Category / Research news

White paper on Higher Education published today

bis-headerLogoAhead of the Queen’s speech on 18 May, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published a press statement outlining the main content of its white paper on higher education. In it BIS said that the government wanted to create a single organisation called UK Research and Innovation to bring together the seven research councils and Innovate UK under a single umbrella, although ensuring that the agencies retained “their identities and delegated budgets”.

At the same time BIS proposed stripping the Higher Education Funding Council for England of its research and knowledge exchange functions, including QR funding, which will be transferred to UK Research and Innovation.

The white paper, called Success as a Knowledge Economy, follows a public consultation launched in November.

By the end of the week, BU’s Policy and Public Affairs office will provide an analysis of what this means for the university, and what actions will follow.  Keep an eye on the research blog for further news and details of internal workshops to be held.  Wonkhe has published a blog outlining the ‘hopes and fears’ of the white paper which you can see here. The blog includes a comment from BU’s Jane Forster.

You can read a summary of the white paper in an article published by Research Professional.


How can working with the media help generate impact from your research?

Join us on Tuesday 24 May and Thursday 26 May to find out how researchers can reach a wider audience and effectively use the media to increase the impact of their research.

The PR Team here at BU will take you through traditional and social media channels that can be used to communicate your research findings to both the general public and more specialised audiences. You will receive tips on how to work effectively with the media and find out how BU can support this process.

Dr Sarah Bate will then talk you through her experiences of engaging with the media, presenting a key impact case study that has extensively used the media to generate and evidence impact.

Book your place via Eventbrite:
Tuesday 24 May – Lansdowne
Thursday 26 May – Talbot

The session will take place on Tuesday 24 May in the Executive Business Centre (EB306) Lansdowne campus from 12.30 – 14.00, and will be repeated on Thursday 26 May in Kimmeridge House (KG03) Talbot campus from 13.30 – 15.00. 


impact wordle 3

This session forms part of a series of research impact seminars and workshops, organised by RKEO to explore the various pathways to achieving societal and economic impact.  Within the series, attendees will explore methods for effectively engaging a variety of research users throughout the research process, and develop new ways to plan, deliver and evidence impact.


View the other events in the series or email Genna West for further information.

John Maddox Prize

Nominations are now open for the 2016 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science. Now in its fifth year, this unique international prize recognises the work of an individual who promotes sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest, facing difficulty or hostility in doing so.

Could you help spread the word and share this with your networks? (#MaddoxPrize on Twitter) And it would be great if you could start thinking about who you might nominate for the award. The deadline for entries is 1st August 2016.

John Maddox was a founding trustee of Sense about Science, and an inspirational figure to many. A passionate and tireless communicator and defender of science, Maddox engaged with difficult debates, inspiring others to do the same.

To nominate someone for the prize or find out more, please visit

For more info on Sense about Science, see

Brownsea Marine and Coastal Observatory

In the pioneering spirit that has characterised previous endeavours on Brownsea Island, a group of seven BU Environmental Science students and staff have been carrying out surveys and studies that will contribute to the creation of a Marine and Coastal Observatory for Poole Harbour. In a partnership that includes the National Trust, Dorset Wildlife Trust and Poole Harbour Study Group, the observatory will create a fusion of coastal research and teaching and provide student placement opportunities.

During this past week, students have been carrying out plankton surveys with Dr Dan Franklin, establishing intertidal monitoring stations and recording nesting bird behaviour on the lagoon with Dr Roger Herbert and Dr Rick Stafford and fieldwork linked to coastal sediment movements and cliff erosion with BU geomorphologists Andy Ford and Dr Luciana Esteves. We were grateful for excellent accommodation at the Dorset Wildlife Trust ‘Villa’ and boat and equipment logistics and transportation using the National Trust vessel Enterprise.   bvuvguer



Students on board Sea Rush sampling plankton with BU marine biologists Dr. Dan Franklin and visiting Prof. John Humphreys (jhc Research and Poole Port Commissioner).


Examining the catch in the National Trust ‘Sail Loft’.


View down the microscope showing copepods. On hand was BU Alumni and local plankton expert Andrew Powell from Poole Harbour Study Group.


Surveying beach profiles on the south-west coast.

Important aims of the Observatory are to create a web-based an inventory of marine life of the harbour and to publish reports and papers that record and interpret environmental change.

For further information contact Dr. Roger Herbert, Department of Life and Environmental Sciences.

Research Councils publish Delivery Plans for 2016-2020

RCUKlogoThe UK Research Councils have published their Delivery Plans for the period 2016-2020.

The plans outline how the Research Councils individually and collectively will use their allocations from the Science and Research Budget announced in March to meet their strategic aims and to support the research base to benefit the economy and wider society.

