Category / Research news

New CMMPH paper published from COST collaboration

BMC Health Serv Res
This week saw publication of a new CMMPH paper in BMC Health Services Research.  This methodological paper ‘Assessing the performance of maternity care in Europe: a critical exploration of tools and indicators‘ is a collaboration between several European maternity-care researchers based in Spain (Ramón Escuriet, Fatima Leon-Larios), Belgium (Katrien Beeckman), Northern Ireland (Marlene Sinclair), the UK (Lucy Firth, Edwin van Teijlingen), Switzerland ( Christine Loytved, Ans Luyben) and Portugal (Joanna White).  Dr. Ans Luyben is also Visiting Faculty in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences at Bournemouth University.  The underlying work was supported by the European Union through a COST Action called Childbirth Cultures, Concerns, and Consequences headed by Prof. Soo Downe at the University of Central Lancashire.  COST is seen by the EU as an important tool in building and supporting the European Research Area (ERA).

Cost ActionThis paper critically reviews published tools and indicators currently used to measure maternity care performance within Europe, focusing particularly on whether and how current approaches enable systematic appraisal of processes of minimal (or non-) intervention in support of physiological or “normal birth”.

The authors conclude: “The review identified an emphasis on technical aspects of maternity, particularly intrapartum care in Europe, rather than a consideration of the systematic or comprehensive measurement of care processes contributing to non-intervention and physiological (normal) birth. It was also found that the links between care processes and outcomes related to a normal mode of birth are not being measured.”


Professor Edwin van Teijlingen


Linking research and practice – Appointment to international panel

Professor Tom Watson of the Faculty of Media & Communication has been appointed to the Academic Advisory Panel of AMEC (the Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication). He joins six other leading communication measurement and evaluation researchers from Australia, Germany, UK and US. The Panel is chaired by Professor Jim Macnamara of the University of Technology Sydney.

The panel’s role is to “provide expert advice and input to AMEC in relation to research methodology and methods, education and learning, and standards”.

“The measurement of public relations and corporate communication is an important and perennial professional issue,” said Professor Watson. “AMEC is the international body for the communication measurement sector and includes all the major media measurement suppliers in more than 30 countries.”

Professor Watson’s co-authored book (with Paul Noble), Evaluating Public Relations is now in its third edition. “Increasingly, there is a shift from measurement to evaluation, with the understanding of the value created through communication becoming a critical issue for communicators. In the book’s latest edition, we focused more on concepts of value. Creating world-wide standards on value is becoming more important and so the AMEC initiative to create this high-level link between research and practice is very timely.


Faculty of Media and Communication Seminar Series – this week – Richard Norrie from Demos

We are delighted to invite you to this week’s Faculty Seminar Series, hosted by the Politics and Media Research Group. It is this weds 4 November, 3-4pm in the screening room (W240), Weymouth house.
It is Dr Richard Norrie from the think tank Demos. See below for his abstract and bio. It promises to be a fascinating talk on the topical issue of immigration and integration.
No need to book – just come along
All welcome!
The ‘is’ and ‘ought’ of integration
In a recent speech David Cameron announced a new review to be led by Louise Casey into how integration and opportunities can be increased in divided communities. The philosopher David Hume famously argued that when it came to questions of morality, it was impossible to say what should be based on what exists – in short, you cannot get an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’But still, whatever Casey’s review will recommend will have to reconcile what we would like to see in our communities with what is possible given the existing conditions. This presentation is all about how evidence on ethnic and religious integration can be used in order to allow us a better understanding of what can be done in order to improve things. In essence, the question is what are the constraints placed by ‘what is’ on what ought to be?
At the think tank Demos, we have recently completed the first stage of major research repository called the Integration Hubas led by David Goodhart. This website aims to bring together much of the available evidence and research on the key questions pertaining to integration. In this presentation I will review what we know about integration in terms of differences in residential patterns, economic outcomes, everyday social life, education, and identity. ThenI will present an empirical model of integration in the towns and cities of England and Wales. Provisional analysis has so far identified two key dimensions of integration – a situational dimension reflecting differences in where and how people live and an identity based dimension reflecting people’s strength of commitment to Britain. 
Throughout, I shall be returning to the questions of what is right and what is wrong in terms of integration and what can be done given the evidence we have and the limitations imposed on us. 
Dr Richard Norrie is an Associate Researcher at Demos and the lead analyst on the Integration Hub website.

