Category / student research

Lizzie Gauntlett at the International Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) Conference 18th & 19th May 2017

Glasgow’s necropolis- the quietest voices of all?

‘Where are we now?’ was the theme of the 2017 International IPA conference this week. The short answer: at Glasgow Caledonian University. The long answer: using a qualitative methodology initially confined to healthcare research but which is now enjoying exponential growth across diverse disciplines. Talks over the two days ranged from advance care planning to museum visitor research, with one particularly innovative study by Hilda Reilly (PhD candidate, University of Glasgow). Her work uses narrative to explore the medical concept of hysteria. Reilly talked about the case of Anna von Lieben, one of Freud’s most significant patients. She demonstrated how accounts such as poetry and diaries left by the deceased can form data for analysis and interpretation.

Just a stone’s throw from Glasgow city’s own necropolis or ‘city of the dead’ (pictured), it was a fitting metaphor for one of the key aims of IPA: to make heard the quietest of voices. It let me reflect on the voices which I am working to make heard through my own PhD studentship project; those from successful, persistent students from low-income backgrounds who are under-represented throughout higher education (HE), but have great value in widening participation in HE and as part of a greater commitment to social equality.

Such novel approaches fit well with Dr Michael Larkin’s keynote exploring new developments in design and data collection in IPA research. The lecture and Q&A was particularly relevant to my own research, as it explored less common topic formulations in IPA research; namely when the phenomenon is a background phenomenon or an external theoretical construct (in my case, ‘resilience’). The recommendation to use explicitly narrative and reflective strategies rang true with my own approach to data collection.

Likewise, Professor Jonathan Smith delivered his keynote on personal experience of depression, offering rich, textured accounts of participants. He urged us as researchers to ‘dig deeper’ and ‘mine’ our participant data. In interviews, he reminded us “it is easy to talk to people; it is demanding to get high quality data”. Professor Paul Flowers closed the conference by provoking us to move from questioning ‘where are we now?’ to ‘where do we go from here?’ And, for me at least, this signifies a move towards drawing deep, ‘juicy’ interpretations from my data, to maximise the potential impact of my research.


Lizzie Gauntlett

Faculty of Health and Social Sciences


For more on IPA resources, news and networks of support:


Standing up for Science workshop in June

sense about science logo

Calling all early career researchers- Sense about Science will be running a Standing up for Science media workshop this June.

The workshop will take place on Friday 30 June at the University of Warwick. This free to attend event is a great opportunity for early career researchers and scientists to learn how to make their voices heard in public debates about science.

Attendees will hear from scientists who have engaged with the media, learn from these distinguished scientists about how the media works, how to comment and what journalists expect from scientists. This is a free event and is open to all early career researchers and scientists- PhD students, post-docs or equivalent- in all sciences, engineering and medicine.

The deadline for applications is 14 June. You can find out more information here.

The previous workshop was held in Manchester in April. You can find out what attendees Jade and James thought of the workshop and view photos here.

If  you have any questions please email Joanne from Sense about Science.

Academic Career Pathway to Research Funding – new pages

I posted last week a whizzy picture demonstrating the academic career pathway to research funding.  This has now been turned into new pages on the blog for each stage of an academics career in research.  The pages highlight the type of funding that you can aim for, what training and development is available to support this (through the RKEDF), and further resources that will support you in applying for external funding.  As well as the main summary page, there is a page for students, research fellows, senior research fellows, associate professors, and professors.

Have a look at what’s available through each stage of an academics career.  Links to these pages are also available in the Research Lifecycle – Your research strategy section and in the Research Toolkit.

If you have any queries about how to get started with your research strategy then please contact your RKEO Research Facilitator.


British Conference of Undergraduate Research 2017 takes place in Bournemouth

This week Bournemouth University will be welcoming hundreds of undergraduate students from over 60 universities to present their research as part of the 2017 British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR).

The annual conference is an opportunity to celebrate student research from across many different disciplines.  Since 2011, BCUR has been hosted by a different British university, with this year’s event taking place in Bournemouth.

BCUR gives students an insight into an academic conference and an opportunity to network with other student researchers, post graduates and practicing academics.  It also helps them to develop their confidence and presentation skills alongside honing academic strengths, all of which can help to boost their employability.

“We’re delighted to be hosting BCUR at Bournemouth University,” says Dr Mary Beth Gouthro, conference co-chair and BCUR Steering Committee member, “We’ve been supporting BU students to attend BCUR since its start at UCLAN in 2011 and the feedback we’ve received has shown how much they value and benefit from the experience.  Over 100 BU students submitted an abstracts to take part in BCUR this year, which is wonderful to see.”

