Friday marked a successful visit to Abagold in Hermanus. Hermanus is famous for whale watching where the Southern Right whales can been seen close to the shore from September to November. The visit to Abagold by Matt and Carol Simon was hosted by Stoffel van Dyk who is their Operational Director. Abagold is one of the world’s premier abalone aquaculture farms producing the highest quality abalone for the export market. Abagold’s operation is sustainable and helps protect the wild abalone population from poaching activity. Abagold is also the industrial partner in the Fusion Investment Fund project. The farm will offer facilities for BU students who will trialling novel technologies for controlling shell-boring pests of the molluscs.
Every BU academic has a Research Professional account which delivers weekly emails detailing funding opportunities in their broad subject area. To really make the most of your Research Professional account, you should tailor it further by establishing additional alerts based on your specific area of expertise. The Funding Development Team Officers can assist you with this, if required.
Research Professional have created several guides to help introduce users to ResearchProfessional. These can be downloaded here.
Quick Start Guide: Explains to users their first steps with the website, from creating an account to searching for content and setting up email alerts, all in the space of a single page.
User Guide: More detailed information covering all the key aspects of using ResearchProfessional.
Administrator Guide: A detailed description of the administrator functionality.
In addition to the above, there are a set of 2-3 minute videos online, designed to take a user through all the key features of ResearchProfessional. To access the videos, please use the following link: http://www.youtube.com/researchprofessional
Research Professional are running a series of online training broadcasts aimed at introducing users to the basics of creating and configuring their accounts on ResearchProfessional. They are holding monthly sessions, covering everything you need to get started with ResearchProfessional. The broadcast sessions will run for no more than 60 minutes, with the opportunity to ask questions via text chat. Each session will cover:
Self registration and logging in
Setting personalised alerts
Saving and bookmarking items
Subscribing to news alerts
Configuring your personal profile
Each session will run between 10.00am and 11.00am (UK) on the fourth Tuesday of each month. You can register here for your preferred date:
These are free and comprehensive training sessions and so this is a good opportunity to get to grips with how Research Professional can work for you.
I am delighted to announce today the launch of summer round of BU’s Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) programme. Funded by the Fusion Investment Fund, this programme offers paid employment opportunities for approximately 40 BU undergraduate students per year to work in clusters, centres and institutes, under the guidance of experienced academics, in a research position that is directly related to their career path and/or academic discipline. This enables the students to assist academic staff with their research whilst also gaining valuable research experience themselves.
Research shows there is a direct link between student satisfaction and research-based learning, particularly when the opportunity is in their field of study, and that the undergraduate student experience is improved by engaging them with research early and often. URA programmes are common in North America and are offered in a significant number of universities, for example Harvard University, Northern Illinois University, Kent State University and Cornell University.
In 2015 BU is offering two modes of the URA programme:
- semester-based programme (c. 20 part-time positions running for eight weeks in semester 2)
- summer programme (c. 20 full-time positions running for six weeks in June/July 2015)
There are two stages to the application process: 1) Faculty application stage whereby BU academic staff can apply for URA positions, and 2) student selection stage whereby Faculty staff recruit to the positions.
 For example: Healey and Jenkins (2011) Linking discipline-based research with teaching to benefit student learning, available from: http://www.mickhealey.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Linking-RT-Handout-Website1.doc
 For example: Madan, C R & Braden, D T (2013) The Benefits of Undergraduate Research: The Student’s Perspective, available from: http://dus.psu.edu/mentor/2013/05/undergraduate-research-students-perspective/
The all new MSc Cyber Security & Human Factors course kicked off last week with students eager to embark on their 18-36 month journey! This exciting part-time Masters in Cyber Security has been developed to meet the skills and education required by most digital enabled organisations whilst adapting the content and delivery to meet today’s student’s work-life balance. This innovative industry based MSc has taught modular elements followed by a period of research and reflection. Each module has an intensive 3 day program of lectures delivered at the University followed by 8 weeks of research activities, directed reading and reflection.
