Posts By / David Biggins

BRIAN training on Wednesday 9th October – Are you attending?


If you would like to know more about BRIAN or the new staff profile pages, please check your diary to see if you can spare an hour on Wednesday.  We are running 4 sessions of 50 minutes duration, two at Lansdowne and two at Talbot.  We have computer rooms for all sessions so that you can work on your own profile during the training.

The Lansdowne sessions are being held in the EBC in EBG02 at 10:30 and 11:30.  We currently have 11 and 3 attendees respectively.

The Talbot sessions are being held in CG21 at 14:00 and 15:00.  We currently have 4 and 3 attendees respectively.

We recognise that not everyone is free to attend a session on a Wednesday so we will arrange more training if there is the demand.

If you would like to attend on Wednesday and have not already done so, please email to confirm your attendance.  The email tells us how many to expect and is not a pre-requisite for attendance. 

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday! 



New staff profile pages launched

We are pleased to announce that the new staff profile pages were deployed yesterday (Thursday). 

The profile pages have a fresh, professional appearance.


If you have a BRIAN profile and access to an external page, please have a look at your profile.

The easiest way to navigate to your profile is to open the application (or click on the ‘academic profile’ link from the intranet home page).  Next, click on ‘People’ in the page header and then on the start letter of your surname.  Finally, click on your name.  Your profile will then appear.  You can also search for your name. 

If you have any feedback on the new staff profile pages, please email us at

New staff profile pages will be released tomorrow

BRIANThe new staff profile page application is being transitioned into live operation during the morning tomorrow.  The new pages should be accessible by noon.

There is nothing BRIAN users need to do.  However, the staff profile pages draw most of their information from BRIAN so ensuring your BRIAN profile is up to date and you have populated the new fields, eg the research field, would be good preparation to ensure your new profile page looks great.

One area of the new profile pages that is still being worked on is the link to documents in BURO.  Documents that are available in BURO can still be accessed from the staff profile pages.  Our work is to remove the link to those documents that are no longer available in BURO.  This work should be complete next week and will mean that BURO document links will only be displayed for accessible files.

Please have a look at the new pages once they are live and let us know what you think by emailing

10 features of the new Staff Profile Pages you need to know

BRIANHere are the top 10 features of the new Staff Profile Pages (SPP) application that is to be released this week.

1.  Improved header information.  The header contains information on your title, job title and contact details.  This is always present at the top of every page.  Icons are also displayed to indicate the research themes to which you are linked and the keywords selected.  Social media and website links are also displayed.

2.  Improved searching.  Previously the search facility was quite poor.  Now, it is possible to search for partial matches for people’s name and publications.  In addition, SPP will prompt with ‘Did you mean?’ suggestions.  This is very useful where users are searching for staff but don’t quite enter the name correctly.

3.  Displaying favourites.  Within BRIAN you can highlight a publication (or grant) as a favourite.  This is achieved by clicking on the heart icon next to the item.  We suggest staff select a maximum of five favourites.  These items then appear on the home page of the SPP in chronological order.

4.  Displaying your current research activity.  We have just introduced to BRIAN the ability to record your current research activity.  If completed in BRIAN, this is displayed on the home page of SPP.  Having this information makes you profile feel contemporary and up to date so we encourage your to complete this area within the Professional Activities area of BRIAN.

5.  Immediate profile refresh.  The frustration that changes in BRIAN cannot be viewed in the profile page until the next day has been removed by the ability to refresh a page immediately in SPP.  There is a small area at the base of the SPP pages which tells you when the page was last refreshed and, by clicking on the icon, allows you to refresh the page.  This means that any changes you make in BRIAN are immediately visible so that you can see how the change looks.

6.  Browse by research theme or keyword.  You can click on a research theme or keyword and see all the people who have that association.  To make this feature useful, please ensure your RTs and keywords are up to date.

7.  Existing links to your page continue to work.  While the application has changed, people who have bookmarked the URL for your profle can lick on this old link to access your new profile.

8.  Two-way link with PhD students.  The method of linking to PhD students is much improved with the ability to hyperlink from a supervisor to the student and from the student back to the supervisor(s).  To achieve this, it is necessary to enter the student’s username when adding a PhD student to BRIAN.

9.  Improved scrolling.  Where there are many publications to display, the header is always visible on the screen so that the user knows which section is being viewed.  It also allows the user to easily switch section without scrolling.  Also, at the bottom of the screen, there is a button that returns the user to the top of the screen.

