Neuroscience@BU seminars next week, Wednesday the 12th and Friday the 14th

Dear colleagues,
Next week we will have two thematic research seminars in neuroscience organized by Dr Julie Kirby and me.

-The first of the seminars of this series will take place next Wednesday the 12th of March, 15:00, P302 LT. The invited speaker is Dr Dimitris Pinotsis,
Dr Pintosis obtained his PhD in September 2006 from the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) of the University of Cambridge. After an EPRSC Research Fellowship and lectureship in Reading University he moved to UCL where he is working at the Welcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging ; having secured funding from EPSRC and the Wellcome Trust.
Dr Pinotsis has a strong track record and a number of landmark publications in imaging neuroscience modelling; he is also the author of the most advanced versions of the state-of the art models for neuroimaging data, the dynamic causal models. I am familiar with Dimitris work and I very strongly encourage the attendance to researchers both in machine learning and in cognitive psychology.
The title of his exciting talk is “Electrophysiological Data and the Biophysical Modelling of Local Cortical Circuits”. “Dynamic Causal Modelling (DCM) is a general framework that allows for a formal (Bayesian) analysis of the properties of neuronal populations, based upon realistic biophysical models. In the past few years, a wide variety of such models has been implemented in the DCM framework. In this talk, I will first review some of these recent advances and then focus on models that allow one to infer spatial parameters of cortical infrastructures generating electrophysiological signals (like the extent of lateral connections and the intrinsic conduction speed of signal propagation on the cortex). I will try to highlight the links between different models and address how the experimental hypothesis or question asked might inform the choice of an appropriate model”.

-The second seminar of this series will take place on Friday the 14th of March, at 14:00 in K101. Our guest is Prof. Maria Victoria Sanchez-Vives,

Maria V. Victoria Sánchez-Vives, M.D., PhD in Neurosciences has been ICREA Research Professor at the IDIBAPS (Institut d’Investigacions Biomediques August Pi i Sunyer) in Barcelona since 2008, where she is the head of the Systems Neuroscience group. She is currently co-director of the Event Lab (Experimental Virtual Envir onments in Neuroscience and Technology).
After obtaining her PhD at the University of Alicante in Spain, MVSV was postdoctoral fellow/research associate at Rockefeller University (1993-1994) and Yale University (1995-2000). She next established her own laboratory at the Neuroscience Institute of Alicante (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas) while being Associate Professor of Physiology. Her independent research has been supported by national and international agencies. She has been funded by Human Frontier Science Program and has been partner in six European Projects. She is currently coordinator of the FET EU project CORTICONIC.
Her main interests include how neuronal and synaptic properties as well as connectivity determine the emergent activity generated by neuronal networks. The integration of the cortical information giving rise to bodily representation and the combination of brain-computer interfaces and virtual reality for understanding these processes is another research line of her group.
She is currently Chief Editor of Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience.
For information see
Maria Victoria Sanchez-Vives is a renowned neuroscientist which has published a number of highly influential papers in journals like e.g. Science, Nature Neuroscience, PNAS or Journal of Neuroscience. I strongly encourage not missing the opportunity to attend to this seminar and to discuss perhaps potential synergies.
The title of her talk will be “Emergent oscillatory activity in the cerebral cortex”.
“Understanding complex systems like brain networks is a challenge. Cortical networks can perform computations of remarkable complexity, accounting for a large variety of behaviours and cognitive states. At the same time, the same networks can engage in stereotypical patterns of spatio-temporal activation, such as the ones that can be observed during sleep, anaesthesia and in cortical slice. Collective phenomena emerging from activity reverberation in cortical circuits at different spatio-temporal scales results in a rich variety of dynamical states. Slow (around or below 1 Hz) and fast (15-100 Hz) rhythms are spontaneously generated by the cortical network and propagate or synchronize populations across the cortex. This is the case even in isolated pieces of the cortical network, or in vitro maintained cortical slices, where both slow and fast oscillations are also spontaneously generated. The similarity between some of these patterns both in vivo and in vitro suggests that they are somehow a default activity from the cortical network. We understand that these emergent patterns provide information on the structure, dynamics and function of the underlying cortical network and their alterations in neurological diseases reveal the circuits dysfunction”.

