Data scientist: The sexiest job of the 21st century?

UK Government has identified Data Science as the ‘transforming and growth driving force across all sectors of economy’ and named Big Data as one of the ‘eight great technologies’. With an unprecedented growth in digital content and data, as the digital universe in 2020 is estimated to be 50 times as big as in 2010, we have entered a new era of predictive analytics and data intensive computing. Data scientists are expected to play a key role in this data revolution and their job has even been referred to as “the sexiest job of the 21st century”. This EU INFER sponsored one-day open workshop will combine talks by eminent speakers, a panel-audience discussion, exhibition of projects, hands-on experience session with a number of digital devices and provide a chance to meet data science experts from academia and industry.

Please register at: ( and join us during this exciting event.

Date: 10 June 2014: 9am – 6pm.

Location: 3rd Floor, Executive Business Centre, 89 Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth, BH8 8EB

Workshop chair: Prof. Bogdan Gabrys, Data Science Institute, Bournemouth University

Detailed program of the workshop:

9.00 – 9.15 – Welcome and introduction

9.15 – 10.15 – Prof. Nello Cristianini (Bristol University, UK), ThinkBIG : The Impact of Big Data on Science and Society

10.15 – 10.30 – Break

10.30 – 11.30 – Prof. David van Dyk (Imperial College London, UK), Big Data and Complex Modeling Challenges in Astronomy and Solar Physics

11.30 – 14.30 – Lunch combined with networking, exhibitions, poster session and hands on experimenting.

14.30 – 15.45 – Panel discussion: Is Data Science “the transforming and growth driving force across all sectors of economy”? Is a Data Scientist the “sexiest job of the 21st century”? (Panelists to include the keynote speakers and a number of users and experts from academia as well as public and private sectors)

15.45 – 16.00 – Break

16.00 – 17.00 – Prof. Detlef Nauck (BT, UK), Predictive Analytics and Big Data

17.00 – 17.15 – Break

17.15 – 18.00 – Prof. Bogdan Gabrys (Bournemouth University, UK), Data Science at BU


Information about invited keynote talks and speakers:

Talk 1: ThinkBIG: The Impact of Big Data on Science and Society by Prof. Nello Cristianini, Professor of Artificial Intelligence, Bristol University

Abstract: Computers can now do things that their programmers cannot explain or understand: today’s Artificial Intelligence has found a way to bypass the need for understanding a phenomenon before we can replicate it in a computer. The technology that made this possible is called machine learning: a method to program computers by showing them examples of the desired behaviour. And the fuel that powers it all is DATA. Lots of it.

For this reason, data has been called the new oil: a new natural resource, that businesses and scientists alike can leverage, by feeding it to massive learning computers to do things that we do not understand well enough to implement them with a traditional program. This new way of working is all about predicting, not explaining. It is about knowing what a new drug will do to a patient, not why. But: was not science meant to help us make sense of the world? Or is it just meant to deliver good predictions? And let us remember that the fuel that powers this revolution is very often our own personal data, and that we still do not have a clear cultural framework to think about this.

Short Bio Note: Nello Cristianini is a Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Bristol. His current research covers the large scale analysis of media content (news and social media), using various AI methods, and the implications of Big Data.

Cristianini is the co-author of two widely known books in machine learning, “An Introduction to Support Vector Machines” and “Kernel Methods for Pattern Analysis” and of a book in bioinformatics “Introduction to Computational Genomics”. He is also a former recipient of the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award and a current holder of a European Research Council Advanced Grant.

Talk 2: Big Data and Complex Modeling Challenges in Astronomy and Solar Physics by Prof. David van Dyk, Professor of Statistics, Imperial College London

Abstract: In recent years, technological advances have dramatically increased the quality and quantity of data available to astronomers.  Newly launched or soon-to-be launched space-based telescopes are tailored to data-collection challenges associated with specific scientific goals. These instruments provide massive new surveys resulting in new catalogs containing terabytes of data, high resolution spectrography and imaging across the electromagnetic spectrum, and incredibly detailed movies of dynamic and explosive processes in the solar atmosphere. These new data streams are helping scientists make impressive strides in our understanding of the physical universe, but at the same time generating massive data-analytic and data-mining challenges for scientists who study the resulting data. This talk will give an overview of a number of statistical challenges that arise form big data and complex models in astronomy and solar physics.