His research interests include ethnic integration, political participation, religiosity, and civil society. He has co-authored reports on populist political parties in Europe, how immigration is discussed on social media, and online misogyny. He specialises in quantitative research methods.

He holds degrees from the Universities of Warwick, Oxford, and Cologne. His doctorate was awarded in 2014 with a thesis written on the subject of country context, religiosity, and participation in public life.
Richard Norrie

AHRC – Do you have strong opinions on research career development issues?

ahrcThe AHRC is seeking people that are interested in research careers and training in the arts and humanities, to replace several members on the Research Careers and Training Advisory Group (RCTAG). Potential candidates should have an active interest in research career development issues, relating to both careers in academia and in wider sectors.

AHRC are looking to recruit:

  • an academic from the arts and humanities
  • an arts or humanities doctoral student, who can be at any stage in their research and who does not have to be AHRC-funded. This is a good development opportunity and will allow them to gain new insights into policy and strategy in support of research career development
  • an early career post-PhD researcher in the arts and humanities who has not yet obtained a permanent academic post. They are particularly keen to hear from post-PhD researchers who are pursuing personal research with a view to a career in academia, while undertaking fixed-term HE employment as a teacher, research assistant, administrator, or any combination of these roles
  • a representative from the non-academic sector – applications are welcome from any sector with an interest in, and engagement with, research in the arts and humanities

In determining membership of the Group, the AHRC will ensure that a range of institutions and subjects is covered, though it does not expect individual members to represent their institution or subject.

About the Research Careers and Training Advisory Group (RCTAG)

The AHRC’s RCTAG was established in January 2013 and provides advice on postgraduate support and career development for researchers, and on future strategy in these areas.

The Terms of Reference for the Group are as follows:

  1. To provide advice to the AHRC on postgraduate and researcher development matters – including both advising on the AHRC’s longer-term strategy in this area, as well as alerting the AHRC to issues and developments in the university sector
  2. To advise the AHRC on skills-development needs in discipline areas both within and outside academia. For example, health of discipline concerns and ways in which these might be addressed
  3. To provide advice on existing or developing schemes, as required, as they evolve to meet emerging needs

The Group reports to the AHRC’s Advisory Board. Its advice forms the basis of policy development within the AHRC. Membership of the Group is for an initial period of two years, and will commence from 1 January 2016. The Group normally meets three times a year (twice as a Group and an annual meeting with the Network). Members are also consulted on issues outside of the formal meetings.


To be considered for membership of RCTAG, please complete the online form here:, also uploading a CV (maximum two-sides), and submit these by Friday 6 November 2015. A CV exceeding the page length will render the application ineligible.

Applications will be considered on the basis of the case that applicants have made for their potential contribution to the group and how well this is supported by the applicant’s experience in this area. In reaching a decision on the composition of the Group, the AHRC will consider not only the individual strengths of applicants, but also the balance of expertise and equality of representation, including regional coverage.

All applicants must have an interest in, understanding of, and engagement with researcher development issues at the postgraduate and/or postdoctoral level and beyond. There are a variety of ways in which this can be demonstrated, which will depend on the capacity in which applicants are proposing to join the Group.

The AHRC will be looking for some evidence of engagement with these issues, whether this is through a formal or professional role at an institution, or through membership of a body concerned with researcher development matters. They do not wish to be prescriptive about the type of activities that applicants might include as they are open to a variety of experience that might demonstrate an active interest and engagement with researcher development.