10.  Publication format.  The format for publications conforms to the BU standard.

While these 10 features of SPP are great, some of them (items 1, 3, 4, 6 & 8 ) require you to enter the information into BRIAN.  To a large extent, the SPP pages will only be a good as the underlying information in BRIAN so please spare a few minutes to update your BRIAN profile, add a recent picture etc.

BRIAN training sessions in October

BRIANWith new academics, a new version BRIAN and the new Staff Profile Pages (SPP), it is a good time to invite you to a 1 hour training session on BRIAN and SPP on Wed 9 October 13.  The session is suitable for new and more experienced users.

We are hosting 4 sessions, 2 at each campus:

Lansdowne: 10:30 and 11:30 in EBG02

Talbot: 14:00 and 15:00 in CG21

If you would like to attend and have not already indicated this, please send an email to with your preference.

If you cannot attend these sessions, don’t worry, we will arrange more sessions in the future as required.

In the interim don’t forget there is online documentation for the new BRIAN version.

Already know BRIAN well?

If you have a good knowledge of BRIAN, please consider becoming a local expert so that you can offer help and assistance to colleagues with queries about BRIAN.  We are looking for a representative in each school to act as a local point of contact.  If this is something that appeals to you, please contact us at



Coming soon – new staff profile pages

BRIANWe are pleased to be able to announce that the new staff profile application should be released next week.

There are staff profile pages for all academic staff and some other staff including a number of PGRs.  The staff profile pages are the method we use to expose information from your BRIAN profile to the wider world.  As such it is an important platform to explain who you are, what you have done and what you are currently working on.

The current staff profile page application has been problematic.  The chief complaint has been that some publications do not appear in the profile and those that do are sometimes not correctly categorised.

We have worked with the development team in IT to create a new application that remedies these faults and also provides pages that look crisp and professional.

There are many benefits from the new pages.  For example, the pages allow for much improved searching including partial matches and ‘did you mean?’ functionality.  Users can also search for anyone linked to a research theme or keyword.  Searches can be undertaken for publications.

We plan to migrate to the new pages next week.  We just have some final tweaks to finish before the application is fully ready and the launch can be scheduled.

Other than ensuring your BRIAN profile is up to date and complies with the minumim content suggestions, there is nothing that BRIAN users need to do.

We will explain some of the other benenfits of the new pages in following posts.

BRIAN update completed successfully

BRIANYesterday’s upgrade of BRIAN was completed successfully.  The system is now fully usable.

Updated guides and videos will be available soon.  In the interim, if you have any queries, please email

Details of grants can now be recorded in BRIAN.  This document explains how to manage grant information: BRIAN – Managing grants – Sep 13

The research themes have been updated too.  As a result, there is a new theme available ‘Ageing, Society and Dementia’ which you may wish to add to your profile, if applicable.  It would be good if you could check your choice of research themes in BRIAN to ensure they still reflect your interests.

We are now working on the release of the new staff profile pages and will tell you more about this shortly.

BRIAN being upgraded today

BRIANA quick reminder that BRIAN is being upgraded today.  The upgrade starts at 10.00 so please do not use the application after that time today. 

The work is scheduled to take most of the day.  We expect BRIAN to be available tomorrow morning.



Upgrading BRIAN on Monday 23rd September

BRIANBRIAN will be upgraded on Monday 23rd September.  This upgrade beings a new look and feel to BRIAN with a vibrant red banner to emphasise the many changes and improvements. 

This message is for information.  There is nothing you need to do.  All of the existing data will be transferred as part of the upgrade.

Please do not log into BRIAN on Monday 23rd.  In preparation for the upgrade, please do not make any changes to the data in BRIAN after Sunday as doing so may mean your changes are lost. 

There are some configuration changes to be made to add the grant component and research areas, and checks to be performed so please do not log into BRIAN until Tuesday 24th.

At the same time as we have been preparing for the BRIAN upgrade, we have been developing the new Staff Profile Page application.  This will be a major improvement on what we have today.  More on this next week once BRIAN has been updated.

The importance of keeping your job title up to date

It is important to maintain your job title because this information is used in your external profile page.   If you have no job title in the system the external profile page will show ‘n/a’ which is not very helpful.  There are 88 profiles that show ‘n/a’ as the job title. 

If you do not currently have a job title, please take a moment to add one.  If you have changed role recently, please ensure your job title is up to date.

Job titles are maintained using the facility on the intranet home page to ‘Update your contact details’.  From here, you can open the Contact Details Editor screen.  On the Contact Details Editor screen, the lowest field, ‘Title’, holds your job title.  Add a job title or amend the existing entry if required and click on Update.

If you have any queries, please email

PS.  If your title (eg Mr, Mrs, Dr, Professor etc) is incorrect, you will need to email to request a change.