Short Bio Note: David van Dyk is a Professor in the Statistics Section of the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College London. After obtaining his PhD from the University of Chicago, he held faculty positions at Harvard University and the University of California, Irvine before relocating to London in 2011. Professor van Dyk was elected Fellow in the American Statistical Association in 2006, elected Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics in 2010, received a Wolfson Merit Award in 2011, and was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Statistical Association (2015-17). His scholarly work focuses on methodological and computational issues involved with Bayesian analysis of highly structured statistical models and emphasizes serious interdisciplinary research, especially in astronomy. He founded and coordinates the CHASC International Astrostatistics Center and is particularly interested in improving the efficiency of computationally intensive methods involving data augmentation, such as EM-type algorithms and various Markov chain Monte Carlo methods.

Talk 3: Predictive Analytics and Big Data by Prof Dr Detlef Nauck, Chief Research Scientist, BT

Abstract: Detlef’s research focuses on exploiting large operational data sources to improve BT’s systems, networks and processes. The ultimate goal is the introduction of autonomic systems into operations that can learn from historic data to self- improve, self-configure and self-heal. In his presentation, Detlef will discuss how the application of predictive analytics to operational data has led to a number of solutions in BT’s operations that predict performance of networks, systems and processes, and forecast expected demand. Detlef will also discuss some current research topics at BT, which range from automatic discovery of patterns, to autonomic behaviour in processes and systems, to the challenges of exploiting Big Data.

Short Bio Note: Detlef Nauck is a Chief Research Scientist with BT’s Research and Innovation Division located at Adastral Park, Ipswich, UK. He is leading a group of international scientists working on Intelligent Data Analysis and Autonomic Systems. He is a Visiting Professor at Bournemouth University and a Private Docent at the Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg, Germany. Detlef holds an MSc (1990) and a PhD (1994) in Computer Science both from the University of Braunschweig, Germany. He also holds a Habilitation (post-doctoral degree) in Computer Science from the Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg, Germany (2000). Detlef has published over 120 papers, holds 4 patents and 20 active patent applications.

Citizen journalism, hippos and Bio-Beach: Lots of great content on the research website

I’ve just counted up what has been added to the new research website over the last week (Tuesday 27 May – Monday 2 June) and there have been 16 new pieces of content. That’s an average of three pieces of exciting BU research news being shared every day.

The new site was implemented at the end of 2013. As in any big organisation, changing processes or systems can take time, but I’m so pleased to see that colleagues are engaging with it and sharing their research through it. People are simply logging in and uploading their content themselves quickly and easily, rather than having to log a job and go through various other people.

The content is wide ranging and really interesting. Some colleagues are using the site to promote public engagement activity or give details of new publications. Some highlights from the last week include:

If you’re not familiar with the site yet you can log in herewith your usual BU username and password. There’s a very handy technical guide you can download from the first page you come to once you’re in the system.

I’m currently arranging some other training dates and we have a specific session with the Psychology department this month. If any other departments or research groups would like a session all to themselves, please let me know and we’ll get something booked in. Alternatively, if you think a one-to-one session would help then I’m happy to sit down with you and go through it. Just email me.

And remember, the site is externally facing, aimed at our research users, peers at other institutions, funders and members of the public. It is different from this blog, which is aimed at the internal BU research community. It’s worth just keeping this in mind when you’re deciding where to post your content.

Thank you again to everyone who has contributed content. It makes me happy!

Latest Major Funding Opportunities

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

AHRC is pleased to announce details of its major new funding initiative for modern languages: the Open World Research Initiative  (OWRI). OWRI seeks to establish a new and exciting vision for languages research in response to the challenges and opportunities presented by a globalised research environment and multi-lingual world. The initiative seeks to present a cogent, positive and compelling vision for the role of modern language expertise in opening up research opportunities drawing on other cultures, literatures and histories. The research programmes will be multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary and demonstrate the strategic importance of language-based research and enhanced language expertise across the arts and humanities. Up to £4m Full Economic Cost (fEC) is available per OWRI programme over 4 years. Successful applicants will be funded at 80% of fEC. Closing date: 23/10/14.

Do you want to collaborate with overseas researchers? If so, consider the Japan, India,  Brazil , China, Taiwan, USA  and Europe Partnering Awards announced (or forthcoming) by the BBSRC. These awards are to set up partnership links between UK and overseas laboratories; to promote the exchange of scientists, particularly early career scientists and to promote access to facilities. Funds can only be used for travel, subsistence and other activities, such as workshops or exchanges.  Funding varies with each award. Amongst other eligibility criteria, the lead applicant must be BBSRC funded. Closing date: 13/11/14.

