SciTech postgraduate conference and poster presentation

Yesterday the postgraduate researchers in the Faculty of Science and Technology (SciTech) held their annual showcase of their research projects. For the applied sciences students this took the form of 15 minutes presentations and the design, engineering and computing students presented posters.

Former PhD student Kathryn Ross opened the presentations in the Lawrence Lecture Theatre and likened the process of studying for a doctorate to taking part in a 100 mile walk. Kathryn was an inspiration to her peers, showing how hard work and persistence can get results. Her own PhD project investigating the effects of sea-level rise on the avocet population in Poole Harbour yielded new and interesting findings about the birds’ diet.

The subsequent presentations were outstanding, covering a wide variety of topics including how parasites impact eco-systems, volunteer engagement, the process of ageing fish and the spread of the domestic chicken through Europe.

The posters were equally impressive, featuring rescue robots, intelligent call routing and lie detector technology among others.

The work of the Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI) postgraduate researchers was strongly represented, including a remarkable project looking at adapted home environments for people living with dementia.

It was wonderful to see the amazing research being carried out by BU’s postgraduate community, with the support of their dedicated supervisors. I have no doubt many of them will make valuable contributions to their field in the future.

And to any postgraduate researchers reading this… If you would like to share your research more widely via the BU website or other channels, please do email me. I’d love to help you with that. Additionally, if you are interested in taking part in any public engagement activity, we have some great opportunities including a tent at Camp Bestival. If you like to find out more please email our Public Engagement Manager Barry Squires.

Research Professional – Sign up to the 8am Playbook

Many of you will know of Research Professional as a great source for funding opportunities, but that is not all that this service can provide. As well as funding, Research Professional has an extensive news section.

If you just want to keep up to date with all the latest news relevant to Higher Education, sign up for the 8am Playbook. This will allow you to ‘be in the know’ and will help you to keep up to date with hot topics which might turn into research opportunities. It will also enable you to be up to date when talking to colleagues or, as mentioned at this week’s Doctoral Supervision event, be ready to converse if you meet John Vinney in the lift!

In addition, if you have particular interests, your personal account with Research Professional allows you to sign up to newsletters focussing on, for example, European News and Research. Going further, you can set up your own news searches and manage your alerts to receive these weekly direct to your inbox.

To find out more, go to our recent post on help and training sessions.

Facebook User Interface to suit Saudi Arabian culture

We would like to invite you to the next research seminar of the Creative Technology Research Centre that will be delivered by Hana Almakky.


Title: Facebook User Interface to suit Saudi Arabian culture

Time: 2:00PM-3:00PM

Date: Wednesday 28th May 2014

Room: P302 (Poole House, Talbot Campus)


Abstract: Social media has continued growing in Saudi Arabia. Millions of businesses and trades are now using social media for entertainment, advertisement and promoting themselves internationally. Social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc., have gained huge popularity at personal as well as professional scale. Therefore, work is being done to evolve the modes of communication over these platforms, extensively. My research explores the effect of Saudi cultures on the design of social media site of Facebook. The expected outcome of this research will be a theoretical framework that guides the design of a user interface for Facebook to meet the Saudi’s expectations.

We hope to see you there,


Dr. David John


Professor Barry Richards on ‘The Conversation’

A piece written by BU’s Professor Barry Richards was featured as a lead article on ‘The Conversation’ website.

Entitled ‘A hymn confirms that the FA Cup final is a matter of life and death’, the article explores the reasons why ‘Abide with Me’ has become the FA Cup anthem.

The Conversation is a website, sourcing news and views from the academic and research community and sharing it with the wider public.

Read Barry’s article on The Conversation here.

Latest Major Funding Opportunities

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

In 2007, the BBSRC, in partnership with the MRC and the EPSRC, established the Diet and Health Research Industry Club (DRINC) with 15 company members. Approximately £3M of funding is available to support a portfolio of projects relating to DRINC. A workshop for the call will be held on 3 June 2014 in London and will be an opportunity for applicants to: understand the DRINC research challenges and assessment process; meet other potential applicants and form new collaborations; and discuss proposals with representatives from the DRINC steering group, the Club’s company members and the Research Councils. The deadline for the outline proposal is 4pm on 09/07/14 with full invited applications in November 2014.

The BBSRC, TSB and EPSRC are to invest £45m in major integrated research and development projects through the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst. There are five types of award – early stage: translation; early stage: feasibility studies;  industrial research; late stage: pre-experimental feasibility studies; and late stage: experimental development – and, with the exception of translation awards which are academic, can involve a single business or be collaborative. Total project sizes can range from up to £250k for feasibility studies to up to £10m for experimental development. Applicants must register by noon on 03/12/14 and the full application must be submitted by noon on 10/12/14.

