Category / PG research

This part of the blog features news and information for postgraduate research students and supervisors

BU researcher meets BBC presenter, Saba Douglas-Hamilton

Research Associate Katie Thompson was honoured to meet the BBC wildlife presenter and lifelong conservationist Saba Douglas-Hamilton at her talk ‘Life with Elephants’ last week. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow conservationists, and Saba herself to talk about the incredible research work they lead across the African continent. Her father founded the renowned NGO, ‘Save the Elephants’ where Katie visited their research station in April 2017 in Kenya. Further research developments have lead Katie to liaise with directors from ‘Elephants Alive’, their partner charity in South Africa. She continues to develop close links with these NGOs and the Life and Environmental Sciences Department at Bournemouth University, with research focusing on elephant conservation and their impact on the ecosystem.

Migration research at BU: New migrant workers’ paper published

Two days ago saw the publication of the latest paper on migration research here at Bournemouth University. The journal Health Prospect published ‘Risky work: Accidents among Nepalese migrant workers in Malaysia, Qatar and Saudi’ [1]. This new paper is based on the PhD research project conducted by Dr. Pratik Adhikary. Health Prospect is a peer-reviewed Open Access journal, part of Nepal Journals Online (NepJOL) which offers free access to research on and/or from Nepal. The paper is co-authored by former FHSS staff Dr. Zoe Sheppard and Dr. Steve Keen as well as Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen of the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH).

Previous academic papers by BU scholars included, amongst others, work on migrant workers from Nepal [2-6], relatives of migrant workers [7], migrant health workers [8-9], migration and tourism [10-11], migrant workers from Eastern Europe [11-13], migration and the media [14] as well as migration in the past [15]. The various strands of work link very well to BU’s application for Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships.

 

References:

  1. Adhikary, P., Sheppard, Z., Keen, S., van Teijlingen, E. (2017) Risky work: Accidents among Nepalese migrant workers in Malaysia, Qatar and Saudi, Health Prospect 16(2): 3-10.
  2. Adhikary, P., Simkhada, P.P., van Teijlingen E., Raja, AE. (2008) Health & Lifestyle of Nepalese Migrants in the UK BMC International Health & Human Rights 8(6). Web address: www.biomedcentral.com/1472-698X/8/6.
  3. van Teijlingen E, Simkhada, P., Adhikary, P. (2009) Alcohol use among the Nepalese in the UK BMJ Rapid Response: www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/339/oct20_1/b4028#223451
  4. Adhikary P., Keen S., van Teijlingen, E. (2011) Health Issues among Nepalese migrant workers in Middle East. Health Science Journal 5: 169-175. www.hsj.gr/volume5/issue3/532.pdf
  5. Aryal, N., Regmi, PR., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Adhikary, P., Bhatta, YKD., Mann, S. (2016) Injury and Mortality in Young Nepalese Migrant Workers: A Call for Public Health Action. Asian-Pacific Journal of Public Health 28(8): 703-705.
  6. Simkhada, PP., Regmi, PR., van Teijlingen, E., Aryal, N. (2017) Identifying the gaps in Nepalese migrant workers’ health & well-being: A review of the literature, Journal of Travel Medicine 24 (4): 1-9.
  7. Aryal, N., Regmi, PR., van Teijlingen, E., Dhungel, D., Ghale, G., Bhatta, GK. (2016) Knowing is not enough: Migrant workers’ spouses vulnerability to HIV SAARC Journal of Tuberculosis, Lung Diseases & HIV/AIDS 8(1):9-15.
  8. Scammell, J., 2016. Nurse migration and the EU: how are UK nurses prepared? British Journal of Nursing, 25 (13), p. 764.
  9. Sapkota, T., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2014) Nepalese health workers’ migration to United Kingdom: A qualitative study. Health Science Journal 8(1):57-74.
  10. Dwyer, L., Seetaram, N., Forsyth, P., Brian, K. (2014) Is the Migration-Tourism Relationship only about VFR? Annals of Tourism Research, 46: 130-143.
  11. Filimonau, V., Mika, M. (2017) Return labour migration: an exploratory study of Polish migrant workers from the UK hospitality industry. Current Issues in Tourism, 1-22.
  12. Janta, H., Ladkin, A., Brown, L., Lugosi, P., 2011. Employment experiences of Polish migrant workers in the UK hospitality sector. Tourism Management, 32 (5): 1006-1019.
  13. Mai, N., Schwandner-Sievers, S. (2003) Albanian migration and new transnationalisms, Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies 29(6): 939-948.
  14. Marino, S., Dawes, S., 2016. Fortress Europe: Media, Migration and Borders. Networking Knowledge, 9 (4).
  15. Parker Pearson, M., Richards, C., Allen, M., Payne, A. & Welham, K. (2004) The Stonehenge Riverside project Research design and initial results Journal of Nordic Archaeological Science 14: 45–60

