Category / Impact

BRIAN OFFLINE – 2nd & 3rd May 2017

BRIAN is being upgraded and will be unavailable for use on Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd May.

 

 

The main improvements from this upgrade include:

  • New Impact Tracking Module
  • New Homepage
  • More User Friendly Navigation

The new and improved features will make BRIAN easier and simplier to use for everyone, whilst also providing a valuable tool to academics helping them record the impact of their research

All relevant guidance notes and video guides on the Staff Intranet will be updated in due course. If you need any help using the new system or if you encounter any problems after the upgrade, please do send an email to BRIAN@bournemouth.ac.uk and a member of staff will be able to assist you.

BRIAN training sessions are also available:

  • Thursday 15th June 2017

With further dates planned. If you are interested to book on to any of these training sessions, please click here to book on!

In the meantime, if you do have queries relating to the upgrade, please get in touch with BRIAN@bournemouth.ac.uk

UUK have published International Research Collaboration After the UK Leaves the European Union. The information below summarises the main thrust of the document.

 

Benefits of Research Collaboration

International collaboration is vital as it enables individual academics to increase their impact through pooling expertise and resources with other nations to tackle global challenges that no one country can tackle alone. Cross-nation collaboration increases citations and combined talents produce more innovative and useful outcomes.

 

The paper emphasises that the researchers themselves need to drive the collaboration and have choice. Selecting ‘Britain’s best new research partners’ is infeasible as sectors have different needs and Britain needs to collaborate with the countries with the richest talent and expertise. Funding needs to be well-structured and flexible to allow this.

 

The foreword on page 2 states “We should look to developing new networks and funding arrangements that support collaboration with major research powers” both within Europe and internationally. “The primary focus should be on delivering excellent research”, the government should seek to access and influence the 9th Framework Programme (Horizon successor), alongside new funding sources to incentivise collaborations with high-quality research partners beyond the EU. UUK call for a cross-government approach to supporting international research and the drawing together of the current disparate funding mechanisms, including “promoting research collaboration opportunities as a central pillar of the UK’s offer to overseas governments and businesses.”

 

Collaborative Partners

While its important to work with both EU and non-EU partners the report notes that research with other EU member states collectively makes up the largest pool of collaborators. “Research undertaken with EU partners like Germany and France is growing faster than with other countries – hence while it is vital that the UK takes every opportunity to be truly global in their outlook, the importance of collaboration with EU partners should not be underestimated.”

 

Almost all the growth in research output in the last 30 years has been brought about by international partnership. In 1981 less than 5% of UK research publications had an overseas co-author. Whereas Figure 1 below demonstrates how collaboration has changed, illustrating how domestic output has plateaued and non-UK collaborations accounts for recent growth.

 

Figure 1: The trajectory of international co-authorship on research publications from Imperial, UCL, Cambridge and Oxford.        (Data: source, Web of Science; analysis, King’s College Policy Institute).

 

 

Table 1 below highlights the UK’s major collaborative partners demonstrating a mix of EU and non-EU partners (non-EU partner in bold).

 

Table 1: Countries co-authoring UK output (2007-2016).

The UUK report reminds that research is a form of diplomacy leading to alliances and memoranda between national academies. The international links create esteem and demonstrate the wider engagement and status of an institution which is attractive to international students and staff.

 

 

Addressing Collaborative Barriers

Addressing the barriers to research collaboration is more than just funding, the report calls for:

 

  • Better information on capabilities and strength of UK researchers

 

The report states there needs to be better understanding and matching of research and innovation strengths between partners and potential collaborators, with clearer articulation of these and provision of contact points at the research organisation, funding agency and sector levels.

 

The circulation of people and ideas is fundamental to international research collaborations: National policy frameworks of all partners must be flexible enough to support international exchange, enabling critical human resources – including technical expertise – to flow between systems.

 

  • Cultural barriers need better understanding

 

The report highlights South Korea and Taiwan as attractive collaborators because of their research-intensive economies, strong technology investment, excellent university system, and high-English speaking rate. However collaboration is challenged by geography, proximity and cultural differences.  UUK report that communication problems are a key barrier alongside the uncertainty about research profiles of UK universities and significant differences in research governance.

 

Researchers working within different national contexts will have experience of different research cultures. These can be a source of strength and innovation, but also create challenges that must be understood, acknowledged and addressed. This requires time, but can be mitigated by the development of shared understandings, priorities and policy frameworks.

 

  • Policy and funding stability is essential

 

Stability, certainty and trust are required if successful international research collaborations are to be fostered. Partners need to have confidence that the policy and funding environment will not be subject to unexpected or dramatic change after they have invested the time and resources necessary to develop productive and beneficial partnerships. Stability and certainty in both policy and funding environment is a key facilitator.

 

  • Bilateral agreements with defined funding facilitated by a coordinated application process

 

The report effectively highlights the difficulties of ‘double jeopardy’ (Roberts, 2006) whereby all partners need to individually secure funding across a sustaining period to both commence and fully complete. Furthermore while countries commission and pay for the research it depends on individual motivation for success. Individuals make research choices that further their career and are fundable. EU links exist because researchers at well-funded institutions saw mutual net benefits, however EU collaboration proliferated because mutually assured Framework Programme funding supported it.