If you would like to talk to the guests kindly let me know.
Best wishes, Emili

Emili Balaguer-Ballester, PhD
Faculty of Science and Technology , Bournemouth University
Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, University of Heidelberg

ResearchGate Reviewed

Picture by bschwehn

Recently a number of researchers have been asking about ResearchGate and how it relates to BRIAN.  In November, Jill Evans from the University of Exeter posted a Review of ResearchGate on their blog, this was a comprehensive review which I would recommend reading. However, here are some of the pros, cons and recommendations tailored to BU.

ResearchGate is a networking site for researchers, particularly those engaged in broadly scientific research.


ResearchGate is free to join and currently has about 3 million users mainly in the sciences.  It offers the following benefits to researchers:

  • Sharing publications
  • Connecting with colleagues
  • Seeking new collaborations
  • Obtaining statistics and metrics on use of uploaded publications
  • Asking questions of researchers around the world that have the same set of interests
  • Job seeking or recruitment

ResearchGate incorporates many elements of familiar social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn such as creating profiles, liking and following researchers and their publications, ability to comment or send feedback and the ability to share news items and updates easily and quickly.

ResearchGate links researchers around selected topics and specialisations – these can be chosen or edited at any time by members.  Members can track and follow the research publications of others in their field.

Members can upload copies of papers (either pre- or post-review) and the associated raw data.  All will be searchable.  Non-peer-reviewed material can be added only through manual file upload.

Researchers are encouraged not only to upload successful results but also those results from failed projects or experiments – the latter are stored in a separate but searchable area.

ResearchGate finds publications for members from a number of major databases, for example, PubMed, arXiv, IEEE, RePEC and CiteSeer enabling automatic creation of a publications list.  Lists can also be created or added to manually or importing from a reference management database such as EndNote.  It also appears to trawl University web sites and repositories so that if you have papers in the Bournemouths repository, BURO, it is very easy to create profiles and publication lists.  Members will be asked to accept or decline publications (as is the case with BRIAN, for example).

Members are automatically subscribed to a co-author’s feed, so that they can see work from and connect with their co-authors’ co-authors.

ResearchGate offers the ability to search and filter on a variety of topics: author, institution, journal, publication, and so on.

Members can request a copy of a paper from the author if it is not freely available.

Full text publications uploaded to ResearchGate are indexed by Google.

ResearchGate contains useful information about journals, such as impact factors, metrics and some details of open access policy – in this respect it is useful for bringing information together into one place.


ResearchGate claims to have 3 million users but it is not clear how many of these are active accounts that are maintained and updated regularly.

A quick look of Bournemouth members shows that many profiles contain only a small number of publications and many appear not to have been updated for some time.

Some members have complained about unwanted email spamming.  To avoid receiving several emails a day, unwanted updates or followers, be sure to manage your Notifications and Privacy settings both of which can be accessed through Account Settings.

Many of the publications that are available through ResearchGate are actually uploaded illegally in terms of publisher open access policy.

Putting a copy of your paper on ResearchGate will not mean that you are compliant with funder policy.  On the contrary, you may be in breach of publisher policy.  You will still need to upload a copy of your paper to BURO via BRIAN if you are funded by any of the UK Research Councils, Leverhulme, NIHR and Horizon 2020. 


The more effort you put into maintaining and regularly updating your profile, the more you will get out of ResearchGate.

ResearchGate is not a replacement for depositing a copy of your research in BURO.  It is recommended that you deposit the legal copy of your paper in BURO via BRIAN and then link to that on networking sites such as ResearchGate.

