opportunities as they arise.

Strategic developments

There are a number of ESRC strategic developments that help underpin their capability and funding. Current strategic developments include:

Specific opportunities

Find out about specific UKRI funds and how you can apply for them:

ESRC will also continue to provide funding opportunities through their core funding initiatives: 

Grantcraft One to One Surgeries: 10th January 2019, Stratford Campus

Grantcraft One-to-One Surgeries

Date: 10th January 2019

Location: UH.2.41 Stratford Campus

These one-to-one surgeries are an opportunity for you to discuss your research ideas and begin to shape them into a proposal aimed at a specific funder.

Grantcraft have been contracted by the university to work closely with Research Development Support (ReDS) to offer specialist, personalised support for grant writing and strategic bid development.

About Grantcraft – “Grantcraft are a specialist consultancy with 25 years of experience working in “the Business of Research”. Our team work with academics from institutions across Europe and the UK, writing, optimising, and supporting funding applications. Our tailored support approach is specifically designed to meet the needs of our academic partners in order to make their applications more competitive, as evidenced by our average success rate of between 1 in 2 and 1 in 3 across all funding bodies.”

Before booking a place, please ensure you have discussed your suitability for one of these sessions with your Director of Research.

Please also note that if the session you would like to attend is already booked, you will automatically be added to the waitlist. If there is a cancellation, you will be notified by email. If you do not have a confirmed booking you will not be seen.

Bookings can be made via this link: https://uel.libcal.com/calendar/ResearchEnterprise/?cid=7090&t=d&d=0000-00-00&cal=7090#

For information on future ReDS programmes including upcoming schedule Grantcraft workshops, please visit our intranet page

Update from MRC: Changes to NHS Research costs

The Department of Health and NIHR have introduced a new attribution tool called the Schedule of Events Attribution Tool (SoECAT) which will now be mandatory for any researcher wishing to access resources within the NHS for their study. The Pilot stage for the project began on 1st October 2018 and there are three main changes;

1.  Any researcher applying to a funding call that opened from 1st October will be required to submit a SoECAT with their proposal or with their second stage proposal if applying to a 2-stage application process.

2.  All current research projects accessing resources within the NHS will be asked to migrate onto the new SoECAT system.

3.  A ‘high threshold’ is being introduced where the portion of NHS costs attributed to Excess Treatment Costs (ETC) will in future be reassessed for value to the NHS before these ETC are funded. This threshold is set at more than 1M per study or 20,000 per patient.

There are Acord specialists working within Local Clinical Research Networks (LCRN) who are available to assist researchers in completing the SoECAT. It is anticipated that these Acord specialists will be in high demand and while DH is training more Acord specialists and we advise that researchers wishing to access this resource do so early during preparation of their proposals.

During this Pilot stage we are working with DH and NIHR to devise appropriate ways of working for MRC applicants and will be able to update our Guidance for Applicants in early 2019. In the meantime, can we ask you to please cascade this information to any relevant researchers within your organisation who either have ongoing clinical projects or who may be planning to submit proposals to MRC or NIHR in the near future that require access to NHS resources

Next steps for researchers undertaking/planning to undertake clinical studies;

1.  Contact your Acord specialist within your LCRN for more information and to discuss completion of the SoECAT.

2.  While we are updating MRC guidance more information can be found here on NIHR web-site.


Reducing Parental Conflict Challenge Fund – Deadline 15th February 2019

As part of the Reducing Parental Conflict Programme, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is launching a £2.7m Reducing Parental Conflict Challenge Fund that will provide grant funding to innovative projects, to gather learning on what works to reduce parental conflict.

The RPC Challenge Fund will allocate grants through two strands:

  • A Digital Support for Families strand: £1.6m is available to provide grant funding to innovative projects that will test what works digitally to support and maintain engagement with disadvantaged families to reduce parental conflict.
  • A Support for Disadvantaged Families Strand:A further £1.1m is available to test what works to support disadvantaged families that are at greater risk of parental conflict, where there is limited existing evidence.

We expect the fund to be very competitive and only the strongest initiatives will be awarded grants.

