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Committee inquiries: open calls for evidence

Below is a list of committee inquiries with current open calls for evidence. Please contact Emma Bambury-Whitton if you would like to discuss submitting evidence.


Commons Select Committee inquiries


Lords Select Committee inquiries


Joint Committee inquiries


Public Bill Committees


HE Policy Update


Higher Education Academy

The HEA has withdrawn its current plans to significantly increase its subscription fees after they were rejected by vice-chancellors. HEA halts plan to hike university subscription fees (THE).



According to the latest Graduate Market Trends report, employment rate for master’s students has significantly risen for the first time since the recession. Graduate jobs outlook improves for those with a master’s (THE).



Former York Chancellor has said that leading universities should lower entry requirements for students from poor backgrounds. Greg Dyke – ‘total cop-out’ to blame access inequality on schools (THE).


Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn is still keen that his goal to scrap tuition fees will become Labour Party policy, but acknowledges that it will take “serious debate within the party to achieve” and that he is “not a dictator” in an interview with the THE. Jeremy Corbyn still wants to scrap fees but is no ‘dictator’ (THE).

New Guidance

Following on from the Prime Minister’s announcement of a new requirement for universities to routinely publish data on the backgrounds of their applicants, new guidance has been issued to the Director of Fair Access (DFA) outlining the priorities for widening access and success for disadvantaged students. You can view details of the guidance here.

Degree Apprenticeships

Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary, has called on all universities to provide degree apprenticeships to raise the quality of what is available Russell Group should introduce degree apprenticeships, says business secretary (Research Professional).

Vice-Chancellor Salary

The University and College Union used Freedom of Information requests to reveal vice-chancellor’s pay packages and expenses. University bosses’ pay ‘inflation-busting’ (BBC News).



Ucas has said that it is in talks to open up access to more of its data, after the admissions service was branded a “barrier” to gathering better information on disadvantaged students by the president of Universities UK. Ucas a ‘barrier’ to better data on access, says UUK president (THE).  

Student Loans

As part of the new strategy designed to help recoup more of the £457 million portion of the UK student loan book that is held by non-paying or “unverified” borrowers who live overseas, the UK and Australian governments are set to share data on expatriate graduates to improve student debt collection. UK and Australia set to collaborate on student loan repayment (THE).

Gender Pay Gap

Companies with over 250 employees will be forced to reveal their pay gap under new plans. Firms forced to reveal gender pay gap (BBC News).

Latest Funding Opportunities


The following is a snap-shot of funding opportunities that have been announced. Please follow the links for more information:

Royal Society of Chemistry

Emerging Technologies Competition

Our Emerging Technologies Competition aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative technologies in the following areas:

  • Health & wellbeing
  • Energy & environment
  • Food & water
  • Materials

The competition is free to enter and open to small companies, universities, and research institutions, who can apply using our online application form.

Maximum Award: £20,000 Deadline: 14 March 2016

Outreach Fund

Our Outreach Fund provides financial support to individuals and organisations in order to enable them to run chemistry-based events and activities for public audiences.

Maximum Award: £25,000 Deadline: 29 April 2016

Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council

Large-area Electronics Pathfinder

The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large-Area Electronics (LAE) is seeking proposals from academic and postdoctoral research staff at UK universities and associated research institutions for short pathfinder projects with the following objectives:

  • To demonstrate novel approaches to tackling critical manufacturing problems
  • To promote technology transfer to and collaboration with industry
  • To pump prime new research collaborations and facilitate larger scale collaborative projects.

Maximum Award: £40,000 Deadline: 31 March 2016

 Manufacturing the Future

The EPSRC Manufacturing the Future challenge theme invites investigator-led proposals which address key research challenges facing manufacturing in the UK today and in the future. First grants as well as standard research proposals are invited. All proposals will be assessed in accordance with standard EPSRC procedure and prioritised within the most appropriate capability theme panel (i.e. Engineering, ICT, Physical Sciences or Mathematics).

Maximum award: Total budget available – £5 million Deadline: Open, next batching date 31 August 2016

Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board

Management for Soil Biology & Soil Health – Research Partnerships

AHDB, in collaboration with the British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO), is inviting researchers to form a collaborative Research Partnership, which will be responsible for devising and implementing a new programme of research and knowledge exchange projects to address challenges identified for the UK agricultural and horticultural industries on the call theme “Management for Soil Biology and Soil Health”.