It is worth noting that when you upload your paper to BURO the Editors ( will check for you that it is a legal copy and will be in touch if there is any reason why the item cannot be hosted in BURO.

The extent to which ResearchGate will be useful to individual researchers depends on the researcher’s aims.  If the aim is to promote work then ResearchGate alone will probably not suffice.  Consider using ResearchGate in conjunction with other sites such as, Mendeley, Google Scholar or figshare.  Activity and membership varies from one site to another and from one discipline to another, so researchers will need to investigate for themselves in order to evaluate potential value.

If you do use a variety of sites, this is where the advantage of having your paper in a single, freely available place, i.e., BURO, will come into play as you can simply link to the paper and know that anyone anywhere can get secure, long-term and free access.  There will be no need to undertake multiple publication upload.  Please note that all BURO repository content is indexed by Google and Google Scholar and typically appears at or near the top of search results.

The University of Utrecht has produced a very useful guide to increasing the visibility and impact of research and the use of metrics to track impact.  Although written for Utrecht researchers, there is a great deal of generic advice that can be applied to any discipline.

Enhancing research collaborations and PhD student training with Zhejiang University

Posted in BU research, Fusion by lyou

Supported by the University’s Fusion Investment Fund, Dr . Lihua You will pay a visit to the State Key Lab of CAD & CG, Zhejiang University, China.

Zhejiang University is the second largest university in China. It has become China no. 1 university in Chinese university ranking 2011 (, 2012 (, and 2013 (  The State Key Lab of CAD & CG at Zhejiang University is a world-leading research organization and most prestigious and largest research community in computer aided design and computer graphics in China. It is a unique state laboratory in the field established by Ministry of Science and Technology of China in 1989.  Prof. Jin is a leading researcher in the Lab. He has secured over 40 projects funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China etc. including 31 projects with him as a PI, co-authored three books, and published more than 160 papers including over 60 high quality papers in international journals such as ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH) and IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics.

Prof. Jin has previously collaborated with Prof. Jian J. Zhang and Dr. You. They have already completed a project jointly funded by the Royal Society and National Natural Science Foundation of China. Through completing the project, they have co-authored over 10 papers including some papers published in leading international journals.

The University’s Fusion Investment Fund will enable Dr You’s to visit Prof. Jin late 2014 and have half a month to work with Prof Jin on some funding application proposal, develop new partners for funding bids, identify various funding opportunities and new research topics, plan joint research activities, and discuss co-supervision of their PhD students.


Latest Major Funding Opportunities

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

The BBSRC Visualising Research competition for designers, graphic artists, software developers, programmers and anyone with an interest in data visualisation is now open. The purpose of this challenge is to develop visualisations of the Gateway to Research data that can be easily understood by the public. Displaying these data in an accessible way will also have benefits for a range of sectors, stakeholders including policy makers, other funding bodies and the media. A prize of £2,000 will be awared on 28/4/14. The closing date for application is 21/03/14.

The EPSRC‘s Centre for Power Electronics is pleased to announce an external call for proposals for funding to carry out Feasibility Studies which align or deliver to the Centre’s vision. Central to this call is the need for submissions to deliver to the vision of the Centre in supporting innovation in the UK power electronics sector. Up to £70,000 per project is available. The closing date is 15:00 on 10/04/14.

In addtion, the EPSRC are support Cross-Cutting Topic Projects (scroll down on page for this call). Up to £300,000 is avaialble per proejct. The closing date for this call is also 15:00 on 10/04/14. 

Through the EPSRC, the RCUK Energy Programme invites expressions of interest from those willing to attend a workshop in Oxford to develop Phase 3 of the UK-India civil nuclear research programmes. The EoI must be submiited by 04/04/14. The workshop is expected to take place 10/06/14 to 12/06/14.

The MOD’s Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) (part of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)), seeks applications regarding Novel electro-optic infrared technology. There will  be a webinar for this competition on Thursday 6 March 2014. The closing date is 08/04/14.

