Category / PG research

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

Second chance to see The PHD Movie!

Love PHD Comics? Then come to the screening of The PHD Movie, hosted at BU on Wednesday 15 February!

BU first screened the movie in December but due to popular demand a second screening has now been arranged!

The PHD Movie is being shown at universities around the world and premiered at UCLA in Los Angeles in September. It has also been shown at Harvard University, Yale University, University of Sydney, CERN, and multiple screenings at the Max Planck Institute.

In the UK the movie is only scheduled to be screened at UCL, Oxford, Glasgow, Cranfield, Bristol, Imperial College, York, Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Brunel and Bournemouth!

The PHD Movie is a live-action adaptation of the popular online comic strip by Jorge Cham (www.phdcomics.com). It was filmed on location at and was produced in partnership with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

The film introduces audiences to the unique and funny culture of Academia and follows four graduate students (Cecilia, Mike, Tajel and the “Nameless Grad Student”) as they struggle to find balance between research, teaching and their personal lives with humor and heart.

The Movie was produced and directed by and stars real PhD students and researchers.

The second Bournemouth screening will be held on Wednesday 15 February between 12:30-2pm in the Allesbrook Lecture Theatre on the Talbot Campus.

It is free to attend and lunch will be provided! 😀

Places at the screening are limited so complete the booking form below if you’d like to come along.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Launch of the PhD Studentship Competition 2012!

The deadline for this competition is 29 February 2012 and we look forward to recieving your applications!

 We are delighted to announce the launch of the 2012 BU PhD Studentship competition for candidates starting in October 2012 in which there will be 44 studentships available across three parallel strands: (1) Matched Funding; (2) Fully Funded; and (3) Education & Pedagogic Research.  An overview of the three strands is provided below.

The studentships will be awarded to supervisory teams on the basis of a competitive process across the whole of BU led by Professor Matthew Bennett (PVC Research, Enterprise & Internationalization) and managed the Graduate School.  Applications will be assessed and awards made by a cross University Panel consisting of the academic members of UET and two members of the BU Professoriate. In selecting proposals for funding emphasis will be placed on the excellence of the research and quality of proposal in the first instance.  Strategic fit with REF and Societal Impact will also be assessed.

Only the best projects in each strand will be funded and proceed to advert. Full details and criteria are set out in the BU Studentships Policy.  Staff are asked to check the eligibility criteria carefully before applying. 

Applications (on the appropriate application form downloaded from the BU Research Blog) should be submitted to Dr Fiona Knight (Graduate School Academic Manager) no later than 29 February 2012, who will circulate to the judging panel for consideration.  The panel will individually score each proposal and meet formally to select the successful projects.

Good luck!

Strand 1 – Matched Funded Studentships

  • A total of 32 matched funded studentships are available.
  • Matched-funding (50% equivalent to £21k over three years) may come from:
    • Industry/business partners,
    • Government and non-government organizations,
    • Academic Schools,
    • NHS,
    • Research Councils, or
    • Other external bodies.
  • In seeking match-funding and developing the associated projects applicants are encouraged to avoid a local or regional focus.
  • Priority may be given to applications that involve supervisors from two or more Schools and/or those from early career researchers.
  • All proposals should match clearly to one of the eight BU Research Challenges.
  • Applicants are encouraged to discuss potential applications to this funding strand with Deputy Dean Research or equivalent within their School.
  • Please submit proposal on Application Form (Strands 1 & 2)

Strand 2 – Fully-Funded Studentships

  • A total of 6 fully funded studentships are available.
  • These are exceptional awards for elite, highly original, timely and non-applied or “blue-sky” research projects where there is no potential for match funding.  Priority will be given to those areas where there is a clear strategic driver for a particular REF Unit of Assessment, Group or Centre and/or the applicant can demonstrate an immense societal impact.
  • All proposals should match clearly to one of the eight BU Research Challenges.
  • Applicants are encouraged to discuss potential applications to this funding strand with Professor Matthew Bennett.
  • Please submit proposal on Application Form (Strands 1 & 2)