Cyberspace is a vast, complex and still evolving community that presents enterprise, industry and governments with ongoing security management challenges, as it grows on an exponential scale. The security of data is fundamental to any business, and IT professionals are increasingly aware of the complexities involved in protecting information, assets, knowledge and intellect. As cyberspace stores more and more information, specialists in security who are ahead of the game will become a critical element in reducing risk.
On this course, students will gain an understanding of the psychology of cyber security by investigating threat, vulnerabilities and impact risk; the contagion of fear, uncertainty and doubt; managing human factors in security; trust management and information assurance. Students will develop a deep and holistic awareness of Cyber Security and Human Factors.
Students will have access to a suite of Cyber Security and Digital Forensics laboratories with state-of-art simulation and analytical systems to discover, evaluate and educate the use of Intrusion Detection, Incident Management, Forensic analysis and System Penetration testing as well as incorporating Industry based skill training material and practices.
BU Ph.D. student and Consultant Midwife Kathryn Gutteridge and Hannah Dahlen Associate Professor of Midwifery at the University of Western Sydney contributed a chapter to the book ‘The Roar behind the Silence: Why kindness, compassion and respect matter in maternity care’. Kathryn Gutteridge and Hannah Dahlen wrote under the title ‘Stop the fear and embrace birth’. BU’s Dr. Jenny Hall also wrote a chapter called ‘Spirituality, compassion and maternity care’.
The volume edited by Sheena Byrom and Soo Downe was published this week by Pinter & Martin (London). I received my copy of the book yesterday, but didn’t have a chance to look at it until today. The Roar Behind the Silence is both a practical and inspirational book, which likely to be of interest to people working in maternity care (midwives, doctors, managers), local and regional maternity-care policy-makers as well as politicians and funders and, of course, to many pregnant women and maternity-care pressure groups. The book highlights examples of good practice, and offers practical tools for making change happen, advice on how to use evidence and real-life stories.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Sustainable Design Research Centre recent publication “Modelling of metal-coating delamination incorporating variable environmental parameters” by Hammad Nazir (PhD student), Dr Zulfiqar Khan and K Stokes (Defence Science & Technology Laboratory Ministry of Defence industrial partner) has made it to the most read articles list on the Taylor & Francis website.
This research is co-funded by BU and Defence Science & Technology Laboratory Ministry of Defence, with in-kind support from The Tank Museum at Bovington and other industrial partners.
This paper has been available online since December 15th 2014 with 338 downloads/views recorded on Feb 28th 2015.
Labour party analysis of Treasury figures suggests that student loan write-offs will rise to £20bn per year by 2048-49. Student loan write-offs will rise to £20bn by 2048-49, Labour warns (The Guardian).
Labour and fees
Lord Mandelson’s speech to UUK last week warned that cutting university tuition fees to £6,000 a year could trigger a rise in foreign students to plug the funding gap, squeezing places available for British teenagers. Cutting tuition fees could reduce college places for Britons, warns Mandelson (The Times).
BIS criticism on alternative providers
A report from the Commons Public Accounts Committee has criticised how BIS handled the privatisation of higher education, concluding that the department ignored repeated warnings about the potential abuse of public money. MPs criticise lax oversight of £1.2bn higher education expansion (The Guardian).
An extensive look at how “the squeezed middle” are facing financial difficulties in affording HE for their children because they earn too much for a full maintenance loan – which in many cases does not meet the full costs of attending universities (such as accommodation and living expenses). Parents lose their car paying price of university (BBC News).
Student loan system – ‘unsustainable’
Professor Nicholas Barr, from the London School of Economics and Political Science, has warned that the current student loans system under which graduates start repayments once they earn £21,000 a year is unsustainable. He said repayments should start at £18,000 a year to avoid massive increases in taxes or cuts to university finances. Expert warns ‘unsustainable’ student loan system could leave £1bn unpaid, (The Independent).
The APPG on Migration has published a report warning that British universities are now losing out in the global race to attract international students, in particular to other Anglophone countries with more attractive post study work opportunities such as; the United States, Australia and Canada. Post-Study Work Opportunities in the UK – New report warns UK at risk of losing foothold in crucial international student market (All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration).