Fake conferences are not fake news: beware predatory conferences

Introduction

Academic have been warned for a decade about predatory Open Access publishers (van Teijlingen 2014). These are commercial organisations charging academics a publication fee on submission of their manuscripts with a promise to publish their work quickly online. The problem is twofold: first, these commercial organisations don’t offer proper peer-review and editorial quality assurance; and secondly, academic are being tricked into believing the journal is a legitimate scientific publication.  The second author receives on average six to eight invitations a week to publish in this kind of predatory journals – see below for examples. The first author, who despite having not worked in an academic institution for over three years, still receives such invitations to publish in ‘Journal X’.

Predatory conferences

A similar phenomenon to predatory journals is the predatory conference (Moital 2014; Nobes 2017; Grove 2017). These are pretend academic conferences of questionable value, established first and foremost to make money, not for the greater good of the academic discipline.

Both authors have received bogus and legitimate invitations to attend conferences. A predicament with such an invitation, which 99% of time arrives by email, is that it is not easy to distinguish between fake and real offers. For example, the first author recently received an offer (at short notice), to attend a conference in Miami in November 2017 (see below). This was on the back of an editorial he had published couple of months earlier. For a career researcher going from contract to contract, the appeal of being invited to present a keynote at a conference can be flattering, far less an honour and a boost for one’s career. Therefore, while the idea that if it seems too good to be true, is a prudent one to hold; there is also a temptation to follow through.

The author replied to the request quizzing the reason for the invite out of the blue. The answer was less than convincing, and a swift email by the author saying “Don’t tell me… You are offering me a keynote with travel and accommodation… Lol!!” called their bluff and ended correspondence.

But digging a little deeper he found there was a webpage dedicated to taking payments to attend the conference. In the digital world, a fool can be easily and quickly separated from his or her money.

Of course, it may have been a real conference at a real venue, and they really wanted him to speak. But discerning this is not easy at first…

Some of the warning signs/What to look out for

  • The conference email invitation looks very convincing (if not don’t even read it!).
  • The venue is good location as Nobes (2017) highlighted, “the organizers are more interested in marketing the tourist destination rather than the academic value of the conference”.
  • The conference covers too many different aspects or topics, as if the advert is designed to catch the eye of many people as possible who are vaguely connected to the discipline.
  • Mentions on associated predatory journals and ‘important’ organisations in the discipline.
  • Email and bank accounts that don’t look professional/ official.
  • Little mention of attendance fees, but after acceptance emails demanding a high conference fee and other charges.
  • Conference organisers are not academics, or unknown names.
  • Conference does not peer-review submission/ not provide proper editorial control over presentations
  • Signs of copying of names of existing academic conferences or scientific organisation and even copying of their webpages
  • Even more advertising than normal at a scientific conference.

Furthermore, Andy Nobes (2017) offered some helpful advice on quality of the conference websites in the list below. Andy is based at AuthorAID, a global network providing support, mentoring, resources and training for researchers in developing countries.

Who is at risk of falling for predatory conferences?

Academics need to be aware of money-making conferences and meetings without a true commitment to science. But some academics might be more at risk than others. Young researchers, PhD students and fledgling academics, living from contract to contract may feel any conference attendance is a potential career boost. Thus, such an invitation might seem flattering and an opportunity to good to miss. A way to show that he or she is a capable and independent academic.

Final thoughts

Most academics go to conferences for a combination of presenting their work to get critical feedback, making new contacts, sharing ideas and to be inspired. With such broad combination of motivating factors, the exact purpose of conferences is difficult to ascertain because there is no a priori agreed role and value of conferences (Nicolson, 2017a). However, there is evidence that academic conferences function to facilitate commodity transactions, be that knowledge, tools, skills, reputations, or connections, which reflects the neoliberal ethos in the modern academy (Nicolson 2017b). The predatory conference can be viewed in this light, where academia is more and more focused on generating revenue. It is at best scurrilous, and worst, criminal, for organisations to make money using such a confidence trick.  Always check which conferences are organised and advertised by recognised scholarly organisations in your own discipline. If uncertain ask a more experienced academic, a senior colleague or mentor.