“It’s really important to be able to share and celebrate the research being undertaken by our undergraduates,” explains Dr Luciana Esteves, conference co-chair, “Taking part in research, whether as part of a dissertation, alongside a business or as part of a placement, is a great way to develop skills which can be applied to many different careers.

“It can also help students to tackle real-world problems and develop contacts that may help them once they have graduated.  During the course of the conference, we’ll be hearing from students who have worked on fascinating projects with charities, government organisations and businesses as part of their research.”

BCUR will take place in the Fusion building on 25 & 26 April.  To find out more details about the conference visit

You can find out more about some of the research BU’s students will be presenting here.

What is FoMO and how do you deal with it?

Students and staff attended 14:Live in the Student Centre, on Tuesday afternoon to hear from Dr Miguel Moital about FoMO.

FoMO is a fairly new area of research which looks into the psychology behind the ‘Fear of Missing Out’.

With the upcoming festival season, the session looked at FoMO in relation to festivals and marketing tactics used to convince consumers to attend.

Much of the research has been conducted by events management undergraduate students Ellie Taylor and Helena Jarman who previously worked on the topic as part of their dissertation.

Ellie was the pioneer conducting the first dissertation on the topic, whilst Helena worked with Dr Miguel Moital during June-July 2016 as a Student Research Assistant. Helena collated and organised material around FoMO in events leading up to the organisation of a workshop for local event professionals. The students created and provided a large amount of material for 14:Live.

The fear of missing out is a psychological fear that comes from a heightened sensation that everyone but us appears to be having more fun. Social media can often make us feel as though we’re missing out on socially driven events and experiences, because of posts from friends, family or even strangers.

FoMO appeals are often used by marketers to sell an event or product to consumers. Marketers often use specific communication tactics which play on someone’s emotions. This can include using ‘highlights videos’ and using techniques such as ‘75%’ sold out. This then encourages you to book early or attend at the risk of ‘missing out’ on the event.

Dr Moital commented “We looked at the types of emotions felt when experiencing FoMO, what it is people miss out on, how people may behave when they feel FOMO, the types of communication tactics that can be used when designing FoMO event marketing appeals, and what strategies can individuals reduce the levels of FOMO,”

“The session was very interactive and it was great to see a mix of colleagues from faculties and professional services, as well as a number of very engaged students.”

If you’d like to hear more about FoMO please contact Dr Miguel Moital.

14:Live is monthly lunchtime session, that discusses the different areas of research being undertaken here at BU. If you’d like to hear more about 14:Live please contact Hannah Jones.

‘How boards strategize’ explored in new student-staff study

Marg Concannon

The strategy work of boards of directors has been a puzzle in the corporate governance literature for a long time. But the picture is becoming clearer, thanks to a paper soon to be published and co-written by a Master’s graduate and staff member in the Faculty of Management at BU.

After the financial crisis the work of boards became especially pertinent, for companies and public policy. Some boards — think of Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS — manifestly failed both in strategizing  and in monitoring the performance of managers. The shortcomings contributed to a long, global economic malaise. Margaret Concannon earned an MSc in Corporate Governance with Distinction at BU in 2015 with a dissertation that examined how the work of boards has changed. Now, writing with Donald Nordberg, Associate Professor of Strategy and Corporate Governance, her study has become a journal article, due to appear soon in European Management Journal.

Donald Nordberg

Their paper, “Boards strategizing in liminal spaces: Process and practice, formal and informal,” shows how the theory of liminality, developed in anthropology to study rites of passage and adapted in organisation studies, can explain how, after the crisis, the increasingly hierarchical nature of the monitoring work of boards has pushed often strategy off the formal agenda. But strategizing has emerged again in new, informal settings and spaces, where the creativity possible in liminality can reassert itself. The paper explores what benefits that brings — and what risks.

BU alumni supporting innovation projects at BU

Dominika Budka is currently working on an innovation funded (HEIF) project called: “Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces”. She graduated last year  (2016) having completed an MSc Forensic and Neuropsychological Perspectives in Face-Processing

Forensic technology and tools are advancing across the board, with the analysis of digital trace evidence being an exception. The techniques and tools used to capture and analyse footwear evidence have not changed in over a hundred years. This project is already changing the status quo by translating academic research on human and dinosaur tracks into tools for forensic practitioners to use. The product that has been  developed, DigTrace, is an integrated software solution for the capture and analysis of 3D data whether in a forensic context (footwear evidence) or in the study of vertebrate tracks and footprints. One of the  recent successes is the exhibit  the project team are  organising at the very prestigious Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, to be held in London in July.

 The project team were looking for a dissemination officer to help spread the word about the software and engage user groups both within the UK and overseas.  Dominika’s role involves working with external stakeholder groups, organising dissemination events, developing training materials and events for academics, crime agencies, forensic specialists, and UK police forces.