Fears about the objectivity of Sir Paul Nurse’s review of the research councils may be eased by the announcement of an advisory board containing a number of prominent sector figures. Advisory board to help steer Nurse review of research councils (THE).
Office for Fair Access (OFFA) has published their strategic plan. It reported that a record number of 22,000 teenagers from poor families went to university in 2011. Under OFFA’s plans, this number should rise to nearly 40,000 within five years. They have also singled out highly selective universities, calling on them to do more to widen their intake. The Russell Group has responded to the surprise target, saying that they were keen to open their doors to more students but could do only so much if teenagers were not leaving school with the necessary grades. Universities told to double intake of poor students (The Times), Offa: no cap, no excuses on poor students, (THE).
Labour outline tuition fee plan
Ed Miliband today announced that if elected, Labour would cut university tuition fees in England to £6,000 per year from autumn 2016 in a speech on how the next Labour Government will support young people. He announced that the policy would be funded by reducing tax relief on pensions for those earning over £150,000 per year. The Labour leader also announced an increase of non-repayable maintenance grants by £400 per year to cover students’ living costs. However, these grants are only available to families with a total income below £42,000. Labour promises to cut tuition fees to £6,000 (BBC News), Miliband announces £6K tuition fees pledge (THE).
Latest Major Funding Opportunities
The following funding opportunities have been announced. Please follow the links for more information:
BBSRC Enterprise Fellowships – Royal Society of Edinburgh, UK
The Enterprise Fellowships are designed to enable an individual to advance the commercialisation of existing research results or technological developments and are tenable for a period of one year. The Fellowships enable the holder to concentrate on developing the commercial potential of their research, whilst also receiving formal training in relevant business skills.
Award max: Unspecified
Closing date: 27/04/2015
Industry Fellowships – Royal Society, UK
This scheme is for academic scientists who want to work on a collaborative project with industry and for scientists in industry who want to work on a collaborative project with an academic organisation.
The scheme provides a basic salary for the researcher and a contribution towards research costs.
Award max: Basic salary & research expenses up to £2000/year
Closing Date: 26/03/2015
Participants enter as teams and develop a business plan for a company based on a hypothetical but plausible idea based on real markets over the course of a three day residential workshop. The workshop encompasses presentations and mentoring sessions from leading figures in industry and culminates in the presentation of the business plans to a panel of ‘equity investors’ drawn from industry and academia. Up to three teams for each workshop are selected to progress to the final in London.
Award max: Prize fund of £5000, including first prize of £2,500, trip to USA, invite to BIA Gala Dinner
Closing Date: 29/05/2015
Brian Mercer Award for Innovation – Royal Society
This scheme is for scientists who wish to develop an already proven concept or prototype into a near-market product ready for commercial exploitation. The scheme covers natural sciences, excluding medical devices.
Award max: £250,000
Closing date: 23/04/2015
Please note that some funding bodies specify a time for submission as well as a date. Please confirm this with your RKEO Funding Development Officer
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.
The British Science Association’sMedia Fellowship scheme provides a unique opportunity for practising scientists, clinicians and engineers to spend three to six weeks working at a media outlet, such as the Guardian, the Times, or the BBC.
Every year up to ten Media Fellows are mentored by professional journalists and learn how the media operates and reports on science, how to communicate with the media and to engage the wider public with science through the media.
The scheme has been running since 1987 and gives scientists, engineers and their colleagues, the confidence and willingness to engage with the media and tackle issues of mistrust and misrepresentation and to give journalists access to new scientific expertise; as well as providing opportunities for discussion and debate.
After their media placement Fellows attend the British Science Festival in September, which provides an opportunity to gain valuable experience working alongside a range of media organisations from all over the UK in our dedicated Press Centre. The Festival also offers opportunities to learn from a wide range of public engagement activities and network with academics, journalists and science communicators.
Applications are open until 3 April 2015.
In order to apply, you must complete the form on the BSA’s website, as well as provide a letter of support from your employer to say they are happy to release you to take part in the Fellowship.
You may have seen lots about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP), perhaps from the KTP Academic Development Scheme or on blog posts, or perhaps even whilst in conversation with your colleagues. At Bournemouth University, we’re working hard to maximise our KTP provision and this is working..!