MRC release Outputs report on policy and engagement

MRC logoMRC have just released their Policy and Engagement chapter of their Outputs Report, which comprises of examples where MRC-supported researchers have influenced policy and have been involved in public engagement.  This is one in a series of chapters making up the 2014/15 Outputs, outcomes and impact of MRC research report.

Click here for a summary of the topics covered or here for the full report.  This is really interesting to see what MRC are funding and the potential impact of research.

Last Reminder for the 03/11/15 Research Professional visit – Book in now!

Research-Professional-logoThere is still time for you to attend our Research Professional visit taking place on the 3rd Nov and get expert help with setting up your personal account and searches!

Every BU academic has a Research Professional account which delivers weekly emails detailing funding opportunities in their broad subject area. Jordan Graham from Research Professional is visiting BU on the 3rd of November 2015 to demonstrate to academics and staff how to make the most of their Research Professional account.

This will include:

  • Building searches
  • Setting personalised alerts
  • Saving and bookmarking items
  • Subscribing to news alerts
  • Configuring your personal profile

Location and the session timings are:

Talbot campus P424

10.15 – 11.15 – Research Professional presentation

11.15 – 11.45 – RKEO interactive session setting up searches

Lansdowne campus S103

13.30 – 14.30 – Research Professional presentation

14.30 – 15.00 – RKEO interactive session setting up searches

After the presentation, the RKEO Funding Development Team will be on hand for an interactive session where they will help you set up your Research Professional account, searches and offer advice from a BU perspective.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about funding opportunities and to meet the Funding Development Team, particularly if you are new to BU.

Please reserve your place now at a BU Campus to suit through Organisational Development


What would TV look like without the BBC? Get involved!

The British Academy will be one of the partners of a major inquiry into the future of public service television, chaired by Lord Puttnam.british_academy_logo

The Inquiry,, which is based at the Media and Communications department, Goldsmiths, University of London, is set up to consider the nature, purpose and role of public service television today and into the future. It aims to address ways in which public service content can be most effectively nurtured taking into consideration a growing range of services, platforms and funding models.  More details can be found here.

There is an exciting opportunity to attend a free event where you can join a panel of policymakers and practitioners as they take on this hotly debated topic to consider how this British institution should be funded.  Details are as follows:

Tuesday 15 December 2015, 6-7.30pm
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH

Chaired by Lord (David) Puttnam, former Deputy Chairman of Channel 4 (2006-12)

Confirmed speakers:
Greg Dyke, former Director-General of the BBC (2000-4)
Claire Enders
, founder, Enders Analysis
Brian Eno
, musician and producer; delivered the BBC Music John Peel Lecture 2015

More details and how to register can be found here. bbc-blocks-dark

Congratulations to Prof. Brooks

BU Professor Ann Brooks has been made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS).

  Ann Brooks

Ann Brooks is Professor of Sociology at Bournemouth University since January 2015. Ann has held senior positions in universities in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand and has held visiting fellowships and scholarships in Singapore and the USA. She was a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Health and Community at Plymouth University in 2014 and was previously a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore and a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is author of Academic Women (Open University Press, 1997); Postfeminisms: Feminism, Cultural Theory and Cultural Forms (Routledge, 1997); Gender and the Restructured University (Open University Press, 2001); Gendered Work in Asian Cities: The New Economy and Changing Labour Markets (Ashgate, 2006); Social Theory in Contemporary Asia (Routledge, 2010); Gender, Emotions and Labour Markets: Asian and Western Perspectives (Routledge, 2011) and Emotions in Transmigration: Transformation, Movement and Identity (Palgrave 2012) (with Ruth Simpson). Recent books include: Consumption, Cities and States: Comparing Singapore with Cities in Asia and the West (Anthem Press, 2014) (with Lionel Wee); Popular Culture, Global Intercultural Perspectives (Palgrave, 2014); and Emotions and Social Change: Historical and Sociological Perspectives (Routledge, New York, 2014) (edited with David Lemmings). Her latest book is: Genealogies of Emotions, Intimacies and Desire: Theories of Changes in Emotional Regimes from Medieval Society to Late Modernity (2016 Routledge, New York).