Strand 3 – Education and pedagogic research studentship

  • A total of 6 studentships with an educational or pedagogic focus are available.
  • Matched-funding (50% equivalent to £21k over three years) may come from:
    • Industry/business partners,
    • Government and non-government organizations,
    • Academic Schools,
    • NHS,
    • Research Councils, or
    • Other external bodies.
  • Proposals must be able to demonstrate clearly how the research will benefit fusion within BU and have a wider impact on society or the HE sector.
  • Priority may be given to applications that involve supervisors from two or more Schools and/or those from early career researchers.
  • Applicants are encouraged to discuss potential application with Professor Tim McIntyre-Bhatty.
  • Please submit proposal on Application Form (Strand 3)

To help applicants with their proposals John Wakeford, an external academic who now runs grant writing workshops, will be coming to the university on 31st January and 1st February to run 1 day sessions.  If you would like a place on either day please contact Susan Dowdle.

PGR Workshops: January 2012

Sessions for the BU Researcher Development Programme in  January 2012 are below.  Booking is essential as places are limited, details of how to book are listed under each session.

PGR Induction Dr Fiona Knight

Introduction to BU’s academic and professional support for your research degree

Can social media enhance my research profile? Susan Dowdle

Using Twitter, blogs, social citation to raise your research profile.  Discussion on how to use Web 2.0 technologies professionally and some top tips on making connections and raising your profile.

Introduction to Education Practice: for Postgraduate Research Students (PGRs) Linda Byles

This 3 day event is designed to prepare Post-Graduate Research students to undertake their teaching responsibilities

Grant Writing Workshop for Early Career Researchers Martin Pickard (external)

This workshop is aimed at early career researchers and phd students in the mid to late stages of their phd, starting to think about grant writing.  More details on the event can be found in this blog post.

  • Date: 26 January
  • Time: 9:30 – 17:00
  • Room: K103, Kimmeridge House
  • Booking:  All bookings for this event are via Susan Dowdle

Introduction to Mixed Methods Research Dr Carol Bond

These sessions are primarily aimed at new PGRs however all PGRs and ECRs are welcome.

PGR Development Scheme 2011/12

The Graduate School PGR Development Scheme is open to all BU postgraduate researchers (PGRs) irrespective of mode of study (full-time / part-time) or funding status (BU studentships / externally funded / self funded).

Individual awards will provide financial support of normally up to £2,000 (and exceptionally £5,000) for research activities related to an individual PGR’s research project or personal development.  It is envisaged that each year approximately 15 awards will be made.

Examples of research activities covered by the Scheme include:

  • Research Activities
    • Conference attendance
    • Additional fieldwork
    • Other activities required to advance research e.g. visiting major libraries, museums, other research institutions (UK, EU or International)
    • Preparation of specialist material or data
    • Research consumables and equipment (providing it is clear these would not normally be purchased by the School as part of the research degree)
  • Developmental Activities
    • Research development e.g. attending external training events specific to research activity
    • Personal development e.g. attending external personal development training events
  • Networking
    • Organisation of an academic conference at BU with external participants;
    • Attendance at external networking events leading to advance of the research
    • Publications or dissemination of research

You should also map the proposed activity onto the relevant sub-domains of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF):

Knowledge & Intellectual Abilities A1 – Knowledge base A2 – Cognitive abilities A3 – Creativity
Personal Effectiveness B1 – Personal qualities B2 – Self-management B3 – Professional & career development
Research Governance C1 – Professional conduct C2 – Research management C3 – Finance, funding & resources
Engagement, Influence & Impact D1 – Working with others D2 – Communication & dissemination D3 – Engagement & impact

 Awards will only cover direct costs including travel; subsistence; training or development costs) and all applications will need to include a precise breakdown of costs.  Applications should be supported by the Supervisory Team and the relevant Deputy Dean (Research & Enterprise) of the relevant AcademicSchool.

