Category / BU research

Find out how to submit your Festival of Learning 2016 Proposal

The Festival of Learning enters its fourth year in 2016 and will be running from Saturday 25 – Wednesday 29 June. It’s a fantastic public engagement opportunity for BU to showcase the great research coming out of the university. The call for proposals is now open and the process for submitting an application is simple:

  1. Think of an idea for an event that demonstrates your research – will it be innovating and interesting to members of the public? Watch our video from 2015 for some inspiration.
  2. Decide if you want your event to be a bookable event that people can sign up for or whether you’d like a run a stall or drop in activity instead (i.e. an activity based on passing traffic rather than pre-bookings)
  3. Consider who you want to be your target audience (adults, families, businesses etc.)
  4. Consider whether your event meets the Festivals objectives, what you plan to do during the event, how it will appeal to your intended audience and what your attendees will get out of attending the event.
  5. Complete the Festival of Learning event application before January 31st 2016: see here (We are unable to accept late proposals due to the tight turn around between the call closing and review by the panel.)

If you would like to discuss an idea in more detail, please call/ email Naomi Kay (Public Engagement Officer) 61342/ or click here for more detailed information about submitting a proposal.

Report on the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) Age 17 Survey: Consultative Conference

I recently attended the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS7) Age 17 Survey: Consultative one day conference held at UCL’s Institute of Education in London. Cohort studies are extremely valuable because data is collected over time working with the same sample of people. Longitudinal studies permit to describe the natural history of the same population and can identify risk factors for example, for optimal health, educational attainment chances and/or employment opportunities. Professor Emla Fitzsimons is the Principal Investigator of MCS,m strategically invited leaders of the ‘Activities and Daily Life’, ‘Cognitive Development’, and the ‘Socio-Emotional Development’ to harness conference delegates’ view on what are the important and key issues that society should know when examining 17 year old adolescents’ lives. The leaders provided an overview of their current strategies for capturing participants’ unique style of life. Then through a series of workshops the pros and cons of these were discussed and summarised. I don’t envy their jobs! To study the individual characteristics and the associated environmental factors in such a large sample is a huge undertaking. The attendees were from very varied inter- and multi-disciplinary backgrounds working at a wide range of organisations, including government agencies. The common objective was to create a dataset that can inform many governmental policies on a variety of topics. The process of decision making over every aspects of the 7th sweep of the MCS is extremely complex. The key aspect of longitudinal studies is comparability. Although, each sweep is unique because of the cohort is ageing, there has to be a trend of using the same methodology overtime. Studies like the MCS are facing constant funding crises because they are very expensive to run. There is an ongoing revision of time taken to collect data, finding proxy to gold standard measures and considering cutting expensive data collection methods like, FMRI scans, use of accelerometers to assess physical activity patterns and conducting physical tests. Despite all of these difficulties, data from such studies are invaluable. For example, in the 7th sweep they want to omit interviewing parents about their child’s mental health. I argued to include this data at this sweep, as most adolescents in the study are still living at home and others (like family members) are the ones most likely to identify early signs of mental health problems. Early detection is vital, especially when 1 in 10 adolescents known to develop at least one serious depressive episode in the UK by the time they are 18. Check out the MCS website if you are interested. You can also access all speakers’ slides by following the link ( Data from the previous 6 sweeps are available for researchers to interrogate.

The Emotional Processing Scale – video published

EPS logoIn August we shared the exciting news that the Emotional Processing Scale had been published by Hogrefe after over 12 years of development. Please see the previous post here.

Professor Roger Baker, Professor Peter Thomas, Dr Sarah Thomas and the team at Hogrefe have produced a video that introduces and further explains the Emotional Processing Scale, how to apply it, and gives an example of when it was used to support treatment of a patient with PTSD.

Watch the video here.

Latest Major Funding Opportunities

The following funding opportunities have been announced. Please follow the links for more information:


Arts and Humanities Research Council and BBC Radio 3 invite applications for the New Generation Thinkers of 2016 scheme. The scheme aims to support early career researchers to communicate their research findings to those outside the academic community through BBC broadcasting. The scheme allows reseracers an opportunity to develop their own programme for BBC Radio 3 and a chance to regularly appear on air. Applications are welcomed in all areas of arts and humanities and those in social sciences and medical science whose work intersects with arts and humanities.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 07/01/16.