For those interested in working with academics from other nations, the BBSRC Other Countries Partnering Awards may be applicable. These are designed to: establish partnerships between UK and overseas laboratories; promote the exchange of scientists, particularly early career scientists; promote access to facilities;  enhance collaborative activities with CGIAR Centres and programmes (Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research Centres). While this scheme will consider applications for partnership activities with any country not currently covered by individual schemes, BBSRC particularly welcomes applications which seek to partner with researchers in South Africa, South Korea, Australia, Mexico, Vietnam, Argentina, Canada, New Zealand and Russia. Typically up to £30k over a four-year period is available for partnerships with one or more life science laboratories in countries not currently eligible through their existing partnering award schemes. Amongst other eligibility criteria, the lead applicant must be BBSRC funded. Closing date: 13/11/14.

The BBSRC is also promoting its International Workshops scheme. These aim to: stimulate joint working in topics important to BBSRC’s strategy; match numbers of scientists from the UK with other countries to identify areas of commonality and explore the potential for international collaboration and to receive applications involving collaborations with any other country, although the US, Canada, Brazil, EU member states, Japan, China, India Australia and New Zealand are particularly encouraged. There will be around 8 awards each year, of approximately £10k each. This scheme is open to current BBSRC research grant holders and researchers employed at BBSRC sponsored institutes who are in receipt of BBSRC funding. Closing date: 13/11/14.

The BBSRC‘s New Investigator Scheme assists early-career researchers – newly employed university lecturers, lecturer level equivalent fellows whose awards were secured in open competition, and researchers in Research Council Institutes at the unified Research Council Band E or its equivalent – to secure their first major element of research funding. Closing date: 24/09/14

The BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship Scheme is aimed at scientists who have demonstrated high potential and who wish to establish themselves as independent researchers. Awards are for 5 years, up to 5 are available, and include personal salary and a significant research support grant. Applications are welcome from candidates seeking flexible working arrangements. Proposals can relate to in any area of science within the BBSRC portfolio but the BBSRC particularly encourages proposals that are aligned with BBSRC’s overarching strategic priorities. Closing date: 05/11/14.

Looking ahead, The Animal Health and Welfare ERA-Net plans a third call in the area of animal health and welfare. This call is expected to be open from around mid-November 2014. If this is your discipline, why not set a date in your calendar to check this call nearer the time?

Similarly, CHIST-ERA (European Coordinated Research on Long-term Challenges in Information and Communication Sciences & Technologies ERA-Net) expects to open a call regarding Resilient Trustworthy Cyber-Physical Systems and Human Language Understanding in October 2014. Their conference in June 2014 will bring together scientists and CHIST-ERA representatives in order to identify and formulate promising scientific and technological challenges at the frontier of research with a view to refine the scientific content of the call.

The ESRC, in association with the Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo, Brazil (FAPESP) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)  has made a Joint Call for Proposals on Sustainable Urban Development. The aim of this call is to strengthen research cooperation between researchers from the state of São Paulo, Brazil, the UK and the Netherlands. Based on consultation with the research community in the participating countries, the research themes which have been identified are Resilience, Social justice and Governance and democracy. An application can only be submitted via the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research’s electronic application system Iris. A total budget of approximately €5.4 million is jointly made available. Closing date: 23/09/14

Applications are invited to the MRCBiomedical Catalyst: Regenerative Medicine Research Committee. The RMRC provides support for high quality proposals aiming to develop regenerative medicine therapies to improve human health and funds pre-clinical development and early clinical testing of novel regenerative medicine therapies. Closing date: 10/07/14.

 The TSB is investing up to £2.5m to support the development of low-power energy harvesting technologies for autonomous electronic systems. Energy harvesting is the ‘scavenging’ of energy from the surrounding environment and converting it into useable electrical energy. This call seeks to explore ways to extend battery life in low-power devices or to eliminate batteries altogether. A briefing day for potential applicants will be held in London on 09/06/14. Applicants must register by noon on 18/09/14 and the full application submitted by noon on 28/09/14.

The TSB is to invest £6m in collaborative R&D projects and feasibility studies to accelerate the proving and commercial application of a wide range of recent or emerging manufacturing technologies involving mechanical conversion processes such as machining, casting, forging, moulding and joining. The main aim of this competition is to help companies of all sizes overcome the technical and business challenges of transforming novel technologies and leading-edge application knowledge into robust, competitive manufacturing capabilities and business processes. Successful projects will be driven by industrial needs and delivered through collaborative innovation teams, often involving new sources of expertise and organisations that have not previously worked together. A briefing event and webinar for potential applicants will be held in London on 17/06/14. Applicants must register by noon on 27/08/14 and the full application submitted by noon on 03/09/14.

The Wellcome Trust, through the Sustaining Heath Scheme seeks to invest in pilot research projects investigating novel aspects of any aspect of the interplay between health, environment and nutrition . Proposals should be designed to open up new research avenues, ultimately leading to work that will have a significant impact on human health. As general guidance, awards are of the order of £250,000, exceptionally up to £500,000. Closing date for concept notes: 25/07/14 with preliminary applications by 20/08/14. Invited full applications are to be submitted by 14/02/15.