Following on from the successful partnership of the EPSRC and Find a Better Way (FABW) in 2013, which has resulted directly in FABW providing grants for two major research projects, this Call for Expressions of Interest aims to stimulate the academic community to propose truly novel approaches to the humanitarian demining challenge. FABW is prepared to commit up to £1M funding to support the research project(s) arising from this Call. Closing date 25/06/14 with invited applications to be submitted by 27/02/15.

The NERC Independent Research Fellowship Scheme is designed to develop scientific leadership among the most promising early-career environmental scientists, by giving all fellows five years’ support, which will allow them sufficient time to develop their research programmes and to gain international recognition. As part of this scheme, NERC will expand its fellowship networking and training activities, working with host institutions, to support the development of future leaders in NERC science.  Closing date 01/10/14.

NERC invites applications for NERC Independent Research Fellowships in the priority area of Bioinformatics to deliver part of NERC Mathematics & Informatics for Environmental Omic Data Synthesis (Omics) research programme. The aim of these fellowships is to develop scientific leadership among the most promising early-career scientists, by giving all Fellows five years’ support, which will allow them sufficient time to develop their research programmes, and to establish international recognition. Through this call NERC aims to support a minimum of six IRFs working in the area of environmental bioinformatics. This is the final year for this specialised opportunity with a closing date of 01/10/14.

Note: Applicants may apply either to the standard NERC IRF call or to the call for NERC IRFs in Bioinformatics, but not to both.

The Valuing Nature programme is a five year interdisciplinary NERC-led research programme in collaboration with ESRC, BBSRC, AHRC and Defra. On behalf of the programme funders, NERC are inviting applications from early-career researchers who wish to develop their understanding of the challenges identified in Goal 1 by developing their research expertise in a different discipline. The fellowships will address the aim of the programme by improving our understanding and questioning of: the complexities of the natural environment in valuation analyses; the wider societal and cultural value of ecosystems services; the links between ecosystem stocks and tipping points; how the values of ecosystem services change as tipping points are reached and exceeded; and critical levels of natural capital that avoid abrupt and damaging ecosystem change. It is expected that up to three fellowships may be awarded to support environmental researchers to develop social science (including economic) expertise in relation to the goals of the Valuing Nature programme, and for social scientists (including economists) to gain natural science expertise in relation to the goals of the Valuing Nature programme. Closing date: 16:00 on 14/08/14.

NERC and the TSB have announced the latest round of SPARK Awards in the field of Algal Bioenergy. These are £5k grants to encourage new collaborations between the research community and Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). It is the intention that small confidence building measures such as a SPARK award will encourage a longer term relationship between the SME and research-based partner. Up to £5,000 per grant is available. The closing date is 26/06/14.

NERC and the MRC are inviting applications from UK scientists to attend a joint workshop with the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in Beijing on 14-16 July 2014 on Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health in a Chinese Megacity. Application is via an Expression of Interest, to be submitted by 4pm on 02/06/14.

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.

Dragons’ Den: Pitch to the Editors

Do you have a science news story worthy of appearing in Nature, The Times or Research Fortnight?

Organisers of the UK Conference of Science Journalists are running a ‘Dragons’ Den: Pitch to the Editors’ session, open to students, recent graduates or scientists with a great story.

This is your chance to stand up in front of top journalists and ‘sell’ your story idea. It can be about any aspect of science, as long as it is suitable for Nature, the Times or Research Fortnight. (Do make sure you research the publications before submitting)!

Successful applicants will pitch their story idea to Helen Pearson (Nature), Ehsan Masood (Research Fortnight) and Hannah Devlin (The Times) in front of a live audience at the conference on Wednesday 18th June in London.  

For more information and details of how to apply, visit Applications are open until 23rd May.

If you would like to discuss your pitch, email Sally Gates (Research Communications Manager).

Should metrics be used more widely in the next REF?

Back in 2008, after the dust was settling from the REF 2008 submission, HEFCE initiated a series of exercises to investigate whether bibliometric indicators of research quality (such as citation counts) could be used as part of the assessment for REF 2014. BU was one of 22 institutions that took part in the bibliometrics pilot, the result of which was that HEFCE concluded that citation information was not sufficiently robust enough to be used formulaically or as a primary indicator of quality but that there might be scope for it to inform and enhance processes of expert review in some disciplines. The REF 2014 guidelines stated that citation data would be provided for outputs submitted to all sub-panels in Main Panel A and some sub-panels in Main Panel B.

In April 2014, the Minister for Universities and Science asked HEFCE to undertake a fresh review of the role of metrics in determining quality, impact and other key characteristics of research undertaken in the HE sector. The review is being chaired by Professor James Wilsdon, Professor of Science and Democracy at the Science Policy Institute, University of Sussex.