 There will be two competitions per annum.  PGRs wishing to apply must submit a completed GS PGR Development Scheme – Application Form to the Graduate School Academic Manager by the following deadlines:

  • 29 February 2012
  • 31 October 2012

Applications to the Scheme will be reviewed independently and all decisions on funding will be made by the Graduate School. 

 For further information please read the GS PGR Development Scheme – Policy.

PGR Training Workshops – Dec 2011

Sessions for the BU Researcher Development Programme in  December 2011 are as follows:

Research Ethics Professor Holger Schutkowski

  • Date: Wednesday 7 December
  • Time: 10:30-12:30
  • Room: PG22
  • Prior booking essential by emailing graduateschool@bournemouth.ac.uk
  • Please include one line about your research ethics issues or concerns

 Researchers must Write Professor Matthew Bennett

  • Date: Wednesday 7 December
  • Time: 14:00 – 15:30
  • Room: PG22
  • Prior booking essential by emailing graduateschool@bournemouth.ac.uk
  • Basic introduction to the importance of writing in research

Academic Writing Sue Mitchell (external)

  • Date: Both the Tuesday and Wednesday sessions are now full
  • Time: 09:oo  – 17:00
  • Room: PG22
  • Prior booking essential by emailing graduateschool@bournemouth.ac.uk
  • Academic Writing Skills: improving your publications; grants

These sessions are primarily aimed at new PGRs however all PGRs and ECRs are welcome.  Prior booking is essential on some sessions where places are limited.

PGR students – interested in some funding to travel?

Santander provides BU with funding for research students or staff to travel to universities in the Santander overseas network to work on a specific piece of work and develop links.  There are 4 x £5000 scholarships available with a deadline of 9th December.

This is an excellent opportunity to travel to other countries such as the USA or South America and enhance your PhD by working with international researchers in your field and potentially enhancing your future career by developing international networks.  Priority is given to research students and early career researchers.

Details on how to apply are available in this earlier blog post.

PGR Events – Researcher Development Programme

Sessions for the BU Researcher Development Programme in  November/December 2011 are as follows:

Managing your Thesis workshop (Part 2) Using MS Office 2010 to manage your thesis and other documents facilitated by Su Kensley

    • Date: Wednesday 30 November
    • Time: 10:00-13:00
    • Room: S103
    • Prior booking essential (max 20 places) by emailing itskills@bournemouth.ac.uk

Research Ethics Professor Holger Schutkowski

  • Date: Wednesday 7 December
  • Time: 10:30-12:30
  • Room: PG22
  • Prior booking essential by emailing graduateschool@bournemouth.ac.uk
  • Please include one line about your research ethics issues or concerns

 Researchers must Write Professor Matthew Bennett

  • Date: Wednesday 7 December
  • Time: 14:00 – 15:30
  • Room: PG22
  • Prior booking essential by emailing graduateschool@bournemouth.ac.uk
  • Basic introduction to the importance of writing in research

Academic Writing Sue Mitchell (external)

  • Date: Wednesday 14 December
  • Time: 09:oo  – 17:00
  • Room: PG22
  • Prior booking essential by emailing graduateschool@bournemouth.ac.uk
  • Academic Writing Skills: improving your publications; grants

These sessions are primarily aimed at new PGRs however all PGRs and ECRs are welcome.  Prior booking is essential on some sessions where places are limited.