The Wellcome Trust’s Pathfinder Awards  provide pilot funding for Academic-Industry partnerships to develop early-stage applied research and development projects in orphan and neglected disease areas. The Scheme is intended to kick-start pilot projects that have significant potential to help develop innovative new products in these disease areas. In the scheme, an academic lead (or a lead from a not-for-profit entity) will build on or establish a partnership with a company that has specialist knowledge and access to technologies to facilitate the development of a specific product. There is a rolling deadline for this scheme with the next deadline being 07/07/14.

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.

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

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:


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.

Firsthand: HEFCE’s Open Access Policy

A few weeks back we were privileged to welcome experts on the topic of Open Access to speak at BU in an event well attended by delegates from HEIs across England, Scotland and Wales. The event was enjoyed by all who attended and over a series of blog posts I hope to summarise some of the key points raised by each of the speakers. We also filmed the event so hope to be posting this soon for all to watch, enjoy and comment upon. 

A few days a go, I summarised Alma Swans Introductory Address on ‘The benefits of Open Access’. Today, I look at Ben Johnson’s presentation ‘Open Access in a Post-2014 REF’.

Ben Johnson is a policy adviser at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), where he has worked for the past five years. He has a first class honours degree in music from the University of Southampton, and ten years’ experience working in strategic planning, process improvement and risk management. Since joining HEFCE, Ben has focussed on developing the Council’s thinking in novel, emerging and cross-cutting policy areas. Recently, these have included examining how technological advancements can drive openness in education and research. In 2013, Ben joined the research policy team to lead HEFCE’s work on open access, research information and infrastructure.

In April, HEFCE and the other three UK funding bodies published details of a new policy for open access relating to future research assessments after the current 2014 REF. To read this item in full visit: In his presentation, Ben talked through this policy and answered questions from delegates throughout the day.

He opened his presentation by outlining Open Access its flavours and routes. GOLD being the journal making the work immediately and freely accessible online under a CC-BY licence and GREEN by the author depositing their work into an intuitional or subject repositories at point of acceptance – further information can be found in earlier blog posts (How to deposit to BURO, Green & Gold).

HEFCEs core principle behind the policy is that outputs submitted to a post-2014
REF should be Open Access and they have three objectives in implementing the policy:

  • Significantly increase the uptake of open access options
  • Protect author choice as much as possible
  • Stimulate the deposit of work in repositories


  The minimum requirements of the policy are that:

  1. The final peer-reviewed draft of your paper is deposited in an institutional or subject repository on acceptance
  2. The repository record must be discoverable ASAP
  3. The full text must be accessible ASAP (or once an embargo has elapsed)

 This will apply to all journal articles and most conference proceedings (those with an ISSN), he also stipulated that the maximum embargoes to be allowed will be:

  • REF main panels A and B – 12 months
  • REF main panels C and D - 24 months

An analysis of the REF 2014 submissions found that 96% of outputs could have been Open Access based on this criteria and the remaining 4% would be covered in the exceptions of the policy.

In addition to this, extra credit will be given in the research environment component of the post-2014 REF where an HEI can demonstrate that:

  • Outputs are presented in a form that allows re-use of the work, including via text-mining
  • Outputs not in the scope (books etc.) are made open access

 The prediction is that this will lead to:

  • Significantly greater uptake of open access (even within publishers’ current policies)
  • Increased visibility and usage of repositories
  • Many more immediate deposit mandates
  • Later: author-driven moves to faster and more permissive access
  • Later: open access is ‘solved’ for books etc.

Full slides from Ben Johnson’s presentation at Bournemouth University’s Open Access Event on the 7th May 2014 are available here internally.

If you would like to deposit your full text articles into BURO you can do this easily via BRIAN, full guidance can be found on the staff intranet pages.

New tourism texts by Professor Stephen Page

Fourth editions have been published of two popular textbooks by Professor Stephen Page from BU’s School of Tourism.

Tourism: A Modern Synthesis


This is a leading international full colour publication used as an introductory course text with a significant web learning resource supporting student learning.  It is co-written with Dr Joanne Connell from Exeter Business School. The new edition provides many new perspectives on the fast changing nature of global tourism.



The Geography of Tourism and Recreation: Environment, Place and Space

This written with Professor Michael Hall at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand and published by Routledge.  First published in 1999, this soon became established as the leading text used by Geographers (and many non-Geographers) as a scholarly introduction to the nature of tourism and recreation as a spatial phenomenon including its impacts in different environments.  A key feature of the book is its almost encyclopaedic coverage of the literature, acting both as a reference source and roadmap to the way geography has embraced the study of tourism, leisure and recreation over the last 100 years.


