Category / Research news

Midwifery-led antenatal care models

BU academics in CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinal Health) have been working with colleagues across the UK in the so-called McTempo Collaboration on mapping the key characteristics of midwifery-led antenatal care models. This week BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth published our paper that brings this evidence together [1].  The lead author of the paper, Dr. Andrew Symon, is based at the University of Dundee his co-authors are based at the University of Stirling, UCLAN, Queen’s University, Belfast, NHS Education for Scotland and Bournemouth University.  The McTempo (Models of Care: The Effects on Maternal and Perinatal Outcomes) collaboration is a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional research grouping established to explore and evaluate differentcare models used in maternity care.

Symon et al 2016 frameworkOur specific aim in this paper was to map the characteristics of antenatal care models tested in Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) to a new evidence-based framework for quality maternal and newborn care (QMNC) [2]. This offers the opportunity to identify systematically the characteristics of care delivery that may be generalizable across contexts, thereby enhancing implementation.  The paper concludes: “The QMNC framework facilitates assessment of the characteristics of antenatal care models. It is vital tounderstand all the characteristics of multi-faceted interventions such as care models; not only what is done but why itis done, by whom, and how this differed from the standard care package. By applying the QMNC framework we have established a foundation for future reports of intervention studies so that the characteristics of individual models can be evaluated, and the impact of any differences appraised.”

The paper has been published in an Open Access journal and is, therefore, easily available across the globe.



  1. Symon, A., Pringle, J., Cheyne, H., Downe, S., Hundley, V., Lee, E., Lynn, F., McFadden, A., McNeill, J., Renfrew, M., Ross-Davie, M., van Teijlingen, E., Whitford, H, Alderdice, F. (2016) Midwifery-led antenatal care models: Mapping a systematic review to an evidence-based quality framework to identify key components and characteristics of care BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 16: 168
  2. Renfrew MJ, McFadden A, Bastos MH, Campbell J, Channon AA, Cheung NF, Audebert Delage Silva DR, Downe S, Kennedy HP, Malata A, et al. (2014) Midwifery and quality care: findings from a new evidence-informed framework for maternal and newborn care. The Lancet, 384(9948): 1129-1145.

Making the Most of Writing Week Part 2: Research grant applications – building a team

Next week (25-29 July) is Writing Week in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences. A whole week dedicated to freeing up some time for academic writing. So, how can you make the most of this opportunity? Over the next few days, we’ll give you some tips on ways to spend your Writing Week as well as letting you know which members of the BU Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) team can help you and when they are available.

Writing Week is not just about writing papers – it also provides an opportunity to finally start thinking about that piece of research you’ve been dying to do. In BUCRU we have a wealth of expertise to support health research, and several members of our team are also members of the NIHR Research Design Service (more to come on that in a later blog). The next few posts cover our speciality subject – research grant applications.

Step 2 is thinking about your research team. You might have a great idea for a research project, but do you have the right people to ensure a strong, supportive team who can deliver the research? Depending on your research question, you might need a multi/interdisciplinary team of academics from different disciplines, clinicians, nurses, Allied Health Professionals etc. You may have a good network around you already, but what do you do if you don’t? Lisa Gale-Andrews is Clinical Research Co-ordinator in BUCRU, and can help facilitate research collaborations particularly with clinicians in the local health service and with academics across Faculties. Please contact Lisa ( if you’re looking for contacts and for support in building your research team. She will be available all day Mon-Thurs during Writing Week if you’d like to pop in (R506).

There’s more to come on grant applications over the next few days including choosing a funder, research design, and the importance of patient and public involvement (PPI).

UKRO Conference Report – important EU funding updates

UKRO logoThe UK Research Office (UKRO) is the European office of the UK Research Councils. It delivers a subscription-based advisory service for research organisations (in the main UK HEIs) and provides National Contact Point services on behalf of the UK Government. UKRO’s mission is to maximise UK engagement in EU-funded research, innovation and higher education activities. One way UKRO supports this mission is through the annual conference.

The slides are publicly available via the UKRO website. To access further subscriber-only information, including events notifications and news, BU staff members can register today!