BU Researcher Development Programme – November 2011

Sessions for the BU Researcher Development Programme in  November 2011 are as follows:

Statistics Surgery: Individual statistics advice with Dr John Beavis

    • Date: Every Wednesday
    • Time: max 45 minutes consultation –10:00-16:00
    • Room: tbc
    • Prior booking essential through Staff Development

Managing your Thesis workshop (Part 1 & 2) Using MS Office 2007 to manage your thesis and other documents facilitated by Su Kensley

    • Date: Wednesday 2 November and Wednesday 9 November
    • Time: 10:00-13:00
    • Room: MG08
    • Prior booking essential (max 12 places) by emailing itskills@bournemouth.ac.uk

Literature Reviews Undertaking your literature review with Professor Adele Ladkin

    • Date: Wednesday 16 November
    • Time: 10:30-11:30
    • Room: PG22
    • No booking needed

BU Research Strategy & REF Overview of research at BU and its wider context, introducing the REF with Professor Matthew Bennett

    • Date: Wednesday 16 November
    • Time: 13:00-14:30
    • Room: PG22
    • No booking needed

Introduction to Qualitative Research The main aspects of qualitative research with Professor Kate Galvin

    • Date: Wednesday 23 November
    • Time: 10:30-12:30
    • Room: PG22
    • No booking needed

Introduction to Quantitative Research The main aspects of quantitative research with Professor Adrian Newton

    • Date: Wednesday 23 November
    • Time: 13:30-15:00
    • Room: PG22
    • No booking needed

Managing your Thesis workshop (Part 1 & 2) Using MS Office 2010 to manage your thesis and other documents facilitated by Su Kensley

    • Date: Wednesday 23 November and Wednesday 30 November
    • Time: 10:00-13:00
    • Room: S103
    • Prior booking essential (max 20 places) by emailing itskills@bournemouth.ac.uk

These sessions are primarily aimed at new PGRs however all PGRs and ECRs are welcome.  Prior booking is essetial on some sessions where places are limited.

If you have any questions about the sessions, please contact Dr Fiona Knight or Susan Dowdle.

 

BU Researcher Development Framework

BU has adopted the VITAE Researcher Development Framework to help you identify your strengths and prioritise for personal and career development, inform discussions with the supervisory teams and consider what skills and experiences will enhance career prospects and how to articulate capabilities to future employers.

 By monitoring and recording your development activities within the RDF, you will be able to:

  • aid self-reflection and set aspirational goals
  • choose the most appropriate formal and informal development
  • assess opportunities provided by BU and look for development opportunities externally
  • prepare for one-to-one progress reviews, appraisals and career
  • prepare for development conversations with Supervisory Team
  • consider how skills and experiences will enhance career prospects
  • highlight, articulate and evidence the transferability of their skills in their CV, in job applications and at interviews.

As a Postgraduate Researcher at BU, you are required to engage in a personal programme of researcher development throughout the duration of your enrolment. This is not formally credit bearing, however you are required to compile evidence of specific training and development courses undertaken, as well as evidence of personal development through independent activities undertaken as part of your research.  The process is as follows:

  1. Discussion of individual training needs with supervisory team at initial supervisory meetings to prioritise development activities throughout the course of the research.
  2. Identify most appropriate mechanism for developing identified training needs
  3. Record development on overview sheet and complete record sheet for each development activity
     – outline the activity, the skills gained from the activity and how the skills can be applied
    –  Supervisors to be sign off
  4. Review individual training and development needs as part of the Annual Monitoring Process
  5. Develop and maintain portfolio of research activities

Many generic research methodology and skills development sessions are offered centrally by the GraduateSchool and RDU and details will be communicated via the Research Blog.

 Specific and in depth methodological training should be offered by the Academic Schools or identified externally.  Other independent development activities may include:

  • Attendance at externally organised Researcher Development activities (e.g. Vitae events)
  • Participation in specific training related to individual research projects
  • Participation in internal Seminars and Conferences
  • Participation at external Seminars and Conferences
  • Publication of papers
  • Wider research activities – organisation of seminars, conferences, etc
  • Public engagement & outreach activities

Vitae and the Researcher Development Framework

Vitae is an organisation set up to promote career development in both postgraduate researchers and academic staff.  They have recently launched the Researcher Development Framework which is intended to help people monitor their skills and plan their personal development.  At BU we will be using this framework to format the training on offer for the postgraduate research students and academic staff.