British Academy

British Academy invites applications for its International Partnership and Mobility Scheme, which aims to support the development of partnerships between the UK and other areas of the world where research excellence could be strengthened by new, innovative initiatives and links. Any branch of the humanities or social sciences is eligible and the intended focus is on collaborative research of a mutual interest, rather than purely establishing networks.

Maximum award: £30,000. Closing date: 10/02/16.

Economic and Social Research Council

Economic and Social Research Council invites proposals for its Secondary Data Alaysis Initiative (SDAI), which aims to deliver high quality, high impact research through the deeper exploitation of major data resources created by ESRC and other agencies. Funding is available for up to 18 months. Proposals should address the following core principles: maximising the use of key ESRC-funded data resources; developing the capacity of early career researchers to undertake research using complex data resource; working collaboratively with non-academic stakeholders and ensuring that the accumulated learning and ongoing research impacts from previous phases and projects is captured.

Maximum award: £200,000. Closing date: No deadline.

Medical Research Council

Medical Research Council in partnership with the Department of Health’s National Institute for Health Research invites proposals for the Methodology Research programme. Proposals may address: Research methods  in disciplines underpinning health research including biomedical, behavioural and social science, experimental and stratified medicine, rendomised trials, cohorts and other research designs investigating health, healthcare, health services and health policy; Methods for effective regulation (including indices for decision making), approval, adaptation and reporting of new interventions (including behavioural); Research methods for valid measures of health, e.g. health outcomes, exposure and risk (including behaviour, cognition and emotion) and wellbeing.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 21/06/16.

Natural Environment Research Council

Natural Environment Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council invite applications for their Knowledge Exchange Fellowship in the area of aquaculture.  The award will invest in a suitably qualified academic to broker links between academics and business within the UK aquaculture community and provide expert input and advice to the UK aquaculture network.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 17/03/16.

Natural Environment Research Council’s British Antarctic Survey Institute invites applications for its Polar Ship Research Opportunities, which support scientists who have secured funding and require access to work onboard polar research ships. The marine facilities planning service allows scientists to apply for access to marine equipment and ship-time and there are two types of applications: ship-time and equipment; marine equipment only.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: No deadline.

Royal Society

Royal Society invites nominations for its Medals and Awards. Nominations can be made for excellent candidates from accross various disciplines and nominations for women, under-represented minorities and those undertaking research in industry are particularly encouraged, to increase diversity in awards. Please visit the award page for details of each award.

Maximum award: £10,000. Closing date: 01/02/16.

If you are interested in submitting to any of the above calls you must contact RKEO with adequate notice before the deadline.

Please note that some funding bodies specify a time for submission as well as a date. Please confirm this with your RKEO Funding Development Officer

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.

FMC Research Seminar: Adapting to dominant news narratives: tax ‘fairness’ as a Trojan horse for anti-austerity politics: Wednesday, 9 December, 3-4pm, Room W240

FMC Cross-Departmental Seminar Series 2015-16

Time: Wednesday, 9th December, 3-4 pm

Venue: The Screening Room W240, Weymouth House, Talbot Campus. 

Adapting to dominant news narratives: tax ‘fairness’ as a Trojan horse for anti-austerity politics

Over the past five years the issue of tax avoidance has broken through into mainstream news media and public debate, after many years in which the campaigning efforts of NGOs, trade unions and a few investigative journalists were met largely with indifference.  Protest group UK Uncut have been widely credited with increasing public engagement in the issue.  News routines are less reliant on official and elite sources than in the past, and protesters less universally delegitimised in dominant news discourse, but the political claims of social movements still tend to be neglected or reduced to vague or naive opposition.  UK Uncut were conscious of the common pitfalls and attempted to fit their own framing of the issue into existing news frames.  In presenting a practical alternative to cuts, they hoped to substantiate an argument against the broadly accepted ‘necessity’ of public spending cuts, smuggling an oppositional claim inside a familiar narrative.