Maximum Award: £200,000 Deadline: 28 April 2016

Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council

Flexible Interchange Programme

Our FLexible Interchange Programme (FLIP) supports the movement of people from one environment to a different one to exchange knowledge/technology/skills, developing bioscience research/researchers and addressing our strategic priorities.

Maximum Award: £120,000 Deadline: 17 August 2016

British Ecological Society

Research Grants

These grants support scientific ecological research where there are limited alternative sources of funding. Small projects can be awarded up to £5,000 and early career ecologists can apply for funding up to £20,000.

Maximum Award: As above Deadline: 21 March 2016

British Society of Soil Science

Field Equipment Grant

This grant is designed to enable institutions to buy field equipment to aid in the instruction and understanding of soil science.

Maximum Award: £1000 Deadline: 1 April 2016

Burdett Trust for Nursing

Men’s Health & Emergent Longer-term Conditions

The Trustees are interested in supporting nurse-led projects that will help to define proactive strategies and interventions that promote better self-care and reverse the negative impact that undetected and untreated men’s longer-term health challenges may impart.

Maximum Award: Various Deadline: 2 April 2016

If you are interested in submitting to any of the above calls you must contact your  RKEO Funding Development Officer with adequate notice before the deadline.

For more funding opportunities that are most relevant to you, you can set up your own personalised alerts on Research Professional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s/Faculty’s Funding Development Officer in  RKEO or view the recent blog post here.

If thinking of applying, why not add notification of your interest on Research Professional’s record of the bid so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.

Win £50 by testing your memory or dart throwing skills!

The centre for sport and event research is running two studies looking at performance of dart throwing or working memory in competitive  environments. From the 15th to the 19th of February the research team is running an exclusive research week where these studies will run all day every day! So why not sign yourself up and have a go! The only inclusion criteria is that you are actively competing in sport.

If you are interested please contact Emma Mosley: 

Reminder: Undergraduate Research Assistantships – academic applications live

A reminder to staff that applications for the Undergraduate Research Assistantships (URA) programme are live.  The closing date for applications is 21st February.

The programme is funded by the Fusion Investment Fund and aims to support undergraduates to undertake paid work under the guidance of an experienced academic in a research position that is directly related to their career path and/or academic discipline.

The summer programme is for students to work full-time (37.5 hours per week) for six weeks over the summer. This programme will have the capacity for approximately 20 placements.

Further information of the URA programme as a whole can be found here.

To apply for a summer URA, please complete the following application form.

If you have any questions relating to the programme, please contact Rachel Clarke, KE Adviser (KTP) on 01202 961347 or email 


KTP Surgery – Friday 19th February

The Innovate UK KTP Advisor for our region (Dorset/Hampshire) will be on campus next Friday, 19th February from 10am-12pm.

If you would like to make an appointment with Stephen to talk through any KTP ideas/potential projects or existing KTP, please contact Rachel Clarke, KE Advisor (KTP) on 61347 or email  Each appointment will be 20 minutes long.

If you miss this surgery, the next one is scheduled for Friday 18th March – 10am-12pm.


Erasmus funding still available

EurosThis is a reminder that there are 2 weeks left to make your application for Erasmus Staff Mobility Funding!


You may recall the blogpost released last week (link) which outlined that we have funding left for academic and Professional Support staff to train and teach at other European institutions and organisations. If you are thinking about submitting an application but you aren’t sure what type of training would be eligible or if you have any other questions, please do get in touch by email or call us on 61204/ 68250.

NHS England call for 2016 Healthcare Science Award nominations

Posted in Research news by ocooke

Are you and your team working on the cutting-edge science that is delivering the NHS of the future? Have you created an award winning health device or introduced a new innovation that benefits  patients and radically changes diagnosis or management?  NHS England are calling on the healthcare science community to put forward nominations for this year’s annual Healthcare Science Awards.

The awards, now in their 10th year, will be held on 29 February and 1 March as part of the annual healthcare science conference hosted by NHS Chief Scientific Officer for England, Professor Sue Hill OBE.  This year there are seven categories including:


  • Healthcare Scientist of the Year;
  • Healthcare science Rising Stars; (Life Sciences, Physiological, Medical Physics & Clinical Engineering, Bioinformatics) •Innovation in Scientific Services; •Improving Quality and Efficiency through Workforce Transformation; •STEM Engagement; •Healthcare Science Provider Organisation; and •Healthcare Science Patient and Public Participation.