The 2016  UKRO Annual Conference took place at Glasgow ​Caledonian University in Glasgow on Thursday 30th June and Friday 1st July 2016.​​ Please follow the links below to access slides and other information from the event:

Conference Programme​​

Biographies of Speakers


Thursday 30 June 2016

Opening plenary session

Horizon 2020: Are We On the Path to Success?
Mr Wolfgang Burtscher (DG RTD, Deputy Director General)

European Research Council: An Update and Future Directions
Mr Theodore Papazoglou (ERCEA, Head of Unit, Support to the ERC Scientific Council)

Parallel sessions 1

A) Horizon 2020 Health Challenge: Zika, Ebola & Antimicrobial Resistance
Ms Line Matthiessen (DG RTD, Head of Unit, Fighting Infectious Diseases and Advancing Public Health)

B) Being Ethics Ready and Compliant
Ms Maria Filipa Ferraz De Oliveira (ERCEA, Head of Ethics Sector)

C) Horizon 2020 Funding for Research into Migration and Mobility
Ms Elisabeth Lipiatou (DG RTD, Head of Unit, Open and Inclusive Societies)

Parallel sessions 2

A) Marie Skl​odowska-Curie Actions Reporting: IT’s That Time of the Year Again…
Ms Cathy Souto Enriques (REA, MSCA Project Advisor)

B) Funding Research for a Secure Society
​Mr Graham Willmott (DG HOME, Head of Unit, Innovation and Industry Security)​

Friday 1 July 2016

Open Innovation: The Future of EU Innovation Funding? Ideas for Creating a European Innovation Council
Ms Sophie Laurie (NERC, Associate Director of Innovation and Translation)
Mr Matthew King (DG RTD, Head of Unit Open Innovation)​​

Parallel sessions 3

A) Open to the World: Co-Funded Calls and How it Works in Practice
Mr Diego Sammaritano (DG RTD, Policy Officer, R&I Cooperation with China)

B) Open Science: Opening Up Scientific Information in Horizon 2020
Ms Joy Davidson (Collaborative Research & Services Provision Manager, University of Glasgow)

Parallel sessions 4

ELO Profiles for the Future of EU Funding
Ms Angela Noble (University of Edinburgh, Manager – Europe)
Ms Philippa Shelton (University of the West of England, Bristol, Senior Research Business Development Manager)
Ms Kimberly Cornfield (UCL, Head of EU Proposal Management)

Managing Intellectual Property in Horizon 2020
Mr Jakub Ramocki (EU IPR Helpdesk, Intellectual Property Advisor)

If you would like to discuss potential EU funding activity, please contact Emily Cieciura, RKEO’s Research Facilitator: EU & International. To see related articles, just search for ‘UKRO’ on the BU Research blog.


Retaining Special Constables…Myth v Reality!

Hard at Work...Analysing Interview Data!

Hard at Work…Mapping Interview Data!

Dr Lois Farquharson is working on an exciting research project for Dorset Police and Devon & Cornwall Police which focuses on the lived experience of Special Constables and its impact on retention.  This research is being undertaken jointly with Dr Iain Britton and Dr Matt Callender from The Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice (IPSCJ) at University of Northampton.  We are also delighted to have a BU MBA student, Steven Kueberuwa, involved in the project.

Key areas which the project delves into in detail are:

  • Motivations and expectations when joining the force
  • Recruitment and training
  • Knowledge translation, development and pathways to independence
  • Worklife balance and impacts on ‘being’ a Special Constable
  • Relationships, support and morale
  • Organisational culture and environment
  • Job satisfaction and future intentions

Individual in-depth interviews have taken place with Special Constables across both constabularies from May through July.  Today was our first workshop focusing on mapping the data – intense, but very enjoyable – watch this space for more info on findings and outputs in due course.

Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing: The Challenges for Public Health, Law & Ethics

A one-day Workshop on 20 July 2016, hosted by the Centre for Conflict, Rule of Law and Society at Bournemouth University and exploring recent developments in prenatal screening and the resulting challenges for public health, the law and ethics.