Further information on this year’s new Fellows can be found here!



Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen


UKRO – latest news

If ever there was a time to make use of BU’s subscription to UKRO, that time is now.

UKRO logoWith the new Work Programmes being released, UKRO have pulled out all the stops to ensure that their subscribers have the latest information. To access subscriber content, please register as a BU member of staff. You will then have access to all the latest EU news and can sign up for email updates direct to your inbox.

As this blog is open to external users who may not be UKRO subscribers, there is only a limited amount that can be placed on this blog.

Highlights include:

  • UKRO has provided a number of introductory articles to the new Horizon 2020 Work Programmes – please register to access these. The Work Programmes themselves are available via the Participant Portal
  • Consolidator Grants: Information and Proposal Writing – 3 November 2015, University of Sheffield and – 6 November 2015, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine*
  • MSCA European Researchers’ Night 2016-2017 call Info Day – Brussels on 10 November 2015*
  • The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), together with the European Commission, is organising the first workshop on eHealth systems security –  Brussels on 30 October 2015.
  • European Commission is organising an Information and Stakeholders’ Day on Smart Wearables workshop – Brussels on 11 December 2015
  • As part of the Societal Challenge 2 Info week, the EIP AGRI is running a workshop on the multi-actor approach under Horizon 2020 on 24 November 2015 in Brussels
  • The Erasmus+ Guide has been released by the European Commission
  • The United States Government and the European Commission –  Fulbright-Schuman Innovation Grants, under the auspices of the Fulbright-Schuman program, have been announced,

*If a link has not not been given to an event page, you will need to register with UKRO to access the booking form / further information.

If you have any queries concerning EU funding opportunities, please contact Emily Cieciura, RKEO Research Facilitator: EU and International for further assistance.


Further information on ‘Research Councils Together’

RCUKlogoFollowing on from my post last Thursday, Research Professional have published the email from the seven Research Councils Chief Executives, explaining what ‘Research Councils Together’ will mean.  RP have accompanied the email with a candid interpretation of what the content implies.

There is reference to the RC’s Operational Cost Reduction Programme (OCRP) which is aiming to maximise their efficiency and effectiveness and deliver savings in their operational costs of between 20% and 25% by April 2019.  The email is clear that unity does not lead to unifying, and the future of RCUK has a more reserved response.   Click here to read further.Research-Professional-logo

The impact of the enshrining of the research intensive university

teaching-vs-research-chartEarlier this year a large number of academics across the UK completed the biennial Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey (PIRLS) run by Vitae. Looking through the responses from BU academics I was interested to note a number of conflicting responses on the theme of research vs education and which is more valued at BU, as well as in the sector as a whole. Some respondents reported that the primary focus is education, enhancing the student experience, student administration, etc. whilst other felt that research activity is valued ahead of education and that institutional developments over the past ten years have been to the advantage of research.

From an internal perspective I found this interesting for two main reasons:

1. The BU strategy focuses on fusion – the equal importance of education, research and professional practice and how these support and strengthen each other.

2. Is it a case of research vs education, i.e. two separate activities each vying for time, or are these mutually supportive activities?

Looking externally, however, it is clear that over the past 50 or so years the sector at large has enshrined the research-oriented university and therefore the role of the research-oriented academic as an ideal model. We can see this in the way the majority of the league tables are constructed, with research metrics playing a dominant role. We can see it in the stratification of universities with the ‘elite’ institutions being those that are considered research-intensive. And we can see it in the concentration of funding and sponsorship for research that flows into these institutions, enabling them to remain research orientated.

