New publication by BU PhD student Jib Acharya

Jib paper India 2015

Congratulations to FHSS Ph.D. student Mr. Jib Acharya, whose paper ‘Study of nutritional problems in preschool aged children in Kaski District in Nepal’  has just been published in the Journal of Multidisciplinary Research in Healthcare [1].  The academic paper, based on his Ph.D. thesis, reports on his mixed-methods Public Health study addressing attitudes and knowledge of mothers of young children (pre-school aged) in one particular district in Nepal.  The research comprises a quantitative survey and qualitative focus groups.   Jib Acharya, who is originally from Nepal, compares and contrasts the attitudes, knowledge and behaviour of poor rural and poor urban women (=mothers) in that district.   The research is supervised by Dr. Jane Murphy, Dr. Martin Hind and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen.


Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen



  1. Acharya, J., van Teijlingen, E., Murphy, J., Hind, M. (2015) Study of nutritional problems in preschool aged children in Kaski District in Nepal, Journal of Multidisciplinary Research in Healthcare 1(2): 97-118.

Understanding how people with depression think about how the past could have turned out differently

The period of funding from the BU Fusion Investment Fund (Co-Creation and Co-Production Strand) has just finished for my joint psychology and psychiatry research project into the role of counterfactual thinking in depression. Counterfactual thinking is thinking about how the past could have been different. It is closely tied-up with the emotion of regret but can help people prepare to deal more effectively with similar situations in the future. For example, a person who thinks that an intimate relationship that failed would have survived if they had taken more account of how their partner was feeling (counterfactual thinking) can adapt their behaviour accordingly in their next intimate relationship in order to try to prevent the breakdown of the relationship and ensure its longevity.

My collaborator on the Fusion-funded project is Dr Paul Walters who’s a Consultant Psychiatrist for Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust (DHUFT) based at Weymouth. A student from the Psychology Department’s Foundations in Clinical Psychology Master’s degree course (Stephen Richer) worked on the project by interviewing DHUFT patients who are diagnosed with depression. The project ran from December 2013 to July 2015, in which time a total of 29 patients were assessed. Although the project funding has ended, participant recruitment will continue until the required number of 65 participants is reached, which should be by October 2015.

Preliminary analysis of the data from the project suggests that the patients assessed tend to focus on aspects of the self (e.g., personality characteristics) when thinking counterfactually about a negative social event from their past. This finding contrasts with the counterfactual thoughts of people that have not received a formal clinical diagnosis of depression who, our previous research has found, tend to focus more on factors that are external to the self (e.g., other people’s behaviour) when mentally ‘undoing’ a previous negative social event. Once the data are collected from all 65 participants with depression, more meaningful comparisons between the counterfactual thoughts of depressed and non-depressed people will be drawn. Ultimately, Paul Walters and I hope that the findings of the project will aid in the refinement of the cognitive behavioural therapies that psychiatrists and clinical psychologists administer for the treatment of depression. Once the results of the data from all 65 participants have been analysed and written-up for publication, Paul and I plan to submit a funding bid to the National Institute of Health Research for a follow-on intervention project into tailoring cognitive behavioural therapies for depression based on the factors that influence the counterfactual thoughts of the patients with depression.

Overall, the BU Fusion funding has been immensely beneficial for engaging students and a key external stakeholder in the local community (DHUFT) in a valuable piece of applied research that has important psychotherapeutic implications for mental health patients and professional best practice implications for mental healthcare professionals.

Thank you, Fusion Investment Fund, I couldn’t have done the research without you.

Dr Kevin Thomas, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science and Technology.

Digital Project Grants – Awards up to £40,000

Digital Project Grants – Awards up to £40,000

The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art invites applications for its digital project grants. These provide institutions and individuals help to support a curator or research scholar undertaking a digital research project which will lead to a digital or online project. Closing date 30th September 2015. Projects may include: online exhibition or curation…

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HEFCE Open Access Policy – Adjustments and Qualifications

hefce-logoOn Friday (24 July 2015), HEFCE announced a number of adjustments and qualifications to its policy for open access (OA) in the next REF following consultation with HEIs. The key adjustment is that:


  • From 1st April 2016, authors will have until 3 months after publication to deposit outputs in our Institutional Repository (BURO) via BRIAN.  This is a temporary measure for the first year of the policy, to allow time to transition to a new way of working.


  • From 1st April 2017, the transition period will end, and in order to comply with the Open Access policy, authors will be expected to deposit outputs in (BURO) via BRIAN within 3 months of acceptance.


In light of these adjustments, it is recommended that authors still deposit outputs as soon as possible after acceptance to ensure continued compliance with all OA policies.

The circular and updated policy are available through the links below, if you have any queries or require further information on Open Access at BU including the Open Access Publication Fund, please contact Peng Peng Hatch at

View this circular letter on the HEFCE website at:,202015/

View the full updated HEFCE policy at:

The Midwifery quilt online- URA scheme funded project

As part of my EdD thesis on ‘The essence of the art of a midwife..’    I created a reflexive textile quilt, with each of the squares representing an entry in my research diary. Whenever I have been to conferences with my quilt the question has always been asked ‘what do the squares mean’? Though I anticipate that anyone looking at it will gather their own interpretation of the squares my stories behind them are now accessible online. In the spring of this year I applied, and was pleased to receive, funding from the BU Undergraduate research assistantship scheme in order to create a web site for the quilt. For the past six weeks George Upson undergraduate student from the BA (Hons) Media Production course has been active in designing and creating the web site with me and learning about the world of academia in a small way. I am indebted to him for his creative abilities and to Garratt Lynch and Richard Wallis for their early support in the process, and also for the URA scheme!

The Midwifery quilt maybe accessed here

Dr Jenny Hall

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