Research, Innovate, Grow – RCUK’s vision for future investment in the UK research base

Research Councils UK  (RCUK) has articulated its vision for future investment in the UK research base, adopting the slogan “Research, Innovate, Grow” as an encapsulation of its current and future purpose.

RCUK, the UK’s biggest investors in public sector research, are committed to ensuring the UK remains the best place in the world to do research, innovate and grow business.  “Strong, sustained investment in the UK research base is essential to strengthen and let fly the excellence, creativity and impact of the UK’s world leading researchers, innovators and businesses. Only by doing this will we be able to address the challenges facing our society today and create the opportunities for business growth in the future,” said Professor Rick Rylance, Chair of RCUK.

Going forward RCUK will:

  • shape a world-leading research base with strength across disciplines
  • accelerate innovation and impact from this excellent research base
  • collaborate and co-invest with Innovate UK and other partners in the research and innovation ecosystem
  • drive new multidisciplinary research programmes
  • work together to maximise impact and further drive efficiency

“The world-leading UK research base attracts and retains global businesses in the UK and establishes the positive environment to generate new businesses and enable them to grow. This drives industrial sectors and enables national and regional economic growth,” Prof  Rylance said. “The breadth, quality and richness of the UK research base is unique. It enables us to address society’s challenges and business opportunities across the spectrum. It is a very precious resource and a superb advantage for the UK. We need to invest now to secure its future. We will be investing not just for now but for our children.”

RCUK is determined to build on this position through: 

  • sustained long-term investment in the research base
  • leveraging the UK’s position at the centre of the global research network
  • realising the full potential of the UK innovation ecosystem

“RCUK will continue to invest in the creation of new knowledge and drive innovation,” said Professor  Jackie Hunter, RCUK Impact Champion. “The collective ambition of the Research Councils is to maintain and further enhance the UK’s leading position as THE best place in the world to do research, innovate and grow a business. Only by doing this can the benefits of the research investment already made be secured, maximizing the UK research base’s contribution towards the creation of a strong economy and societal benefit now and in the future.”

The UK has 1% of the global population and only 3% of global funding for research yet produces 16% of the world’s most highly cited papers. Almost half of research articles published by UK researchers have international co-authors. Four of the world’s top 10 universities are in the UK. The Research Councils drive and enable researchers, business and partners to create knowledge and innovation for society, industry, Government and the third sector. RCUK funded researchers are more likely to collaborate with business than those funded through any other route.  The Research Councils co-deliver research and innovation with more than 2,500 businesses.

If you would like to contribute to the Nurse review of research councils, please see the blog post setting out BU procedure and deadlines.

ResearchKit: Apple harnesses the power of iPhone for medical research

For those of you who have an interest in Medical Research, there has been a very exciting development made in the field by Apple.

ResearchKit is Apple’s opt-in program for users to share their HealthKit data with medical researchers hoping to tackle a wide array of diseases.

ResearchKit will be an open source effort that pulls data from multiple sources including the Apple Watch and iPhone. It officially launches next month, but the first five applications are available today for interested users.

Apple’s launch partners for ResearchKit represent some of the premier medical institutions today, places like Penn Medicine, Stanford Medicine, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. For an example of one of the partnerships manifesting in the first five apps, Williams explained mPower. This allows anyone with an iPhone to contribute to Parkinson’s research by turning their device into a diagnostic tool. mPower includes a tapping test to evaluate hand tremors, a microphone “ahh” test to assess vocal chord variations, and a walk-test where the iPhone precisely measures a user’s gait. Other initial apps address medical initiatives such as breast cancer, asthma, and diabetes.

ResearchKit could offer scientists a sample size that was previously a rare occurrence. Apple CEO Tim Cook believes ResearchKit will change medical research in a way which is truly profound.

MRC removes PhD eligibility criteria for fellowships and launches career framework

Until now, the period within which someone could apply for an MRC fellowship has been different for different fellowships. The restrictions will be removed on 18 March, coincident with the launch of the career framework.