But what are the consequences of this? How does this impact on the HE sector at large?

For starters, it has created a stratified hierarchy among institutions and within the academy where arguably none need exist. Academia has a multitude of different missions that need to be addressed by the profession as a whole. The focus on research as the holy grail devalues the breadth and diversity of universities and undermines the role they all play in advancing society.

Erving_Goffman_128x128Secondly there is a link between the rise of the importance of the research intensive university and the increased managerialism of higher education, i.e. that higher education and research must be efficient and productive and measurable. This as a policy in itself is not a bad thing – high quality teaching depends on research, reputation is built on scholarly output, and reputation influences an institution’s ability to attract students and staff. This favours research-intensive institutions that earn significant amounts of income and can ensure research activity forms a central part (and in some cases the majority) of academics’ roles. There are, however, few institutions where the research model fits and works and it becomes detrimental to those not in the top few as it causes greater tensions between teaching (the bulk of the work), research (usually a small portion of work) and time/energy. I don’t believe that life is rosy for those academics in the top tier of institutions – the pressures placed upon them to perform, bring in more and more funding, produce better quality papers in the top journals, etc. must be enormous. But that is a different type of pressure to that experienced in universities such as BU where the tension between teaching and research and time are very real. Goffman described this tension by stating that it makes an academic career “perhaps as complex and troubled as the moral career of the mental patient”.

Fusion glow edgeI’m not sure what the answer is that gives this a happy ending. It is likely there isn’t one and the tensions will remain, but BU’s fusion strategy and the new academic career framework should ensure that, internally at least, all activities are equally valued. None of the information in this post is new, however, sometimes it does us good to step back from the precipice and acknowledge the tensions before deciding the next step. We need to continue to play the game of the research-oriented university as this is what the sector is increasingly basing itself upon, but we must do it in a way that is right for BU and doesn’t tie us all up in knots. Any thoughts?

Open Access publishing does not have to be expensive!

Nepal J Epid Open AccessAs it is Open Access Week I would like to clarify one of the Open Access publishing myths.  One of the common replies I receive from academics colleagues when raising Open Access publishing is that it is (too) expensive. This is, of course, true for many academic journals, but not all are expensive.  Some don’t even charge a processing fee at all.  Infamously, The Lancet Global Health charges an article processing fee of US $4750 upon acceptance of submitted research articles.  More moderately priced scientific journals still charge anything up to about £1,500 per article.

Open-Access-logoAcademic publishing has been big business for decades, and Open Access has rapidly become part of that business.  While traditional book and magazine publishers struggle to stay afloat, research publishing houses have typical profit margins of nearly 40%, according CBCNEWS who quote Vincent Larivière from the University of Montreal’s School of Library & Information Science.

At the same time we see a sharp increase in so-called Predatory Publishers who have set up business for the sole reason to make money from Open Access publishing.  They have not established or taken over academic journal for the greater good of the discipline or the dissemination of research findings to the widest possible audience.  Unscrupulous publishers jump on the Open-Access bandwagon BU librarian Jean Harris recently shared an interesting article about Predatory Publishers (click here to read this!).

J Asian MidwHowever, there are other format of Open Access. One of our more recent papers on research ethics was published in the Nepal Journal of Epidemiology which is an online Open Access journal that does not charge authors for publishing!  Also the Journal of Asian Midwives, where FHSS PhD student Preeti Mahato recently had her article accepted, is hosted in Pakistan by Aga Khan University through its institutional repository eCommons.  Publishing in this Open Access online journal is also free of charge.  In other words, Open Access publishing does not have to be expensive!


Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen



Undergraduate Research Assistantship Programme – staff application deadline this Sunday.

The current round of applications for the Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) programme is closing on Sunday 25th October.

To apply for funding to recruit a URA, please email your application to

If you have any questions about the scheme, please contact Rachel Clarke, KE Adviser (KTP) on 01202 961347 or email