We currently have two KTP projects in recruitment stages where we are looking for KTP associates (a graduate hired to work on the projects, full time for the duration of the project) to fill these KTP positions.
Following on from a successful series of shorter KTP, this position is a 25-month fixed term appointment for an IT Systems Project Manager. This is a challenging yet potentially very rewarding opportunity to apply creative and innovative thinking, as well as strong technical skills that will result in an innovative and exploitable capability. The role will involve the creation of a mobile convergence solution within a company operating over a wide geographical area enabling information and data exchange in real time whilst maintaining data integrity and security. As this is a KTP the Associate will not only be required to research, develop and install the solution but also embed sufficient knowledge within the company to enable them to both use and develop the system in an efficient and sustainable manner.
This is the company’s first KTP and is for a Computer Graphics/Games Programmer for a 30-month project. The role will involve the researching of all types of 3D terrain generation applications and then the development of proprietary prototype software that will allow for rapid, automatic/semi-automatic 3D terrain content generation for use within the Virtual Battle Space (VBS) 3 game engine. In addition to this, the role will involve embedding the capability within the company to enable further development and exploitation of the software.
Both of these vacancies are in recruitment and they close on Monday 23 March. Please do share with any candidates who may be interested in these roles.
For further information about KTP, please contact Rachel Clarke, KE Adviser (KTP) on 61347 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Following on from the launch of the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) Academic Development Scheme last Autumn, the second cohort is currently in recruitment.
Academics on this scheme now are working towards a target of submitting a KTP proposal within a year of starting the scheme and are currently in various stages leading up to this. KTP is an excellent way of developing knowledge exchange whilst demonstrating impact and also bringing in income.
The KTP scheme is 40 years old this year and there is a is a lot of funding (managed by Innovate UK) to dedicate to KTP, so why not join in and find out more about KTP? KTP submissions have a 90% success rate which shows us that there is an huge potential for us to grow our KTP portfolio with a funded scheme that has such a great and solid history.
If you’re working with a business, or want to work with business, find out how KTP could work for you.
For an informal chat about the scheme or an application form, please contact Rachel Clarke Knowledge Exchange Adviser (KTP) on 61347 or email email@example.com
Are you working with business?
Innovation Vouchers are open to all kinds of small businesses. Businesses can claim up to £5,000 towards the cost of expert advice if they classify as a start-up, micro or SME . The funding encourages SMEs and start-ups to seek out fresh knowledge that can help their business to grow and develop. This could include advice on an innovative idea, learning more about using design within the business or how to make the most of intellectual property.
Innovation Vouchers have in the past been available only in specific technology areas. Now a business can apply if they just meet these simple tests:
• you need specialist help to meet a business challenge
• it’s the first time you have worked with the university (a great first rung on the ladder before a KTP perhaps?)
You can apply at any time with around 100 vouchers being awarded every 3 months – for 2015 this is April and July.
For more information, visit the website Innovation Vouchers .
Innovation Vouchers are funded by Innovate UK. A short guide to help make clear what an assessor for Innovate UK competitions is looking for has been produced. All of the Innovate UK funding programmes follow a similar pattern and you should bear in mind that the questions are designed to help rather than trip you up. It is important that you answer the questions asked and cover all aspects the Guidance for Applicants describes.
During the consultation on Faculty structures it became evident that there is an interest across the University in closer cross-Faculty collaboration amongst those whose work is based in or influenced by the social sciences. To this end, Prof. Barry Richards of FMC and Prof. Jonathan Parker of HSS are convening a meeting at 2.30 (note start time) on Tuesday 17th March (in PG11, Talbot Campus) to discuss cross-Faculty collaborations in social science-based research. There are already a number of such collaborative projects underway, and the aim of this meeting would be to explore the prospects for developing existing links and shared activities in a more strategic way. This could create new synergies, raise BU’s profile as a place where ‘4*’ social research and thought leadership can be found, and strengthen our hand in funding bids. It could also have implications for research organization and REF planning.
