Category / BU research

New Sociology book by BU’s Dr. Hyun-Joo Lim

Congratulations to Dr. Hyun-Joo Lim, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, on the publication of her book East Asian Mothers in Britain: An Intersectional Exploration of Motherhood and Employment.   This book focus on how Chinese, Japanese and Korean mothers in the UK make sense of their motherhood and employment. It addresses questions such as: “What are the intersecting factors that shape these women’s identities, experiences and stories?”

Contributing further to the continuing discourse and development of intersectionality, this book examines East Asian migrant women’s stories of motherhood, employment and gender relations by deploying interlocking categories that go beyond the meta axes of race, gender and class, including factors such as husbands’ ethnicities and the locality of their settlement. Through this, Dr. Lim argues for more detailed and context specific analytical categories of intersectionality, enabling a more nuanced understanding of migrant women’s stories and identities.

The book is published by Palgrave Macmillan (hardcover ISBN978-3-319-75634-9), see website:


Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen


Dr Eliza Watt’s Contribution to the UN GGE 2015 Norms Proposal

Dr Eliza Watt Commended on Her Excellent Contribution to the Commentary on the UN Group of Government Experts 2015 cyber norms proposal coordinated by Leiden University’s Hague Programme for Cyber Norms

In response to rapidly emerging threats and risks relating to state behaviour in cyberspace the United Nations Group of Government Experts (UN GGE) issued in 2015 a list of recommendations of responsible state behaviour. Three years later, Leiden University’s Hague Program for Cyber Norms successfully concluded its commentary project on these recommendations, titled ‘Civil Society and Disarmament 2017: Voluntary, Non-Legally Binding Norms for Responsible State Behaviour in the Use of Information and Communication Technologies: A Commentary’ (the Commentary).

Dr Eliza Watt, a Bournemouth University law lecturer and researcher at the Centre for Conflict, Rule of Law and Society (CRoLS), was invited to take part in the consultation process and to contribute to the commentary on UN GGE 2015 Recommendation 13(e). The Recommendation calls upon states to guarantee full respect for human rights ensuring the secure use of ICTs. Dr Watt made a valid contribution to the Commentary, including the analysis of the scope of application of human rights treaties in cyberspace, in particular the extraterritorial obligations of states under these treaties and the extent of states’ obligations when conducting cyber surveillance activities. She has also provided a synthesis on the proposal by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (CoE) regarding its multilateral ‘non-spy’ treaty put forward in 2015. In addition, Dr Watt also recognized the need for a clear definition and distinction being made in law between cyber surveillance and cyber espionage. Her other contributions related to the issues of data protection, focusing on the CoE  2001 Additional Protocol  to the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data regarding supervisory authorities and transborder data flows. Her recommendation in this context related to the CoE Draft Modernized Convention on the Automatic Processing of Personal Data published in 2016 as representing perhaps the only prospect for a universal standard in the field of data privacy.

Dr Watt has been commended for her ‘excellent contribution to the Commentary’ by one of its co-authors, Dr Barrie Sander of Leiden University.

How breathing slowly can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of serious health conditions

Performing slow and deep breathing is frequently used to aid in relaxation, but recent research has suggested that it can also lower blood pressure. Researchers within HSS have created an App, called Brythm, that guides breathing to a lower, personalised optimal frequency.

Brythm guides breathing using visual biofeedback, via a graphic, which was created by a BU Student Research Assistant. Optimisation of breathing frequency is achieved using real time monitoring of the cardiovascular responses via a finger sensor, which plugs into the headphone socket of [almost] any smartphone or tablet.

The finger sensor uses the same technology as oxygen saturation monitors in hospitals and monitors the blood flow in your finger. Using a patent-pending algorithm, Brythm aims to maximise the cardiovascular responses to breathing.

The research team is being led by Professor Alison McConnell, a physiologist who has previously undertaken research showing the positive effects of breathing muscle strength training on exercise tolerance for athletes as well as people with cardiovascular or respiratory disease. The product she created ( was approved for NHS prescription in 2006, and she has similar aspirations for Brythm.

“Our new anti-hypertension App has been developed to provide people with a personalised training programme that adapts their breathing rate according to their individual physiology,” explains Professor McConnell, “It’s designed to be used for just ten minutes per day using a smartphone or tablet, which fits easily into most people’s busy lives. If Brythm training is found to be effective, it could provide a game-changing addition to the fight against hypertension, which afflicts around 30% of the UK population.”