Each Research Council plan is available on their individual websites:

The RCUK Executive Directorate has published a Delivery Plan for the first time which is available here . The Executive Directorate was established a year ago from the former RCUK Strategy Unit to give leadership for the collective activities across the Research Councils and to support the individual Councils to focus on their disciplines and communities. The Directorate’s Delivery Plan outlines future plans for policy and analysis, international, communications and public engagement, the Global Challenges Research Fund and the RCUK Change Programme.

In addition to outlining individual priorities for this period the Research Council Delivery Plans provide information on collective commitments to reform of the Research Councils, equality and diversity, partnership with Innovate UK and the Global Challenges Research Fund.

A helpful summary of each councils delivery plan is provided by Research Professional.

Critical Review Of Vendor Lock-In And Its Impact On Adoption Of Cloud Computing

Vendor_Lock-InWe would like to invite you to the latest research seminar of the Creative Technology Research Centre.


Title: Critical Review of Vendor Lock-In and Its Impact on Adoption of Cloud Computing


Speaker: Justice Opara-Martins (Bournemouth University PhD student)


Time: 2:00PM-3:00PM

Date: Wednesday 11th May 2016

Room: P302 LT, Poole House, Talbot Campus



Vendor lock-in is a major barrier to the adoption of cloud computing, due to the lack of standardization. Current solutions and efforts tackling the vendor lock-in problem are predominantly technology-oriented. Limited studies exist to analyse and highlight the complexity of vendor lock-in problem in the cloud environment. Consequently, most customers are unaware of proprietary standards which inhibit interoperability and portability of applications when taking services from vendors. In this seminar, I will provide a critical analysis of the vendor lock-in problem, from a business perspective. A survey based on qualitative and quantitative approaches conducted in this study has identified the main risk factors that give rise to lock-in situations. The survey analysis of 114 UK IT practitioners shows that, as computing resources migrate from on-premise to the cloud, the vendor lock-in problem is exacerbated. Furthermore, the findings exemplify the importance of interoperability, portability and standards in cloud computing. A number of strategies are proposed on how to avoid and mitigate lock-in risks when migrating to cloud computing. The strategies relate to contracts, selection of vendors that support standardised formats and protocols regarding standard data structures and APIs, developing awareness of commonalities and dependencies among cloud-based solutions. We strongly believe that the implementation of these strategies has a great potential to reduce the risks of vendor lock-in.


We hope to see you there.


Lessons from Southern Health – leadership to support a culture of voice across complex integrated systems


Dr Lee-Ann Fenge

Over the past few years there have been a number of reports which have highlighted concerns about failures of care and patient safety within a range of NHS settings raising serious concerns about the leadership of such organisations. Most recently The Care Quality Commission has identified “serious concerns” about the safety of mental health and learning disability patients at Southern Health NHS Trust. The concerns highlight the failures of leaders to deliver, monitor, assure, and safeguard a culture of safety, quality, and compassionate care and services.

This inspection took place following the publication of an independent review (the Mazars report  that described a number of concerns about the way the Trust reported and investigated deaths, particularly of people using its mental health and learning disabilities services, and a lack of leadership, concerning the reporting and investigation of unexpected deaths of mental health and learning disability service users.

So what leadership challenges are there in turning this situation around? Undoubtedly there have already been improvements in the care offered within the Trust, and the commitment of staff to provide high quality care is beyond doubt. However, the problems result from on-going senior leadership failures within the organisation. Leadership is the most influential factor in shaping organisational culture (Faculty for Medical Leadership and Management, 2015), and is essential to ensure high quality, safe and compassionate healthcare. A key failing identified in Southern Healthcare concerns a lack of robust governance arrangements to investigate incidents, resulting in a lost opportunity to learn from these incidents.

This highlights the importance of senior leadership in establishing and maintaining a culture which is open, responsive and able to learn. Such a culture includes a climate in which communication is valued as a two process which values critical upward communication. This requires a culture of ‘voice’ in which concerns raised by patients, carers and staff are listened to and responded to appropriately. This was sadly lacking at Southern Health and action was not taken to address known risks to the safety of patients, including a lack of response to previous concerns highlighted by the CQC in January 2014, October 2014 and August 2015.

The Trust also failed to respond appropriately to staff concerns about their abilities to discharge certain roles and duties. This perhaps illustrates the failure of senior managers to create a culture of ‘psychological safety’ for staff in which to identify, respond and learn from these problems. Psychological safety has been shown to be a crucial element in organizational efforts to detect and prevent problems (Edmondson et al. 2016). A culture which provides psychological safety for staff embraces ‘challenge’ as a pivotal learning mechanism, and this is supported by the work of McSherry and Pearce (2016) who suggest that safe, quality care requires leaders who can challenge and be challenged.