 

 

Donald J. Nicolson

(Health Services Researcher, NHS Fife, and Independent Scholar; twitter @_mopster )

Edwin R. van Teijlingen

(Centre Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)

 

References:

Moital, M. (2014) Ten Signs of a Bogus/Fake Conference.

Grove, J. (2017) Predatory conferences ‘now outnumber official scholarly events’  (26th Oct.)

Nicolson, D.J. (2017a) Do conference presentations impact beyond the conference venue? Journal of Research in Nursing. 22(5), pp.422-425.

Nicolson, D.J. (2017b) Academic Conferences as Neoliberal Commodities, Palgrave Macmillan

Nobes, A. (2017) What are ‘predatory’ conferences and how can I avoid them?

van Teijlingen, E. (2014) Beware of rogue journals.

 

2018 BU PhD Studentship Competition

We are delighted to announce the launch of the 2018 BU PhD Studentship Competition for PhD projects starting in September 2018.

There are up to 40 matched funded projects available across BU and, as far as possible, attempts will be made to allocate them equally between the four Faculties, with the quality and strategic priority of projects assessed by each Faculty and overall allocation overseen by a central panel. There are no fully funded studentships on offer this round of the competition. This excludes Studentships agreed separately, or linked to prestigious bids.

The PhD Studentship projects will only be offered in conjunction with guaranteed external matched funding. The external matched funder should provide a minimum of 50% of the PhD Studentship stipend plus the research costs, which is equivalent to minimum of £25.5k over 36 months.

The PhD Studentships will be awarded to supervisory teams on the basis of a competitive process led by Professor John Fletcher (Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Innovation) and Faculty DDRPPs. The process will be managed by the Doctoral College.

All relevant information about the process, including application forms, PhD Studentship Terms & Conditions, information for matched funders is available on the Doctoral College intranet . It is essential that those interested in applying read all the relevant information before submitting an application.

  • Applications, and any enquiries, should be submitted to the Doctoral College via email: phdstudentshipcompetition@bournemouth.ac.uk
  • The deadline for submission of applications will be 5pm on Monday 08 January 2018
  • Please ensure applications contain all relevant information (project proposal; letter of support from matched funder; due diligence form) as incomplete applications will not be considered.

Creative Writing for Academics with Kip Jones

A two-day FREE workshop in creative writing with Kip Jones for Bournemouth University staff and students only.

Writing week: Wednesday 3 Jan and Thursday 4 Jan.

Wed: 9:30 – 3:30

Thurs 9:30 – 12:30 (followed by lunch at La Piccola Italia)

Executive Business Centre, 7th Floor

Places are limited, but the workshop is free. Please express your interest by emailing Kip asap. You will be expected to attend for both days, and attend the lunches. You are asked to buy your own refreshments and lunches, but we will eat together at a restaurant each day. The first day we will go to the International Centre next to EBC for lunch. The second day, we will have a concluding longer lunch at La Piccola Italia Restaurant, near EBC. Writing is a very solitary endeavor. Sharing of experiences and conviviality are important components of a balanced approach.

Summary: The Creative Writing workshop will be a unique event in that it will not be a typical ‘writing retreat’ (with trees to hug and lots of time to ruminate), but rather a very active experience with lots of exercises, suggestions and supportive feedback on participants’ work from Kip Jones and other participants.  The point is to encourage both students and academics who would like to include more creative writing in their outputs, particularly those whose writing includes reporting on narrative and other qualitative methods of research.  It also helps immensely in the move to publishing in the wider world of blogs and online outlets, moving work to media and film, auto-ethnography and even fiction.
Justification: The important point of Creative Writing for Academics is to help academics and students achieve the goal of seeing more of their work read by wider audiences; in other words, impact. By providing an intense two-day experience for participants to engage in developing writing skills, the playing field is levelled and opportunities for facilitated learning developed. By engaging in creative writing, it becomes possible for all to write more clearly, more simply, even more creatively, when writing not only for academic publications, but also for outlets previously unimagined.