About working on the project, Dominika comented,  I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to the project, which is not only well-aligned with my interests, but has also a huge potential for impact in terms of improving societal security. I’m working with a unique product set which can enhance global security by improving forensic practice, as well as criminal intelligence gathering and ultimately prosecution. The forensic context of the project is what I find most interesting as it links directly to my MSc”

To find out more about the project – click on the link: Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces


New publication: vital signs obstetric charts

Congratulations on the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences team which had its paper ‘Vital signs and other observations used to detect deterioration in pregnant women: an analysis of vital sign charts in consultant-led UK maternity units’ accepted by the International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia (published by Elsevier). 
The paper compares: (i) vital sign values used to define physiological normality; (ii) symptoms and signs used to escalate care; (iii) 24 type of chart used; and (iv) presence of explicit instructions for escalating care. The authors conclude that the wide range of ‘normal’ vital sign values in different systems used in the UK and the Channel Islands suggests a lack of equity in the processes for detecting deterioration and escalating care in hospitalised pregnant and postnatal women. Agreement regarding ‘normal’ vital sign ranges is urgently required and would assist the development of a standardised obstetric early warning system and chart. The lead author of this new paper is FHSS Visiting Professor Gary Smith, his co-authors include FHSS staff Vanora Hundley, Lisa Gale_Andrews and Edwin van Teijlingen as well as three BU Visiting Faculty: Debra Bick (King’s College London), Mike Wee (Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) and Richard Isaacs (University Hospital Southampton).

Innovation funding now featured on Instagram !

Forming part of a media package to support innovation funding at BU, a new Instagram Account is now live. Oliver Cooke a third year student on the BA Honours Media Production course is developing a number of different media channels to showcase the range of Higher Education Innovation Funded (HEIF) projects at BU.

It can be found here:

This first image to go live comes from Matthew Bennett’s submission to the Research Photography Competition. (Read more about the HEIF project Matthew is leading on here: Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces

(Research Photography Competition now in its third year.)

Ollie is also working on a short video documentary and website as part of this project.

Ollie’s  experience with HEIF came from the time on his  work placement last year.  He worked within the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (RKEO) as the Student Engagement Co-Ordinator and had the chance to be involved in a number of initiatives including HEIF. Whilst reflecting on his time in RKEO and ideas for his Graduate Project, it was clear  that there are many interesting projects at BU.

Commenting on his chosen topic Ollie comented “It also struck me that here was an ideal opportunity to create some really engaging media content in order to showcase the innovation journeys and provide more information about innovation and knowledge exchange at BU. This will aim to highlight the people involved with HEIF at BU, as well as the research.”

Ollie has just started filming and the first footage has been shot involving Andrew Whittington (PI)  and BU student Christopher Dwen who are working on the project: “Sherlock’s Window: improving accuracy of entomological forensics at post-mortem criminal investigation using combined cuticular hydrocarbon and internal metabolite analysis.”

(Sherlock’s Window was also featured in the latest edition of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle: Edition 6, January 2017, Page 22.)

Bournemouth University students to present their research in Parliament

Bournemouth University students, Georgia Robertson and Jordan Ezra, will be presenting their research in Westminster as part of the annual ‘Posters in Parliament’ event.  Around 40 undergraduates from universities all over the UK will be presenting their research to politicians, policy makers and fellow students.

As a country, we face a number of big challenges – energy provision, health and wellbeing, as well as issues such as sustainability – all of which research can help solve.  Posters in Parliament is designed celebrate the research of some of the UK’s undergraduates, as well as highlighting the achievements of the next generation of researchers, some of whom may well go on to tackle some of our biggest challenges.

Georgia Robertson, an Events & Leisure Marketing student, will be presenting her research into business-to-business marketing, which she began while on her placement year.

“Over the years, email marketing has developed a negative stigma, perhaps because of an increase in unsolicited contact in an attempt to generate businesses leads.  These are known as lead generation emails.  This stigma has led to a dramatic drop in engagement in business-to-business email marketing campaigns, which means it’s important for those involved in the campaigns to know how to optimise their success,” explains Georgia.

“I analysed data from over 500 lead generation email campaigns from my placement to see which variables influenced the success of those campaigns.  These included the subject line, email content and the links in the email.  By exploring these variables, I was able to identify the factors that led to success in email marketing campaigns, which I hope will be useful to businesses trying convert email contacts into customers.”

Jordan Ezra is a Digital Media Design student.  For his final year dissertation, he chose to explore the gradual dissolution of human rights by different world governments and intelligence agencies.

“I’m interested in current world events and particularly how the erosion of human rights has been justified by events of the last 20 years.  My research has shown that it’s becoming more difficult to tell the truth – an interesting conclusion, given the rise of ‘fake news’ stories,” says Jordan.