It is important to learn from the failings of Southern Health. Increasingly NHS leaders need to be able to respond to growing complexity across integrated systems of care. They need the ability to support a system of communication which values the ‘voice’ of all stakeholders to create innovative solutions to 21st century challenges. This requires system leadership that works in partnership across organisations ‘to construct the services that are needed’ (HSJ, 2015:4). It also requires a commitment to create a shared vision of care which values the voice and presence of patients, carers and staff as key stakeholders.


McSherry, R.and Pearce, P. (2016) ‘What are the effective ways to translate clinical leadership into healthcare quality improvement?’ Journal of Healthcare Leadership; 2016 (8): 11-17

Keynote Speaker at BAM Marketing and Retail SIG Event on Sustainability and Ethical Consumption


Professor Juliet Memery was a keynote speaker last week at a British Academy of Management Event held at the Surrey Business School, University of Surrey. The event on Sustainability and Ethical Consumption was hosted by the BAM Marketing and Retail Special Interest Group and brought together academics and practitioners to discuss research in the area. The event aimed to make an assessment of sustainability and ethical consumption research by looking back at its original purpose, how it has developed, where it is now, and what it could or should develop into, so providing food for thought for future research in the area. The day was well attended with over 30 presentations being made and a lot of insightful discussions were held.

The event is tied to a special issue of ‘Management Decision’, a peer reviewed journal published by Emerald, on Sustainability and Ethical Consumption which will be edited by the co-organisers and keynote speakers. Details of the special issue will be advertised in the near future, and submissions are invited from researchers in the area.

ICERI2016 Announcement

We are glad to inform you that ICERI2016 (9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation) will be held on the 14th, 15th and 16th of November 2016, in Seville, Spain (

It will be very interesting for professionals in the area of Education, Research, Innovation. After 9 years, ICERI has become an annual meeting point for lecturers, researchers, professors, educational scientists and technologists Every year, ICERI brings together over 700 delegates from 80 different countries.

It will provide the ideal opportunity to present your projects and experiences to an international audience. Also, it will offer participants an overview of the current situation of education and new learning technologies.The deadline for abstract submissions is July 14th, 2016.

Abstracts should be submitted on-line at

ICERI2016 Proceedings will be reviewed for their inclusion in the ISI Conference Proceedings Citation Index (Web of Science). Previous editions are already indexed. Also, a DOI number will be assigned to each accepted paper.

AHRC Research in Film Awards opens for submissions

AHRC_logo_anniversaryThe Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is launching its 2016 Research in Film Awards in a bid to find new and emerging talent that straddle the worlds of both film making and arts and humanities research.

The 2016 awards will be judged by panel of academics and film industry experts. Awards will be made in five categories (see below) and the winner in each category will win £2,000 towards their future film-making activities.

  1. Best Research Film of the Year
  2. Doctoral Award
  3. Utopias Award: Imagining our Future
  4. Innovation Award
  5. Inspiration Award – Best film inspired by the arts and humanities (public category)

To get a feel for the what the Research in Film Awards are all about, watch this short highlights film from the 2015 event.

The call for applications closes at 5pm on 1 July 2016

For more information about this call, please visit the funding call page.


Pollinator Exchange HEIF project connects practitioners and academics in common pursuit of urban pollinator conservation

Pollinators are vitally important ecosystem service providers. They have been credited with being responsible for pollinating one-third of the food we eat; indeed many of our crops are wholly or partially dependent on insect pollination. Hence, the decline in pollinator populations has been a cause of concern not just for scientists, but for governments and the public at large. In the UK, this has led to an official government strategy on how to best protect our pollinators: the National Pollinator Strategy (Defra 2014).

Taking into account the growing number of studies that show the vitally important role urban areas can play in pollinator conservation, the strategy recognises pollinator-friendly management across towns and cities as a key component in nationwide efforts to halt their decline. While understanding of urban pollinators’ needs and experience in managing urban green spaces for their benefit is accumulating, it can often be difficult for practitioners to find the practical advice they need to implement the right measures. This was highlighted at a recent meeting co-organised by Defra and the University of Bristol’s Urban Pollinators Project which recommended the establishment of a central repository of information for urban practitioners.

BU’s Pollinator Exchange HEIF project, launched in October 2015 collaboratively between the Faculty of Science and Technology and the Media School, aims to fulfil this role. It will result in an online portal that links practitioners, academics, NGOs, private gardeners, ecological consultants and anyone else with an active interest in urban pollinator conservation. Users are invited to share relevant guidelines, case studies, summaries of peer-reviewed papers and other content that will help urban green space managers make pollinator-friendly choices based on the latest evidence.

The project is supported by Bournemouth Borough Council and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. A stakeholder workshop in May will provide potential users with the opportunity to comment on the portal’s content and usability, ensuring it will be both useful and intuitive when launched in July. For questions or feedback, please contact Project Manager Kathy Hodder ( or Research Assistant Arne Loth (