Methods: The workshop will present opportunities to work with academic material and expand its means of production and dissemination to new and creative levels through interfaces with techniques from the arts and humanities, including blog and magazine writing, film treatments and scripts, and poetry and fictional exercises. These intellectual exchanges encourage joint exploration of how researchers can engage with principles and tools from the arts in order to expand and extend the possibilities of dissemination of research data. Concepts of creativity itself will evolve and be transformed by participants’ outlooks and willingness to engage with unfamiliar territory. These processes comprise ‘facilitated learning’—in that knowledge will be gained as a secondary goal through a process of developing new relationships through small group problem-solving and self examination, grounded in personal past experience and knowledge.

Faculty of Media and Communication PGR Conference

On 1st November, PGRs and supervisors gathered in the Share Lecture Theatre for the inaugural Faculty of Media and Communication PGR Conference. Proceedings were introduced by Professor Iain MacRury and Professor Candida Yates, who provided entertaining talks involving Dr Johnson’s reflections on academia, and the role of women academics.  Then it was over to the PGRs to present papers on research as diverse as the role of Saudi women journalists and social media, the Italian cop thriller of the 1970s, understanding copyright law, and radio history.

Before lunch the opportunity to “Draw Your PhD” was seized enthusiastically, and for half an hour the only sound was the scratching of biros whilst participants created some classic interpretations of the PhD experience in cartoon form. The results were extremely entertaining, and reminded us that most students experience similar traumas and joys during the PhD process.

After further papers in the afternoon, Dr Sue Sudbury delivered the key-note lecture, reflecting on her practice-led PhD, based on empowering women from Uttar Pradesh to make videos of their daily life. Finally, the wine reception at the end of the day provided further opportunities for networking.

This was a productive and enjoyable occasion, ably organised by third-year PGRs Katy Vaughan and Kate Terkanian. It is hoped that next year the organisational baton will be grasped by new students, so that this conference will become a yearly, student-led event.

Written by Jan Lewis (Postgraduate Research Administrator, Faculty of Media and Communication)

15 Minutes to Develop your Research Career – Episode 2

Episode 2: Stepping up, moving on and alternative career paths for researchers

What do researchers go on to do after their PhD? What are the different career paths available? What are the transferable skills you develop as a researcher?

Careers consultant Kate Murray from Kings College London provides her advice, and also previous PhD students working outside of academia to get a taster of some of the different career paths researchers take.

Download the podcast here. Taylor & Francis Group created with Vitae.

HSS PGR Reseacher- Elizabeth Waithaka at the Nursing World Conference 2017 in Las Vegas-Nevada

The Second Edition of the Nursing World Conference took place in the City of Las Vegas in the United States.

This forum brought together distinguished nursing scholars and nursing practitioners from across the globe. There was a wide representation of the various practice specialties including: nursing educators, nursing managers at the frontlines of care to country level chief nursing officers, clinical practitioners and consultant specialists, nursing researchers and thought leaders amongst other health and social care professionals.

There was also the odd anthropologist and whose presence and presentation reminded us of the importance of cross disciplinary work to foster continued development of nursing practice and theory.

I was privileged to make my first oral presentation at this conference in which I shared a select aspect of findings from a systematic review of the public health nursing evidence base for interventions targeted at children and young people. The findings revealed that contemporary public health nursing (PHN) interventions are typically individual level- behaviour change interventions- a finding with significant implications on PHN efforts in addressing inequalities in health.

This was a very exciting opportunity to be able to present my work and represent Bournemouth University as well as my supervisors Prof. Ann Hemingway, Dr. Karen Rees and Dr. Kate Harvey. It was also satisfying to see leading researchers have some interest in my work- and we had fruitful discussions with especially Dr. Araelis de Peralta-Clemson University, USA about our shared research interests in community health workers and health disparities.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Bournemouth University for sponsoring my participation and to the scientific committee for organizing a very well organised and resourceful event.

If you would like to learn more about our research project, please feel free to contact me at: ewaithaka@bournemouth.ac.uk

15 Minutes to Develop your Research Career – Episode 1

What does ‘public engagement’ mean? What can researchers gain from encouraging people outside of academia to read their work? And where should you begin?

We hear from Lucy Robinson, Citizen Science Manager at The Natural History Museum, as well as PhD students explaining their thesis in three minutes as part of the Three Minute Thesis competition.

Download the podcast here. Taylor & Francis Group created with Vitae.