The MRC Interactive Career Framework was constructed following broad consultation with medical research groups and a review of medical research careers comprising interviews with nearly 400 non-clinical medical researchers, the MRC said. 

The interviews were conducted with MRC award winners, and focused on the ten to 20 years following their receipt of funding. One finding of the review was that 44 per cent of interviewees finished their PhD “with either no idea or only a general idea of what they wanted to do next”, the MRC said. In addition, 60 per cent said they had not received enough careers advice. 

The removal of the restriction on when researchers can apply for a fellowship was an outcome of the review. “Many of those who contributed to the review spoke of the lack of flexibility in making research career choices resulting from the fact that researchers have only a certain number of years after their PhD in which to apply for fellowships, after which point they’re ineligible,” the MRC said. 

The MRC is seeking feedback on the framework, which it says will be developed further with additional career routes, case studies and tools.

Nurse review of research councils: call for evidence

BIS (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) have launched a formal consultation on reviewing the research councils.  The deadline for responses to BIS is 17th April 2015 and BU will be submitting an institutional response that reflects the views of the majority of staff.

To facilitate the production of the institutional response the Deans of Faculty have been invited to each submit a Faculty-based response taking into account the views of academic colleagues.  It is of paramount importance that academic and research staff engage with this consultation for two reasons:

  1. Evidence is required on the balance of the funding portfolio and so potentially affects disciplines differently.
  2. Evidence is required on integrating with agencies and organisations and so would affect Faculties differently.

The call for evidence focusses on four areas: strategic decision-making, collaborations and partnerships, balance of the funding portfolio, and effective ways of working.

The full consultation document  can be accessed here:

The consultation refers to the triennial review of the research councils which can be accessed here:

How to contribute

To contribute to the consultation please send your comments using this form (Faculty response-Nurse-review-of-research-councils-call-for-evidence-form) to your Faculty contact by 27th March as follows:

HSS – Prof Gail Thomas

Management – Prof Keith Wilkes

Media – Stephen Jukes

SciTech – Prof Richard Stillman


19th March         Launch consultation internally

27th March         All individual feedback to be sent to the Deans

1st April               Each Dean to send a Faculty response to Jo Garrad

9th April               Jo Garrad to send a draft institutional response to John Fletcher

14th April            All final feedback to be sent to Jo Garrad

16th April            Deadline for submitting final institutional response to BIS

Location-based, mobile Augmented Reality Games: Creating Engaging Game Experiences with Tourism Urban Environments

Location-based, mobile Augmented Reality Games: Creating Engaging Game Experiences with Tourism Urban EnvironmentsWe would like to invite you to the next research seminar of the Creative Technology Research Centre.


Speaker: Jessika Weber

Title:          Location-based, mobile Augmented Reality Games: Creating Engaging Game Experiences with Tourism Urban Environments



Time: 2:00PM-3:00PM

Date: Wednesday 25 March 2015

Room: Stevenson LT, Poole House, Talbot Campus



Increasing usage of mobile devices has changed the way we perceive and connect with our environment. Location-based Augmented Reality games turn urban spaces into playgrounds in which stories and playfulness unfold their potential and create unique experience based on existing physical and historical elements mediated by mobile technology. Introducing these games into the context of travel and tourism, not much is known by game designers of how to address the requirements of tourists in order to create engaging experiences with the urban physical environment.

This study explores the game experience of tourists with two location-based, mobile AR games during playtests by combining mobile HCI, game design and tourist experience theory in order to understand the interaction with these games in a tourism context. The study applied a triangulation of qualitative methods to develop a theoretical framework for location-based, mobile AR games to create engaging experiences with the tourism urban environment.


We hope to see you there.


MIDWIFERY: Top five most down-loaded articles for 2014

 Today academic publisher Elsevier sent round an email with the top five most downloaded articles from the international journal Midwifery.