Winners last year included Angela Douglas from Liverpool Women’s Hospital – awarded the Healthcare Scientist of the year – for the impact she has made on NHS Genetics over 35 years at a local, national and profession-wide basis; Professor Art Tucker – celebrated in the Service Innovation category for novel medical devices including one for DVT prevention.

The annual schools science conference and website created by the Science4U organising committee at Great Ormond Street secured the Ambassador of the Year category for the positive impact it has had on year 9-11 students, with many from less academic backgrounds. That conference now involves over 100 scientists and catered for 270 students and teachers last year.

The winners will be announced at an event in central London. Professor Sue Hill OBE, NHS Chief Scientific Officer for England, said: “The NHS Constitution makes it clear that a central principle of the health service is that it ‘operates at the limits of science.’ These awards showcase the incredible contribution healthcare scientists make to patients’ health care and it is only right to celebrate the talent and achievements of the NHS.

“We are keen to capture and highlight the world-leading science that is going on in services up and down the country and are urging people to get their nominations in by 17 February.

“These awards are a key highlight of the annual Chief Scientific Officer’s conference and nominations are invited from individuals, groups and teams of healthcare scientists from across the profession who have made an exceptional contribution.”

Details of the categories, entry forms and guidance on nomination is available on the NHS Networks website. Completed nomination forms should be returned to no later than 17 February.

The Health Service Journal is supporting this year’s awards.

More details of last year’s winners and finalists can be found on the NHS Networks website.

Lightning Talks at Cafe Scientifique Bournemouth


Cafe Sci runs every first Tuesday of the Month from 7.30pm – 9pm and takes place at Cafe Boscanova in Boscombe.DSC_7906

You can find out more about Cafe Sci here:

We are looking for BU Academics, Researchers, PGR students and URA students to present a Lightning Talk on their Research as part of Cafe Scientifique on Tuesday 5th April.

What is a Lightning Talk; In essence it is a short, to the point talk on a particular subject.

If you are interested in taking part in this event and sharing your research in an enganing and lively manner then please contact Rhyannan Hurst in RKEO on 961511


Challenges in Research Event

Challenges in Research

Wednesday 24th February, 12pm-2pm

Second Floor, Executive Business Centre, Lansdowne Campus

Open to all Research Staff from across the Faculties, this event will aim to enlighten you about some of the issues you might encounter as a researcher. There will be two sets of parallel sessions running for 1 hour per session covering the following topics:

  • Predatory publishing/Fake conference and editorial board
  • IP and Patents – Traps to avoid
  • Contractual complications
  • Sponsorship

The sessions will be run by legal services along with library and research staff.

Further information about the timing of particular sessions will be posted closer to the time, as well as emailed out to anyone who has already pre-registered.

To register your place please click here

New taskforce launched to combat fraud across the UK

Dr Lee-Ann Fenge – Deputy Director NCPQSW

The Home Office is setting up a new taskforce to combat financial fraud which will include banks, the police and government officials

This is a response to the growing recognition that financial fraud is undermining business and the wider economy. There has been a growth in particular types of financial fraud in the last year including online banking fraud which rose by 48% in 2014. Another growth area for fraud has been the CEO or ‘bogus boss’ fraud, where staff are instructed to transfer money for a specific reason out of a company account, believing the instruction to come from a senior member of staff. Although the development of a national taskforce is positive and to be welcomed, the emphasis of this taskforce appears to be on financial fraud affecting business, and the risk is that the impact of financial scams which affect the general public might get overlooked.

Financial scams and in particular mass marketing fraud is a growing problem and can affect anyone. These types of financial scams are often targeted at older people and vulnerable groups, and the risk of becoming a victim of fraud can increase if the individual is lonely or socially isolated. The National Scams Team have identified that victims of scam mail have an average age of 74 and have typically lost more than £1,000

Victims of mass marketing type fraud are often placed on so-called “suckers lists” and their details are then sold on to other fraudsters, increasing their risk of becoming a victim of fraud again. Those who become victims of mass marketing fraud often do not report it and therefore the true scale of the problem is unknown. However scam involvement can cause long lasting damage to an individual’s health and well-being.