The Vitae website is an excellent resource and the organisation regularly runs free training events specifically aimed at PGRs.  Upcoming events include Effective Researcher – The end is in sight aimed at students close to the completion of their PhD.

The Researcher Development Framework (RDF) is the professional development framework to realise the potential of researchers.  The RDF is a tool for planning, promoting and supporting the personal, professional and career development of researchers in higher education.  It was designed following interviews with many successful researchers across the sector and articulates the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of a successful researcher. 

There is a planner available on the Vitae website to help you assess which stage you are at with your skills and a tutorial providing guidance on how to use the framework.

Top 10 tips from researchers on using the Researcher Development Framework (RDF):

1. You might choose to use the RDF for short term as well as long term development. The RDF can be used in planning for your long term career ambitions but also to make a feasible short term plan. It can be useful to imagine your long term ambitions in order to focus your career path however the reality of progressing through to the higher phases may be more difficult to plan. In the short term, making decisions about how to progress to the next phase or what sub-domains are most important for you will be easier. Try to be realistic when setting these short term goals.

2. Use the RDF to highlight your strengths and areas for development and how these might be used to benefit/influence your personal, professional and career development.

3. Use the RDF to highlight your applicable and transferable skills. This is important for career progression within or outside academia.

4. Prioritise those areas which are most relevant. You don’t have to try to develop in all the areas of the RDF at once. There may be some sub-domains/descriptors where there is less relevance in progressing through the phases for you.

5. Draw on experiences outside of work to evidence your capabilities.

6. Progression to the highest phase in a descriptor will not be applicable to everyone but being aware of the possibilities can aid personal and career development.

7. Talk to others to get their views about your strengths and capabilities. Your supervisor, manager, peers, family and friends are a great source of information to find out more about yourself. Talk to them about how they perceive your capabilities. By understanding how others view you, you will be able to make more informed choices about your future.

8. To move from one phase to the next why not explore attending courses. These courses may be run at a local level (within your University) or may only be run nationally or internationally so awareness of opportunities for training is important. Vitae also run a wide range of courses which address many aspects of personal and career development.

9. Some phases may only be reached through experience and practice however good self-awareness and professional development planning will aid the process.

10. Networking is likely to enable you to reach more experienced phases.

BU research features in the THE!

Congratulations to BU PhD student Adil Saeed from DEC’s Sustainable Design Research Centre! Adil’s research featured in the Times Higher Education today – pg 15 of the printed publication as part of the Campus Round-up section.

Adil is pictured at the Tank Museum at Bovington with some additional information on the relationship between BU and the Museum and an outline of Adil’s research.

You can access the online story here: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=417729&c=1

We previously ran a story on the blog about Adil’s research and the close links between BU and the Tank Museum which you can read here: Sustainable Methodology of Conserving Large Historic Vehicles in a Museum Environment.

Funding Opps for Postgrad Students

Interested in spending a year conducting research at an overseas university?  The following funding schemes may be of interest:

Ritsumeikan University

This Japanese University has a range of scholarships available.  One of the schemes is to spend 12 months as an International Research Student working closely with the University’s research staff.  Applications are open until 5th December 2011.  Visit the website for details.

One Year Visiting Fellowship at Harvard or MIT

There are scholarships available for students who are mid-PhD and would like to spend an additional year as a fellow at Harvard or MIT.  You must have at least one year left to complete on your return to the UK.  Applications can be made online at www.kennedytrust.org.uk and the attached documents contain more information – Kennedy Scholarship and Frank Knox Fellowship.  The deadline is 30th Oct 2011.

The Graduate School Needs You!

Historically the Graduate School has provided both generic research methods training as well as personal development programme for Postgraduate Research Students (PGRs) at BU.  In the future the research method training is to be provided on a more bespoke basis within Schools so that PGRs are equipped with the specific skills they need for their research.  Some Schools may wish to put on specific training course or alternatively encourage PGRs to attend relevant Masters units, for example.

