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Research Professional – all you need to know

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.

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: 

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
  • Building searches
  • 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:

26 August 2014

23 September 2014

28 October 2014

25 November 2014

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.

Supporting Breastfeeding: it takes a whole community

Posted in Uncategorized by sway

In collaboration with the Anglo European Chiropractic College (AECC), the School of Health and Social Care hosted a conference on Saturday 12 July to raise awareness of the joint chiropractic, midwifery newborn feeding clinic. The conference was able to take place due to the successful Centre for Excellence in Learning Fusion Funding bid submitted by the project team, Dr Susan Way, Alison Taylor and Dr Joyce Miller. The day was attended by health care professionals from across the locality as well as student midwives, chiropractic students and members of the public who are passionate about supporting mothers to breastfeed successfully. The day started with an excellent presentation from the key note speaker Dr Margot Sunderland, Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health London and author of the world renowned book ‘What every parent needs to know’. Dr Sunderland tested our assumptions about the neuroscience and psychology of baby bonding.

Dr Joyce Miller, Senior Clinical Tutor, Chiropractic Paediatrics and Alison Taylor, Senior Lecturer Midwifery then shared with the audience the chiropractic and midwifery perspective of the innovative approach to supporting the breastfeeding mother / infant pair through the newborn clinic run at AECC. The talk was ably support by two students recounting their experience of being involved in the clinic and the unique learning opportunities it has afforded them to work in partnership with women in a real time practice environment. The interprofessional environment also offers an invaluable opportunity to work alongside different health professionals who would not normally come together.

Alison presented the final talk entitled, ‘letting off steam: video diaries to share breastfeeding experiences’, which was based on the continuing analysis of her doctoral data. This was warmly received and generated a number of questions requiring health professionals to reflect on and challenge their current practice.

The final session of the day was a workshop in the style of a World Café ( asking the audience to come together in smaller groups to explore a number of questions that could enable a community to support women to successfully breastfeed. By listening together, debating questions that mattered and connecting diverse perspective, the workshop generated much energy, noise, laughter and understanding of each other’s role.

Feedback from the day included:

“More than exceeded my expectations- such a wonderful buzz of enthusiasm, so good to be with such passionate people from different specialities lots of new information. Loved workshop” and “Really enjoyed the day. Excellent presentations and lots of interesting discussions. Impressed with the students giving presentations and facilitating”.

An excellent day was had by all and there was much confidence from the organisers that the newborn clinic will meet the needs of women and continue to be a successful enterprise.

For further information about the clinic please contact or

What makes a great website? We need your opinion! – Call for volunteers for an on-line website study

The future is arriving and we are becoming ever more dependent on accessing the Internet with over 36 million people in the UK going online on a daily basis. There are quite literally thousands upon thousands of different websites out there, but how many of them do you know and what do you think makes a great website?

Daniel Bradley is a postgraduate researcher, working with Professor Siné McDougall in the Psychology Department, who is looking for volunteers to take part in an online study where you have the chance to have your say. Whether you are a super-surfer or rarely visit the Internet, we would value your opinion.

What’s Involved?

In an online study, which you can do from any computer with an Internet connection, you will be asked to give your opinion about a selection of websites and indicate how familiar they are to you. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes.

Ethical Approval

This study has ethical approval from Bournemouth University.  All data will be held anonymously and no individual will be identifiable from their data.  The data will only be used to generate scientific results and publications.

Find out more

If you would like more information before starting the study please email Daniel Bradley at

Alternatively, skip straight to one of the following links where you will get instructions about what to do next.  Please choose the link that applies to you:

If your surname starts with the letter A through to F please click:

If your surname starts with the letter G through to K please click:

If your surname starts with the letter L through to P please click:

If your surname starts with the letter Q to Z please click:

Reading this week’s policy tea leaves…

Posted in Uncategorized by ccherry



Student loan book sale U-turn 

Vince Cable has announced plans to scrap a proposed sale of student loans – worth an estimated £12bn. The reversal could squeeze the number of university places offered to school leavers. The sale was announced originally by the Chancellor with the proceeds funding the early years of the growth in student numbers when the university student cap is lifted in 2015-2016. Now it is unclear how the expansion will be bankrolled with undergraduate recruitment for 2015 to begin in less than two months.  The BIS secretary told the Social Liberal Forum that the government was considering the sale of student loans on the basis that it would reduce government debt. Recent evidence suggests this will no longer be the case.

·  Student loans sell-off abandonment raises tension in cabinet (Guardian)

·  Privatisation of student loan book to be scrapped (Independent)

·  Cable ‘scraps’ sale of student loans (THE)


Student Loans

Lots of coverage about the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee’s report warning that the Student Loans system is at ‘tipping point’ and accuses the government of failing to get accurate forecasts on how much of the loans need to be written off. The committee reckons the sale off of the student loan book would raise approximately £2bn at the moment, not £12bn. Incidentally, Downing Street downplayed Vince Cable’s claims the Liberal Democrats were blocking the privatisation of the plan, saying it was “not aware of any change to the policy”.

·  Student loan system reaches ‘tipping point’, warn MPs (BBC)

·  Student loan system is almost financially unworkable, says MPs (Guardian)

·  Aditya Chakrabortty – Student loans: not even Cameron could privatise the unprivatisable (Guardian)

·  Leader – The Guardian view on collapsing plans to sell off student debt (Guardian)

·  Student loan system ‘needs urgent review’ says MPs (THE)

·  Nearly half of students will not pay back government loans warn MPs (Telegraph)

·  Student loan system ‘at tipping point’ says MPs: call to overhaul ‘fragile’ regime to prevent ‘black hole’ in funding (Daily Mail)

·  Funding for more student places thrown into doubt   (FT)

·  Student loan write-off losses cause alarm (The Times)

·  Billions lost in ‘black hole’ of student loans (Daily Express)

Graduate employment 

A summer report published today by the Association of Graduate Recruiters reveals there is a 17 per cent increase in the overall number of graduate vacancies, when comparing 2014 with the last recruitment season. The survey also shows that graduate starting salaries are set to improve, with the median rising £500 from last year to £27,000.

·  Graduate vacancies and salaries rise (THE)

·  UK graduate jobs ‘recover but posts left unfilled (BBC)

·  Jobs vacancies are rising, but graduates lack the right skills  (The Times)



A report by the London School of Economics and Political Science suggests that ethnic minority students are less likely than their white British peers to receive offers from UK universities. The only exceptions were mixed white/Asian and Chinese university candidates, who did not have a significantly lower chance of getting an offer.

‘Fewer university offers’ for minority groups’ (BBC News online) 

Ethnic minority applicants to university ‘less likely to receive offers’ (THE)

Ethnic minority students get fewer university offers, research shows (Guardian)

Student loans sell-off

Further coverage after Graham Parker, from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), told the Treasury Select Committee that it was a “reasonable assumption” that cancelling the student loan book sell-off would cost the Treasury £12 billion over five years and the move would add to public sector debt. It may also jeopardise Mr Osborne’s plan to remove the cap on student numbers which was due to be funded by the proceeds of the loan book sale. 

Scrapping of student loans sale could raise public sector debt   (Guardian)

Axing student loan book sell-off leaves £12bn hole  (The Times)



University Alliance making the case for urgent need for a more sustainable HE funding system

In the Hepi blog, Prof Steve West, Chair of the University Alliance, responds to HEPI’s new report on ‘Only Connect’: Is there still a higher education sector?,  written by Prof David Weston. Read it here 

The Wonkhe blog was an opportunity to explore the issue in even more depth  Read here


There’s considerable coverage following the publication of OFFA’s access agreements for 2015-2016.  

UK universities spending more on outreach and less on bursaries, report shows (Independent)

More universities to charge maximum tuition fees of £9,000 (Telegraph)

Millions spent helping poor students pass (The Times)

Ethnic minorities

Several more pieces on how ethnic minority students are less likely to win a place at university following the publication of research from LSE.  The study looked at 50,000 UCAS applications from 2008.

Universities give fewer places to ethnic minorities – still? (Channel 4 news)

Black And Ethnic Minority Students Far Less Likely To Receive Offers, New Study Reveals (Huffington Post)

Ethnic minority students less likely to win a place at university, finds research (The Upcoming)



Widening Participation

UCAS analysis has shown record numbers of disadvantaged teenagers applied for university allaying fears that higher fees would deter less wealthy candidates. Poorer students apply to university in record numbers (Times)

The recent OFFA report has shown that universities are moving away from bursaries and are diverting money into outreach and employability work. Universities woo poorer students with mentoring not cash (Guardian)

University Funding

A letter calling for government to resist the urge to re-cap student numbers has been published in the Times and the Guardian.

·         It is time to think again about how we are funding higher education and student loans (Times)

·         Sustainable funding for students (Guardian)

NERC announces inaugural Impact Awards

Posted in Research news by jcodling

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, NERC is pleased to announce its inaugural Impact Awards.

There are four award categories:

  • Economic Impact Award
    Recognising research that has achieved exceptional economic benefit.
  • Societal Impact Award
    Recognising research that has achieved exceptional social, cultural, public policy or service, health, environmental or quality of life benefits.
  • International Impact Award
    Recognising research that has achieved exceptional economic and/or societal impact outside the UK.
  • Early Career Impact Award
    Recognising an early career researcher who has achieved exceptional economic and/or societal impact within the UK or internationally.

A winner from one of the four categories will be selected to receive the Overall Impact Award, in recognition of the outstanding impact of their research.

The winner of each category will receive £10,000 and the runner-up £5,000, to further the impacts of their research. The Overall Impact Award winner will receive an additional £30,000.

The closing date for applications is 16:00 Wednesday 10 September 2014.

Click here for more information including eligibity and the application process.

Developing web-based interventions at BU

On the 17th July we hosted an Introduction to developing online interventions workshop in the Psychology department at BU. The aim of the workshop was to introduce colleagues to LifeGuide, free open-source software that allows researchers to develop, modify and test behaviour-change interventions ( This is part of plans to eventually create BU’s Centre for e-Health, Internet Research and Practice (CHIRP) a multidisciplinary group of researchers in health, computing and behaviour change. The overall aim of CHIRP is to support researchers to create high-quality, high impact digital interventions that will work in practice.

Workshop attendees included staff and PhD students from Nursing, Health Promotion, Psychology and Computing as well as researchers from Dorset Healthcare NHS University Foundation Trust and the University of West of England. Attendees learnt how to use LifeGuide through talks, examples and hands-on experience of using the software. Discussions also led onto future uses of LifeGuide including ideas for collaborative research projects into obesity, exercise motivation in osteoarthritis and projects for computing students to build on the open-source aspects of the software. Overall, it was a successful morning.

The workshop was led by Dr Sarah Williams, psychology lecturer at BU who is using LifeGuide for her MotivATE intervention. MotivATE has been co-developed with the local Eating Disorder Service, the i*eat charity, students at BU and colleagues in HSC, Psychology and Loughborough University. It aims to provide early intervention to people referred to an eating disorder services and motivate them to attend their first appointment. A large multi-site trial of the effectiveness of MotivATE is planned and funding will be sought in January 2015.

The workshop was also facilitated by Dr Leanne Morrison form the University of Southampton and Kathy Walker a third-year student at BU. Dr Morrison has been working on the LifeGuide project at Southampton since its inception 5 years ago and is keen to continue building links with CHIRP. Kathy has been using LifeGuide as part of her role on the research apprenticeship scheme in psychology where she has been instrumental in building the MotivATE intervention. Kathy presented on her experience of using LifeGuide and provided support to attendees as they got a chance to try out the software. Kathy says of the workshop:

“​I feel that the workshop was able to provide an insight for many people and gave them the opportunity to try out a software which could be potentially useful to the attendees. It was really wonderful getting to meet so many different people and engage with them, and present to them my experiences of using Lifeguide. It was a really warm and friendly atmosphere and everyone seemed to enjoy it.”

If you were unable to make the workshop and would like a copy of the slides or would like to get in touch about using LifeGuide or getting involved in CHIRP please get in touch with Sarah Williams at  Regular CHIRP meetings will be resumed after the summer for all researchers with an interest in the area.

Research Data Management (RDM)

Posted in Uncategorized by pharland

With increased interest from funders and government policy about open access data the recent DCC seminar sponsored by R&KEO about Research Data Management helped explain the data cycle leading to open access.

So what is data? Several definitions exist but in essence anything collected, created, observed and used for your research, e.g. sketches, recordings, social media.

RDM is the process covering the creation and stewardship of materials for use “as long as they retain value”. Well managed and shared data raises research profile and impact, potentially adding to reputation. Clearly we need to maintain careful consideration of sensitive or personal data.

RCUK and many other research funders have an expectation that Data Management Planning (DMP) will be integral to project development and increasingly funders are asking to see your DMP with applications.

The DMP process looks at what data will be created, how it should be managed and includes sharing and presentation considerations. RCUK expect existing data sets to be checked to avoid duplication and Horizon 2020 covers exploitation, access and preservation, see the Research Blog for further information, also DCC offer a multitude of resources including DMP Online which will guide you through creating a DMP step-by-step.

So why share my data? Well the funders’ are asking for this as they see data as a public good and having paid for it they want to maximise their investment (mindful of privacy, security and commerciality interests). Also your data will be safely stored and available when you next require access. Others researchers can scrutinise and enhance the data resource leading to scholarly communication, with suitable citations to you.

Project feedback suggests that collecting data as you progress makes life easier towards the conclusion of the project. Additionally it is worthwhile considering your file naming conventions early on, e.g. name, structure, version. Storage and back up of data is important during the research process and afterwards, you may need the data again and others may have access also. With the latter point to mind some consideration to maintaining data in a repository is sensible, mindful of the economic versus value added conundrum. For example, keeping data available in newer formats to increase data mining in the years ahead. Further advice from DCC can be found here.

Calling All Consumer Behaviour Researchers







Influences on Consumer Behaviour (ICB) is a research cluster whose central focus is the consumer, with all aspects of its research being interwoven with, and underpinned by, consumer behaviour theories.  Themes of enquiry include decision-making, attitudes, motivations and other psychological factors such as emotions, as well as influences upon behaviour and consumption activities, for instance culture, branding and technology.   It therefore acts as a nexus for research in a number of areas including psychology, marketing, retailing and the media.   Whilst based in the Business School ICB welcomes membership from all schools – anyone who has potential research interests of a consumer-related nature.

Given there is a wide remit of consumer research across all aspects of the University the ICB research cluster would like to invite those already researching, or interested in researching in the area of consumer behaviour to a ‘Hands-on Information Sharing Session’.  The aim of this session is to provide an opportunity to meet others with similar research interests as well as to learn more about the variety of consumer research being carried out across the University through brief research presentations.  There will also be the chance for further discussions and networking over refreshments to look for potential cross-discipline research opportunities across the university. 

With this in mind ICB have scheduled a ‘Hands-on Information Sharing Session’ for Wednesday 10th Septemberat 09:30 in S202, 2nd Floor, Studland House, Lansdowne Campus.

Please could those wishing to attend let Juliet Memery know as soon as possible to ascertain likely numbers for catering purposes, and then send three Powerpoint slides (max) that briefly cover their research/interests in issues relating to consumer behaviour research to her by Monday 8th September (email: ). 

All welcome – we look forward to seeing you there!

Money available for you to publish your articles Open Access!

Back in April 2011 we launched the BU Open Access Publication Fund. This is a dedicated central budget that has been launched in response to, and in support of, developments in research communication and publication trends. The fund is also to support research in complying with some of the major funding bodies who have introduced open access publishing requirements as a condition of their grants.

The fund is available for use by any BU author ready to submit a completed article for publication who wishes to make their output freely and openly accessible.

If you are interested in applying to the fund then you need to email ShellyAnne Stringer in RKEO with the following information:

  • Name of the open access publication
  • Confirmation this will be a peer reviewed paper
  • A short justification (1 paragraph) of why it is beneficial for your research to be published in this particular open access publication
  • The cost of the open access publication
  • Likely publication date
  • Likely REF Unit of Assessment (UOA)
  • A copy of the paper

If you have any questions about the Fund then please direct them to Shelly via email.

Further information: BU Open Access Fund policy

Want to know how you target high impact journals?

My Publishing Experience: Prof. Matthew Bennett

Wed 23rd July 12:30-14:00 Russell Cotes Museum, Bournemouth

On Wednesday 23rd July, Prof. Matthew Bennett will be hosting a Writing Academy lunchbyte session at the Russell Cotes Museum.

In this session, Matthew will talk about his personal publishing experience, his approaches to research and writing, how to develop a publication strategy and the challenges of working with colleagues and dealing with both reviewers and editors.  He will talk about all type of publishing from journal articles, to books via edited compilations.  Drawing on personal experience he will also focus on how you target high impact journals.   After the presentation, attendees are invited to stay and discuss the topic with the speaker over lunch.

To book a place on either of these workshops, please email

If you have any questions relating to these sessions then please contact Shelly Anne Stringer

A last chance to attend the Appraisal Workshops this academic year!

A last chance to attend the Appraisal Workshops this academic year!

Setting and Reviewing Academic Appraisal Objectives & Personal and Professional Development Planning for Academic Staff Workshops; are both taking place on Thursday 24th July 2014 from 09:00am, on Lansdowne Campus.

Both of the above workshops are facilitated by: Linda Amor, Organisational and Staff Development Manager and aimed at; All Academic Staff appraisers and appraises.

To book a place and for more information please visit the Staff Development and Engagement Pages on the Staff Intranet.




The virtual and the field: enhancing visualisation in archaeology using serious game technologies

Forensic Experiemtn Level 1The FIF funded collaborative project between the Creative Technology and Archaeology Frameworks has produced its first output.


The aims of the project are to:

  • Initiate collaboration between the Creative Technology and Archaeology and Anthropology academic groups.
  • Enable Games Technology students to perform interdisciplinary projects with Archaeology students (e.g. the creation of virtual 3D environments or 3D artefacts).
  • Provide Archaeology and Anthropology students with 3D research, teaching and learning resources produced with serious game technologies.


In the first of a series of projects a Games Technology student has collaborated with a Forensic Archaeology student to produce 3D environments for use in experiments investigating how individuals interpret and respond to features in the environment. We are now looking to participants to perform the experiment. Please email or if you want to take part in the experiment.

HE in the news last week

Posted in Uncategorized by ccherry

Courtesy of University Alliance.



Reshuffle speculation

Speculation is growing ahead of an rumoured government reshuffle, with the PM expected to inform sacked ministers this evening of his decision.  The usual Tuesday morning Cabinet has reportedly been shelved. Universities and Science Minister David Willetts is reported as among those expected to be reshuffled in Paul Waugh’s Room Memo which suggests that the shape of a Cabinet reshuffle is forming with focus on bring in more women and new faces.

“David Willetts’ Cabinet-attending post as Universities Minister could be an option for the Prime Minister to bring up somebody from a lower ministerial rank, with the Telegraph reporting that this could be the route for Liz Truss to become the youngest-ever female Tory Cabinet member. ”

Old pals axe The Sun

David Cameron ‘open to all-women shortlists on eve of reshuffle The Guardian

Old guard fail to jump before they are pushed from cabinet The Times

Cameron’s youthful, woman-friendly reshuffle is a ‘last-minute worry about votes’ says Labour (Independent)

Scottish Independence

The Law Society of Scotland is questioning whether their government had fully researched the planned policy of continuing to charge students from other parts of the UK in the event of a ‘yes’ vote. It warned that such ‘discriminatory fee structures’ were illegal under EU law.

Scottish tuition fees for English students could be illegal under independence, lawyers warn (Telegraph).

University finance

An interesting piece exploring how changes in generating finance to pay for expansion or new campus buildings by issuing bonds could create a new elite set of universities.  Eight English universities have been awarded credit ratings which are awarded on academic reputation, track-record in student recruitment, financial health and leadership. These could be used by governments to allow universities with the strongest rating to launch their own student loan schemes.

Credit where it’s due as universities borrow millions (The Times)


The APPG on Modern Languages warns the UK is missing out on almost £50bn a year in lost contracts because of poor language skills among the workforce. They warn the study of languages was in ‘deep crisis’ at A-level and languishing at a ‘record low in universities. 44 universities had scrapped language degrees since 2000.

English youths ‘Europe’s worst at languages’: Just 9% of pupils have basic mastery of French compared with 42% elsewhere  (Daily Mail)

University role ‘crucial’ for languages recovery (THE)



Reshuffle shenanigans – you have already received these updates.



Government reshuffle

Top story for most papers although they do focus on the motivations behind Gove’s departure from the Departure of Education and the appointment of several women to ministerial posts.

Greg Clark universities minister as Willetts steps down (BBC News) – quoted UA.

Steve West, Chairman of University of Alliance, said: “The coming months will be critical in thinking about the long-term sustainability and global positioning of UK higher education.”

Greg Clark appointed universities and science minister (Guardian HE blog)

David Willetts quits as university minister (THE) and Greg Clark takes over from Willetts (THE)

Science sector praises David Willetts (Daily Mail)

Science Minister Greg Clark supports ‘homoeopathy‘ (Huffington Post)

Further coverage in sector magazines including ScienceChemistry WorldLaboratory Talk



Widening Participation

HEFCE/OFFA have published a report today – Outcomes of access agreement, widening participation strategic statement and National Scholarship Programme monitoring for 2012-13’.  The report (available here) focuses on all universities, but Prof Les Ebdon has commented separately on how there has been less progress in boosting the number of poor students attending the most selective universities. This may have influenced coverage to focusing on what the Russell Group is doing to change this (especially in The Times, Telegraph)

Bursaries are bigger but few get them (The Times)

Top universities ‘must do more’ for poor students (Daily Telegraph)

Rise in university spend to attract poorer (BBC News)

Outreach activity ramped up at dawn of £9000 fees (THE)

There is a live chat happening today between 9am and 11am on widening access in UK and Australia on Guardian’s HE Network webpage on

Has the expansion of higher education helped to widen access? (Guardian) which may make interesting reading.

David Willetts

Interviewed on his “reflections” following his resignation as Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts predicts that his successor will need to face down Labour’s policy to reduce fees to £6000.

Few regrets for David Willetts (THE)



Skills gap/Job readiness

Catherine Hobbs, head of engineering at the University of the West of England (UWE), argues that part-time postgraduate study can help ease industry’s skills problem but only if universities prove to businesses the direct benefits of investment.

Universities must prove they can help close the skills gap (The Engineer)

A-level reform 

Russell Group universities want ministers to provide schools with more funding, teacher training and resources to ensure that reformed A-levels are taught properly – and ensure students can take fourth A-levels in crucial subjects. They wrote a letter to Michael Gove before his move.

A-level reform: Top universities want more money for schools (TES)

International Students 

Interesting interactive graphic on the Guardian HE Network page demonstrating which countries get the most overseas students.

International students – where do they go to study?

Writing English as a Foreign Language

Posted in Uncategorized by ibuciak

On Wednesday 23rd July 2014, 12:30-14:00, taking place at the Russell Cotes Museum, in Bournemouth.

A Writing Academy Lunchbyte session where Prof. Matthew Bennett will talk about his personal publishing experience, his approaches to research and writing, how to develop a publication strategy and the challenges of working with colleagues and dealing with both reviewers and editors.  He will talk about all type of publishing from journal articles, to books via edited compilations.  Drawing on personal experience he will also focus on how you target high impact journals.   After the presentation, attendees are invited to stay and discuss the topic with the speaker over lunch.