The NERC  Standard Research Grants  is an open competition for curiosity-motivated basic, strategic or applied research in the environmental sciences. Proposals are assessed on their scientific excellence. A minimum of £65,000 to a maximum of £1.2m is awarded. The next round will close on 22/07/14.

Through NERC, the ESPA-2014 Grants call is for ‘blue skies’ research projects designed to significantly advance global understanding on the way that ecosystem services contribute to poverty alleviation, with specific emphasis on generating new understanding that can benefit poor people in low-income countries (LICs). Research funded under ESPA-2014 is expected to inform thinking and practice over, at least, the next decade, representing a step-change in the knowledge and evidence that will underpin future activities in ESPA’s sphere of activity. Awards of up to £150,000 are available. The closing date is 16:00 on 14/05/14.

 NERC is inviting applications to host workshops. One of the activities that helps integration and interaction across the Biodiveristy and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) projects and extends BESS science into the wider community is through NERC’s programme of workshops and working groups. BESS has internal funds for supporting this activity which can be applied for at any time. Up to £8,000 can be awarded for each workshop, which could include travel for up to two international participants.

The Wellcome Trust invites application from PhD student or junior fellows, funded through the Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities (MH) programme, to undertake a three-month fellowship at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). The Fellowship allows unique access to a parliamentary and policy-making setting, thereby facilitating the real-world application of policy relevant research in medical humanities. Applications should reach the Wellcome Trust by 22/11/014.

The Wellcome Trust has announced the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology Fellowship in Society and Ethics. This scheme enables a Wellcome Trust-funded PhD student or junior fellow to undertake a three-month fellowship at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). If successful in applying, a fully funded three-month minimum extension to the PhD or fellowship award will be supported, and any maintenance grant will also be paid while based at POST. Travel and accommodation needs will also be considered. Closing date 02/04/14.

 Please note that some funders specify a time for submission as well as a date. Please confirm this with your RKE Support Officer.

You can set up your own personalised alerts on ResearchProfessional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s RKE Officer in RKE Operations or see the recent post on this topic, which includes forthcoming training dates up to November 2014.

One last 1-2-1 Appointment available with Martin Pickard – Wednesday 5th March!


These appointments are generally offered to Grants Academy members only however we have 1 slot left. If you feel you would benefit from a ‘face to face’ meeting with Martin in relation to any bid/proposal you are currently working on please contact me Dianne Goodman  preferably today!

Martin currently has the following appointment available on the 5th of March at the following time in the EBC on Lansdowne Campus in Room EB603:


  • 10:00am – 10:45am

The appointments are approx 45 minutes long

Martin Pickard

With a career background in both Academia and Industry Dr. Martin Pickard of Grantcraft is a specialist in writing and supporting research grant applications and tenders as well as providing administrative and management support services for ongoing projects. During the last 20 years Martin has worked extensively across Europe with a large number of universities, and research institutes as well as industrial firms, ranging from small SME’s to major international companies.

Martin is providing individual 1-2-1 surgeries with any BU academic staff member and works individually and confidentiality with each Principal Investigator as the project is structured and prepared in order to optimize the application documentation from every aspect of the Funders perspective; guiding, steering and showing how to optimize the application throughout the bid process.

Academics at BU who have undertaken his guidance have stated:

 ‘his support and direction was invaluable – Martin gave me some pragmatic suggestions which really helped to shape the bid. His eye for detail made the document much easier to read and the message much clearer. I was very grateful for his input’  Assoc. Prof Heather Hartwell School of Tourism.