“By analysing events of the last 20 years, I found that legislation across the world is limiting our human rights through increased surveillance and co-operation with corporations, among other issues.  My analysis showed that the justification for this dissolution is related to events such as September 11 Twin Towers attacks and subsequent war on terror.  There’s an increasingly blurred line between privacy and security, which is beginning to spark debates around the need for more transparent democracies.”

Georgia and Jordan will be presenting their research in Parliament on 14 March.  Posters in Parliament is part of the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR), which Bournemouth University will be hosting in April.  If you’d like to attend and support some of the BU students presenting their research at BCUR, please register on Eventbrite here.

Congratulations to your winners of the 2017 Research Photography Competition!

Bournemouth University researchers have given us a glimpse into some of their fantastic research, for the Research Photography Competition. The competition which ran in its third year challenged BU academics and students to capture the impact of their research in a single image.  Researchers from across BU and all its faculties entered the competition.

Entries to the competition demonstrated some of the research taking place both here at BU and across the globe from forensic investigation, midwifery in Nepal, meeting the identity needs of older people and looked at repairing trust in the service sector.

The competition saw an overwhelming response with close to 1000 votes from BU staff, BU students and the wider BU community.

Vice Chancellor John Vinney congratulated the winners on 9 March in the Atrium Art Gallery.

“It’s been brilliant to be able to announce the winners. There’s a great diversity of winners that really encapsulate the range and impact of research here at BU,” commented Vice Chancellor John Vinney.

Below are your winners:

 1st Place- “This is Me. I am Ron” by Chantel Cox

Chantel Cox, PhD Student, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences

Chantel is a PhD student from the Faculty of Health and Social Science. She is looking at the cultural processes that underpin healthcare professionals meeting the identity needs of frail older people.

On winning first prize Chantel commented,

“It’s very exciting to win. It’s really good to get your research known about and out there in a different format. I’d like to use photography somehow in my research, so it’s really inspired me.”

2nd Place- The Compound Eye of Calliphora Vomitoria (Bluebottle fly) by Christopher Dwen

Christopher Dwen, Forensic Research Assistant, Faculty of Science & Technology

Christopher is a Forensic Research Assistant from the Faculty of Science & Technology. He’s been looking at the blood feeding activities of flies at crime scenes, as these can often be confounding. These patterns can help in instances of violent assaults.

3rd Place- A Concerted Effort to Repair Trust by Samreen Ashraf 

Samreen Ashraf, Lecturer in Marketing, Faculty of Management

Samreen is a Lecturer in Marketing from the Faculty of Management.

Samreen is a Lecturer in Marketing from the Faculty of Management. Samreen has been looking at the service sector and examining trust repair endeavours from various stakeholders’ perspective related to three different contexts: mis-selling financial services (e.g. PPI); HR issues in the retail sector (e.g. Sports Direct) and safety issues within the leisure sector (e.g. Alton Towers).

All entries from this year’s Research Photography Competition are currently being exhibited in the Atrium Art Gallery until 22 March.

PCCC success with industry-student collaborative research

A project led by Dr. Georgiana Grigore, a member of FMC/CMC’s Promotional Cultures & Communication Centre, has received a prestigious industry award.  The Millennial Rules project won an award for Excellence in Research Presentation at the Media Research Awards, hosted by Mediatel on the 23rd of February. This is an example of innovative fused activity where students work with experts from media organizations and their tutors to develop and co-create excellent research.

Neil Sharman, a freelance researcher, delivered a guest talk for Consumer Culture and Behaviour that led to a collaborative project with the Marketing Society, Metro, Mail Online and CrowdDNA.  As part of this collaborative work, three students from the Marketing Society – Jack Goss, Iona Kelly and Emily Richardson – won £1,000 between them after impressing judges with their marketing insights. The students were selected with 10 others to take part in a special workshop day all about Millennials and the Media. The workshop was part of a research project for the Mail Online and Metro newspaper, which aimed to discover more about how Millennials use media. James Harrison, president of the BU Marketing Society at the time, added: “This was a really great opportunity for our members to take part in and the Marketing Society is pleased to have helped make it happen. We continually strive to organise events and opportunities that inspire our members and develop their knowledge in the world of marketing and advertising.”

 Neil, who came up with the idea of the project was impressed with the student’s enthusiasm. He said: “We had some start students in the room and we learnt lots from the insights they produced. They represented BU and their generation brilliantly.” Throughout the day the students worked on a range of tasks to define their marketing and advertising insights with help from experts at the Mail Online, the Metro and CrowdDNA. Neil wishes to pass his thanks onto the Marketing Society for contributing to the success of this project.


More details about it can be found here: