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Student Research Assistantship scheme – academic applications now live

Academics are invited to submit applications for this years’ SRA programme.  Application deadline is 26th January 2018.

The programme is funded by the Fusion Investment Fund and the scheme continues to focus on supporting departments reach co-creation targets whilst supporting students to undertake research under the guidance of an experienced academic that is directly related to their career path and/or academic discipline.  Each department has its own allocation of funding and we encourage collaboration between departments for this scheme.

The academic applications will be assessed against the following criteria which you will need to demonstrate within the application form:

  • Student-centred
  • Co-creation and co-production
  • Fusion
  • External engagement
  • Impact
  • Cross-Faculty

This scheme is for successful students to work for 30 hours a week for a total of four weeks in June/July 2018.

The SRA programme is coordinated via RKEO.

Academics will apply for the funding via an application form. A Faculty based panel will review all staff applications and decide which applications to continue to the student recruitment stage of the scheme.  The application deadline for this round is 26th January 2018.

Approved academic applications will be advertised as SRA positions to students with student applications being received, processed and managed centrally within RKEO and distributed to the relevant academics after the closing date. Academics will be responsible for shortlisting, interviewing and providing interview feedback to their own candidates. Successful students will need to complete monthly timesheets, signed by their supervisor for payment.

These SRA vacancies will be available to taught BU students only, where SRA applicants must be able to work in the UK, be enrolled during the time of their assistantship and also hold an average grade of over 70%.  Staff are permitted to have multiple SRAs.

If you have any queries, please contact Rachel Clarke, KE Adviser –

Katie Thompson (SciTech) becomes an expert for Global Animal Protection (World Animal Protection Charity)

Katie’s recent work in Africa is driven by her passion for African wildlife, where her research focuses on ecosystem level conservation, environmental education and sustainable development. She was honoured to be personally invited by the Science Diplomat of the U.S. Embassy to represent Bournemouth University as a subject matter expert at the London Zoohackathon 2017, hosted by the Zoological Society of London. She advised coders how to identify technological solutions to the illegal wildlife trade from her experience in the field. Following this, Katie recently published an article for the U.S. Embassy (read here) and is now delighted to join a team of experts on the Global Animal Protection, as part of the renowned wildlife charity, World Animal Protection (find out more here). Katie works with Professor Genoveva Esteban as a Research Associate in the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences (SciTech).

UUK Award for Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Projects

The Universities UK Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education Working Group (MWBHE) have announced an award to recognise students who have worked to support student mental health and wellbeing in the UK.

Enrolled students and students who have left a UK university within the last year are eligible to apply for their creation, development and completion of an innovative intervention to support student mental health and wellbeing, produced in 2015-17.

To enter, submit a creation that shows how you as a university student have supported student mental health and wellbeing and you could win £500. The winner will be invited to the 2018 MWBHE conference and the winning submission displayed on this website.

Full terms and conditions, submission formats, and eligibility criteria are available from the UUK website Closing date for submissions is noon of 30 January 2018.

For queries please contact Gedminte Mikulenaite, Universities UK Policy Officer (Mental Health in Higher Education).

Real-time Research Professional Updates at the click of a button

Have you noticed this box on the BU Research Blog?

By clicking on this box, on the left of the Research Blog home page just under the text ‘Funding Opportunities‘, you access a Research Professional real-time search of the calls announced by the Major UK Funders. Use this feature to stay up to date with funding calls. Please note that you will have to be on campus or connecting to your desktop via our VPN to fully access this service.

Alternatively, receive regular alerts by signing up to as many groups as you want by clicking on ‘Bournemouth University‘ on the Research Professional home screen and selecting relevant searches that have been set up to locate funding calls. Just find the ones which suit your needs, click on the name of the group and select ‘Join this Group’.  You can also modify a shared search to save into your own alerts area by clicking on the padlock symbol.

You can find out more about Research Professional from the RKEO monthly updates which give further details of this service and the help available to BU staff. Just search ‘Research Professional or click on Research Professional tag at the bottom of this post to see all our posts about this subscribed service for BU staff.

We will still continue to blog about specific calls of note as usual.

If you need further assistance with using Research Professional, please contact your Funding Development Officer.

Only 3 Weeks to Go! Annual Postgraduate Conference Abstract Deadline

Doctoral College – 10th Annual Postgraduate Conference

Are you a PGR or do you know a PGR looking for an opportunity to share their research with peers and academic colleagues? If so, then the 10th Annual Postgraduate Conference hosted by the Doctoral College is the opportunity for you.

With only 3 weeks do go The 10th Annual Postgraduate Conference abstract deadline is soon approaching. BU PGRs are invited to submit oral, poster or photography abstract to by Thursday 4 January 2018 in order to be considered.  

Please ensure you follow the how to apply guidance (pdf 253kb) and you can download the Application Form (docx 545kb) here.

Oral Presentation: 1st Prize £150;   2nd Prize £100;   3rd Prize £75
Poster Presentation: 1st Prize £100;   2nd Prize £75;   3rd Prize £50
Photo Presentation: Winner £50

*All prizes will be in the form of Amazon Vouchers

Successful oral presentations will be supported by a one day masterclass in presentation skills and successful poster presentations will be supported by a masterclass in creating an academic poster.

Registration to attend the conference will open on Monday 8 January 2018.


BU’s Professor Tim Darvill nominated for Archaeologist of the Year 2018

Professor of Archaeology Tim Darvill has been shortlisted for Archaeologist of the Year 2018 by Current Archaeology magazine.

It is the 10th annual Current Archaeology Awards, celebrating the projects and publications that have been in the magazine over the past 12 months.

Professor Darvill, who is also Director of the Centre for Archaeology and Anthropology at BU, said: “It is a real honour to even be shortlisted for such an award and, of course, wouldn’t be possible without the colleagues I’ve worked alongside.”

Tim has directed many projects, including an excavation in 2008 at Stonehenge together with Geoff Wainwright. Today, Timothy is the only person alive who’s directed an excavation inside the monument’s stones.

Outside of the UK, he has led projects in Germany, Russia, Greece, Malta and the Isle of Man.

Tim has also published widely on archaeology and has given local, regional and national TV and radio interviews on the subject.

Voting closes on 5 February 2018 and the winners will be announced on 23 February.

You can find out more information and cast your vote for Archaeologist of the Year here.

NHS Research Ethics Committee Members day 2017

Tuesday saw the annual NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC) members training day in London. The learning outcomes of the day were:

  • To provide overview of the pilot work being undertaken in preparation for EU Clinical Trials Regulation
  • To introduce the REWARD Alliance and,
  • To consider how ethics committess can encourage researchers to engage more fully with the scientific literature both before and after studies are conducted

The morning focussed on updates on ethics regulatory procedures, the EU (see link below for slides) and changes in the Data Protection Act (but not the law of confidentiality) that have implications beyond healthcare research. There is also movement for a Public Involvement in Ethical Review (PIER) service, as well as adopting ‘e-consent’ for participation in health research.

EU Regulation_UK Research Ethics Service

The afternoon focussed on the REWARD Alliance and how ethics committees (and researchers) can help reduce waste in research. This group was established to promote a series of articles on research published in early 2014 in The Lancet.

Figure: Stages of waste in producing and reporting of research evidence (Chalmers & Glasziou, The Lancet 2009).

As a researcher and ethical reviewer, the day was insightful, interesting and relevant. Knowledge of the REWARD Alliance, particularly how researchers should diligently plan and prepare projects with clear pathways to dissemination. Although publishing demands differ between academia and industry (including pharmaceutical companies), all research should be designed fom the outset with clear outputs to communicate the findings.

If you would like further information from the day, send me an email.


Funding opportunities : Industrial Collaboration

IF you currently have a good working relationship with an industry partner and you are seeking funding opportunities for future/further collaborations, you and your industry partner might find the funding opportunities below useful. Please note that some of these will require working with industry with some of the funders specifically targeting the industry partner as the lead.

Food Innovation Network innovation vouchers

Innovate UK, GB

This new fund is aimed at helping support small businesses with a bright idea to develop their concepts in partnership with researchers or academic institutions. These support small food and drink business innovators with an idea to develop their concepts in partnership with researchers or academic institutions. The competition, run on behalf of Defra by the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), will support projects of three to six months.

Maximum award: £5,000

Closing date: 12 Jan 18

Industrial fuel switching market engagement study

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, GB

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is calling for tenders for its industrial fuel switching market engagement study. The tenderer will focus on the potential for low carbon fuel switching across industry, identifying a range of potential technologies that through fuel switching can reduce the carbon intensity of industry and should include a review of the existing evidence, starting with the 2050 Roadmaps; identifying the types of process technologies that require a fuel (energy) and determine the potential for fuel substitution to a low carbon fuel; develop a list of technologies with future market potential and support the technology developers in detailing the potential carbon saving.


The contract is worth £200,000.

Maximum award: £200,000

Closing date: 12 Jan 18


Preparatory action – digital transformation of European industry

Digital Single Market, EU

The European Commission is launching a Call for proposals for a preparatory action in the field of digital transformation of European industry for a maximum amount of €1.494.000

The European Commission is launching a Call for proposals for a preparatory action in the field of digital transformation of European industry for a maximum amount of €1.494.000

The aim of the preparatory action is to develop a coherent, coordinated and sustainable approach to enhance the engagement of all relevant stakeholders interested in the digitisation of European industry (business, academia, research organisations and civil society) and to inform, prepare and help them develop projects designed to face the new transformations.

Maximum award: €1,494,000

Closing date: 31 Jan 18

Please do get in touch with Ehren Milner ( at RKEO for further queries.

Kindness Summit 14th February 2018

We have seen kindness  and service excellence everywhere at BU this week. Our Random Acts of Kindness week has included free donuts to students in our halls of residences, and a visit by the Anthony Nolan Trust to sign up Life saving Heroes to help save lives.  Another highlight of the week – the CEL student co-creation awards and seeing Max Schultz, Faculty of Management BABS student collect his certificate and cheque.  Max is working with Lois Farquharson and Susanne Clarke,  to develop a kindness project looking at embedding a kindness culture with higher education.

The kindness group – an informal group of staff from across BU with an interest in promoting kindness have been busy preparing for our BU Kindness Summit on the 14th February in the EBC. This all day event inspired by the Service Excellence Conference in April 17, will bring together academic staff, professional support staff and students who share an interest in making an impact through kindness.

So far we are delighted to be able to include research and professional practice topics from academics across BU aligned with promoting kindness. Topics include developing toolkits in the social care sector, kindness as a brand value, kindness and happiness in increasingly digital environments, and we will also be showcasing our  student co-creation work.   Helen Palmer,  Culture and Sport Lead in Student Services will talk about the impact of our Random Acts of Kindness week.  We are also hoping to invite some well know thought leaders to our event too.

Dr Carole Pound and Dr Caroline Ellis-Hill will be leading workshops to explore how humanising frameworks can be adapted for higher education across disciplines and consider how  approaches taken by programmes  within HSS can be applied to other programmes across BU to improve student and staff experiences.  This workshop will be inspiring and guaranteed to lift your spirits.

Other surprises for the day will include themes such as an introduction to Ubuntu philosophy – human kindness.  As well a chance to learn something new and appropriate to valentines day.

If you would like to share your area of interest, research, learning and teaching, practice or  life experiences within the context of kindness, please do get in touch with Susanne Clarke, Lois Farquharson, or Lee-Ann Fenge, we would love you to join us.

Booking pages to come along to this event will be live soon


New projects in the Student Project Bank

Here is a roundup of the latest projects submitted to the SPB:

SPB085: Website redevelopment for a national healthcare society

The current website has limited functionality, is unattractive and paid members get limited benefits for their money. Benefits for paid members such as access to a confidential discussion forum and free webinars are underused. Carry out a baseline assessment of the organisation and members’ needs in order to make recommendations for adjustments to the website. Propose and implement changes to the website based on this assessment.

SPB086: Internal communication strategy to increase the use of a national healthcare society’s website by its members

The organisation is looking to encourage members to more effectively utilise the online content provided with their membership. Benefits for paid members include access to a confidential discussion forum and free webinars. Create an internal marketing strategy to increase the usage of the website by their members. This project can be undertaken in conjunction with SPB087: Marketing plan for a national healthcare society.

SPB087: Marketing plan for a national healthcare society

The organisation is looking to increase the usage of their website by non-members. Create a marketing strategy to increase the usage of the website and raise awareness of the organisation. This project can be undertaken in conjunction with SPB086: Internal communication strategy for a national healthcare society.

SPB088: Online marketing plan for a local charity

Based in Poole, Dorset, Harbour Challenge Outdoor Adventure Centre is a registered charity offering affordable access to a wide range of land and water based outdoor adventure activities to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. As a charity, the organisation relies on income from the activities they provide. Identify social media marketing opportunities to enable the charity to reach a wider audience and maximise their internet presence. Provide a list of recommendations on how this can be achieved as well as relevant marketing materials.

SPB90: Marketing plan for a local charity

The Leonardo Trust is a registered charity set up to make life a little easier for those who care full-time for others. Presently, The Leonardo Trust benefits 250 carers in Dorset per year. Their aim is to double this reach through paid advertising and marketing. Develop a marketing strategy to expand the reach of The Leonardo Trust to increase community engagement.

SPB91: Explore funding opportunities for The Happiness Course

The Happiness Course is an 8 hour course based on positive psychology and delivered over 2 or 4 weeks (or a weekend). Explore ways The Happiness Course can raise fund or attract investors in order to be able to offer the course to those who need it for a low cost.

SPB92: Marketing plan for The Happiness Course

The Happiness Course is an 8 hour course based on positive psychology and delivered over 2 or 4 weeks (or a weekend). Compile a low-cost marketing plan to enable The Happiness Course to reach a wider audience in the local area. Include recommendations on how to implement the plan.

SPB93: Promotional videos for a digital print company 

RPM Digital Print was started in 1991 and has grown into a fully integrated print and multi-channel marketing communications service provider. Create two short videos (2 minutes each) to showcase the work of the company. The first video will introduce the company, their location and printing products. The second video will be based around their marketing technology. These videos will be featured on the website and on social media.

Apply now:

Projects are available to all undergraduate and postgraduate students at BU and can be used for dissertations, assignments, unit, or group work. Send us an email to request a project brief and application form.

Inaugural lecture: #hashtags, handhelds and handbags: enabling students to blend life and learning

In this public lecture Professor Debbie Holley will explore the impact of technology as an enabler as our students navigate their way through increasingly complex and ‘messy’ lives, juggling debt, work, caring responsibilities and study. Technology is not only a tool, but offers insights into the lives of others, and possibilities of building networks and studying in different spaces. What should our response as educators be?

This interactive lecture will be preceding by a one hour ‘suite of innovation’ where attendees will be able to try out some of the innovations in learning BU offers its students, including Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, augmented reality, Mentimeter and BU’s new Virtual Learning Environment ‘Brightspace’ . Our Learning Technology team will be on hand to help you get set up to tweet the event (#TalkBU), to download Google Cardboard App, Zappar App and chat about their work.

Professor Holley is the Professor of Learning Innovation and the Head of our Centre for Excellence in Learning at Bournemouth University. A passionate educator, she is a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. A JISC ‘Digital Expert’, she leads on digital innovation to encourage students to blend and personalise their learning inside and outside the formal classroom. Internationally her work is acknowledged through her research into the student experience and education futures.

You can book your free tickets here.

Student Research Assistantship Scheme: Opens soon

The Student Research Assistantship (SRA) scheme will open for academic applications this week.

Stay tuned on the Research Blog for further information on how you can apply for the funding to recruit a student research assistant for a co-created output.

Please direct any questions to Rachel Clarke, KE Advisor on 01202 961347 or email

Lifting the Lid on the Future of Food – STEAMLab 25th January 2018

On Thursday 25th January 2018, BU’s Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (RKEO) will be hosting a Food STEAMLab.

Which means…?

We’re seeking to come up with novel research which addresses challenges in the future of food. With increasing pressure on food sources and the food industry, we need to consider how food security can be guaranteed for the future. Potential areas to address this challenge may include but are not limited to, malnutrition/nutrition, agriculture, logistics, robotics, supply chain, new forms of food, sustainability, political/economic problems, food policy, food waste & recycling, and climate & the environment.

So, who should attend?

STEAMLabs cover broad themes to ensure that they are open to everyone from all disciplines. So if you think you have something to contribute then come along.  If you think that they don’t include you then please have a chat with your RKEO Facilitator who can explain how your research could make a vital contribution to new ideas and approaches. In order to encourage wider partnerships, each STEAMLab will include academics from other universities, as well as representatives from industry and other sectors.

What do I need to prepare in advance? What will the STEAMLab entail?

Absolutely nothing in advance. During the session, you’ll be guided through a process which results in the development of research ideas. The process facilitates creativity, potentially leading to innovative and interdisciplinary research ideas. These ideas will be explored with other attendees, and further developed based on the feedback received.

What if I don’t have time to think about ideas in advance?

You don’t need to do this but it will help. Attendees will come from a range of backgrounds so we expect that there will be lively conversations resulting from these different perspectives.

What about afterwards? Do I need to go away and do loads of work?

Well… that depends! The interactive day will result in some novel research ideas. Some of these may be progressed immediately; others might need more time to develop. You may find common ground with other attendees which you choose to take forward in other ways, such as writing a paper or applying for research funding. Your Research Facilitator will be on hand to support you as you develop bids for funding.

What if my topic area is really specific, and doesn’t really relate to food?

Your contribution will be very welcome! One of the main benefits of this type of event is to bring together individuals with a range of backgrounds and specialisms who are able to see things just that bit differently to one another.

So, is this just networking?

Definitely not! It is a facilitated session with the primary intention of developing innovative research ideas, which also enables the development of networks. It gives you the opportunity to explore research ideas which you may develop over time, together with the chance to find common ground with academics from across BU and beyond.

How do I book onto this event?

To take part in this exciting opportunity, BU staff should request a place by emailing RKEDevFramework as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

This event will be held in the EBC, Lansdowne Campus.

If you have any queries prior to submitting your application, please contact Lisa Gale-Andrews, RKEO Research Facilitator.

This event is part of the Research Knowledge Exchange Development Framework.


HE policy update for the w/e 8th December 2017

Fees and funding – the latest developments

The fees and funding discussions continue with some interesting developments this week.

Firstly, there was a written response by the Minister -responding to the Resolution of the House on 13th September 2017 on tuition fees (the non-binding one that was essentially passed unanimously because no Conservative MPs attended). The statement included a few important points and some hints:

  • Maximum grants and loans for living and other costs will be increased by forecast inflation (3.2%) in 2018/19.
  • For the first time, students starting part-time degree level courses from 1 August 2018 onwards will qualify for loans for living costs.
  • I expect to lay regulations implementing changes to student finance for undergraduates and postgraduates for 2018/19 early in 2018. These regulations will be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.
  • The Department of Health will be making a separate announcement on changes to student finance for postgraduate healthcare students and dental hygiene and dental therapy students in 2018/19.


SURE 2018 – applications for BU’s undergraduate research conference close on 21 December

Bournemouth University’s annual undergraduate research conference – Showcasing Undergraduate Research Excellence (SURE) – returns for a third year in March 2018

As well as giving students a supportive platform to showcase the quality of work they do, it gives others at BU an insight into the excellent research undertaken by our undergraduates.  Not only is it a unique opportunity to further develop skills, prizes will also be available which include a fee waiver for a Master’s course at BU for the best overall contributor.

All undergraduate students at BU are eligible to apply, as are recent graduates.  Examples of research could be anything from preparing for a dissertation or an essay to work carried out during a placement year to volunteering or work with academic societies.  The key criteria is to be able to evidence critical thinking through the work.

The submission deadline for abstracts is 21 December.  Please do encourage your students to apply.

You can download two lecture slides showing the benefits of taking part in SURE here..

How to apply

To apply to present at SURE 2018, students will need to submit an application form, which includes a 250 word abstract, to  Please read our ‘how to apply’ guidance first.

Abstracts will be accepted for oral or poster presentations.  If a student would like to present your research through another medium – a film, art exhibition or performance – please contact initially.

The deadline for submitting abstracts is Thursday, 21 December, 2017.



Best overall contribution – a fee waiver to any BU Master’s

Best original research via oral presentation – 4 x £350 funding (1 per Faculty) for students to attend and present their research at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research

Best poster, demonstration or art installation: 4 x £25 Amazon voucher (1 per Faculty)


Conference attendance

SURE 2018 will take place on Wednesday 7 March 2018.  Registration for the conference will open in January 2018.

Staff and students from across BU are encouraged and welcome to attend.


For any queries, please contact or visit