Their framing of the issue in terms of compromised political interests and ‘fairness to taxpayers’ fitted with dominant news narratives and was widely adopted by other sources, including the Public Accounts Committee, and by journalists, but generally in terms of individual and organisational wrongdoing and self-interest rather as a systemic critique.  This did little to challenge or disrupt the overarching dominant narrative of fiscal crisis, necessary cuts, and even of fair tax as low tax.  However, the playful performativity of the protests themselves – although part of an activist repertoire, risking distancing themselves from the mainstream – were successful in achieving some limited press coverage of the cuts that they claimed could be prevented by corporations paying their ‘fair share’, but those arguments were not picked up by other voices.

This paper analyses the extent to which this ‘adaptation’ approach to news framing (Rucht 2013) or intervention in dominant narratives (Hirschkop 1998) was successful in advancing political claims and objectives, and whether this case supports the contention that strategically performative and rhetorical interventions in the public sphere can compensate for marginality and lack of discursive power.

Jen Birks is an Assistant Professor in the department of Culture, Film and Media at the University of Nottingham, where she teaches political communication and public cultures.  She is the author of News and Civil Society (Ashgate 2014).

All are welcome!!

About the series

This new seminar series showcases current research across different disciplines and approaches within the Faculty of Media and Communication at BU. The research seminars include invited speakers in the fields of journalism, politics, narrative studies, media, communication and marketing studies.  The aim is to celebrate the diversity of research across departments in the faculty and also generate dialogue and discussion between those areas of research.


Contributions include speakers on behalf of 

The Centre for Politics and Media Research

The Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community

Narrative Research Group

Journalism Research Group

Advances in Media Management Research Group

Emerging Consumer Cultures Research Group

Public Relations Research Group

‘Sharing best practice for delivering excellence in nutrition and dignity in dementia care’

Last Wednesday 25th November, we hosted our project conference to the best part of 100 delegates  entitled ‘Sharing best practice for delivering excellence in nutrition and dignity in dementia care’ at the Captain’s Club Hotel in Christchurch. We were delighted to listen to an inspiring presentation from Dame Christine Beasley, Trustee from The Burdett Trust for Nursing and would like to offer our sincere thanks for the generous support of The Burdett Trust for the project. We were lucky to have Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse, Dementia UK as our keynote speaker who delivered an excellent presentation on the role of Admiral Nurses working with people living with dementia and some of the key nutritional issues encountered. A panel of engaging and thought-provoking presentations were provided by colleagues Dr Michele Board, Dr Janet Scammell around person-centred care and the importance of knowing the person and Professor Keith Brown around empowering staff to deliver organisational leadership.


Dr Jane Murphy and Joanne Holmes presented the project findings to reveal a number of insightful and innovative ways in which the nutritional and hydration needs of people living with dementia can be better supported. To illustrate the study findings and the relationship between sensory perception and memory, Malcolm Burgin, Alive Activities Ltd,  invited the audience to participate in a number of sensory activities, demonstrating the powerful effects smell and touch can evoke in triggering memories and associated experiences.


Katie Bennett, Partners in Care and Dr Jane Murphy​ introduced the first open viewing of our training film and workbook made during the project and were delighted by the enthusiastic response received to both! Finally the afternoon was eloquently rounded off and brought to a close by Councillor and former Leader of Poole Borough Council, Elaine Atkinson OBE who provided a powerful presentation reiterating the importance of research to improving the delivery of nutritional care for those living with dementia, the key to success through partnership working and above all the next steps for implementation. The work doesn’t stop here!


We very pleased by the very positive and very supportive comments received, a few of which are pasted below. We would like offer a huge thank you to everyone involved for making the Conference such a lively, engaging and enormously successful day!

Conference presentation: 25th November

“Excellent day, great speakers one of the best Conferences I have been to. Fantastic video-so powerful and so true.”

“Great tools to improve practitioners approach to individuals with dementia and improving their experience of life and food.”

“This has been a great day and has made me look at nutrition from a different angle.”

“Loved the focus on the person-centred approach as this is a long held passion of mine… Found the expert lecturers very motivating and appreciated their understanding of the real world.”

“I thought the film was excellent-really helpful practical advice and a very professional production. Emphasis on the residents ‘back stories’ is really helpful too.”