Eligible bidders for these grant funding opportunities could include local authorities; digital organisations; organisations from the public and private sector; voluntary and community organisations; and social enterprises.

We welcome applications from partnerships which possess the relevant skills and experience.

Initiatives should be well planned and ready to start in April 2019 and be fully delivered by March 2020.

Digital support for families strand (£1.6m available)

Through the RPC Challenge Fund, by providing grant funding for digital innovation, we are seeking to enable more families that are experiencing parental conflict to self-identify and address the conflict they are experiencing earlier.

DWP will provide grant funding for innovative digital projects, to learn more about what engages parents online to help reduce parental conflict. Grant participants will be asked to develop support based on user need which targets digital support at those parents with low digital skills and who live in low income and workless households.

The Challenge Fund will invest in initiatives that best demonstrate how they will test and learn what is most effective in supporting parents to reduce the conflict in their relationship by:

  • placing material where disadvantaged families go on line
  • developing support material based on users’ needs
  • engaging and maintaining engagement

The Challenge Fund should avoid duplicating other online provision and will not fund the development of new apps or websites.

Applicants can be based anywhere in the United Kingdom, with services focused on people in England.

Support for Disadvantaged Families strand (£1.1m available)

Support for Disadvantaged Families initiatives will test and learn from new or emerging approaches to supporting disadvantaged families with an increased risk of parental conflict.

The RPC Challenge Fund will seek learning on what works to support disadvantaged families by funding innovation where there is little current evidence. For example, this might include innovation to promote better integration or join-up of local services, or targeted interventions for families. We are also interested in innovation which explores how supporting parents to reduce their conflict can reduce the number of parents going to court when they separate. As a key aim of this fund is to encourage innovation, we will not fund activity which is already taking place unless there is a strong case for doing so.

Applicants and activity must be based in England. In addition, DWP will only be able to fund projects under the disadvantaged families strand of the Challenge Fund in areas where we are not already funding interventions aimed at reducing parental conflict. This includes the 31 LA areas delivering evidence-based face-to-face interventions as part of the Reducing Parental Conflict Programme, and areas which have made successful bids under the joint DWP and DHSC Children of Alcohol-Dependent Parents Innovation Fund.

Further details on this call can be found at: http://www.reducingparentalconflictfund.co.uk/

If you have an interest in this opportunity please get in touch with the team at reds@uel.ac.uk

Independent Social Research Fund (ISRF) Competitions

ISRF Early Career Fellowship Competition (ECF5)

Launch: 7th January 2019
Deadline: 15th February 2019

The Independent Social Research Foundation wishes to support independent-minded researchers to explore and present original research ideas which take new approaches, and suggest new solutions, to real world social problems.The Foundation intends to make a small number of awards to support original interdisciplinary research, across the range of the social sciences, to be held from a start date no later than the end of December 2020. Scholars from within Europe are eligible to apply.

The award is intended to enable a scholar at the early-career stage to pursue his/her research full-time, for a period of up to 12 months; applications may be made by those whose sole or principal post is a part-time equivalent. The amount will be offered to buy out the costs of replacing all teaching and associated administration in the applicant’s home institution, and will be considered to a maximum of£50,000* per successful applicant. Within that sum,reasonable support for research expenses may be considered on a matched-funding basis with the host institution.

The applicant should normally hold a salaried position at an institution of higher education and research, and be within 10 years of PhD award. Career breaks may be taken into account.

Applicants should consult the Criteria as set out on the ISRF website and show that they meet them. Applicants should follow the Application procedure and should present their Proposal in the format specified there.

ISRF Essay Prize in Interdisciplinarity

Deadline: 31st December 2018

The Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) intends to award research funding of €5,000 for the best essay on the topic ‘Interdisciplinarity: The new orthodoxy?’ This is a topic, not a title. Accordingly, authors are free to choose an essay title within this field.Submissions are invited on the theme ‘Interdisciplinarity: the new orthodoxy?’ Essays may address any topic, problem or critical issue around or on this theme. The successful essay will be intellectually radical and articulate a strong internal critique of existing views. Writers should bear in mind that the ISRF is interested in original research ideas that take new approaches and suggest new solutions to real world social problems.