We were pleased to see that the fifth paper on that list is a BU paper jointly written with Dr. Helen Bryers, Consultant Midwife in Scotland. 


Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen



EPSRC launches a science and engineering blog

A new science and engineering blog will provide debate and opinion pieces from leading thinkers on research, innovation and science funding policy.

The blog, launched by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will seek contributions from scientists and engineers as well as EPSRC staff.

Announcing the launch, Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of EPSRC says; ‘We want the EPSRC blog to host debate, share thinking and provide different perspectives on topics affecting the engineering and physical sciences community.  It is vital that as a community we remain engaged on developments and issues. I hope the EPSRC blog will prove an additional and very useful tool in doing just that.’

Within the first blog post Professor Nelson sets out EPSRC’s strategic plan and outlines discussions around how research is best supported, the university eco-system and opportunities to support innovation.

Dr Nick Hawes, from the University of Birmingham, argues why scientists working in robotics and artificial intelligence need to engage with the public. His blog post sets out tips for public engagement, gives examples of robot demonstrations and tweeting robots, with data to demonstrate the worldwide online impact.

AHRC call for Nominations to their Peer Review College

Posted in Research news by Jo Garrad

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is seeking nominations for new members to be appointed to its Peer Review College (PRC). 

Peer review lies at the heart of the AHRC’s operations, and they are fully committed to the principle of peer review for the assessment of proposals to their schemes and programmes. PRC members provide expert quality reviews of proposals within their areas of expertise, which inform the AHRC’s decision making processes. As well as making an important contribution to the AHRC’s peer review processes, the experience gained by membership of the College will provide benefits to you, your department and to Bournemouth University.

Nominations are welcomed for either of the below Calls:

Call for Early Career Researchers (ECRs)

Eligibility – Nominations for all candidates who meet the eligibility for the PRC Academic group (ECR) and who meet the AHRC ECR criteria.  At the point of nomination to the college the nominee must be:

  • Within eight years of the award of their PhD or equivalent professional training or
  • Within six years  of their first academic appointment

Please be aware that current AHRC PRC members do not need to apply for this call. Former PRC members are only eligible to apply if their PRC membership ended before 16th April 2013.  For further information, read the ECR Call for Nominations advert (PDF 71KB, opens in a new window).

Call for membership of the Strategic and Technical reviewer groups

Eligibility – Nominations for all candidates, from any career stage, who meet the criteria for the Strategic or Technical groups of the AHRC PRC.  Current members are eligible to apply for this Call if they meet the criteria for one or either of these groups. Former PRC members are only eligible to apply if their PRC membership ended before 16th April 2013.  For further information, click here to view read the Strategic/Technical group Call for Nominations advert (PDF 85KB, opens in a new window).

The deadline for nominations to both Calls is 12 noon on 16th April 2015.

If successful, College members will be appointed for a term commencing 1 October 2015 and ending 31 December 2018.

If you have any queries regarding the nomination process please do not hesitate to contact:

Matthew Carr, AHRC Peer Review College Coordinator (Membership)

Email:; Tel: 01793 416069

Sport Management Researcher Top-Cited Author in Leading Journal

The latest ABS Journal Guide has lifted an article first-authored by Dr. Tim Breitbarth to be the single most-cited paper in the only 3* journal in the field of sport business.

Considering all major citation databases, Tim’s paper “The role of corporate social responsibility in the football business: Towards the development of a conceptual model” co-authored with Phil Harris in European Sport Management Quarterly (2008) is leaving the strongest footprint in the academic community.

Dr Tim Breitbarth from the Faculty of Management is a regular author, guest editor, project leader, track convener at international conferences as well as invited speaker on CSR in general and CSR in sport.


Full reference:

Breitbarth, T. & Harris, P. (2008): The role of corporate social responsibility in the football business: Towards the development of a conceptual model. European Sports Management Quarterly, 8(2): 179-206.



Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has attracted considerable interest in the management discipline, but has rarely been evaluated and explored in the sports management research arena. In evaluating the sports, management and marketing literature, this article considers the role of CSR in professional football. It argues that an increased awareness and integration of CSR into the football business fosters the competitiveness of the game and creates additional value for its stakeholders. The article proposes a conceptual model which outlines the agency role of football in order to create political, cultural, humanitarian and reassurance value. Empirical evidence supporting the model is applied based on case studies from four key countries that currently dominate the shaping of CSR discussion and are vital for the game itself: England, Germany, Japan and the US. The article’s aim is to encourage sports management to see CSR as an opportunity-driven concept, which can assist in achieving better strategic direction, and outlines areas where future research can improve sport management’s appreciation of this rapidly more important topic.


If you are applying to the research councils soon, please note Je-S unavailability

Please note that the Je-S system (the research councils e-submission site) will be unavailable from 16:00 GMT on Thursday 16th April 2015 until 08.30 GMT on Wednesday 22nd April 2015.  Further details are available on the Je-S Login page.

This is a significant amount of down time and so please bear this in mind if you are writing an application for funding to the research councils.

AHRC Advisory Board vacancies

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is seeking expressions of interest from suitably experienced individuals in the academic and non-academic sectors to join the Advisory Board in 2015.

AHRC funds research and post graduate training across a wide disciplinary remit as well as facilitating opportunities for researchers to engage in international, knowledge exchange, partnerships and public policy activities. It is a non-departmental government body sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is governed by the Council, which is responsible for the overarching strategic direction of the organisation.

The role of the Advisory Board is to advise AHRC Council and Executive on the development and implementation of strategic approaches to funding which reflect the challenges and opportunities arising for the arts and humanities research and those that engage with it.

The Board is looking particularly for expertise in the following areas:

  • Classics and/or Archaeology
  • Design
  • Digital Humanities
  • Performing Arts
  • Music
  • Theology
  • Modern Languages
  • Voluntary Sector

Please see the Terms of Reference for the Advisory Board (PDF 35KB, opens in a new window) and the Role and Person Specification (PDF 90KB, opens in a new window), which outline the skills and experience AHRC require for potential Board members.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Board please submit an Expression of Interest form (Word 37KB, opens in a new window) (no longer than 500 words) outlining (in no more than 500 words) how you meet the criteria required, together with a short CV (no longer than 2 sides of A4) and the Equal Opportunities form (Word 41KB, opens in a new window) (which is not seen by the panel) to Rose Easton ( by the deadline of 4pm on 20 April 2015.

Interviews will take place at Medical Research Council, Kemble St, London on 14 May 2015.

AHRC will seek to ensure a healthy balance of institutional and regional representation on the Board. AHRC is committed to openness and transparency of process and to provide equal opportunities to all, irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, marital status, religion, sexual orientation, transgender and working patterns.

If you have any question concerning the vacancies, please contact Rose Easton on 01793 416014 or email

BU successful in retaining EC HR Excellence in Research Award!

Good news – BU has been successful in retaining the European Commission HR Excellence in Research Award and is now one of 72 universities in the UK who have successfully passed their two-year review.

The Award demonstrates BU’s commitment to aligning process and practice to the UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and therefore improving the working conditions and career development for research staff. In turn this will improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy. The two year review required BU to highlight the key achievements and progress we have made since we gained the Award in January 2013 and to outline the focus of our strategy, success measures and next steps for the following two years.

Key achievements made at BU since 2013 in support of this agenda include:

You can read our progress review and future action plan (2015-17) in full here:

Since 2012 the EC have been exploring a ‘stronger’ implementation approach, including the potential for using quality standards and/or a more formal certification/accreditation process for HR management of researchers across Europe. Recently a new expert group has been appointed to further discussions and Vitae’s recent event, on 23 January, enabled Award holders to provide input into the current five-step process and moving towards a ‘quality assessment’. Detail and outcomes from the event can be found here.

Read the full announcement on the Vitae website here:

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