Category / Research themes

Creative Industries – new 5 year strategy

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The Creative Industries Council’s new 5 year strategy proclaims amazing news for the Creative Industries. With the sector growing at 8.9% a year (making it the second fastest growing sector), the UK’s Creative Industries is vital to the UK’s economy.

The 2016 strategy refresh is demanding but attainable, with a focus on driving economic value, through support for business growth, job growth, exports and inward investment.  The sector seeks to build on existing trade relationships and to unlock the potential of the sector in international markets with a primary focus on the USA and key territories in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  Review the Nesta/Creative England report on the Geography of Creativity . This includes rich content about  regional opportunities.

The Geography of Creativity in the UK


In this report, in partnership with Creative England, NESTA have used the latest data and official definitions to map the creative industries in the UK. The  goal is to provide a data resource to demonstrate the economic significance of the creative industries across the country, and inform policies to strengthen them further.


  • The creative industries are becoming more important in local economies across the UK. Between 2007 and 2014 they became more important in local business population in 9 out of every 10 locations.
  • Identified 47 creative clusters across the UK. London and the South East are important components of the UK creative industries, but so are the North, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These clusters grew their creative employment by 28% between 2007 and 2014
  • The UK’s geography of creativity isn’t only about ‘hip creative cities’,  clusters in creative conurbations across the country have also been identifed.
  • Creative communities in different parts of the country are working together across cluster and administrative boundaries. The geography of the UK creative industries is an interconnected system.

Policy recommendations

  • Support the development of clusters outside of London and the South East
  • Continue efforts to share the benefits of London’s status as a global creative industries hub across the UK
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships and universities should consider what more they can do to address the strengths and weaknesses within their particular area, such as an over reliance on large firms or growing links between graduate talent pools and creative clusters
  • Networks of UK creative industries should strive to maintain their global reach.

(This work contains statistical data from ONS which is Crown Copyright. The use of the ONS statistical data in this work does not imply the endorsement of the ONS in relation to the interpretation or analysis of the statistical data. This work uses research datasets which may not exactly reproduce National Statistics aggregates.)

Download the full report.

Fieldwork preparation in Nepal

If you have a number of research projects running in the same location it pays to combine some of the preparation.  Thus as part of five different studies and one PhD project, I’m currently in Kathmandu.  The projects are (1) the THET-funded intervention in Nawalparasi; (2) the CEL-funded qualitative research led by Dr. Catherine Angell on CPD (Continuous Professional Development); (3) the FHSS-funded project on transgender which is led by Dr. Pramod Regmi; (4) the FHSS-funded project with Pourakhi which supports Nepali women returning home after having been abroad as migrant workers;  and (5) the Green Tara Trust funded project on improving maternal health care in Dhading and Nawalparasi, and the FHSS PhD project is that of Mrs. Preeti Mahato.  Two of the project and the PhD topcic are closely related as all three cover maternity care in one for or another in Nawalparasi.  The planning meetings we are having in Nepal involve planning training sessions and workshops, resource allocation and research preparation.DSCN0026

Fortunately, it is not all work.  Today I enjoyed Kheer (Achar and Chana) for lunch in the Green Tara flat in Kathmandu a lovely rice pudding with slightly sour green vegetables and chick peas (see photo).  The actual meal is traditionally health tomorrow but as this is the weekend the staff brought it one day forward so that I could join in too.

Finally, I like to thank colleagues who gave me mobile phones and a camera.  One of the mobile phones is already in use by one of the Nepali charity workers in Kathmandu. I bought a new battery and memory card for camera in the UK and it is working fine, the photo with this blog has been taken with the donated camera!


Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen (writing from Nepal).

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health Research


Making the Most of Writing Week Part 7: BUCRU – not just for Writing Week!

We’re coming to the end of Writing Week in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences and by now you will have made a good start or have put the finishing touches to your academic writing projects. Over the last week, we have given you some tips on writing grant applications and highlighted some of the expertise within BUCRU. If you didn’t get the chance to pop in and see us we thought it would be useful to remind you what we’re about and how we can help.

Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) supports researchers in improving the quality, quantity and efficiency of research across the University and local National Health Service (NHS) Trusts. We do this by:

  • Helping researchers develop high quality applications for external research funding (including small grants)
  • Ongoing involvement in funded research projects
  • A “pay-as-you-go” consultation service for other work.