Lee-ann blogsmaller

The NCPQSW is undertaking research with the National Scams Team into the problems posed by mass marketing fraud, and in particular ways of protecting those most at risk. The Care Act (2014) has recognised the risks posed by financial abuse/crime on individuals and places a statutory responsibility on local authorities to take a lead in safeguarding those at risk. This requires collaboration from key agencies involved in identifying and protecting victims of financial scams, including the police, trading standards, the financial sector, local authorities and health care.

We believe it is important that certain groups are recognised as being at increased risk of scam involvement, and those with dementia find it difficult to understand risk and apply caution to decision making due to their cognitive deficits and reduced financial capability. This makes people with dementia at increased risk of responding to scams. Therefore banks and other financial institutions should have a ‘duty to care’ for those with cognitive impairments who may make an ‘unwise decision’ a result of their cognitive state rather than simply an unwise decision.

If you want to find out more about the work of the NCPQSW please visit our website


Olivier, S., Burls, T., Fenge, L., Brown, K. (2015) “Winning and losing”: vulnerability to mass marketing fraud, The Journal of Adult Protection, 17:6, 360 – 370.

Olivier, S., Burls, T., Fenge, L., Brown, K. (in press) Safeguarding Adults and Mass Marketing Fraud – perspectives from the Police, Trading Standards and the Voluntary Sector, Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law.

What’s the importance of the funding submission process?

The Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (RKEO) Funding Development Team (FDT) are here to help academics apply for external funding. There are so many funders out there with so many different guidelines that it’s not always easy to find out how, who and what you should be applying to.

There is huge kudos in obtaining external research funding for the academic and BU. It not only enables you to progress your research ideas and potentially build centres of excellent in your area at BU, but knowing that your research has made a benefit to society has to be the greatest achievement.

How can FDT help?  The competition is tough out there and so we want to ensure that you are fully supported at BU to submit a winning application.  The costing of all proposals (including those that we are not the lead on) need to be undertaken by FDT before proposals reach the submission stage. Costings are undertaken by FDT to ensure that a) they are complete and include full costs, b) that they include indirect and estates costs at current BU rates and c) that they include inflation at the BU rate. Proposals need to be added to our grants system RED in order to track our bidding activity, which is in turn reported on and used for KPI’s, REF, HEBCI and HESA returns; and RED generates the APF (Activity Proposal Form explained below). The costs need to be added to our costings system, pFACT, for accurate costings and audit purposes.

In addition to this, Legal Services need to check whether we are agreeing to any terms and conditions in advance of submitting the bid – and, if so, what these are. We also need to check for any potential financial issues in advance of submission that need to be noted (for example, the risk of exchange rate fluctuations, if match funding is required, etc.). The APF (Activity Proposal Form from RED detailing the costs and income) and CAF (Contract Agreement Form from Legal Services detailing any legal or financial risks) need to be signed by a BU authorised signatory before the bid can be submitted; this gives approval for submission. This approval ensures that the appropriate senior staff (DDRPP/DoP/Dean/UET members/Board members) are aware of the risks and commitments which arise from us undertaking the project, assuming it were to be awarded. All proposals will also have to go through your Faculties agreed Quality Approval process.

The FDT will need to complete all of the above processes before the approval process can be completed. In addition, an intention to bid form needs to be completed at the beginning to establish what processes an application may need to go through and the timescales required. If you are intending to bid then please contact the Funding Development Officer for your Faculty to obtain a form (they have been tailored for each Faculty).

Why do we need to go through these processes?  The purpose of having a centralised group is that we connect all the necessary processes for academics (Finance, Legal, Faculty signatories) and we’re there to help ensure that the application has the best possible chance of being funded. If academics are successful then they will receive a contract and that contract has to go through certain processes in order to obtain the money and ensure it goes to the correct place. Most importantly, if this information is never recorded on RED then it has a knock on effect on several things. BU receives additional money from HEFCE based on the funding that we have received throughout the year and this also improves our REF submission. Small pots of money add up to large sums and if these are never recorded then we lose out on additional funds from HEFCE. Also, there are KPI’s with targets for R&KE funding to be obtained by academics in each of the Faculties. By not recording funding this will have a detrimental effect on the faculties targets for meeting the KPI’s.