This new edition has been very well received and positively reviewed:

“They just keep getting better and better. This new edition of The Geography of Tourism and Recreation is an outstanding example of contemporary and cutting-edge thinking in the dynamic subfield of tourism geographies. It exemplifies a heterogeneous approach to understanding the spatial implications of tourism, the industry and its functions in diverse settings and ecosystems, and its impacts on human and natural environments. For an innovative examination of current trends in tourism, this book is essential reading for anyone who studies, teaches, or practices the business, art and science of tourism.”

Professor Timothy J Dallen, School of Community Resources and Development, Arizona State University, USA.

“In the often nebulous and many-sided world of tourism geographies, where space and place are simultaneously attraction and constraint, product and site, destination and experience, there are no more knowledgeable, versatile or sure footed guides than C.Michael Hall and Stephen Page. They have led a generation of students and researchers and in this fourth edition they continue the intellectual journey into the emerging social, economic and political realities of the 21st century.”

Professor G.J.Ashworth, Department of Planning, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, Netherlands.

3rd edition of ‘Evaluating Public Relations’ published

The third edition of the enduring public relations text, Evaluating Public Relations, has been published by Kogan Page. Much revised by authors Professor Tom Watson (Media School) and former lecturer Paul Noble, the book has greater emphasis on the measurement of social media and concepts of value created by that communication.

“When the first edition of Evaluating Public Relations came out in 2005, it mostly dealt with the measurement of media relations activity”, Professor Watson said. “In it, we included a chapter on how to measure PR-influenced coverage on a no- or low-cost basis. An updated version is included in the latest edition.

“But the world of PR practice has moved on and so the book includes the measurement and evaluation of social media, more focus on outcomes rather than outputs, and advice to meet increasing demands that PR/communication delivers value to the organisation.”

Professor Watson said that the new edition calls for PR/communication practitioners to take “a big step forward in the planning and strategy-setting processes.”

“Not only should communication objectives align with organisational objectives, but practitioners must ensure that communication is part of the organisation or client’s own objectives.”

The third edition includes new and revised chapters based on Professor Watson’s research into the history of PR measurement and his work, with Professor Ansgar Zerfass of Leipzig University, on methods of performance management in PR/communications.

The case for Open Access within a university…

…is not simply political or economic or professional. It needs to rest in the notion of what a university is and what it should be … It is central to the university’s position in the public space”

Professor Martin Hall, Vice Chancellor of the University of Salford, UK

A few weeks back we were privileged to welcome experts on the topic of Open Access to speak at Bournemouth University (BU) in an event well attended by delegates from HEIs across England, Scotland and Wales.  BU’s Open Access Event was enjoyed by all who attended and over a series of blog posts I hope to summarise some of the key points raised by each of the speakers. We also filmed the event and will be posting the films shortly for all to watch, enjoy and comment upon.

So to part one of the day, after a wonderful introduction by our Chair and self-acknowledged novice of Open Access Professor Iain McRury, we welcomed Alma Swan to the floor…

Alma Swan is a consultant working in the field of scholarly communication. She is a director of Key Perspectives Ltd, Director of Advocacy for SPARC Europe, and Convenor for Enabling Open Scholarship, an organisation of university managers around the world that promotes the principles of open scholarship and open science. She is also a director of the Directory of Open Access Journals and of the umbrella organisation Infrastructure Services for Open Access. She holds honorary academic positions in the University of Southampton School of Electronics & Computer Science and the University of Warwick Business School. 

Alma lead the introductory address framing the day in a presentation titled ‘The benefits of Open Access’. She began the presentation looking at what open access is:

  • Immediate
  • Free (to use)
  • Free (of restrictions)
  • Access to the peer-reviewed literature (and data)

 And what it is not:

  • Not vanity publishing
  • Not a ‘stick anything up on the Web’ approach
  • Moving scholarly communication into the Web Age

She posed the question of openness using Tim Berners-Lees CERN proposal for an Information Management System (later to become the world-wide- web), drawing attention to his bosses Mike Sendall comments “Vague but exciting…”


As an aside there’s a great blog article on Tim Berners-Lees opinions on the Open Agenda  here – if your interested! Any how, back to the matter in hand…

Alma covered the basics of Open Access highlighting BUs repository BURO, she addressed the disciplinary differences in approaches to Open Access. On average across all disciplines 37% of articles are made Open Access, rising to just under 50% in Mathematics and as low as 20% in the Arts.