How can we help?

BUCRU can provide help in the following areas:

  • Study design
  • Quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Statistics, data management and data analysis
  • Patient and public involvement in research
  • Trial management
  • Ethics, governance and other regulatory issues
  • Linking University and NHS researchers

Our support is available to Bournemouth University staff and people working locally in the NHS, and depending on the support you require, is mostly free of charge. There are no general restrictions on topic area or professional background of the researcher.

If you would like support in developing your research please get in touch through or by calling us on 01202 961939. Please see our website for further information, details of our current and previous projects and a link to our recent newsletter.

Making the Most of Writing Week Part 6: What to do with your data

You don’t have to spend Writing Week working on grant applications. You may already have a dataset and now you finally have some time to do something with it. But where to start? It’s often a good idea to go back to your original research questions/aims/objectives. As we said yesterday, a well thought out research question can help shape your analysis strategy.
Hopefully you will have a record of which variables you were measuring and how data were coded. Were any calculations performed using the raw data to create new variables? How were these done? This is all part of good data management. To find out more visit the information pages created by the Library and Learning Support Team.
Once you are reacquainted with your data, it’s often a good idea (in the case of quantitative data) to start plotting graphs to find out more. Always keep in mind the original aims of the study, it’s easy to wander down a path of distraction. If you are feeling confused by all of this or, have got yourself lost down a data track, the BUCRU team are at hand to help.
Peter Thomas is available on Tuesday and Wednesday while Sharon Docherty is available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. Why not drop us an email or pop by to see us in R505?

New business and university collaboration platform


konfer has been developed to faciliate easier access to the university sector for the business community, by collating a large amount of information all on one platform. UK universities are bursting with innovation  and  world-class academics who are keen to collaborate with industry, charities and the public sector.

konfer was created by the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) to make this astonishing wealth of expertise and resources more accessible. Working in partnership with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Research Councils UK (RCUK), konfer brings knowledge and growth to businesses, valuable exposure for university talent, and future prosperity for the UK.


When a business owner spots an opportunity, konfer supports the journey from finding a research partner and funding to planning and co-creation. It does this by giving direct access to:

  • 8000 academics
  • 11,000 facility and equipment listings
  • 800,000 web pages from university sites and social media
  • 22,000 YouTube videos from university channels
  • 10,000 news, funding and events articles from curated feeds
  • 50,000 publicly funded research projects

konfer brings knowledge and growth to businesses, valuable exposure for university talent, and future strength for the UK economy.

Learn more


NCUB want  konfer to be as useful as possible, so  access to the  Alpha version of the site is available. No need for passwords or user names – just dive straight in.

This means things may be a little rough around the edges and there may be some bugs to be  squished ! But,  hope  by sharing the site early,  hope to consider suggestions fro improvements. Planned live date is erly in the New Year.  Feedback can be emailed . For more information on this platform and NCUB in general contact Jayne Codling within RKEO.

Knowledge mobilisation research fellowships – NIHR


The National Institute of Health Research invites applications for its knowledge mobilisation research fellowships. These fellowships support innovative and creative proposals that seek to improve the effective use of health research knowledge within NHS or other public healthcare settings and simultaneously study implementation processes and impacts.

Proposals must be grounded in knowledge mobilisation theory. Fellowships should be used to:

•develop and enhance the understanding of knowledge mobilisation in healthcare;

•develop new ways of sharing existing research findings;

•enhance existing knowledge mobilisation mechanisms;

•shape new research questions of particular and timely relevance to the NHS;

•enhance the capability of the fellow to facilitate networking between researchers and potential research users.

Individual researchers working in healthcare or academic organisations may apply.

Further details, including full eligibility criteria, can be found in the relevant guidance notes for applicants.

Full details of this programme can be found here.

If you are interested in submitting to  this call  you must contact your  RKEO Funding Development Officer with adequate notice before the deadline.