“Excellent video…I can’t wait to try and implement some of this.. Today has been very informative-Thank you!”

Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse with Joanne Holme


Dr. Fiona Kelly invited guest speaker at Cecily Saunders Institute, King’s College London

fiona Cecily SaundersOn 25th November, Dr Fiona Kelly attended the Cecily Saunders Institute at King’s College London as an invited guest speaker to present research on determining what aspects of the design of care environments might be important for people with dementia nearing the end of life. The key messages of her presentation were the importance of firstly assuming the ability of people with dementia to engage with the senses, whether through touch, sound, smell, sight or taste and then to provide the means of engaging with whatever sense was appropriate or possible. The presentation was followed by a panel discussion with the audience in which the practical application of design principles within hospital settings was debated. The consensus was that even small changes can make a big difference. Following the presentation and discussion, the panel made a commitment to include consideration of dementia design principles in staff education within the Institute.

Fleming, R., Kelly, F. and Stillfried, G. (2015) ‘I want to feel at home’: establishing what aspects of environmental design are important to people with dementia nearing the end of life, BMC Palliative Care.

CsJCC Book Launch

The Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community will be holding a book launch on Wednesday 9 December between 5 and 7 in the Global Hub room (DG68) to celebrate the work of colleagues who have recently had books published.  Refreshments will be on offer and all are welcome to drop by.



HSS Writing Week 4th-8th January – How can Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit support you?

bucru identity

The Faculty of Health and Social Sciences is holding a Writing Week between 4th-8th January 2016 aimed at supporting staff to find time in their busy academic diaries to prioritise writing grant applications and papers for publication.

The Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit offers methodological and statistical collaboration for all healthcare researchers in the area. It supports researchers in improving the quality, quantity and efficiency of research across Bournemouth University and local National Health Service (NHS) Trusts. It incorporates the Dorset office of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Design Service who offer free methodological support to researchers who are developing research ideas in the field of health and social care.

BUCRU will be supporting Writing Week in HSS by holding two drop-in sessions on Tuesday 5th January and Thursday 7th January 12-2pm in R508 Royal London House. We would also like to extend the invitation across the other Faculties for anyone who feels we may be able to support them. For those unable to attend the drop-in sessions, we would be delighted to arrange an alternative appointment.

Please see further information here, contact our adminstrator Louise Ward on 01202 961939 / or visit our website. We look forward to seeing you!

BU researchers receive ‘highly commended’ in three categories at the Institution of Engineering and Technology awards

Congratulations to Dr Venky Dubey and Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Neil Vaughan for receive ‘highly commended’ in three categories at the Institution of Engineering and Technology awards.  They and their collaborators – Bournemouth University, the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch NHS Foundation Trust and Poole Hospital Trust – were nominated for a smartphone device for monitoring sensation loss in patients with diabetes, which enables patients to self-monitor their symptoms and wirelessly transmit their results to their consultants.

Over time, people with diabetes can develop nerve damage, caused by prolonged exposure to high blood glucose levels. Sensation loss needs to be monitored by medical professionals to try and limit further damage. The severity of the nerve damage will dictate the frequency of hospital visits, but it can be as often as monthly which is quite time intensive for both patient and consultant.

The device, created by Dr Venky Dubey and his Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Neil Vaughan, involved the development of a smartphone app and a 3D probe fitted to the phone. The 3D probe is designed to vibrate, according to the intensity set by the app, which helps to analyse the levels of sensation loss in a patient. This data, along with basic details such as weight and height, are recorded by the app and can be transmitted to a GP or consultant who can monitor the need for further treatment or check-ups. As well as being a considerable time saver for both patients and medical professionals, the device also helps to give patients more control over their care.

Having their work recognised at an international level and placed in the same categories as organisations such as BT, Lockheed Martin and QinetiQ is a real achievement and is a tribute to the excellent work carried out by the research team involved.

Research Professional – all you need to know

Research-Professional-logoEvery 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. The Funding Development Team Officers can assist you with this, if required.

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 fuorth Tuesday of each month. You can register here for your preferred date:

26th January 2016

23rd February 2016

22nd March 2016

26th April 2016

24th May 2016

28th June 2016

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.