The FDT also have Research Facilitators available to help you develop your research ideas at an early stage of your application.  We have also provided a number of pages to help you identify which funder would be appropriate for your research.  There is a wealth of information that can be found in the Research Funders’ Guide.  We have also put together an application submission timeline and have provided sample costs to aid you drafting out your costs.  More details can be found here.  Finally, there is a comprehensive list of all RKEO’s activities that support you in the Research Lifecycle.

Do get in touch and see how we can help you acheive your goals.

Stern review of the REF – contributions welcome

ref-logoBIS have initiated a review of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), chaired by the President of the British Academy, Lord Nicholas Stern.

The review aims to ensure that future university research funding:

  • is allocated more efficiently;
  • offers greater rewards for excellent research; and,
  • reduces the administrative burden on institutions.

The call for evidence was published on 28 January and BU will be submitting an institutional response to the review. You are invited to contribute to this response.

The call for evidence, question set and timeline are available on the I-drive: I:\R&KEO\Public\Stern Review of the REF

If you wish to contribute, use the ‘questions’ document to frame your responses. The internal deadline for sending your feedback to Julie Northam is Wednesday 17 February. The draft response will be discussed by the REF Committee on 29 February, and the final draft shared with UET on 10 March.

When considering your responses please bear in mind Bournemouth University’s response to the green paper on HE which contained similar questions on the future shape of the REF. You may find it helpful to consider other responses to the green paper to understand the range in perspectives provided by institutions and groups. You can search for responses online. Suggested responses you may wish to read include:

I look forward to receiving your feedback and suggestions. Any queries, please let me know.


Leisure Studies: Call for Papers – Human Rights in Events, Leisure and Sport

Posted in Publishing by Julie Northam

leisure studies journalJayne Caudwell joined Bournemouth University in November 2015. She is Head of Research and Professional Practice in the Department of Events and Leisure. Jayne is one of the guest editors for forthcoming Leisure Studies journal Special Issue: Human Rights in Events, Leisure and Sport. See web link for details of the Call for Papers. Please forward to colleagues who might be interested.

BU study seeks participants with autism

Posted in Uncategorized by ngregory

Back in September 2015, Dr Helen Bolderston and I from the Department of Psychology, were awarded a Fusion Investment Fund award to examine social cognition and visual attention in people with autistic spectrum disorders and borderline personality disorder.

The study is now well under way and we are seeking participants between the ages of 18- 50 years with an autistic spectrum disorder to take part. Students and staff with such a diagnosis would be most welcome to be involved. It should go without saying that participation is confidential and responses are anonymous. The sessions take around 1.5 hours to complete and we can reimburse your local travel expenses if required. We are also always on the look out for “neurotypical” control participants too, particularly  men!

The study uses eye tracking technology to record where participants look on a computer screen whilst they watch a series of social scenarios. Afterwards, we ask participants questions about what happened in the scenes. There a several additional tasks which form part of the study which include questionnaires about social and communication skills and some verbal and non-verbal reasoning tasks.

Anyone interested in taking part should contact me, Dr Nicola Gregory, at

Is bid writing a waste of time and money

Writing for the Alternative Democracy Research website Jan Blommaert offers a very interesting and controversial perspective on bid writing. His claim is that it is large a waste of time and public money. His case relates to his participation in a Horizon 2020 bid consortium, the production of the bid he estimates having taken hundreds of man hours, but the stream could only fund two projects. The fact that 147 were submitted meant that independent of quality 145 of which could be deemed excellent but could not be funded.

One might consider this argument as sour grapes on the part of a member of a team whose project was deemed excellent but could not be funded. But there is a serious point here. If the hours taken up by bid writing were re-channelled, would more valuable research be done. In other words if the 100+ hours of manpower devoted to writing bids were monetized would this be seen as an ineffective way to expend resources and instead the funds were used to support actual data gathering. It is an interesting thought. Much research entered into the REF in the UK is deemed excellent, what percentage of that is funded research is unknown. If research does not have to be funded to be excellent, and if bid writing detracts from research in order to meet arbitrary targets is this a misallocation of valuable resources. This argument may be particular prescient for social science where funding is less available yet no less important.

The thought here is whether academics explore ways to minimize costs of research that still answer important research questions rather than constantly seeking funding. It is a thought.


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