In future, the focus of the Graduate School will be on more generic skills development using the Vitae Framework as the basis for this.  Fiona Knight of the Graduate School is currently putting together a development programme based on the Vitae Framework which will require new PGRs to collect a portfolio of evidence via attending events here at BU or elsewhere.  There will also be an opportunity to collect evidence from independent development activities as part of their research programme such as giving talks or attending project specific events.  This framework is being developed with both our PGR and ECR students in mind and is being implemented this Autumn.  A specific briefing for supervisors will follow.

In the meantime I am looking for your help in populating this framework.  Offers of assistance would be very much appreciated and we are looking for three levels of engagement: (1) Master Classes by an experienced researcher lasting less than 2 hours; (2) one day course on key events; and (3) offers of multi-day courses.  It seems such a shame to paying external consultants to run these events when we have so much research talent within BU.  As an incentive we are prepared to offer academic staff contributing one- or multi-day events modest payments (circa. £1k) to their personal research funds for research consumables, travel or conferences in recognition of the time taken to run these events.

We are looking for volunteers to run master classes on: Collaboration in Research; Intellectual Property in Research; Research Philosophy; Research Governance; Publisher’s Perspective on Publishing; Coping with Peer Review; Publishing in the Social Sciences; Publishing in the Sciences; Making your Mark at Conferences, Managing your Supervisor; Research Impact.

We are looking for volunteers to run short courses on: Introduction to Quantitative Research; Introduction to Qualitative Research; Languages for Researchers; Research Ethics; Managing Research Data; Time Management; Project Management Tools; Introduction to Statistical Approaches in the Sciences; Introduction to Statistical Approaches in the Social Sciences; Open Access Statistical Tools; Conducting Interviewing & Focus Groups; Perfect Academic Posters; Developing an Academic Career.

If you are interested in helping out then please contact Fiona Knight [fknight@bmth.ac.uk] by Wednesday 12 October 2012.

Head of Graduate School Appointed

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Tiantian Zhang as the new Head of the Graduate School.  Professor Zhang will take up her new post in January 2012 when we will also have a formal launch of the new Graduate School.  She is currently Director of LIRANS at the Bedfordshire University.  As a researcher she focuses on cryopreservation of reproductive cells and embryos of aquatic species; effect of cryopreservation on genome and metabolic activities of reproductive cells; and fish stem cell culture development and cryopreservation. Her research also includes ecotoxicological studies using fish cell lines and other biological materials. Professor Zhang has presented at over 60 international conferences leading to over 120 publications. She has supervised 18 PhD and 6 Research Masters students.  She is an outstanding scientist with exciting ideas of how to take the Graduate forward over the next few years shaping Postgraduate Student experience.  You can find further details about Professor Zhang at: http://www.beds.ac.uk/research/lirans/personnel/zhang_t

Development for Doctoral Supervision at BU

It is essential that new supervisors are provided with the necessary development opportunities to supervise at doctoral level and that established supervisors regularly maintain these skills and have continuing awareness of BU’s Codes of Practice.

To date supervisor development opportunities for new staff have been provided via the PG Cert in Postgraduate Research Supervision and all new staff, who have not supervised to completion, must attend this programme before they are able to join a supervisory team.  There has been no provision for refreshing the skills of existing supervisors which was an omission identified by the Research & Enterprise Committee last year.