 

The report suggests a mechanism for effective research collaboration is to create more flexible agency-level bilateral agreements with associated secure funding. A Memorandum of Understanding should identify common priorities and mutual research standards yet this should be backed up by a research fund. Page 6 describes collaboration with Brazil as an example of this.

 

Furthermore, UK research funding beyond the EU is highly dependent on the ODA budget which limits research themes and fundable countries. Post Brexit the UK needs new money without ODA type restrictions to support collaborations with partners not eligible for EU funds.

 

Note: UUK have also released a second report on whether free trade agreements can enhance opportunities for UK higher education post Brexit.

 

References

Roberts, Sir Gareth. (2006). International partnerships of research excellence.

 

 

Deadline Extended: Machine Learning in Medical Diagnosis and Prognosis

The deadline has been extended to the 14th of April , 2017.

This is a call for papers for the Special Session on Machine Learning in Medical Diagnosis and Prognosis at IEEE CIBCB 2017.

The IEEE International Conference on Computational Intelligence in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (IEEE CIBCB 2017) will be held at the INNSIDE Hotel, Manchester from August 23rd to 25th, 2017.

This annual conference has become a major technical event in the field of Computational Intelligence and its application to problems in biology, bioinformatics, computational biology, chemical informatics, bioengineering and related fields. The conference provides a global forum for academic and industrial scientists from a range of fields including computer science, biology, chemistry, medicine, mathematics, statistics, and engineering, to discuss and present their latest research findings from theory to applications.

The topics of interest for the special session include (but are not limited to):

  • Medical image classification
  • Medical image analysis
  • Expert systems for computer aided diagnosis and prognosis
  • Pattern recognition in the analysis of biomarkers for medical diagnosis
  • Deep learning in medical image processing and analysis
  • Ethical and Security issues in machine learning for medical diagnosis and prognosis

Up-to-date information and submission details can be found on the IEEE CIBCB 2017. The submission deadline is the 14th of April, 2017.

Please e-mail srostami@bournemouth.ac.uk with any questions.

RCUK launches impact reports

Yesterday, the RCUK launched reports detailing the impacts of a collective investment of £3.4Bn in 2015/16.  These impact reports showcase specific examples of the impact of investment through their various awards, programmes and collaborations. The wide-ranging nature of the impact extends from furthering technological advances to combatting disease to breakthroughs in the creative economy.  Click here for an overview.

Links to Impact Reports are available below:

Impact – in numbers

  • Growth, productivity and job creation
  • 93% of Research Council funded PhD graduates are employed 6 months after graduation
  • 17,435 current doctoral students
  • 57 spin out companies and 182 instances of IP in 2015
  • 30% of academics interact with private business
  • £229M additional funding leveraged from external partners
  • 17% rate of return on public investment in medical research (See MRC impact report)
  • 3202 instances of new collaborations reported in researchfish® in 2015/16 across all Research Councils
  • More than 50% of PhD graduates work outside academia 7-9 years after graduation – CFE Research (2014)

Global impacts

The Compound Eye of Calliphora Vomitoria (Bluebottle fly)

“Blood feeding activity of flies at crime scenes can be confounding. Experiments were conducted to investigate the blood feeding activity, and blood artefact patterns created by flies following a blood meal. The trials were undertaken in a staged environment where over 500 flies were exposed to 500ml of horse blood in a sealed gazebo for a period of 72 hours. The resulting patterns, a total of 539,507 fly blood artefacts, were then compared to recreated bloodstain patterns commonly encountered during instances of violent assault. These comparisons focused on overall pattern shape, total stain numbers, stain density per cm2 and the zone where they were deposited. Informal observations and recordings were also made of individual stain colour and stain alignment, but were not measured.”

This was the abstract submitted to accompany Christopher’s recent submission to the Research Photography Competition, where he won second prize.

Christopher Dwen  is currently working as a Research Assistant on an innovation funded (HEIF) project called: “Sherlock’s Window”. This  HEIF-funded project at BU  aims to produce an odourless growth medium that can be rolled out internationally for use in forensic investigation. Find out more about the project in the latest edition of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle featured in the section:  “Innovation in industry:how researchers and the wider community are working together.”
Follow HEIF on Instagram to find out more about the innovation projects taking place at BU: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

 

 

 

Research Drove Me to Murder

“As reported by National Policing Improving Agency, the most frequently encountered evidence at the scenes of a crime is footwear impressions and marks. Unfortunately, recovery and usage of this kind of evidence has not achieved its full potential. Due to the cost benefit ratio (time consuming casting procedures, expensive scanners) footprints are often neglected evidence. As technology changes, the capabilities of forensic science should continue to evolve. By translating academic research and technical ‘know-how’ into software (www.digtrace.co.uk) the authors have placed 3D imaging of footwear evidence in the hands of every police force in the UK and overseas.”

This was the abstract submitted to accompany Dominika’s recent submission to the Research Photography Competition.