HEFCE have launched a sector-wide call for evidence about research metrics and BU will be making an institutional response. BU colleagues are therefore invited to send feedback to me so that it can be considered as part of BU’s response. Colleagues are also invited to send individual responses to HEFCE.

Thinking back to 2008-09, I remember research metrics being an emotive subject and many researchers, both at BU and  across the sector, were extremely skeptical of their use in research assessment. Although bibliometrics have moved on a long way since then I think that there will still be concern as to whether metrics are robust enough to be used formulaically, particularly in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

HEFCE have asked that responses focus on the following issues:

1. Identifying useful metrics for research assessment.

2. How should metrics be used in research assessment?

3. ‘Gaming’ and strategic use of metrics.

4. International perspective.

Further information about the call for evidence is available here:

It is anticipated that the outcome of the review will inform the framework for the next REF assessment so it is vitally important that HEFCE receive a high quality and quantity of feedback from all disciplines.

If you would like to contribute to the BU institutional response, please add your comments to this response form and email it to me ( by Friday 30th May.

BUs Open Access Event

Last Wednesday, BU hosted a sector-wide Open Access Event at the EBC. The day was a great success with attendees travelling from universities across the UK to hear keynote speaker Alma Swan and speakers from HEFCE, LSE Impact Blog, PLOS, University of Oxford and BU talk about Open Access, one of the key priorities for the sector at the moment.

Feedback from the event has been overwhelming positive with attendees finding the day extremely useful with lots of interesting discussion throughout the day. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting blogs summarising the key points from each of the presentations so keep your eyes peeled…

Latest Major Funding Opportunities

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

 AHRC  has opened their 2014 Fellowship scheme which provides an opportunity for two AHRC funded postgraduate students to be seconded to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) to assist in producing objective briefing materials for MPs and Peers. The fellowship will take place over a three month period, with a likely starting date between September 2014 and May 2015. Closing date: 28/05/14.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), in partnership with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Technology Strategy Board, announced the winners of the first APC competition (APC1) in April 2014 and is now to invest an additional £75m in collaborative R&D projects in the field of low-carbon propulsion technologies. The projects are expected to start in October 2014. They will strengthen UK capability and develop and grow the UK’s propulsion systems supply chain. Projects must be collaborative and business-led. We expect total eligible project costs to be between £5m and £40m. Registration closes by noon 25/06/14 with full submission by noon on 02/07/14.

The deadline for BBSRC‘s next responsive-mode research grants is 24/09/14 at 4pm. Applications for grant funding can be made to the Research Committees under their responsive mode scheme, on any topic within their portfolio.

The BBSRC are inviting applications to their Stand-alone LINK programme. Applications involve collaborative research with at least one company and one science-based partner. Applications should be for pre-competitive research that would not be undertaken in this form without LINK support. Projects with SMEs are particularly favoured. Closing date: 24/09/14 at 4pm.

The BBSRC also invites applications to their Industrial Partnership Award. These are science-led, responsive mode grants where an industrial partner contributes in cash at least 10% of the full economic cost of the project. Case studies are available, giving examples of previous awards. Closing date: 24/09/14 at 4pm.

BBSRC-Brazil (FAPESP) joint funding of research - RCUK and FAPESP, the State of Säo Paulo Research Foundation, have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding to welcome, encourage and support applications that may cut across their national boundaries and involve international collaborative teams. Collaborative research proposals may be submitted in any area of science that is within the remit of both BBSRC and FAPESP. Closing date: 24/09/14 at 4pm.

BBSRC has a vision within their Industrial CASE Studentships to provide PhD students with a first-rate, challenging research training experience within the context of a mutually beneficial research collaboration, between academic and partner organisations. There is funding for 125 4-year studentships. The deadline is 10/07/14 but applicants should ensure proposals are submitted to BU’s institution’s submitter/approval pool a minimum of 5 working days in advance of the published deadline. This enables institution checks to be carried out before final submissions.

BBSRC‘s Modular Training Partnerships (MTPs) fund the development of industrially-relevant short training courses at Masters level. Training should be developed in close collaboration with industry, and evidence of industrial demand is a key requirement for funding. MTPs provide pump-prime funding for: the development of individual training modules and the preparation and marketing of course materials, and course launch. The application deadline is 16/07/14 but applicants should ensure applications are completed as far in advance of the published deadline as possible to enable institution checks to be carried out before final submissions.

The Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (Biotechnology YES), now in its 19th year, is an innovative competition for postgraduate and postdoctoral scientists which raises awareness of the commercialisation of ideas from the biosciences. The competition is organised jointly by The University of Nottingham – The Haydn Green Institute and the Innovation and Skills Group, BBSRC. There is a prize fund of £5,000, including a first prize of £2,500. Closing date; 13/06/14.

EPSRC and ESRC invite applications for proposals to support networking in challenge themes related to Re-Distributed Manufacturing. There is a budget of £3 million for this activity and it is anticipated that up to six Network awards will be funded, addressing a variety of distinctly different research challenge themes. Networks should bring together a multidisciplinary group of researchers to address key challenges related to Re-Distributed Manufacturing. Although some Networks may have a primarily technology or societal focus, RCUK consider this field of research to require insights from multiple disciplines and perspectives in order to be fully addressed. There will be a Town Meeting on 02/06/14 with applications to be submitted by 13/08/14. 

 EPRSC in collaboration with the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology (MEXT) and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) seek collaborative research applications in severe nuclear accident studies and environmental safety. This call represents the first phase of this new collaboration and is for small projects of approximately two and a half years duration and is intended as a springboard for deeper and larger collaborations in the future. Closing date: 19/06/14.

EPSRC, as part of its contribution to the RCUK Energy Programme, invites proposals for collaborative research projects to undertake fundamental research to tackle challenges in Conventional Power Generation. An indicative budget of up to £3M is available from EPSRC for this call. Cross-institutional bids are welcome. Proposals in the areas of Step change technologies and materials for future plant design and Integration of conventional plants with future technologies are sought. An expression of interest must be emailed by 16/06/14 with the full application submitted by 16/07/14.

On April 23rd, 2014, the EU’s Joint Programme for Neurodegenerative Disease (JPND) launched a rapid action call for leading scientists in the field to establish working groups to enhance the use of existing longitudinal cohort studies for ND research. JPND has decided that these issues can be progressed most effectively through assembling motivated groups of leading experts in the ND field. Accordingly community-led Working Groups are to be supported that can push forward the conceptualization of such topics in order to provide guidelines and/or best practice frameworks of value to the wider research community. Areas to be considered are highlighted on the website, although other topics that are similar in theme may be proposed. Up to €450,000 in total will be available to fund Working Groups under this call, with each working group able to bid up to €50,000 for support of its activities, which are expected to run for a maximum of 6 months. Closing date 16/06/14.

The MRC is committed to developing and sustaining a close and productive alignment with industry in the UK. As part of that commitment the MRC will fund approximately 30-35 individual Industrial CASE PhD studentships each year. These aim to provide doctoral students with a first-rate, challenging research training experience, within the context of a mutually beneficial research collaboration between academic and partner organisations in the private, public and civil society sectors. Closing date: 10/07/14 before 4pm.

The Max Perutz Science Writing Award aims to encourage and recognise outstanding written communication among MRC PhD students. The 2014 competition opens on 12/05/14 and they welcome entries from all MRC-funded PhD students. The judges will be looking for an article of up to 800 words that best answers the question, Why does my research matter? The winner will receive a first prize of £1,500.  The deadline for entries is 23:59 on Sunday 22 June 2014

Funding has been obtained from the MRC and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to equip the MRC Biomedical NMR Centre with a 950 MHz spectrometer as a shared-use national facility. Access allocations will be made by the NMR Centre’s Advisory Committee and the closing date for such applications is 02/06/14.

The Soil Security programme is a NERC-led five-year research programme funded by NERC, the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Scottish Government that aims to secure future soil quality to sustain ecosystems and the services they deliver to people – such as sustainable agriculture, flood and disease regulation, carbon storage and clean water. The Soil Security programme is aligned with the Global Food Security (GFS) programme, and with Defra activities in this area. NERC is inviting proposals for consortia projects requesting funds between £1m and £2·5m (80% FEC), and of up to three years’ duration, which will address the objectives of the programme as stated in the Announcement of Opportunity. Closing date: 30/07/14 by 4pm.

 Proposals are invited for a new funding opportunity as part of the Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) research programme funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and NERC. FCFA is a £20m international, interdisciplinary programme to advance scientific understanding and prediction of African climate variability and change to inform medium-term adaptation decisions (5-40 years) and develop the knowledge, tools and methods to better integrate this science into decision making today. The focus of this project will be on evaluating and developing the representation of processes affecting pan-African climate on timescales for adaptation (medium-term or 5 to 40 years) in general circulation models (GCM). This will include improving the understanding and representation of drivers, processes and feedbacks responsible for the greatest uncertainty in model representations of African climate. The intention is to deliver a step-change in the performance of GCMs for Africa and to make a long-term contribution to model development with an African lens. This will improve projections of future changes in rainfall and extreme weather for Africa, increasing availability of high quality, robust climate information across the continent. Up to £3m is available. An Intention to submit must be entered by 02/06/14 with the full application submitted by 16:00 local time on 05/06/14.