The Brythm research team is currently carrying out research to find out more about the effects of the Brythm app for different groups of people. Professor Alison McConnell secured funding for a PhD student to work with pregnant women who have pregnancy-induced hypertension; this project started in September 2017, and is being led by Malika Felton. The team has partnered with the National Childbirth Trust, which helped to refine the Brythm and will assist in making contact with pregnant women who can help with the research.

Malika’s first study is investigating the immediate effect of using Brythm with healthy women of reproductive age, before examining these immediate effects in healthy pregnant women. The project will culminate in a study investigating both the immediate, and long-term, effects of slow and deep breathing with women who have pregnancy-induced hypertension. The hope is to be able to provide preliminary evidence of an alternative to pharmacological treatments for women who develop hypertension during pregnancy. It is hoped that this preliminary evidence might support bids for further funding to undertake a larger, randomised control clinical trial using Brythm.

As part of the process of preparing for NHS trials in people with primary hypertension, Professor McConnell was recently awarded internal funding for two pump-priming projects using Brythm. Both projects will provide the preliminary evidence of the feasibility of using the Brythm App, as well as the proof of concept evidence needed to secure external funding for larger studies.

The first pump-priming project is investigating the feasibility of using Brythm under ‘real world’ conditions. Stephanie Grigsby, a research midwife from Poole Hospital, is on secondment to the Brythm team for 1 day a week as Project Manager. Participants are being drawn from BU staff, who are asked to download Brythm onto their own device and to use it for 10-minutes daily for 8-weeks. The aim is to understand the use of the App itself, rather than its physiological effects, so there are no health-related exclusion criteria, but participants must be aged 40 or over. The results of this project will help with the design and running of future trials, providing evidence of the usability of Brythm.

The second pump-priming project that is currently underway compares the immediate effects of using Brythm with those created by a breathing biofeedback device already approved by the NHS and US Food & Drug Administration. RESPeRATE delivers the paced breathing using auditory tones and lowers breathing frequency to 6 breaths per minute. The short-term effects of the two methods will be compared, with the aim of demonstrating that Brythm is at least as good as the NHS-approved RESPeRATE device. This project is being undertaken by Dr Pedro Vargas, a co-inventor of the Brythm App, and a previous Postdoctoral Research Fellow of Bournemouth University, who is now based in his home country of Portugal. The study takes place from 29th May – 8th June.

The Brythm team is also delighted to have secured a new SRA who will assist with data collection for all current studies, as well as with data collation and analysis. They will have a fantastic opportunity to be part of the Brythm team and get involved in all aspects of the project, from testing in the HSS Cardiorespiratory Research Laboratory, to analysing the data, as well as taking part in preparing the published research papers that will follow these projects. A second SRA from the Faculty of Media and Communication, has also come on board to produce instructional videos to assist participants with using Brythm and with troubleshooting. These videos will be important tools for supporting participants in future trials, as well as for promoting the research at BU, and the videos will be an integral part of the new BU Brythm website ( [awaiting publication]).

If you are interested in the Brythm research and would like to try the App, the Brythm team is running a drop-in activity session at the Festival of Learning in the Fusion Building on Saturday 16th June.

There are also opportunities to participate in one of our current or future research studies, and if you are interested in this, please read on for more information.


Would you like to help test Brythm?

Brythm is currently in the testing phase and the Brythm team are recruiting for 3 separate projects investigating different aspects of the Brythm App.


Malika Felton’s study on the immediate cardiovascular effects of Brythm

Who? Healthy women of reproductive age (18-49 years).

Requirements? One 2-hour session in the Cardiorespiratory Research Laboratory in Bournemouth House, Lansdowne campus.


Feasibility of using Brythm in the ‘real world’

Who? Anyone aged 40 years or over. Must have a device capable of downloading and using the Brythm App. We can provide guidance on this on request.

Requirements? 10-minute daily breathing sessions for 8 weeks. Recorded daily blood pressure readings, using an automated monitor we provide. An initial meeting is required to demonstrate Brythm and provide the required equipment, which lasts 30 minutes.


Brythm vs. RESPeRATE

Who? Non-smokers who have no history of cardiovascular or respiratory disease.

Requirements? One 1 ½ to 2-hour session in the Cardiorespiratory Research Laboratory in Bournemouth House, Lansdowne campus.


If you would like more information on any of the projects described above, and/or to receive a participant information sheet, please contact Malika Felton at or on 01202 961845. Alternatively, drop in to her office in R305 to find out more about the Brythm project, or about participating in one of the research projects.