Dominika Budka is currently working on an innovation funded (HEIF) project called: “Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces”. BU alumni, Dominika,  graduated last year  (2016) having completed an MSc Forensic and Neuropsychological Perspectives in Face-Processing.  Find our more about her role on the HEIF project.
Follow HEIF on Instagram to find out more about the innovation projects taking place at BU: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

 

 

Sherlock’s Window: In search of an odourless growth medium

“A key aspect of forensic investigation is the assessment of the ‘window of opportunity’ during which death took place. Estimations using insects (e.g. blowflies) increase accuracy. Using blowflies to determine post-mortem period requires an understanding of the temperature dependent growth patterns that they develop through their life cycle. In order to understand this, blowfly larvae are reared on growth media in the laboratory.

Sherlock’s Window is a HEIF-funded project at BU which aims to produce an odourless growth medium that can be rolled out internationally for use in forensic investigation. Illustrated here is the head of a third instar blowfly larva. Maggots have no eyes, but the protrusions at the tip of the mouth area are palps, used for feeling and manipulating food particles. The rows of black barbs that are visible are used to pull the maggot forward through the food substrate.”

This was the abstract submitted to accompany Dr Andrew Whittington’s recent submission to the Research Photography Competition.

Find out more about the project in the latest edition of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle featured in the section:  “Innovation in industry:how researchers and the wider community are working together.”

Follow HEIF on Instagram to find out more about the innovation projects taking place at BU: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

 

 

 

BU alumni working on serious gaming project

Joshua (Josh) Cook graduated in 2016  with a first in BSc Games Programming.  He is currently working on an innovation project being led by Professor Wen Tang. ” PLUS”   is a gamified training application funded by HEIF,  in collaboration with the Dorset, Devon and Cornwall (Strategic Alliance) Police forces in order to provide a virtual learning environment that teaches trainees in a more engaging manner than traditional paper based learning.

As a project team member Wen commented “Josh has been a pro-active and key member of the project team working with both academics , the College of Policing and police forces around the UK to develop this training application.”

Key areas of focus for Josh have included:

  • Making the system more generic, so that the project can later be expanded to multiple areas and more situations with ease
  • Improve the visual environment (of the game) with shaders and animations
  • Include data analytics in order to obtain an understanding as to how trainees are using the game, how long they take, how many mistakes they make etc

Josh didn’t take a placement year during University, so aside from a summer position in a local games position he  did not have much work experience. On being given this opportuntity to work on the projetc Josh commented ” The PLUS project seemed like an interesting project to work on, and when I found out a position was open to work on it I applied. I’ve learned some useful things on this project, such as working from and improving upon an existing code base, what it’s like working directly with clients, implementing and using data analytics, and I’m sure I’ll learn more throughout the duration of my employment.”

This project has received funding from August 2015 with the funding ending in July 2017. (HEIF 5+1 and HEIF 5+1+1)

Read more about this project in full: Serious Games for Police Training. 

College of Policing Research Map

BU alumni supporting innovation projects at BU

Dominika Budka is currently working on an innovation funded (HEIF) project called: “Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces”. She graduated last year  (2016) having completed an MSc Forensic and Neuropsychological Perspectives in Face-Processing

Forensic technology and tools are advancing across the board, with the analysis of digital trace evidence being an exception. The techniques and tools used to capture and analyse footwear evidence have not changed in over a hundred years. This project is already changing the status quo by translating academic research on human and dinosaur tracks into tools for forensic practitioners to use. The product that has been  developed, DigTrace, is an integrated software solution for the capture and analysis of 3D data whether in a forensic context (footwear evidence) or in the study of vertebrate tracks and footprints. One of the  recent successes is the exhibit  the project team are  organising at the very prestigious Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, to be held in London in July.

 The project team were looking for a dissemination officer to help spread the word about the software and engage user groups both within the UK and overseas.  Dominika’s role involves working with external stakeholder groups, organising dissemination events, developing training materials and events for academics, crime agencies, forensic specialists, and UK police forces.

About working on the project, Dominika comented,  I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to the project, which is not only well-aligned with my interests, but has also a huge potential for impact in terms of improving societal security. I’m working with a unique product set which can enhance global security by improving forensic practice, as well as criminal intelligence gathering and ultimately prosecution. The forensic context of the project is what I find most interesting as it links directly to my MSc”

To find out more about the project – click on the link: Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces

 

Tracks in the sand: tracking criminals

Within our lives we leave thousands of individual footprints – in the snow, on the beach, in the park and sometimes even muddy prints on the kitchen floor!  Tracks are more numerous than any other form of trace evidence, and record a unique snap shot in time about the track-maker.  Not only do they record details of the shoes worn, but information about our body mass, style of walking and the specific wear on the soles of our shoes that record information about the history of our footfall.  Reading these clues digitally provides an important forensic tools and HEIF-funded BU research (www.DigTrace.co.uk) in this area is shaping forensic practice both in the UK and overseas. “

This was the abstract submitted to accompany Professor Matthew Bennett’s  recent submission to the Research Photography Competition.

This is the first image to go live on the new Instagram account for HEIF. What not follow to find out more obout the exciting innovations projects past and present at BU.

It can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/