The process, although labour intensive, works; with a proven historical average success rates of close to 1 in 2 against norms of (1 in 8 to 1 in 10)

Book Now through me Dianne Goodman 


Tourism, Alcohol and Public Health – tensions and opportunities

Philip Long and Andy Adams of the School of Tourism are collaborating with Ann Hemingway and Will Haydock of the School of Health and Social Care in a Fusion CCP project that aims to explore issues associated with alcohol consumption, public health and tourism. The project will examine the views of producers and distributors of alcohol products in Bournemouth, Dorset and the New Forest on visitor markets and their regulation. The research team will also explore public health, tourism, planning and local political perspectives on the relationships between policy and practice concerning alcohol and tourism (the visitor and ‘night-time’ economy) in the region.

This project will address research, policy and media discourses on public health concerns about excessive consumption of alcohol among visitors to coastal resorts such as Bournemouth. Although much of this focuses on public order issues relating to young drinkers, captured in the phrase ‘binge’ drinking, there is increasing anxiety surrounding older drinkers.  Nationally, 2012 saw the publication of The Government’s Alcohol Strategy, which noted the importance of ‘chronic diseases’ related to alcohol amongst those aged 25 and over, and promised a review of consumption guidelines that would include specific work on those aged over 65. 

Alongside this there is a research, policy and media focus on more positive connotations of alcohol, such as real ale, rural and urban ‘gastro pubs’, micro-breweries and festivals that are packaged and promoted as tourist attractions in areas such as the New Forest and Dorset. The importance of the real ale industry in the revitalisation of tradition and social, cultural and regional identities is increasingly acknowledged. In addition, given that social capital is understood to affect people’s long-term health, it may be that the social networks involved in real ale appreciation and tourism actually help to foster psychological health and wellbeing.

The key objective of the project is to establish how researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and the wider community can contribute to reconciling these apparently conflicting perspectives.

The research team is developing a mixed-method approach focusing on the consumption, production and distribution and, regulation dimensions of the relationships between alcohol, public health and tourism. We are now working to identify and secure participants in the research and would welcome comments and suggestions from colleagues across the University.

Research Professional – all you need to know

Every 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.

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

25th March 2014

22 April 2014

27 May 2014

24 June 2014

22 July 2014

26 August 2014

23 September 2014

28 October 2014

25 November 2014

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.

Why English Football Player Fail in Penalty Shootouts: German Sport Psychology Researcher Visiting BU

Recently, the Sport Academic Group hosted researcher Dr Philip Furley from its Erasmus partner institution German Sport University Cologne. Philip works for the Institute of Cognitive and Team/Racket Sport Research and has recently published studies in a number of fields like inattentional blindness and creativity, many of which funded by the prestigious German Research Foundation.

As part of his visit he discussed his work with a selected group of sport academics and postgraduate researchers in a workshop-style format. One of the studies looked into how non-verbal behaviour of athletes is a function of the current score, how this can be reliably interpreted by others – especially opponents who register this which in turn influences their confidence levels.

By extending this research into what Philip calls ‘pop science’, it can be explained why English footballers are more likely to fail in penalty shootouts based on empirical data. ‘Hastening and hiding’ behaviour as a consequence of psychological stress in the penalty situation leads, for example, to submissive non-verbal behaviour like turning your back to the goalkeeper after dropping the ball on the penalty spot and taking little time for the shot after the referee blows the whistle.

Further studies and discussions were around the dangers of coaching instructions to induce an attentional set that controls the focus of attention of athletes. It can lead to structured awareness not adaptive to dynamic situations – for example during on-field decision making which can lead to important information being overseen, like an opponent who ‘unexpectedly’ enters the space of a defender. It was discussed if there were parallels to the way university tutors may be used to structure and present material to students and how this forms their thinking.

“Bringing highly dedicated researchers from internationally leading institutions to BU is an important part of inspiring and guiding research at our university. Philip’s presentations were a fantastic example of work that is driven by deep academic curiosity and high process quality, and his visit has provoked much inspiration and discussion” says Dr Tim Breitbarth, Senior Lecturer and Coordinator Internationalisation in Sport.

Next Grants Academy – apply by 12th of March for March/April session – only a few spaces left!