Government areas of research interest

Did you know that government departments publish their areas of research interest?  This is a guide to where research funds might go, and is useful if you are thinking about policy impact.

The collection is here, and four new ones have been added today:

The DCMS one says “It is designed to encourage researchers and academics to explore those topics that could be of benefit to DCMS and our sectors and act as a starting point for future collaboration.”

There are strategic themes and long lists of specific questions – if you’re working on any of these, you might want to read our blog from earlier today and contact the policy team. 

Spaces still available: Innovate UK visit- Health & Care at Innovate UK and Mini-STEAMLab 30/5/18

The M3 Network welcomes Chris Sawyer, Innovation Lead for Health & Care at Innovate UK, to speak at Bournemouth University on the 30th of May, 2018, 12:00-14:00. This event is an opportunity to gain not only information about Innovate UK and funding opportunities but to discuss the challenges facing health and care technology innovation.
Following the presentation there will be lunch and a facilitated workshop designed to bring forward ideas from academic and industry collaboration.
Academics from the M3 network and those from industry working with health and care technology are encouraged to attend. To book onto this session please e-mail with your name and organisation.

Photo of the Week: The researcher as tourist: “Photographing the photographer”

The researcher as tourist: “Photographing the photographer”

Our next Photo of the Week is Edwin van Teijlingen’s photo taken in the Nawalparasi district of Nepal. This weekly series features photo entries taken by our academics, students and professional staff for our annual Research Photography Competition, which gives a glimpse into some of the fantastic research undertaken across the BU community.

In early 2017, Bournemouth University led the last of six one-day training sessions in Nepal. This project in improving maternal mental health involved bringing UK volunteers to this South-Asian country to do the training.  The training was conducted jointly by UK volunteers and Nepali-speaking trainers and translators. The project, under the Health Partnership Scheme (HPS), was funded by the UK Department for International Development (DfID) and managed by THET (Tropical Health & Education Trust).

The project centred on Auxiliary Nurse Midwives working in birthing centres in Nawalparasi.  This is relatively poor a district in the south of Nepal, bordering India.  Since the training site was very close to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, we always tried to take volunteers there for a visit.  This photo was taken just outside of the main building (not in view).  It shows many Nepali visitors to the site trying to get a photograph of, or be in a photograph with, our fair-haired Scottish volunteer, Dr. Flora Douglas.

Edwin van Teijlingen is a Professor of Reproduction Health. For more information about this research, please contact Edwin here.


Humanising practice in Australia

Caroline Ellis-Hill  from the Centre for Qualitative Research  has been sharing her work at the 41st Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment conference  in Adelaide.

I was privileged to be asked to be a keynote speaker taking about lifeworld led rehabilitation and also facilitate a practical workshop around staff wellbeing and Humanising practice, guided by a lifeworld approach. Participants enjoyed the workshop, as can be seen from the photograph! The theme of the conference was ‘Connecting and collaborating in rehabilitation’ and firm connections with researchers and clinicians in Australia and New Zealand will create a wonderful opportunity to collaborate across the globe.

I was also invited to be a visiting academic at the Living with Disability Research Centre, La Trobe University , Melbourne where I presented a seminar and met staff in the department. It was great to see what was happening in terms of service provision and disability culture in Australia. Our BU Humanising practice work was very well received and I’m looking forward to working with colleagues at La Trobe in the future.

To find out more around Humanising care, health and wellbeing please go to:

Innovate UK funding – precision medicine technologies

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Innovate UK will invest up to £5 million in innovation projects to support the development of precision medicine (PM) technologies.

Applications can be for either feasibility study projects or industrial research and experimental development projects, although projects may have work packages in different research categories if necessary.

You must explain clearly how your proposed technology will advance precision medicine.

All projects must involve at least one UK based business.

Feasibility study projects must be led by a UK based business either:

  • working alone or
  • working with other businesses or research organisations

Research and development projects must:

  • be collaborative and led by a UK based business of any size or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • include at least one other grant-claiming organisation, such as an NHS organisation, another healthcare provider, a business, a Catapult or other research technology organisation, a research base or a third-sector organisation

Please see below a summary of this funding opportunity:

Funding type : Grant

Project size : Feasibility study projects – up to £100,000/ Industrial research and experimental development – up to £2 million

Project dates : 1 November 2018 and up to 24 months 

Deadline : 11 July 2018, 12noon

Please see this link for more information on how to apply.