She then took us through the advantages to authors for making their outputs Open Access:

1. Improves author visibility

Alma gave a number of testimonials from authors however, here we include Professor Martin Skitmore’s from School of Urban Design, Queensland University of Technology (QUT): 

“There is no doubt in my mind that ePrints [repository] will have improved things – especially in developing countries such as Malaysia … many more access my papers who wouldn’t have thought of contacting me personally in the ‘old’ days.

While this may … increase … citations, the most important thing … is that at least these people can find out more about what others have done…”

 2. Increases usage

We viewed download statistics from a number of institutional repositories – the University of Liege’s repository ORBi has approximately 70,000 references with full text and in April 2014 had just under 100,000 downloads. The University of Salford’s repository USIR has c.9000 records and clocked up over 45,000 downloads in January 2013 alone. In regards, to individual authors we returned to Martin Skitmore (QUT) who had 225,857 downloads and 4858 in the past 28 days!

It is also worth noting the usage of repositorys globally. MIT’s repository usage stats presented in the below map was particularly interesting:

3. More impact

From a citation perspective Open Access can increase citation impact by between 36 to 250% depending on the discipline. She highlighted the difference in citations from OA and non-OA publications across 3 disciplines; Engineering (shown here), Clinical Medicine and Social Sciences all showed significant increases in citations.

 Alma then went on to show the advantages for institutions to make Open Access mandatory, she also posed many topical questions and highlighted thought provoking research. One aspect which struck me in particular, was an analysis of PubMed Centrals unique users which revealed that only 25% of articles were accessed by Universities and the majority 40% were accessed by citizens:

  • 25% universities
  • 18% government and others
  • 40% citizens
  • 17% companies

 Fittingly Alma ended with a quote from Daniel Coit Gilman the First President of Johns Hopkins University in 1878:

“It is one of the noblest duties of a university to advance knowledge and to diffuse it, not merely among those who can attend the daily lectures, but far and wide. “

Full slides from Alma Swans presentation at Bournemouth University’s Open Access Event on the 7th May 2014 are available here internally.

Latest Major Funding Opportunities

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

BBSRC and NERC invite proposals for both research and research translation projects to the first call of the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Innovation Club (SARIC). Approximately £5M of funding is available for this call, divided between research grants (£3.5M) and research translation grants (£1.5M). A workshop for both calls will be held on 18/06/14 at the Royal Academy of Engineering, London.  The closing date for the Research Translation grants is 4pm on 29/07/14. The closing date for the Outline Research grant proposal is 11/09/14.

Following the BBSRC‘s first phase of the Multidisciplinary Synthetic Biology Research Centres (SBRCs) call in 2013, which established three SBRCs, the call will shortly be launched for phase two. This call has been developed by the RCUK Synthetic Biology Working Group. It is anticipated that the opening date will be in late May, with a closing date in July.

The EPSRC‘s Collaborative Computational Projects (CCPs) bring together the major UK groups in a given field of computational research to tackle large-scale scientific software development projects, maintenance, distribution, training and user support. They play an important role in EPSRC’s ongoing ability to deliver its Software as an Infrastructure strategy and as community based networks and projects they provide a focal point for communities to identify their scientific software requirements and take a strategic approach to software support in a particular field. Subject to quality, up to £2M of funding and 15 FTEs per annum of technical computational support from staff at STFC’s Scientific Computing Department is available to support new and existing Collaborative Computational Projects (CCPs) that underpin research and research communities within the EPSRC remit. Closing date: 4pm on 27/10/14.

The MRC wishes to encourage applications to all MRC research boards, particularly at programme-level, for “systems medicine”: using systems approaches in medical research to build on the research & training foundations laid by other research councils, and encourage a wider range of applications applying systems approaches to medical research – “systems medicine”. For closing dates, please consult the specific Research Board’s deadline date.

The MS Society and the MRC may jointly fund applications identified as a priority by the MS Society. Applications will be assessed in open competition across the MRC’s range of funding schemes. Please see the website for further information.

Nesta, in collaboration with the TSB, has announced the opening of the 2014 Longitude Prize, where the public is invited to vote (22-25 May) on the most pressing problems of our time. In September 2014, applications will be invited for the winning challenge. A total fund of £10m will be available.

NERC, under the Valuing Natural Capital scheme, is seeking to fund research that will help understanding of the implications for natural capital and the provision of ecosystem services of a range of future energy scenarios. These including scenarios that are compatible with the UK’s energy policy challenges of maintaining energy security, keeping energy affordable and cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. NERC, working closely with the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and its Valuing Nature programme, will be running a two-day interactive strategic ideas brokerage workshop to develop research consortia that will subsequently submit grant proposals to address this challenge. This Announcement of Opportunity is a call for participants for the ideas brokerage workshop, which will take place on 21-22 July 2014 at Warwick Conferences. Closing date: 9am on Monday 16/06/14.