Facilitated by: Professor Matthew Bennett

To book on please visit our Staff Development & Engagement Pages on the Staff Intranet.

BU presenters at Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development, Melbourne, Australia

Dr Sara Ashencaen Crabtree and Professor Jonathan Parker presented their research at the Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development, in Melbourne, Australia, 9th-12th July 2014.

In a well-received paper concerning the importance of student social workers learning about the causes, impacts and ways of working with the consequences of terrorism, and the problems of rigidity in the current English curriculum, conference delegates were introduced to a two-year study which revealed that student participants felt that a more extensive and sensitive range of intervention tools needed to be taught and deployed via a coherent and nuanced understanding of the geo-political dimensions surrounding the construction of ‘global terrorism’, together with its potential impact on local populations and vulnerable communities. Research findings highlighted the importance of earlier generic community-based and therapeutic approaches, which were favoured above contemporary neoliberal emphases in English social work education concerning assessment, safeguarding and social policing.  Addressing these findings would demand a much needed rebalancing of the curriculum to reinstate essential practitioner skills transferrable to a range of situations and crises – skills that have long been viewed as integral to the social work role by the international community. This research was published earlier in 2014 in the journal Social Policy & Social Work in Transition, DOI: 10.1921/4704030201, and was reported in the Guardian on 25th June 2014

The second presentation reported aspects of the highly successful UK-Malaysian study of reactions to and cross-cultural learning from international placements, research that has challenged preconceived notions of anti-oppressive practices and demonstrates the need to move beyond post-colonial analyses of Western social work towards a post-post-colonial dialectic of shared and cultural appropriate practices. This research, funded by a British Council PMI2 grant, took place over three-years, with three separate cohorts of students supported by two Malaysian universities, Universiti Sains Malaysia on the peninsular and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak in Borneo. The success of this study which combined research rigour focusing on  pedagogy with student mobility opportunities has been affirmed by the British Council as one of their most successful funded projects. This study has to-date produced a raft of publications: 2 book chapters, 5 peer-reviewed papers and 5 international conference presentations, including one keynote lecture. The latest research paper has just been published in the prestigious European Jounral of Social Work, Jonathan Parker, Sara Ashencaen Crabtree, Azlinda Azman, Dolly Paul Carlo & Clare Cutler (2014): Problematising international placements as a site of intercultural learning, European Journal of Social Work, DOI: 10.1080/13691457.2014.925849.

Jonathan Parker and Sara Ashencaen Crabtree

WordCamp comes to BU

Posted in Technology & Design by nkay

This weekend BU has been playing host to a fantastic group of the nation’s best and brightest WordPress Developers for the 7th annual WordCamp UK event. The event is a chance for the community of WordPress developers to come together, share ideas and experiences, and provide each other with support and advice.  Over 100 people attended the event, coming both from the local conurbation, and from further afield – in particular one gentleman had come all the way from Spain!

Arriving Saturday morning I had the basics of WordPress down, having previously developed a free website for a local community event that consists of a few different pages and a blog feed.  Talks have been submitted to the running order by the attendees of the conference in advance, giving people a selection of topics to pick and choose from depending on their interests.  Sessions have been hugely varied, for example: “A beginners guide to web accessibility”, “Learning to sell your services as a web designer”, “Designing with data”, and “How not to launch a startup”.  One of the most helpful sessions from my perspective as a novice WordPress user was a series of 5 minute lightening talks on topics such as the importance of password security (to find out how long it would take a hacker to crack your password head to How big is your haystack?), how to set up a developer event, and a poetic recital of how to problem solve your website issues.

As well as attending the talks I’ve also benefitted from one of one tuition from other attendees on how I can develop sites offline and what plugins I could add to sites to make them more interesting and useful for the end user, all for no extra cost.  Overall this has been a fantastic insight into the power of WordPress and how I can use it to support my own projects and events at a minimal cost.   Considering tickets were just £10, I think there has been fantastic value in the weekend’s activities and I would recommend to anyone with an interest in WordPress (professionally or privately) to consider attending future WordCamps around the country. 

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