The Grants Academy has been described by members as ‘brilliant’, ‘excellent’, ‘extremely educational and stimulating’ and ‘very beneficial’. It has also increased bids submissions from members acting as a Principal Investigator by 41% and 20% as a co-Investigator. Members have significantly increased their funding successes too and obtained funding from organisations such as the AHRC, European Commission, ESRC, British Academy, English Heritage and Burdett Trust for Nursing.

How does the Academy work?  Members attend an initial two day training course off campus, facilitated by an external expert bid writer with a well-developed draft proposal. The training days will cover the art of proposal craftmanship, the rules of the writing game and other invaluable information to help you perfect your proposal during the days. Feedback on these days from existing members have been very positive,  ‘the workshop was the best I have ever attended’. 

Members can then further develop their proposal over a couple of weeks, gaining unlimited support from the external facilitator in doing so and the cohort re-gathers for a mock peer review panel of each other’s applications. This gives a unique insight into this process in a supportive environment and helps further refine the proposal. One member has described this session as ‘[I now have] profound insights in[to] how the system works…and to realize how that must be for professional reviewers’.

What other support is given? Throughout the 18 month membership of the Grants Academy, members benefit form UNLIMITED support from the external facilitator (and in some cases additional external reviewers) which has been invaluable in helping members secure external funding ‘[His] input enabled me to produce a clearer, more logical and convincing proposal. He also alerted me to issues I had not previously considered and encouraged me to think about ‘impact’ and value for the UK in new ways’.

Members also have bespoke assistance from R&KEO in finding funding and collaborators. They also have access to a library of successful proposals from BU, a travel grant (£250), guaranteed places on Funder visits organised for them and surgeries with external facilitators.

How do I apply? To apply for a place, please contact me Dianne Goodman and I will send you a Membership Agreement Form to be signed by you, your line manager and your DDRE. Applications close on Wednesday March 12th 2014 for the next training sessions due to take place on the: 24th and 25th of Mar and the 22nd Apr 2014

If there is a waiting list for spaces on the Grants Academy due to its success and you will be added to this if no places are available on the next cohort. If you find that you are unable to make these dates you may find it helpful to know that we have 1 further Grants Academy session which will be held on the:

12th and 13th of May and the 9th of Jun 2014

You are welcome to apply and register for the next Grants Academy session (March/April) or the session listed above (May/June) and we are happy to put your name on our list for a future session provided you can confirm at the time of applying that you have blocked out these dates in your calendar and we receive your application signed by your line manager and DDRE.

What’s the small print? When making your application, you must ensure that you are available for the 3 dates in their entirety. Membership is only obtained once all training days have been attended. Obligations of membership are that at least one proposal for external funding must be submitted within the first six months of membership. As the training days are attended with a draft proposal, this should be obtainable. Within 18 months at least three proposals for external funding must have been submitted. Failure to meet these obligations will lead to membership being revoked.

If you have any questions about the Grants Academy please get in contact with Dianne Goodman (scheme administrator) or Rebecca Edwards (scheme manager).

Grants Academy Next Workshops – Deadline for your Application to join for the March/April Sessions – 12th March 2014 – get yourself booked in today – only a few spaces left!!

Book Now! Leverhulme Trust – our next funder visit March 19th 2014

Following on from our well attended visit from the AHRC and the British Academy I am pleased to remind you that the Leverhulme Trust will be visiting us next on the 19th of March – it is not too late to get yourself booked in….

Working on a variety of initiatives in R&KEO over the years, one element of development which we receive consistently excellent feedback, is the events we arrange where funders come to BU and present their organisations funding priorities and give advice on making an application. We have arranged for several funders to visit BU in 2014, we have already hosted visits from the AHRC and the British Academy and are pleased to announce our next arranged visit is with the Leverhulme Trust.

This will be taking place on Wednesday 19 March 2014, and Jean Cater (Mrs) The Assistant Director from the Leverhulme Trust which funds all academic disciplines will be visiting to discuss their grants and give advice on making an application.