In addition, under the same scheme, NERC are inviting proposals for Regional Consortium Grants, where up to £4m funding is available. Outline proposals must be submitted by 16:00 local time on 15/07/14.

NERC invites applications for NERC Independent Research Fellowships in the priority area of Bioinformatics to deliver part of NERC Mathematics & Informatics for Environmental Omic Data Synthesis (Omics) research programme. The aim of these fellowships is to develop scientific leadership among the most promising early-career scientists, by giving all Fellows five years’ support, which will allow them sufficient time to develop their research programmes, and to establish international recognition. Through this call, NERC aims to support a minimum of six IRFs working in the area of environmental bioinformatics. This is the final year for this specialised opportunity with a closing date of 01/10/14.

NERC‘s CASE Studentships provide doctoral students with a first-rate, challenging research training experience, within the context of a mutually beneficial research collaboration between academic and partner organisations in the private, public and civil sectors. NERC studentships can be delivered in collaboration with partners from the private, public and civil sectors, and where studentships are delivered in collaboration they are referred to as CASE studentships. CASE studentships provide the PhD students with enhanced training opportunities by ensuring they spend between three and eighteen months with a CASE partner in a workplace outside the academic environment. Closing date: 10/07/14.

The Follow-on Fund is a ‘proof of concept’ fund to support the commercialisation of ideas arising from research funded by NERC. As the name suggests, the Follow-on Fund picks up where research programme and discovery science (responsive mode) grants leave off. It enables research programme and discovery science (responsive mode) grant research outputs to be further developed so their commercial potential can be realised. The maximum amount that can be bid for is £125k (£100k NERC contribution). NERC’s intention is that projects will run for 12 months or more. Closing date: 03/06/14 with a further call closing in mid-November 2014.

If interested in the NERC Follow-on Fund, the Pathfinder award is a compulsory precursor to a Follow-on Fund above. They are available to carry out work that will help you develop a greater understanding of the commercial aspects and possibilities of your research, and hence a more robust, better informed application for a full Follow-on Fund grant. Pathfinder grants are usually between £7k-£10k (100% full economic cost), although up to £20k is available in exceptional circumstances. This is a rolling programme and has no set closing date.

Alternatively, the aim of the Innovation Projects call is to increase and accelerate the uptake and impact of NERC funded research output by supporting translational and knowledge exchange activity which delivers direct tangible and demonstrable benefits to end users, particularly businesses. The call will support projects that are likely to generate little or no commercial return, but which will deliver impact. Activities can include products, models, tools, internships or secondments. Ineligible activities are Networks, dissemination websites, events and publications, consultancy, report production, projects focussed solely on training, activity between only different sections of the academic research base or between the research base and the general public and commercialisation activities. The maximum amount that can be bid for is £125k (£100k NERC contribution). The grants are expected to start in October 2014 and last for 6 months. Closing date: 03/06/14 with a further call closing in mid-November 2014.

The TSB is to invest up to £2.5m in projects that will explore ways of deriving value from consumers’ interaction with digital content. They are hoping to interest businesses with expertise in data analytics, security, online payments; those who create value from data and digital assets; and also those that engage with customers through internet and mobile service channels. The deadline for registration is at noon on 11/06/14 and the deadline for applications is noon on 18/06/14.

The TSB, together with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Scottish Government, are to invest up to £16.5m in business projects to tackle challenges posed by crop and livestock diseases.  Effective control of agricultural disease plays an essential role in realising the yield and market potential of crop and livestock production systems. This competition will stimulate innovative technologies and approaches that optimise yield and quality by targeting bacterial, fungal and viral pathogens.   The call will also support technologies that improve prediction, identification and detection of pathogens for better disease management and raw material quality as well as reduced losses during postharvest storage. Project proposals must be business-led and collaborative and are open to businesses of any size and research organisations. Registration closes at noon on  11/06/14 with submission by noon on 18/06/14.
Through the TSB, funding will be provided by the Home Office’s Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST). CAST exists to protect the public using science and technology by providing high quality, impartial advice, innovative solutions and frontline support to the Home Office and its partners, including the Police.  Misuse of alcohol and drugs is a significant issue in the UK. Reliable and accurate tests for the concentration of alcohol and drugs in the body support a number of Home Office policy initiatives including tackling drink and drug driving. Through this call for proposals, CAST aim to achieve a step-change in the detection of alcohol and drugs simultaneously in the human body through developing a non-intimate, rapid screening test.  The intention is that such a test would be mobile and rapid and is initially intended to be for screening of subjects, but evidential use would be considered should the accuracy and procedural robustness of the test be sufficiently reliable. Registration closes on 02/07/14 with full applications to be submitted by noon on 09/07/14.
The TSB, Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are to invest up to £2.75m in collaborative feasibility studies to stimulate innovation across four technology areas that will enable and underpin UK growth: advanced materials; biosciences; electronics, sensors and photonics, and information and communications technology(ICT). The aim is to ensure that small and micro businesses in the UK are well equipped, and suitably integrated within supply chains, to respond to market opportunities across a range of economic sectors. Projects must be led by a small or micro company, in collaboration with one or more business or research partners. it is expected that  projects will range from total costs of £50k to £150k, and to last from six to 15 months. Registration closes at noon on 18/06/14 and the call closes at noon on 25/06/14.