The TSB is to invest up to £3m to support the development of innovations that will enable the use and integration of data to improve the stratification of patients with neurodegenerative diseases  and the provision of business models to, for example, support repositioning of currently available drugs on the basis of stratification for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Proposals must be business-led and collaborative. This is a two-stage competition that opens for applicants on 27 May 2014. The deadline for registration is noon on 02/07/14 and the deadline for expressions of interest is noon on 09/07/14. The deadline for projects invited to submit a full-stage application is noon on 09/10/14. A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 10/06/14.

Linked with this, the TSB are making an investment of up to £4m to support the development of products and services for the early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases and diagnostic tools to enable the stratification of patients for better treatment and care management. This competition also covers monitoring and aspects of telehealth and telecare as they relate to stratified medicine and the management of patient treatment and care.  Success relies on better and more integrated diagnostic tests to guide treatment and disease management decisions and get patients into the right care pathways. Proposals must be business-led and collaborative.  The deadline for registration is noon on 02/07/14 and the deadline for expressions of interest is noon on 09/07/14. The deadline for invited projects to submit a full-stage application is noon on 09/10/14. A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 10/06/14.

The TSB is to invest up to £6m in collaborative R&D projects that stimulate innovation in the UK digital health sector. The aim of this competition is to support projects with novel ideas for health informatics – specifically, using data to address healthcare needs within a hospital setting. Collaborations that focus on one or more of the following areas – accident and emergency (A&E), planned specialist care, health analytics and connected care are welcome. The funder is seeking proposals that will make secondary care more efficient and empower care providers, patients and their families. Applications should also explore how health informatics can revolutionise existing therapies and services and also be an enabler for those that would not exist without digital technology. Proposals must be collaborative and business-led although project partners can include research and non-profit organisations as well as other businesses. Applicants must register by 25/06/14 with the deadline for expressions of interest being noon on 02/07/14. A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 28/05/14.

The TSB, on behalf of the Home Office, is  inviting applications for projects which help to  identify substitutes for, or additives to, potentially harmful chemicals, to make them non-viable for dangerous and illegal purposes, without hampering their legitimate uses. A briefing event will be held on Tuesday, 10/06/14 in Central London. Applicants must register by 16/07/14 with full applications to be submitted by 23/07/14.


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.

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

PGR Development Fund Activity Report by Nada Sherief: SciTech

About Me

I am Nada Hany Sherief, a 2nd year Part-time PhD Student in Computing at the Faculty of Science and Technology.

The Conference (EASE 2014)

EASE’14, the International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering, is one of the top conferences in the area Software Engineering (CORE Rank: A).  This year, EASE was held on 12-14 May, in London, UK.

The Papers

I have submitted two papers to EASE’14. The first is titled by “Crowdsourced Software Evaluation”, and was accepted in the New Ideas track. The second is titled by “Software Evaluation via Users’ Feedback at Runtime” and it was accepted in the Doctoral Symposium of the conference.

The Benefits

The PGR Development Funds from BU enabled me to attend EASE’14, which was an ideal place to launch the new idea of my research and have it discussed with colleagues and experts in the empirical software engineering community.

The research idea of a socialized software evaluation was found very interesting. Both presentations discussed the preliminary results of my research. Also, I presented several research challenges that are not yet addressed in the literature, and could be a starting point for future work not only in my research but also in the wider scope of the community.

This participation has added several skills to me. On the personal side it gave me a good motivation and confidence to continue my work in that area. It also gave our research more visibility in the research community. On the research side, I have gained much feedback about how to enhance and better frame my work which will certainly consolidate my PhD experience.



I would like to thank the Graduate School at Bournemouth University for their PGR Development Fund which sponsored this activity which had very positive impact on my PhD journey.

PGR Development Fund Activity Report by Malik Almaliki: SciTech

The International Working Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality (REFSQ) is one of the leading international forums in the area of Requirement Engineering for software systems. My main activity was to present a full research paper at this conference which was held in Essen, Germany, April 7-10, 2014. The paper was titled “Requirements-driven Social Adaptation: Expert Survey” and was collaboratively written with colleagues from University of Birmingham.

In this research paper I disseminated a part of my findings of the first year of my PhD. It reports on the results of a two-phase Expert Opinion study that was conducted to identify core benefits, domain areas, styles of use and challenges for the socially-adaptive software and users’ feedback acquisition. The study involved around 30 experts in Requirement Engineering and Adaptive Systems which also helped us to know how our vision in the area is perceived by the wider community.