Aims of the Workshop:
The UK already operates a fairly comprehensive prenatal screening programme. The discovery of cell-free fetal DNA in maternal blood has made it possible to undertake additional, accurate and reliable tests that present minimal risk to mother and the developing fetus. The UK RAPID evaluation study1 has recently reported on the contingent use of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for Down’s syndrome and the UK National Screening Committee (UKNSC) will shortly have to make a decision about the public provision of these tests within the NHS.
This event will draw upon contributions from speakers from a wide range of disciplines and will explore a variety of medical, social, ethical and legal perspectives. The aim of the day will be to identify benefits, challenges and possible outcomes for this new technology.
We are pleased to announce that the workshop will be chaired by Professor Roger Brownsword of Kings College London & Bournemouth University. Contributors will include speakers from UKNSC and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

Date : 20th of July 2016

Location: Bournemouth University, Executive Business Centre (7th Floor, EB708), 89 Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth, BH8 8EB

More information can be found here. 

Lunchtime Seminar: CBT for MS Fatigue – from individual to technology-based interventions – 29th July 2016

bucru identity


Dr Kirsten Van Kessel a clinical psychologist from the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand is visiting Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit as part of study leave

You are cordially invited to a lunchtime research seminar she is presenting which is open to all students and staff. (Please feel free to bring your lunch).

“Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis Fatigue: from individual to technology-based interventions”

by Dr Kirsten van Kessel

Friday 29 July 2016

13.00 – 13.50pm

Create Lecture Theatre, Fusion Building, Talbot Campus


There have been promising findings of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approaches delivered by health professionals for the management of Multiple Sclerosis fatigue, including one-on-one and group based delivered CBT. However, such health professional delivered interventions for fatigue management can be impractical due to a shortage of trained therapists, limited access to rehabilitation and funding constraints. As such, exploring and evaluating alternative delivery mechanisms for CBT is an important area in clinical intervention research. This presentation will focus on how evidence based individual and group delivered CBT protocols have been used to develop technology based interventions for Multiple Sclerosis fatigue.


Dr Kirsten van Kessel is a Clinical Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand.  She has particular interest and expertise in CBT and its application to mental and physical health problems. Her doctoral thesis was a randomised controlled trial assessing the efficacy of CBT for people with multiple sclerosis fatigue. Current research interests include evaluating CBT for psychological and/or physical health issues, as well as the development and evaluation of eHealth interventions.

Jo Johnson to be quizzed on Brexit

House of Lords1The House of Commons’ Science and Technology Select Committee will today (13/7/16) hold an evidence session on the implications of Brexit for science and research. Jo Johnson will be appearing before the committee alongside Professor Philip Nelson of RCUK and several senior officials from BIS. Johnson has signalled his commitment to make Brexit work for universities, and has stated that ongoing projects such as Horizon 2020 should be carrying on as normal.

You can watch the evidence session here from 9.30am onwards.

British Academy launches interdisciplinarity report

BA IDR ReportThe British Academy has today published a report examining the opportunities and barriers to interdisciplinarity, from the point of view of all research career stages and institutional levels.

Crossing paths: interdisciplinary institutions, careers, education and applications considers support for interdisciplinary research (IDR) across the UK’s research and higher education sector, with a focus on university structures, funding, and evaluation. Case studies on interdisciplinarity at the undergraduate level and on how interdisciplinary research can influence public policy are also provided.

Finding broad and deep support for IDR, Crossing paths makes recommendations to allow researchers, including those early in their career, to pursue high quality IDR alongside, or as part of, cultivating an academic home, a secure base from which to carry out IDR.

The report is based on a call for evidence as well as roundtable discussions and visits to interdisciplinary research centres at UK universities.

Professor Roger Kain FBA, VP for Higher Education and Research at the British Academy, said:

“This report tackles an important topic at a turbulent time for the UK’s higher education sector, which is being encouraged to place an even greater emphasis on IDR. The opportunities for IDR are enormous, enabling researchers to unpick some of society’s most complex challenges and bringing greater rigour to our understanding of our own disciplines. Adopting the recommendations in this report would mitigate some of the risks that currently exist to pursuing it.”

The full report is available to download at

Brexit and the implications for Open Access

Whilst it’s relatively early to predict what Brexit will mean for Open Access in the UK, JISC recently released a blog post outlining the main issues that will arise from the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

The blog post raises issues around the future of EU OA policy and also funding.