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

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

Making the Most of Writing Week Part 5: Designing your study

So you have formed a strong team, chosen a funder and involved some service users to help develop a research idea with impact. What’s next?
Step 5 is designing your study. The heart of a good piece of research is a strong research question with clear aims and achievable objectives. Sounds easy, right? This is often one of the most difficult aspects of any research project. If you then add having to align your ideas with the priorities of your chosen funder, this task becomes a bit more difficult. However, it is worth the effort. Spending time putting together well constructed research questions will make designing the rest of the study much easier and will even help you formulate your data analysis strategy.
If all of this sounds a bit daunting, never fear because BUCRU are at hand to help. Did you know that some of the members of BUCRU form the Bournemouth branch of NIHR Research Design Service (RDS)? The RDS is here to advise and provide practical support for anyone developing a research grant application to a national, peer reviewed funding competition in the fields of applied health or social care. You can find the Bournemouth team in Royal London House.
If you need help with the design of your study (particularly if it is quantitative) Peter Thomas is available on Tuesday and Wednesday while Sharon Docherty is available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. Why not drop us an email or pop by to see us in R505?

Making the Most of Writing Week Part 4: Research grant applications – not THAT PPI

With the start of FHSS writing week, we are continuing our series of blogs providing you with some (hopefully) useful advice on how to make the best of this dedicated time. Remember, there are members of the BUCRU team available during this week to help you (i.e. anyone interested in health research) along the way.

Once you have decided on a funder, an important (but sometimes overlooked) aspect of working up a grant application is the planning and documenting of the involvement of service users/patients/relevant groups or organisations (Public Patient Involvement or PPI) ie the people most likely to have a vested interest in the research you are intending to do. Indeed, many major national funders, including the NIHR, require detailed evidence of how service users have been involved. But do you know who to approach? When? How? What can service users be involved with? What can they add? Sometimes it’s relatively straightforward to identify appropriate individuals and organisations. Other occasions can call for more creativity. Hot tip: everything takes longer to arrange than you might think. Allow a minimum of 6 weeks to plan, consult service users and feedback from the PPI consultation to your colleagues.

If you’d like some advice about planning PPI and conducting service user consultations for a project Helen Allen ( will be pleased to advise you. Helen is available on Tuesday 26th.

Midwifery-led antenatal care models

BU academics in CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinal Health) have been working with colleagues across the UK in the so-called McTempo Collaboration on mapping the key characteristics of midwifery-led antenatal care models. This week BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth published our paper that brings this evidence together [1].  The lead author of the paper, Dr. Andrew Symon, is based at the University of Dundee his co-authors are based at the University of Stirling, UCLAN, Queen’s University, Belfast, NHS Education for Scotland and Bournemouth University.  The McTempo (Models of Care: The Effects on Maternal and Perinatal Outcomes) collaboration is a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional research grouping established to explore and evaluate differentcare models used in maternity care.

Symon et al 2016 frameworkOur specific aim in this paper was to map the characteristics of antenatal care models tested in Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) to a new evidence-based framework for quality maternal and newborn care (QMNC) [2]. This offers the opportunity to identify systematically the characteristics of care delivery that may be generalizable across contexts, thereby enhancing implementation.  The paper concludes: “The QMNC framework facilitates assessment of the characteristics of antenatal care models. It is vital tounderstand all the characteristics of multi-faceted interventions such as care models; not only what is done but why itis done, by whom, and how this differed from the standard care package. By applying the QMNC framework we have established a foundation for future reports of intervention studies so that the characteristics of individual models can be evaluated, and the impact of any differences appraised.”

The paper has been published in an Open Access journal and is, therefore, easily available across the globe.



  1. Symon, A., Pringle, J., Cheyne, H., Downe, S., Hundley, V., Lee, E., Lynn, F., McFadden, A., McNeill, J., Renfrew, M., Ross-Davie, M., van Teijlingen, E., Whitford, H, Alderdice, F. (2016) Midwifery-led antenatal care models: Mapping a systematic review to an evidence-based quality framework to identify key components and characteristics of care BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 16: 168
  2. Renfrew MJ, McFadden A, Bastos MH, Campbell J, Channon AA, Cheung NF, Audebert Delage Silva DR, Downe S, Kennedy HP, Malata A, et al. (2014) Midwifery and quality care: findings from a new evidence-informed framework for maternal and newborn care. The Lancet, 384(9948): 1129-1145.