 The Wellcome Trust has announced their Early Career Fellowships for Researchers in India. This scheme provides a unique opportunity for the most promising postdoctoral researchers to carry out research in India. Applicants are expected to identify an important biomedical research question and design a project that would help answer this question. The proposal would also suggest how the proposed work would help develop the applicant’s future independent research program. Submitted proposals are expected to be globally competitive. Applicants may wish to set up long term training or collaborative visits (work outside Host Institution) for up to 24 months. These visits may be to other leading laboratories, anywhere in the world. The total award for an Early Career Fellowship typically amounts to INR 1.5 Crores. Closing date for preliminary application: 12/06/14 with full invited submission in September 2014.

 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.

As announced previously, Research Professional will not be available briefly on 15th May due to system upgrades.

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.

Professor Adrian Newton in National Geographic

BU’s Professor Adrian Newton has featured in a National Geographic article ‘Apples of Eden: Saving the Wild Ancestor of Modern Apples’.

Reporter Josie Glausiusz explores the endangered wild fruit trees of Central Asia, drawing on Professor Newton’s expertise and experiences working to protect the fruit and nut forests in Kyrgyzstan.

In the article Professor Newton explains the genetic importance of the fruit there: “All of the apples that we’re eating today and cultivating originate from this area. So if we want to add genetic variation to our crops to cope with new pests or climate change, then the genetic resource is these forests. It’s true for apples, apricots, peaches, walnuts, pears. In terms of a wild genetic resource for cultivated fruit trees, there’s nothing like it on the planet.”

Read the full article, ‘Apples of Eden: Saving the Wild Ancestor of Modern Apples’, online here.

HSC paper cited over hundred times in Scopus

The academic publisher Elsevier alerted us today that our paper has been cited for the 101st time in Scopus.  The paper ‘Factors affecting the utilization of antenatal care in developing countries: Systematic review of the literature’ was published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.  The paper was part of the first author’s Ph.D. research into maternity care in Nepal.

This paper is one of the four outputs submitted to the UK REF for both Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen as part of the Bournemouth University submission and for Dr. Padam Simkhada as part of the University of Sheffield submission.



Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH, School of Health & Social Care

HSC study focus of Independent newspaper article

Professor Colin Pritchard

Published research in the Journal for the Royal Society of Medicine Open (JRSM Open for short), conducted by Professor Colin Pritchard and Andrew Harding in HSC, is today (Friday 02/05/14) the focus of an article in the Independent newspaper.

Andrew Harding

After the Francis Report into the scandal at Mid Staffordshire lay considerable blame at the Board for failing to tackle “…an insidious culture…focused on doing the system’s business – not that of the patient…”, Professor Pritchard and Andrew Harding looked at the occupational backgrounds of non executive directors (NEDs) of 146 NHS acute trusts (n=1,001 NEDs). The NHS is modelled on corporate governance, where a board of directors are scrutinised and held to account by non executive directors.

Considering NEDs principle task is to hold the executive, and thus the NHS, to account, the study found a shocking lack of non executive directors with medical, clinical or patient representation or background. As the Independent headline indicates, only 8% of non executive board members were healthcare professionals. Instead, it was far more prevalent and common for non executive directors to be from a commercial, or financial background – with a high proportion having been employed or current employees of major financials firms such as Deloite, KPMG, Grant Thornton, Merrill Lynch, Price-WaterHouse Coopers and JP Morgan. Females NEDs and those from ethnic minorities were also found to be in short supply.

For a full breakdown of the findings the article can be found, and is openly available here.


Panel discussion at Conference of the Canadian Society Sociology of Health Montreal 2014

Bournemouth University Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen was invited to take part in a panel discussion at the 4th Conference of the Canadian Society of Sociology of Health.  The panel consisted of academics are long-term collaborators on a project called Birth by Design (BBD).  The meeting was made possible by fellow BBD collaborator Prof. Ivy Bourgeault (University of Ottawa).