At the present time, it appears the main effect of Brexit will be to create greater reliance on Green OA (usually accepted, peer-reviewed versions of outputs) rather than gold paid open access owing to fluctuating financial markets and uncertainty surrounding future European funding.

Library and Learning Support have recently created a OA support video, looking at the benefits of OA and how you can make your research OA through engaging with BRIAN and BURO.

Please contact the BURO team with any queries you may have and we will be happy to help.

Don’t forget our guide Open Access and Depositing your research

Call for Gender Experts for Horizon 2020

We have received the following  invitation to join the Database of Gender Experts for European Research and Innovation.

Dr. Ineke Klinge, Chair H2020 Advisory Group on Gender, invites GenPORT members (free to register) to join the H2020 database as gender experts.

Horizon 2020 considers gender as a cross-cutting issue and it shall be adequately integrated in research and innovation content at the level of Work Programmes and projects. Applicants to Horizon 2020 calls are encouraged to include the gender dimension in their proposals. The European Commission is continuously looking for experts with gender expertise in all areas of Horizon 2020 calls to evaluate submitted research proposals.

To find experts with relevant expertise who are willing to evaluate research proposals, the Commission uses an online database. You can register your expertise for gender, and other areas in which you wish to be considered as an expert, in this database on the Participant Portal.

It is very important that you indicate your gender expertise next to your original / main area of training and this has now become much easier than in the past. The Commission therefore encourages you to signal your gender expertise, whether you register for the first time or would like to update your expertise. In the following links you will find:

1) Criteria for gender expertise, as established by the Horizon 2020 Advisory Group on Gender, and

2) Guidance on how to signal your gender expertise in the database prepared by the Gender Sector of DG Research and Innovation.

The European Commission will greatly appreciate your cooperation in increasing the number of experts with gender expertise in its expert database.

If you are keen to know more about gender in funding and participate in this group, please register on GenPORT.

RCUK GCRF Call for Evidence

RCUKlogoThe Government Spending Review on 25th November 2015 announced “a new £1.5 billion Global Challenges Research Fund, to ensure UK science takes the lead in addressing the problems faced by developing countries, whilst developing our ability to deliver cutting-edge research”. The Global Challenges Research Fund is a BIS initiative which operates across a number of delivery partners, including the Research Councils, National Academies and HEFCE.

The RCUK Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) represents the largest portion of this Fund. They have launched a call for evidence to gather your views on the high-level challenges that will form the basis of the funding calls from the GCRF Collective Fund, the information gathered will also be shared with the other delivery partners so that it may inform their own strategies. They would also like your views on the most effective ways of delivering GCRF.

They are seeking inputs from individuals and institutions across all academic disciplines, non-governmental organisation and industrial sectors both in and outside of the UK.

The results from the survey will be reviewed alongside feedback from the Town Meetings. They will share a short summary of evidence they have collected and outline how that has informed their strategy in the autumn.

This call for evidence forms part of a broader programme of strategic engagement activities taking place under the GCRF programme. They will be running focus groups later this year and opening a Call for Ideas early next year to generate priority themes within each challenge.

You can complete the survey by clicking the link below. The survey closes at 16.00 on 22 August:

Respondents are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the following background information whilst completing the survey:

Presentation PhD student Jib Acharya in Liverpool

Jib LJMU 2016Mr. Jib Acharya (FHSS) gave an interesting presentation yesterday about the qualitative research findings of his PhD at Liverpool John Moores University.  Jib’s PhD research focused on the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of poor women in Nepal about healthy eating and the study also identifies major food barriers.

His mixed-methods approach combines a quantitative questionnaire survey with qualitative research. Jib’s research project is supervised by Dr. Jane Murphy, Dr. Martin Hind and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen. Some of the preliminary findings of this FHSS thesis have already been published in two scientific journals [1-2].


  1. Acharya, J., van Teijlingen, E., Murphy, J., Hind, M. (2015) Assessment of knowledge, beliefs and attitudes towards healthy diet among mothers in Kaski, Nepal, Participation 17(16): 61-72.
  2. Acharya, J., van Teijlingen, E., Murphy, J., Hind, M. (2015) Study of nutritional problems in preschool aged children in Kaski District in Nepal, Journal of Multidisciplinary Research in Healthcare 1(2): 97-118.