Big data – helping cities solving planning challenges


A data platform developed with support of Innovate UK is helping big cities to plan services such as transport, education and housing.

A data science business is helping London to plan its services thanks to a new decision-making platform. Mastodon C won a £2 million SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) contract in a ‘future cities’ competition to find ways of meeting the challenges faced by urban areas.

Mastodon C is working with the Greater London Authority to develop and test its Witan platform in a project supported by Innovate UK.

Witan provides modelling tools and data management processes to help solve real challenges faced by cities and their partners, and is already being used by 33 London boroughs. Witan is being used by the London boroughs to see how latest housing projections will affect the spread of population up to 2041. The work used to take specialist staff weeks to do but can now be generated in minutes. The results will help council officials to plan many services including where the demand is likely to be for services such as school places, waste disposal, and housing.

Francine Bennett, chief executive and co-founder of Mastodon C, said: “Our motto is ‘big data done better’. That has two meanings. What we do with big data, we do very well technically. We are also interested in better applications of big data and data science, building applications that improve people’s lives as well as work for the business.”

Click here for the full story.







I was delighted to present this month at a large international conference, IFOMPT 2016, in Glasgow. The International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT) is an international body composed of many national groups specialising in post-graduate musculoskeletal physiotherapy. This is the first time the IFOMPT Conference, which is held every four years, has been hosted in the UK since 1988. This conference presented an ideal opportunity to promote the reputation of BU, the new Orthopaedic Research Institute, and AECC (where the research was undertaken).
I gave a poster presentation on work related to my PhD research into the mechanism of spinal manipulation in the treatment of neck pain. I was really pleased that there was a good bit of interest in the poster and I made useful contacts in Japan, China, USA – and Bournemouth! I was able to tempt some people I admire to my poster by posting the picture below on Twitter and sending to the Twitterati I knew were at the conference – social media works (I was not begging for attention, honest).

Come and see my poster!

Come and see my poster!

The other cool bit of technology I used for the first time at this conference was the conference app – no conference abstract booklet to have to carry around in a tacky conference bag for a couple of days.

Is a paper copy of conference proceedings now a thing of the past?

Is a paper copy of conference proceedings now a thing of the past?

The app had everything – the full itinerary, abstracts (including those of the 190 posters), and there were biographies and contact details for all the speakers and most of the delegates too. Networking can be exhausting and intimidating – this enabled me to contact people directly whom I wanted to discuss my research with and contributed to an excellent conference experience.
If you’d like to know more about the conference, or my research into the mechanism of spinal manipulation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. (You can get a copy of my poster by clicking here).

Dr Jonny Branney
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences

Public engagement opportunity for conservation researchers

Public engagement opportunity for academics and PGRS!

On September 14th we are running a lecture day in the EBC with a conservation theme, open to the public and members of the U3a (University of the 3rd Age). We are looking for speakers to present an hour long lecture. It’s a brilliant opportunity to share your research/area of expertise to the public and can open some thought provoking discussion.

If you’re interested in being a part of the lecture day, please contact Katie Breadmore:

Making the Most of Writing Week Part 3: Research grant applications – choosing a funder

Since next week (25-29 July) is Writing Week in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences (but anyone interested in health research can come and see us), we’ll be giving you some tips on ways to make the most of the dedicated writing time as well as letting you know which members of the BU Clinical Research Unit team can help you and when they are available (see table below).


In yesterday’s post we covered how we can help you build a research team. Step 3 focuses on choosing a suitable funder for your research project. You may be an established researcher with several grants already under your belt and a fair idea about the funders that are appropriate for your area of research. Whatever stage you’re at it’s important to target the right funder. Ensure your research idea fits with the funder’s strategic aims and priorities. Do they fund solely quantitative research, or do they prefer a mixed-methods approach? Do they have open investigator-led calls or commissioned calls only? Although it’s not all about the money, ensure the funder has a sufficient funding limit for your project – an under-costed project will be obvious to a funder and is unlikely to be successful.

If you’re not sure where to start Lisa Gale-Andrews ( can help identify suitable health research funders for your project. She will be available all day Monday-Thursday during Writing Week if you’d like to pop in (R506).

There’s more to come on grant applications over the next few days including research design, and the importance of patient and public involvement (PPI).