The Graduate School PGR Fund provided me with a great opportunity to attend the REFSQ’14 conference and get my work published and recognized. Being able to participate in REFSQ’14 was one of the distinguished events in my PhD journey. It played a significant role in increasing my motivations and confidence and giving my research a visibility in such a well reputed venue. The  reviews of the paper and the feedback given by REFSQ’14 attendees were invaluable and, together with the constructive feedback and critiques,  helped me preparing well for the transfer exam which went very well.  This activity consolidated my presentation and communication skills.

I would like to thank the Graduate School for this PGR Development Fund which enabled me to have this great opportunity.  Participation at REFSQ’14 was a huge motive that pushed me step further towards a successful PhD journey.

HSC postgraduate student speaks at Canadian Conference


Pratik Adhikary spoke about his Ph.D. research at the American Canadian Conference for Academic Disciplines (Toronto: 19-22 May 2014).  Pratik presented the key findings from his thesis under the title ‘Health status and health risks to Nepalese migrant workers in the Middle East and Malaysia’.

Pratik is originally from Nepal and he conducted his research with male migrant workers who were returning to Nepal for definite or for a holiday/break.  He is supervised by Dr. Steve Keen and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen both in HSC.


Pratik’s study has been supported by Bournemouth University, the PGR Development Fund and the Open Society Foundations.


Edwin van Teijlingen


Sustentabilidade nas Universidades; Reflections on ERASMUS mobility – a personal and professional development opportunity

I have just returned from an ERASMUS training visit (to share and develop approaches for sustainable development) at the University of Beira Interior (UBI), Covilhã, Portugal. Such a rewarding experience!

Located on the slopes of Serra da Estrela, Covilhã looks out on a fertile valley, framed by mountains – a beautiful location, largely unfamiliar to people from the UK.

The city was once regarded as the ‘Portuguese Manchester’ for its long tradition in the wool industry and textile production, however like other textile towns production ceased, people moved away, and the social and economic consequences for the region were immense.

The University has brought new life to the area and is working towards enhancing the sustainability of the region. One of the most interesting characteristics of UBI is its focus on recovering the abandoned buildings that were formally part of the industrial production process and creating a better environment; retaining historical, cultural and architectural value, while developing sustainable educational facilities has been an important goal.

During my trip I had the opportunity to visit the various sites, give presentations and meet with colleagues. The University has five Faculties (Science, Engineering, Human & Social Sciences, Arts & Letters, and Health Sciences).

Particularly interesting was the tour of the University Wool Museum which is integrated into the science building, and reveals the archaeological structures of the early production process, sets out the historical development of technology, and provides insights on industrialisation. I came away from the tour, thinking of the various ways that this facility could be used to enhance learning for students on any course, not just those interested in science and technology. The motto of the museum “The Threads of the past weaving the future” left me thinking that when we focus on sustainable development, we often emphasise ‘future generations’ but we must also acknowledge and learn from the past.

My visit to the Rectory (housed in the former Convent of Santo António and their equivalent of OVC) also left me thinking. Firstly, they have made a fantastic job of restoration and conversion; they really could do with some students (as motivated as BU students) to reclaim the lovely terraces. Olive and fruit trees are largely over-grown; the space cries out to be developed as a sustainable garden. Secondly, they have made great use of space in the former chapel, however where the choir would formerly have sat, is now where doctoral candidates are judged – the jury type seating made it seem a really intimidating space compared to a room in Christchurch House, to defend a Thesis. And lastly, if I was a member of the senior team in such an idyllic spot, I would probably not be able to resist the urge to get out a hoe and create a vegetable plot – however the urge to just sit in the sun and admire the view, would also be strong!

It is always interesting to meet new colleagues, learn from their perspectives, and to talk with students. The students I presented to during my visit (on Sustentabilidade nas Universidades) were very impressed with what we are doing in the UK, and at BU, to address sustainability. They had lots of questions; later their tutor reported that not only were they were interested to know more but were also challenging her as to why BU students seemed to have a better experience. Some were very keen to come to Bournemouth.

Overall, I came away feeling enriched and with new perspectives. I would recommend an ERASMUS visit to others. Okay the paperwork can seem bureaucratic at first glance but don’t be put off, the rewards are high. I have published four co-authored papers as a result of my first ERASMUS visit; more collaborative outputs will follow. Further, the opportunity to develop broader cultural perspectives on research interests, enhance your language capability and to evaluate how higher education operates in another country is personally and professionally rewarding.

If you would like to make contacts at UBI please get in touch. I would be happy to help.


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