So if you are engaged in or planning some research which you think might benefit from an environment with stronger inter-Faculty links and a richer interdisciplinary context, or would just like to know more about SS research across BU, do put this meeting in your calendar.
BU’s Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health has a long history of working Nepal. Last month (January 7th) BU’s partner Green Tara Nepal led the dissemination of the findings of our evaluation of key health promotion initiatives in Nepal. The evaluation was conducted in collaboration with the Government of Nepal, Green Tara Trust, a UK-based charity, several national and international non-governmental organisations and three UK universities, namely Liverpool John Moores University, Bournemouth University and the University of Sheffield. The evaluation identified key government, bilateral, UN agencies national and international non-governmental organisations working in health promotion in Nepal. Their health promotion activities and approaches were documented and gaps were identified.
As a follow up to both the evaluation and dissemination event we were asked by the journal Public Health Perspectives to write an editorial on our work.1 Our editorial ‘Health Promotion: A review of policies and practices in Nepal’ highlights the research we conducted and the state of health promotion we uncovered. We also used our editorial to explain the UK notion of impact as formalised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). To explain to our non-academic readers the REF is a nation-wide system to assess the quality academic research in all academic disciplines. 2-4 One key part of the REF is measuring the ‘impact’ that a UK university has on society and/or the economy. This REF requires UK universities to write and submit a number of case studies that show societal impact.5 The dissemination of the health promotion research in Nepal is the beginning of a REF impact case study for Bournemouth University and our UK partner Liverpool John Moores University. The editorial is a further stepping stone in the dissemination especially since it was co-authored between UK academics, health promotion practitioners as well as a member of the Constitutional Assembly (the Nepali equivalent of Parliament). Working with policy-makers at an early stage increases the chances of our research being incorporated in national policy-making in Nepal.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
- Sharma, A, Tuladhar, G., Dhungel, A., Padmadharini, van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P. (2015) Health Promotion: A review of policies and practices in Nepal, Public Health Perpective 5(2): http://phpnepal.org/index.php?listId=941#.VO4Qvn9tXkd
- Parker, J., van Teijlingen, E. (2012) The Research Excellence Framework (REF): Assessing the impact of Social Work research on society, Practice: Social Work in Action 24(1): 41-52. http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/20511/2/REF%20paper%20JPEvT.pdf
- van Teijlingen, E., Ryan, K., Alexander, J., Marchant, S. (2011) The Research Excellence Framework (REF): new developments to assess research in higher education institutions and its impact on society. MIDIRS 21 (3): 298-301.
- Hartwell, H., van Teijlingen, E., Parker, J. (2013) Nutrition; Effects of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) Nutrition & Food Science 43 (1): 74-77.
- Research Councils UK (2015) RCUK Review of Pathways to Impact: Summary http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/RCUK-prod/assets/documents/documents/PtoIExecSummary.pdf
This is to reduce the number and size of applications from research organisations for NERC’s discovery science standard grant scheme, and ensure research excellence, efficiency and value for money for the taxpayer.
Following an update on demand management measures in November 2014, NERC consulted with advisory boards and research organisations to determine the detailed mechanisms it will apply to reduce demand for discovery science standard grants.
From the July 2015 standard grants scheme, there will be a reduction in the maximum standard grant award size, from the current £1·2m to £800k (100% Full Economic Costing, £640k at 80% FEC).
At the same time, demand management measures in the form of a new institutional-level submission policy will take effect. This will be based on historic application and award data and will limit the number of applications an individual research organisation can make, where that organisation fails to meet a 20 per cent success rate quality threshold. Research organisations that fail to meet the 20 per cent success rate threshold will have the number of applications the organisation can make in each standard grant round restricted, until the organisation meets the threshold. The data will be re-calculated annually using the most recent six grant rounds. Restrictions will be calculated on a sliding scale with the most limiting restriction that will be applied to any research organisation being one application per grant round.
Any BU academics requiring further information on the cap should contact the RKEO Funding Development Team. All BU academics intending to apply to the NERC Standard Grant scheme must contact the RKEO Funding Development Team in the first instance. For the foreseeable future, there will be an internal competition for NERC standard grant applications in order to ensure that the highest quality applications are submitted.