Spaces on this event are becoming limited due to the room available so booking is essential!

Grants Academy members can be guaranteed a space by emailing Dianne. Or by emailing Staff Development

The booking hyperlink is:

Leverhulme Trust  funder visit

This is taking place mainly over the lunchtime period (12 midday until about 1pm -1:30pm ish) so please feel free to bring your lunch with you

We look forward to seeing as many of you who can make it.

Fusion – Study leave to research 2 books – AIDS Education and Media Gaze

I am delighted to report that I have been sucessful in my Fusion Investment Fund bid for study leave to research two academic books, between August this year and the end of January 2015.

These are books are titled ‘Pedro Zamora: A Media Icon for AIDS Education, under contract with Cambria Press, and ‘Straight Girls and Queer Guys: The Heteromedia Gaze upon the Queer Male’, under contract with Edinburgh University Press.

This will include not only research time where I can involve myself looking at archives, examining media texts and holding interviews, but also this will involve visiting other academic institutions, charitable health educational organisations, and practice production houses.

These projects are very exciting, as to some degree they represent a culmination of ideas that I have been working on for many years.

With the Pedro Zamora AIDS education book, I first heard of Pedro Zamora and his status as a leading youth educator on AIDS way back in the early 2000s. Appearing the The Real World TV series, and reaching a worldwide audience, his impact  was phenomenal, and his legacy as an influence on AIDS educators is very important. Pedro’s death in 1994, just after The Real World aired, seemed such a loss.  Yet his legacy continues, speaking to Latino and gay youth audiences.  Whilst I have examined Pedro’s appearances in media texts, in a few of my publications, I have not yet closely examined his impact as an AIDS educator, relative to practice.  I have set up a range of interviews with those who not only knew Pedro, but also have been inspired by his impact, and potentially exhibit this in their educational practice

With the ‘Straight Girls and Queer Guys’ book, I will be considering the rise of the relationship between ‘straight girls’ and ‘gay guys’ in the media.  This seems like an entirely different prospect (to the Pedro Zamora book), but in many ways its another aspect, of media identification potential. This relationship dates back to the early part of the 20th century, considering the union or camaraderie exhibited between gay men and prostitutes in London, and the use of the secret language of ‘Polari”, a coded language where secret discourse could be exchanged, without the general population getting in on the know.  Later gay men’s identification with female movie stars such as Judy Garland, revealed a similar type of coupling – where gay men identified with the sense of tribulation and trial as being outside.  Even more later shows like Will and Grace seem to offer this type of union, and on the internet, there is a proliferation of this coupling.

Well enough for now, there’s lots to think about.  I am just so pleased that I can get to do these engaging projects.  I am now in the process of careful time planning, as I tell my students, time management is everything.

Dr Chris Pullen – Senior Lecturer in Media Theory – The Media School.





The Ethics Restructure – Implementation Tomorrow!

As you are already aware, the University recently approved the restructure of our research ethics review process, which will go into effect tomorrow.

As part of the implementation, the Online Ethics Checklist has been upgraded to ensure it is fit for purpose and as such, you may experience slight disruptions to the Online Ethics Checklist tomorrow as the new system is being uploaded. Please be patient with the system and feel free to get in touch with Julia Hastings Taylor if you have any questions.

The research ethics restructure sees the formation of two Research Ethics Panels which will act on behalf of the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC), moving from a School-based to an integrated discipline-based model. The restructure identifies the two Research Ethics Panels as Science, Technology & Health and Social Sciences & Humanities.

Regarding the ethical review process, the restructure emphasises the need to identify potential risk and ensures that projects, which reach the threshold of ‘above minimal risk’ (further defined in the School Implementation Plans), receive a thorough ethical review. Please email Julia Hastings Taylor if you would like a copy of your School’s Implementation Plan.

If you have any specific questions regarding the restructure, please contact Julia Hastings Taylor.

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