The PG Cert in Postgraduate Research Supervision was well received by the majority of those who were involved with it and was highly commended externally in the last Institutional Audits, and by other HEI’s several of whom have followed the model in developing their own accredited programmes.  It is important to note however that not all staff undertook the assessment or completed the PG Cert and there is a feeling amongst some (although not all) staff that they would prefer the option of a more flexible non-credit rated alternative.  The Graduate School review concluded that the role of supervisor development was more appropriately located within Staff Development than in the Graduate School and that a more flexible approach should be adopted.  Unit 1 of the PG Cert which under the current model must be completed by new supervisors before they are able to join a supervisory team has in previous years run bi-annually, but did not do so in 2010/11 due to staffing changes.  Unit 2 of the PG Cert was optional and allowed those completing it successfully to become first supervisors in their own right.  There is currently a large waiting list of staff needing/wanting supervisory training which needs to be catered for.  We do, however, need to be clear that this is not necessarily demand for the PG Cert since there is currently no alternative route to become a qualified supervisor.

Following the Graduate School Review in the spring of 2011 entry into the PG Cert in Postgraduate Research Supervision is currently on hold while its future is evaluated.  The waiting list and demand for supervisor training is considerable and we need urgently therefore an alternative development strategy for supervisors pending any future changes.  We also need a basic framework in which supervisor development can be viewed.  This framework needs to: (1) cater for demand for supervisor development of new staff in a flexible and timely fashion; and (2) maintain the credibility of existing supervisors and ensure they are well versed in the current Codes of Practice and also have an opportunity to share good practice.

In light of this it is proposed that we introduce a ‘Certificate of Doctoral Supervision’ which must first be acquired before staff can join a supervisory team and then be maintained via regular refresher courses every three years thereafter.  While this may seem very formal to many it will ensure that our supervisors are well versed in current issues, are encouraged to share best practice and are well versed in the continual changes and enhancements made to BU’s Codes of Practice for Doctoral Studies.

Supervisors who have previously undertaken the PG Cert in Postgraduate Supervision in the last three years will be issued with a Certificate of Doctoral Supervision automatically back dated to their graduation date.  The Graduate School will issue these certificates in due course and maintain a database of staff eligible to supervise.

This scheme will be introduced in 2011/12 and current supervisors will need to acquire a Certificate of Doctoral Supervision before the end of July 2012 or they will be removed from supervisory teams by the Graduate School.  To comply existing supervisors will need to book-on and complete the half-day course entitled ‘Research Supervisor Development: Established Supervisors during the current academic year which will run at least four times during the year.

New supervisors will have two opportunities to attend the more intensive two-day course entitled Research Supervisor Development: New Supervisors during 2011/12.  This course will not be credit bearing although in future years subject to deliberations around the future of the PG Cert in Postgraduate Supervision it may be possible to achieve a Certificate of Doctoral Supervision via this route.

 

Details of the courses are provided below and bookings can be made via the Staff Development website http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/staff_development/research/supervision/supervision.html

Supervisor Training: New Supervisors

Aim: To provide participants with the necessary knowledge to supervise doctoral Postgraduate Research Students at BU placing this knowledge within both the internal and external regulatory framework.

Durations: The course consists of two one-day sessions a month apart.  With the compulsory completion of a reflective narrative (circa. 1000 words) between the two sessions which will be used within the second session.  The course will run once in the first term and for a second time in the second term please book via the Staff Development website. http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/staff_development/research/supervision/supervisors_new.html

On completion of the course participants will receive a Certificate of Doctoral Supervision allowing them to supervise doctoral students at BU for three years.  As is currently custom and practice newly qualified suspervisors would need to gain experience as part of strong supervisory teams, but this would not necessarily preclude them from taking on the role of first supervisor.  To maintain this Certificate of Doctoral Supervision staff must undertake the top-up course once every three years entitled: ‘Supervisor Training: Established Supervisors’.  Note that this course no longer contributes credits to the PG Cert Postgraduate Supervision at BU which is currently not running.