Innovate UK funding – commercialising quantum devices

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Innovate UK will invest £20 million in innovation projects to develop prototype quantum technology devices that address one or more of these important industrial challenges which are explained further in the scope of this competition:

  1. Situational awareness.
  2. Infrastructure productivity.
  3. Seeing the invisible.
  4. Trusted peer to peer communication

Your proposal must:

  • demonstrate how the device can be brought to market, with manufacture or assembly in the UK
  • fulfil an end user need through the technological advances in quantum technology

A business must lead the project. You must work in collaboration with others.

Please see below a summary of this funding opportunity:

Funding type : Grant

Project size : Between £3 million and £10 million

Project dates : 1 November 2018 and up to 29 months (must be completed by March 2021)

Deadline : 13 June 2018, 12noon

Please see this link for more information on how to apply.

Council for Allied Health Professions Research

CAHPR is an organisation which aims to help Allied Health Professionals get involved in research and to develop AHP research whilst enhancing healthcare.

Although too short notice, but as an example of how CAHPR could benefit AHPs, the organisation is running a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event tomorrow, 16th May, where colleagues working within AHP clinical research are invited to pitch for £250 funding in support of their clinical research activities (e.g. presentations, conferences, travel etc.).

The CAHPR website acts as a good source of information for AHP students, and signposts where and who to contact if you’re interested in getting involved, alongside a list of upcoming events –

Innovate UK Funding available – robotics and AI (ISCF)

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Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £15 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) in business led collaborations to develop robotic and artificial intelligence systems that remove humans from infrastructure inspection, maintenance and repair in extreme environments.

The Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Network is inviting businesses to one of three briefing events in Glasgow, Manchester and London to learn more about this £15m competition which includes a 5-day residential workshop to develop collaborative proposals for R&D projects.

To sign up for the briefing events, please click on the links below:

Glasgow, 23rd May

Manchester, 24th May

London, 4th June

For more information about this funding opportunity, please visit this link.

UKRI Strategic Prospectus launched

UKRI will ensure everyone in society benefits from world-leading research and innovation

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has set out its plans to strengthen the UK’s world-leading knowledge economy and deliver impact across society.

The UKRI Strategic Prospectus, launched today (May 14), will create a research and innovation system that is fit for the future and equipped to tackle the environmental, social and economic challenges of the 21st Century.

The prospectus is the start of the process and over the next 12 months UKRI and its councils will continue to engage with their communities, the wider public, and undertake research, to further develop individual strategic delivery plans.

This will ensure UKRI responds to important opportunities, fosters excellence and collaboration on the global stage, and draws on the inspiration and insight of our most talented researchers and innovators.

The Government has put research and innovation at the heart of its modern Industrial Strategy, committed additional funding of £7bn by 2021/22 and set out an ambition to increase total R&D expenditure to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

UKRI will work with its partners to push the frontiers of human knowledge, deliver economic prosperity, and create social and cultural impact. It describes four underpinning areas key to delivering this:

  • Leading talent – nurturing the pipeline of current and future talent
  • A trusted and diverse system – driving a culture of equality, diversity and inclusivity and promoting the highest standards of research, collaboration and integrity
  • Global Britain – identifying and supporting the best opportunities for international collaboration
  • Infrastructure –  delivering internationally-competitive infrastructure to ensure we have the best facilities to foster innovation and conduct research

UKRI will work in partnership with government, businesses, universities, and other research organisations to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish.  This includes fostering collaboration with countries and institutions around the world and providing access to internationally competitive facilities and infrastructure.

Over the coming months, UKRI will be conducting research and consultation to further develop its approach to working with others and to answer a series of big questions. These include how to grow the economy across different regions of the UK whilst continuing to expand our existing world-leading excellence; how to reduce the gap in productivity and the best approaches to developing talent across the diverse population of the UK, providing the skills needs of the future.

To read the full article, please click here. To read the UK Research and Innovation Strategic Prospectus visit

Dr Alison Cronin’s book on economic crime published

Congratulations to Dr Alison Cronin on the publication of her book, “Corporate Criminality and Liability for Fraud” by Routledge which builds on her PhD thesis. Taking a rational reconstruction of orthodox legal principles, and reference to recent discoveries in neuroscience, Alison reveals some startling truths about the criminal law, its history and the fundamental doctrines that underpin the attribution of criminal fault. With important implications for the criminal law generally, the focus of the book is the development of a theory of corporate criminality that accords with the modern approach to group agency. Alison puts forward the theoretical and practical means by which companies can be prosecuted, where liability cannot or should not be attributed to its individual directors/ officers.