The BBD collaboration comprises academics from a range of different scholarly backgrounds including sociology, political science and midwifery.  The group started in 1997 with international colleagues who worked originally on a collaborative project called ‘Birth in Europe and North-America’.  This work resulted in the book Birth by Design1 and many papers in major sociology academic journals including Sociology of Health & Illness and Social Science & Medicine.2-10





The panel discussion was introduced and led by BBD collaborator Prof. Cecilia Benoit (University of Victoria, Canada). Dr. Sirpa Wrede (University of Helsinki) outlined the BBD project and the new methodological insights it provided at the time of cross-national comparative research into maternity care.  Prof. Raymond DeVries (University of Michigan & Maastricht Universiteit) spoke of the difficulties Dutch midwives face in their effort to maintain the unique maternity care system in the Netherlands.   Prof. Gene Declercq (Boston University School of Public Health) presented findings of a study of US mothers.  Prof. Jane Sandall (King’s College London) spoke about the policy implementation gap and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen reminded the audience to keep a theoretical perspective in mind when conducting comparative research in general.     Prof. Bourgeault had organised that all slides were translated in the French as the conference was bi-lingual.


Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen





  1.  DeVries, R., Benoit, C., Teijlingen van, E. & Wrede, S. (eds.) (2001) Birth by Design: Pregnancy, Midwifery Care and Midwifery in North America and Europe, New York: Routledge.     Birth by Design was short-listed for the 2004 BSA Medical Sociology Book Prize!
  2. van Teijlingen, E.R., Sandall, J., Wrede, S., Benoit, C., DeVries, R., Bourgeault, I. (2003) Comparative studies in maternity care RCM Midwives Journal 6: 338-40.
  3. DeVries, R., Wrede, S., van Teijlingen E., Benoit, C. & Declercq, E. (2004). Making Maternity Care: The Consequences of Culture for Health Care Systems. In: Vinken, H., Soeters, J. & Ester, P. (Eds.), Comparing Cultures, Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 209-231.
  4. Benoit, C. Wrede, S., Bourgeault, I, Sandall, J., DeVries, R., van Teijlingen E. (2005) Understanding the social organisation of maternity care systems: Midwifery as a Touchstone, Sociology of Health & Illness, 27(6): 722-737.
  5. Wrede, S., Benoit, C., Bourgeault, I.L., van Teijlingen E.R., Sandall, J., De Vries, R. (2006) Decentered Comparative Research: Context Sensitive Analysis of Health Care, Social Science & Medicine, 63: 2986-2997.
  6. van Teijlingen, E.R., Wrede, S., Benoit, C., Sandall, J., De Vries, R. (2009) Born in the USA: Exceptionalism in Maternity Care Organisation Among High-Income Countries Sociological Research Online, 14(1)
  7. Sandall, J., Benoit, C., Wrede, S., Murray, S.F., van Teijlingen E.R., Westfall, R. (2009) The reconfiguration of professional relations with clients: social service professionalism or market expert? Current Sociology 57(4): 529–553.
  8. Bourgeault, I.L., Declercq, E., Sandall, J., Wrede, S., Vanstone, M., van Teijlingen E. DeVries, R. & Benoit, C. (2008) Too posh too push? Comparative perspectives on maternal request caesarean sections in Canada, the US, the UK and Finland. In: Chambré, S.M. & Goldner, M. (eds.) Advances in Medical Sociology Patients, consumers and civil society. Vol. 10. London: JAI Press, 99-123.
  9. Sandall, J., Benoit, C., van Teijlingen E., Wrede, S., Declercq, G. & De Vries, R. (2012) Gender and maternal healthcare. In: Kuhlmann E. & Annandale, E. (eds.) Palgrave Handbook of Gender & Healthcare (2nd edn.). Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 389-404.
  10. Benoit, C., Sandall, J., Benoit, C., Murray, S.F., van Teijlingen E., Wrede, S., Declercq, G. & De Vries, R. Maternity Care as Global Health Policy Issue. In: E. Kuhlmann, E., Bourgeault, I. (eds.) Palgrave International Handbook on Health Care Policy & Governance,  Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming).

Grants Academy to the Rescue! Last chance until the Autumn!

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

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

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

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

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

How do I apply? To apply for a place, please contact me Dianne Goodman and I will send you a Membership Agreement Form that will need to be signed by you, your line manager and your DDRE.

The next training sessions due to take place on the: 12th and 13th of May and the 9th of June 2014 and will be the last until the Autumn

Due to our Grants Academy scheme’s success you may be added to a waiting list if no spaces are available on this training session. We are hoping to announce further Grants Academy sessions in the Autumn. You are welcome to apply and register for these Grants Academy sessions and we are happy to put your name on our list.