Content: The course will cover the following areas:

  1. Nature and scope of doctoral study & role of supervisor
  2. Finding funding: what makes a successful bid?
  3. Codes of Practice at BU purpose & operation
  4. Monitoring, progression, completion& process of research degrees at BU
  5. Importance of diversity, equality & cultural awareness
  6. Student recruitment & selection
  7. Research ethics: considerations and implications
  8. Understanding IP
  9. Keeping students on track: motivation & guidance

10.  Examination process: preparation, roles & responsibilities

11.  Trouble shooting: problems, issues, rules & regulations

 

Supervisor Training: Established Supervisors

Aim: To provide participants with the necessary knowledge to maintain their skills in supervising doctoral Postgraduate Research Students at BU and to share best practice between peers.

Durations: The course consists of a half-day session. The course will run on several occasions throughout the year please book via the Staff Development website http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/staff_development/research/supervision/supervisors_established.html

On completion of the course existing supervisors will receive a Certificate of Doctoral Supervision allowing them to supervise doctoral students at BU for a further three years.

Content: The course will focus primarily around the sharing of experience and good practice between established supervisors but will also cover the following areas:

  1. Review of the Codes of Practice at BU purpose & operation
  2. Focus on funding for doctoral students & building research teams
  3. Trouble shooting: problems, issues, rules & regulations
  4. Sharing of good practice

 

 

 

 

PhD Success in the School of Tourism

Congratulations are due to Viachaslau Filimonau of the School of Tourism who successfully defended his thesis this September. Dr Filimonau, who was in receipt of a BU studentship, conducted research titled: Reviewing the carbon footprint assessment of tourism: developing and evaluating Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to introduce a more holistic approach to existing methodologies.

Dr Filimonau (known to many of us as Slava) not only completed his PhD within three years but was also awarded the PhD with no corrections. The external examiner, Professor Andrew Holden, commented: “This was one of the best thesis I have examined. To have completed a PhD within three years and have two journal articles in print is a significant achievement.” His supervisors (Dr Janet Dickinson, Derek Robbins and Dr Vijay Reddy) are very proud of his achievement.

BU Santander Scholarships 2011-12 – apply now!!

Santander is offering five x £5,000 research and travel grants to BU staff and students

The funds must be used for a specific project to build on or develop links with at least one university from the Santander overseas network. Trips must be taken before February 2012.

Preference will be given to applications received from postgraduate research students and early career researchers.

Funds can only be used to cover direct costs (i.e. not salary costs or overheads).

To apply complete the Santander application form and submit it by email to: researchunit@bournemouth.ac.uk.

The closing date for applications is Friday 16 September 2011.

Good luck 🙂

Thoughts on writing recommendations for a research thesis

Prof Edwin van Teijlingen (HSC) examined a PhD candidate last year whose recommendations were only Prof Edwin van Teijlingenvaguely related to the work presented in the thesis. Since then he has examined several PhD theses which had an interesting range of recommendations not directly related to the student’s study findings. Listed below are his ideas about ‘appropriate’ recommendations:

Many postgraduate students make recommendations that are too broad, too generic, or not directly related to the exact topic of their research. These recommendations are not wrong; they are simply not specific / relevant enough. Examiners like to see some more mundane recommendations that come specifically from the thesis / research work.

First, you should not really recommend anything that you have not previously discussed in the Discussion. The rule ‘no new material’ in your Conclusion is also applicable to your ‘Recommendations’.University of Olomouc thesis from 1713 with motif of Ottoman Wars

Secondly, recommendations are not the same as conclusions. Consider recommendations go one step further than conculsions as (a) ‘something’; (b) ‘someone’; and (c) ‘needs to do’.

Furthermore, there may be different levels within your set of Recommendations, with recommendations for (a) academic (i.e. more research is needed into…), (b) for policy-makers (e.g. data protection act needs to change to accommodate…); for (c) practitioners (e.e. managers in local government need to consider the mental well-bing of their staff); or recommendation for (d) training / education (e.g. health promotion officers employed in inner-city Birmingham need to be trained in being culturally sensitive to several large ethnic minority communities to help them fulfil their role better in the community).

We’re interested to know your thoughts on this and to hear your experiences of advising postgraduate students when writing their recommendations. Let us know what you think by adding a comment.