“Using photo-elicitation to generate storytelling”

Join us next Wed for “Using photo-elicitation to generate storytelling” presented by Anne Quinney.

 

Anne’s co-presenter, Maggie Hutchings, is now able to join her for the conversation!

Lots of opportunity for audience participation in listening, making, and sharing. Not lectures, the seminar is ‘In Conversation” about a topic or method. No PPT and plenty of time for audience interaction and feedback!

Wednesday, 1 Nov.

Royal London House 208 1 pm

Students and Faculty welcome!

Presented by the Centre for Qualitative Research

FHSS student needs help with online questionnaire for her research

Our PhD student Orlanda Harvey is currently conducting her study on why people use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS).  Since steroid use is a sensitive topic and its users are a hard-to-reach population we need as much help as we can get to get her survey distributed to as many as possible potential steroid users (aged 18 and over).  We, as her PhD supervisors, would like to ask you to alert friends, family, neighbours, health care professionals working with this target group, etc. to the existence of this survey.   Her questionnaire is available in paper version (from harveyo@bournemouth.ac.uk or telephone Edwin van Teijlingen at: 01202-961564).  However, the easiest and most anonymous way would be for people to complete it online using the following online link.

 

Thank you very much in advance!

Dr. Margarete Parrish

Dr. Steven Trenoweth

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

 

 

BU’s PGR Paul Fairbairn at the Lipids and Brain IV conference in Nancy

The Société Française pour l’Etude des Lipides (SFEL) recently held the fourth iteration of their Lipids and Brain conference in Nancy France.

I was given the opportunity to present some preliminary results from an ongoing study I am conducting as part of my PhD, looking into the effects of a multi-nutrient omega-3 fatty acid supplement and exercise on mobility and cognitive function in ladies aged 60+.  Analysis of the baseline data revealed relationships between levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood with cognitive and gait outcomes, however this effect differed between non-frail and pre-frail participants.

The conference brought together scientists, physicians and nutritionists to provide a unique prospective on the role of lipid nutrition in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases with a large focus on Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).  The conference was a mix of lectures, invited reviews, and poster sessions.  There was a tremendous variety of topics presented, including lectures on the pathophysiology and epidemiology of AD, how AD can impact lipid metabolism and the effects of lipid intake on prevention and treatment of AD.

During the conference Professor Stephen Cunnane from the Research Center on Aging, Sherbrooke (Canada) was presented with the prestigious Chevreul Medal.

On a personal note this was an exciting opportunity for me to present my work and represent Bournemouth University and my supervisory team of Dr. Simon Dyall and Dr. Fotini Tsofliou at a respected conference.  It was very satisfying to see some interest in my work from researchers whose work I myself look up to.

I would like to extend my gratitude towards Bournemouth University, for providing the funding that allowed me to attend the conference and to the scientific committee at the SFEL for organising such an impeccable event.

If you would like to learn more about our research, please feel free to contact me at pfairbairn@bournemouth.ac.uk

 

#Vitaechat 19 October, 12-1pm – ‘What every researcher needs to know’

Focus-on: Getting started – ‘What every researcher needs to know’

Join the #vitaechat on Thursday 19 October from 12 until 1pm and find out more about:

  • what first steps should be taken when undertaking your PhD or starting a new postdoc role
  • managing supervisor/PI relationships
  • planning your research project
  • identifying your typical milestones
  • prioritising your development opportunities
  • when best to start thinking about your post-PhD career

This is a good opportunity to gain essential tips and understand what to expect next from experts who have been on a similar journey.  What’s even better is that you don’t even have to leave your desk!

Register here.

Postgraduate Research: Santander Mobility Award 2017-18 – Call For Applications

We are delighted to announce that the Doctoral College has been awarded Santander funding for postgraduate research mobility activities.

Information on submitting an application can be found on the Santander Mobility Awards 2017-18 webpage.

Deadline for applications 09:00 Monday 13 November 2017.

Submit completed application forms to the Research Skills and Development Officers via the email: PGRskillsdevelopment@bournemouth.ac.uk

PGRs hurry! Get your 3MT application in.

The Countdown Begins – Can you beat the clock?

Deadline for the Doctoral College 3MT application submission is Sunday 22 October 2017.

For more information, eligibility and how to apply visit the website.

Don’t miss out on the chance to win £400 towards a conference of your choice, plus entry into the Vitae National 3MT competition plus £100 voucher.