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

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

Grants Academy Next Workshops – get yourself booked in today – I have only a few spaces left!!

AHRC funded Digital Reading Symposium at the EBC on 19 June

The AHRC-funded Digital Reading Network will be hosting its first symposium on 19 June.  The event will take place in the Executive Business Centre at Bournemouth University.  All are welcome to attend this free event but please note that places are limited.


Bob Stein, a pioneer of electronic publishing and founder of the Institute for the Future of the Book, will be our keynote speaker.  Bob will be discussing his latest venture, SocialBook, a new digital publishing platform which promises to take the idea of social reading to a new level.


The day will feature contributions from international scholars and practitioners drawing on a wide range of approaches and methods in an attempt to understand the momentous changes affecting readers and reading in the digital age.


Topics discussed will include

  • Ebooks and ereaders
  • Online book clubs and discussion forums
  • Reading and social media
  • Digital well being
  • Artists’ books
  • Digital comics


As well as scholarly papers, the day will include workshops, roundtable discussions, exhibitions and poster presentations.


Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Further details of the programme and travel and accommodation information are available on the DRN website (


To register your place, please contact


Latest Major Funding Opportunities

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

BBSRC are supporting the delivery of events to facilitate discussion and improve awareness of knowledge exchange and commercialisation (KEC) of BBSRC-funded research. BBSRC will contribute up to £2,000 in grants towards costs of external speakers, room booking, time spent in organising the event and other reasonable costs. The cost of lunch and refreshments will not be covered. No deadline given.

The RCUK Energy Programme, via EPSRC, invites expressions of interest from those willing to attend a workshop in London to scope a joint call between UK and the Republic of South Korea in civil nuclear research. The workshop will consider issues around decommissioning and radioactive waste treatment and disposal. The workshop will begin at 10:00 on the 7th July and will finish at 16:00pm on the 8th July. There will be a dinner on the night of the 7th July. To attend this workshop, the EoI should be submitted by 16/05/14. Successful applicants will be invited by 06/06/14.

EUREKA  has launched a new call for technological innovation projects. Each project must meet two main elements. First, a project needs to be transnational and involve at least two companies from two different EUREKA member countries. Secondly, the project has to develop high-tech marketable products, technology-based services or methods: any technologies and applications are welcome as long as they have a strong market potential. Applications must be submitted by 01/08/14.

It is vital that the knowledge and expertise arising from science funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is harnessed for the benefit of a wide range of stakeholders. To facilitate this, NERC wishes to fund scientists to apply their knowledge and skills to support decision-makers dealing with the challenge of managing environmental risks to infrastructure. NERC has up to £600k available for this call. NERC would like to fund a range of projects from short term (3-6 month) projects, which explore the value of environmental science to a stakeholder organisation, to longer-term (up to 18 months) projects which develop environmental science into solutions to address the challenge of managing environmental risks to infrastructure. There will be a Brokerage workshop on 20/05/14. Closing date for proposals: 16:00 on 19/06/14.

The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £5m in projects that stimulate innovation in the UK location-based services sector. The aim of the competition is to support projects that capitalise on the increasing accuracy, coverage and speed of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) such as GPS and other non-satellite technologies such as iBeacon, Wi-Fi and radio frequency identification (RFID) to build innovative location-based services or improve the user experience of existing services. Proposals must be collaborative and business-led although project partners can include research and non-profit organisations as well as other businesses. They expect to fund mainly industrial research projects in which two or more partners will attract up to 50% public funding for their eligible project costs (60% for SMEs). A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 06/05/14. Register by noon on 11/06/14 with full submission by noon on 18/06/14.

The Technology Strategy Board and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are to invest up to £2m in feasibility studies to encourage the development of innovative technologies for the safe and responsible exploitation of the UK’s shale gas resources. Projects can be collaborative or developed by a single business. The funders  are encouraging projects that involve technology transfer from other sectors, for example from the ICT, digital, space and high value manufacturing sectors. A briefing day and consortium-building event for potential applicants will be held on 09/07/14. Register by noon on 17/09/14 with full applications submitted by noon on 24/09/14.

The Wellcome Trust Translation Award develops innovative and ground breaking new technologies in the biomedical area. The current highlight concerns ‘Restoring the Body’ but projects covering any aspect of technology development from a range of disciplines – including physical, computational and life sciences – will be considered at any time. The deadlines in 2014 are: Concept note: 25/04/14, Preliminary deadline 13/06/14 and invitation to attend an interview for shortlisted candidates in January 2015. There are later dates in 2014 – 24/10/14 and 08/12/14, resepectively, with interviews in July 2015.

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.

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