The measures only apply to NERC standard grants (including new investigators); likewise the data used to calculate research organisation restrictions is only based on NERC standard grants (including new investigators).
Where a research organisation submits more applications to any round than allowed under the cap, NERC will office-reject any excess applications, based purely on the time of submission through the Je-S system (last submitted = first rejected). However, as RKEO submit applications through Je-S on behalf of applicants, RKEO will not submit any applications that do not have prior agreement from the internal competition. Any lead or component application from another research organisation linked to the rejected application will also be rejected. If any applications are subsequently rejected based on rule adherence or remit, a research organisation cannot submit alternative applications.
An application counts towards an organisation, where the organisation is applying as the grant holding organisation (of the lead or component grant). This will be the organisation of the principal investigator of the lead or component grant (component meaning where BU is the non-lead partner submitting our own application form through Je-S to accompany the lead application and case for support).
As said above, if you require further information then please contact the Funding Development Team (FDT) and if you intend to apply to future rounds then you must contact FDT as early as possible (it is advised that this is four months before a closing date).
I have participated twice as a member of the Scientific Committee in the WSSDU (World Symposium in Sustainable Development at Universities) Conferences, first in Rio (Rio+20) then last year in Manchester. These are led by my colleague Walter Leal Filho.
Following the conferences academics from across the world particpate on a designated day to engage with education for sustainable development.
As an outcome of the WSSD-U-2014: http://www.haw-hamburg.de/en/wssd-2014.html preparations have now been completed for the ‘Teach-In Day
All the presentations from the conference are now on-line at:
These can be visited and used as a basis for lectures, to be held as part of the Teach-In Day on 26th March. In this context, a student group in Australia can discuss sustainability at Mexican universities, or a group of US students can debate about sustainability initiatives in Malaysia, using the presentations provided. They may also contact the named experts, who authored the presentations, to ask questions or seek further details.
The 3rd World Sustainable Development Teach-In Day aims to unite the global sustainability community, and thousands of people can take part on it. As a truly global event, the Teach-In Day will cater for all time zones.
Participation is open to anyone interested, and is free of any charges. However, in order to allow the organisers monitor the level of participation and impact of the event, interested persons need to register at:
The 25th March 2015 will be a very special day. A day devoted to sustainability. Please consider participation.
Are you aware of the new unveiling of the Researcher Development Evaluation Toolkit? This could be a fantastic opportunity for you. The aim of the toolkit, which is developed by the Vitae Impact and Evaluation Group, is to provide researcher developers, policy and decision makers with access to a range of useful evaluation resources including evaluation template shared by our member institutions, case studies, papers, presentation and links.
This toolkit is a great addition to resources on impact and brings together the significant body of work Vitae and the Vitae Impact and Evaluation Group have developed since the original researcher development sector impact framework document first published in 2008. This resource should prove a great support to those evaluating impact whether new to the area or experienced in evaluation.
These resources can help with focusing on what is important when planning and implementing researcher development evaluation projects.
Impact levels for researcher development evaluation – The Impact Framework establishes a clear and robust focus for evaluation of researcher development initiatives and activity. It takes you through five levels of evaluation
Planning your evaluation – A step by step approach to help plan a successful evaluation study.
Evaluation templates – These are useful templates to help in the design of researcher development evaluation surveys.
Evaluation case studies – These researcher development impact case studies are written by higher education institutions in the UK.
Papers and Presentation – These give you access to recent papers and presentations with useful references to help develop successful evaluation studies.
Useful Links – There is additional information available to members on specific topics linked to researcher development evaluation.
There is huge encouragement for the members to contribute more examples of evaluation templates – join the Vitae Member Community for future updates.
The February/March edition of the Digital Business Briefing is now live. This is a monthly publication that provides a digest of useful information about funding, financing, support and events to assist digital businesses with their innovation and growth strategies. This includes public funding calls, financing mechanisms, support, reports and events from leading organisations including Innovate UK, IC tomorrow, Nesta and Tech City UK.
This has been combined into one briefing document published monthly. A quick and easy way to keep up to speed with what is happening in the digital, creative and design sector.