The winning author will be awarded a prize of €5,000 in the form of a grant for research purposes. It is intended that this award would be made to the author’s home institution,although alternative arrangements may be considered for Independent Scholars.

The winner will be able to visit The Conversation UK for a day, see how the news site operates behind the scenes and spend some one-on-one time with Josephine Lethbridge, the ISRF-funded Interdisciplinary Editor, discussing their research, its potential news angles and how best to draft a pitch, with the potential of writing an article should an idea be agreed upon.

The submitted essays will be judged by an academic panel (the ISRF Essay Prize Committee). The panel’s decision will be final, and no assessments or comments will be made available. The ISRF reserves the right not to award the prize, and no award will be made if the submitted essays are of insufficient merit.

The winning essay, and any close runners-up, will be accepted for short format presentation at the 2019 ISRF Annual Workshop (expenses for attendance at which will be covered by the ISRF) and publication in the ISRF Bulletin; authors maybe asked to make some corrections before publication.

ISRF Political Economy Fellowship Competition (PERF3)

Launch: 7th January 2019
Deadline: 15th February 2019

The Independent Social Research Foundation wishes to support independent-minded researchers working in Political Economy, which the ISRF here extends to include the social scientific study of economies across the whole range of the social sciences. The work would be conceptually innovative, interdisciplinary, and unlikely to be funded by existing funding bodies.The Foundation intends to make a small number of awards to support independent-minded researchers working in Political Economy – which the ISRF here extends to include the social scientific study of economies across the whole range of the social sciences – to be held from a start date no later than the end of December 2020.Scholars from within Europe are eligible to apply.

The award is intended intended as providing full relief from all teaching duties and all associated academic administration, for a period of up to 12 months; applications may be made by those whose sole or principal post is a part-time equivalent. The amount will be offered to buy out the costs of replacing all teaching and associated administration in the applicant’s home institution,and will be considered to a maximum of £60,000* per successful applicant. Within that sum,reasonable support for research expenses may be considered on a matched-funding basis with the host institution.

The applicant should normally hold a salaried position at an institution of higher education and research.

Applicants should consult the Criteria as set out on the ISRF website and show that they meet them. Applicants should follow the Application procedure and should present their Proposal in the format specified there.

If you have an interest in applying for any of these schemes, please get in touch with reds@uel.ac.uk

Royal Academy of Engineering Industrial Fellowships: 4th February 2019

Applications for this scheme are now open. The deadline for all applications is 4 February 2019.

The Academy is pleased to announce that the Industrial Fellowships have undergone several important changes which give applicants additional flexibility in their fellowships. In addition to a 6-month fellowship route, applicants will now have the option to hold the Industrial Fellowship for up to 2 years’ full time. Applicants are encouraged to consider collaborations with companies of any size, including SMEs and medium-sized businesses.

The Industrial Fellowships provide an invaluable opportunity for early- to mid-career academics to undertake a collaborative research project in an industrial environment. This scheme aims to strengthen the strategic relationship between the university and the industry host by providing an opportunity to establish or enhance collaborative research between the two parties.

The Fellowship will facilitate knowledge transfer between industry and academia and will enable the awardee to gain first-hand experience of working in an industrial environment and knowledge of current industry practices, thereby enabling the secondee to improve the quality and industrial relevance of their teaching.

The scheme is open to engineers from all disciplines and provides funding to cover the salary cost of the applicant, paid pro-rata against the amount of time to be spent at the industry host. Awards can be held from three months to two years full-time or up to four years part-time.

Upon their return to the university, the awardee will use their industrial experience and knowledge of current industry practices to enhance both their teaching and student learning.  

The Academy will contribute up to a maximum of £50,000 towards the salary costs (excluding overheads) of the applicant paid pro-rata against the amount of time to be spent at the industry host.

For further details on this scheme please visit: https://www.raeng.org.uk/grants-and-prizes/support-for-research/industrial-fellowships

For UEL academic staff interested in applying to this scheme please contact reds@uel.ac.uk

The latest news, advice and funding opportunities from the University of East London's Research, Innovation and Enterprise Directorate.