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Innovation Brunch May 10th ‘Reimagining civic engagement in a digital culture’

The BU Civic Media Hub is hosting Paul Mihailidis from Emerson University’s Engagement Lab on Wednesday May 10th from 10-11am in Fusion 112. 
The Engagement Lab blends media studies, digital design, art and computer science in its teaching and research, which is largely done in partnership with community organisations. They recently launched an MA in Civic Media Art and Practice and have been featured by the New York Times.
Paul joins us for an innovation brunch (coffee, fresh fruit and pastries) to discuss his research and share strategies for developing grant bids, creating practice-based research partnerships, and generating internationally recognised outputs. He’ll also share with us the successes (and struggles) of their new postgraduate programme, helping to take forward our initiative to develop masters teaching in Data Communications at BU.
Please RSVP by 5th May to if you would like to join.

New edition of bestselling book for BU Professor

The fifth edition of Social Work Practice, BU professor Dr Jonathan Parker’s bestselling book, has just been published. The book takes readers through a step-by-step journey into the four main aspects of contemporary social work practice – Assessment, Planning, Intervention and Review – underpinning these in their relational contexts and stressing social justice and human rights. The book introduces readers to each process in a clear and accessible way, supporting readers to both reflect on and apply what has been learnt in practice across settings and service user groups. The book provides a theoretical foundation from which readers can explore other aspects of social work.

This new revised edition of the book introduces an ‘ethnographic approach’ to social work, fusing research, earning and practice. It focuses on the centrality of relationship and resilience, exploring these critically within the political context of contemporary social work

UUK have published International Research Collaboration After the UK Leaves the European Union. The information below summarises the main thrust of the document.


Benefits of Research Collaboration

International collaboration is vital as it enables individual academics to increase their impact through pooling expertise and resources with other nations to tackle global challenges that no one country can tackle alone. Cross-nation collaboration increases citations and combined talents produce more innovative and useful outcomes.


The paper emphasises that the researchers themselves need to drive the collaboration and have choice. Selecting ‘Britain’s best new research partners’ is infeasible as sectors have different needs and Britain needs to collaborate with the countries with the richest talent and expertise. Funding needs to be well-structured and flexible to allow this.


The foreword on page 2 states “We should look to developing new networks and funding arrangements that support collaboration with major research powers” both within Europe and internationally. “The primary focus should be on delivering excellent research”, the government should seek to access and influence the 9th Framework Programme (Horizon successor), alongside new funding sources to incentivise collaborations with high-quality research partners beyond the EU. UUK call for a cross-government approach to supporting international research and the drawing together of the current disparate funding mechanisms, including “promoting research collaboration opportunities as a central pillar of the UK’s offer to overseas governments and businesses.”


Collaborative Partners

While its important to work with both EU and non-EU partners the report notes that research with other EU member states collectively makes up the largest pool of collaborators. “Research undertaken with EU partners like Germany and France is growing faster than with other countries – hence while it is vital that the UK takes every opportunity to be truly global in their outlook, the importance of collaboration with EU partners should not be underestimated.”


Almost all the growth in research output in the last 30 years has been brought about by international partnership. In 1981 less than 5% of UK research publications had an overseas co-author. Whereas Figure 1 below demonstrates how collaboration has changed, illustrating how domestic output has plateaued and non-UK collaborations accounts for recent growth.


Figure 1: The trajectory of international co-authorship on research publications from Imperial, UCL, Cambridge and Oxford.        (Data: source, Web of Science; analysis, King’s College Policy Institute).



Table 1 below highlights the UK’s major collaborative partners demonstrating a mix of EU and non-EU partners (non-EU partner in bold).


Table 1: Countries co-authoring UK output (2007-2016).

The UUK report reminds that research is a form of diplomacy leading to alliances and memoranda between national academies. The international links create esteem and demonstrate the wider engagement and status of an institution which is attractive to international students and staff.



Addressing Collaborative Barriers

Addressing the barriers to research collaboration is more than just funding, the report calls for:


  • Better information on capabilities and strength of UK researchers


The report states there needs to be better understanding and matching of research and innovation strengths between partners and potential collaborators, with clearer articulation of these and provision of contact points at the research organisation, funding agency and sector levels.


The circulation of people and ideas is fundamental to international research collaborations: National policy frameworks of all partners must be flexible enough to support international exchange, enabling critical human resources – including technical expertise – to flow between systems.


  • Cultural barriers need better understanding


The report highlights South Korea and Taiwan as attractive collaborators because of their research-intensive economies, strong technology investment, excellent university system, and high-English speaking rate. However collaboration is challenged by geography, proximity and cultural differences.  UUK report that communication problems are a key barrier alongside the uncertainty about research profiles of UK universities and significant differences in research governance.


Researchers working within different national contexts will have experience of different research cultures. These can be a source of strength and innovation, but also create challenges that must be understood, acknowledged and addressed. This requires time, but can be mitigated by the development of shared understandings, priorities and policy frameworks.


  • Policy and funding stability is essential


Stability, certainty and trust are required if successful international research collaborations are to be fostered. Partners need to have confidence that the policy and funding environment will not be subject to unexpected or dramatic change after they have invested the time and resources necessary to develop productive and beneficial partnerships. Stability and certainty in both policy and funding environment is a key facilitator.


  • Bilateral agreements with defined funding facilitated by a coordinated application process


The report effectively highlights the difficulties of ‘double jeopardy’ (Roberts, 2006) whereby all partners need to individually secure funding across a sustaining period to both commence and fully complete. Furthermore while countries commission and pay for the research it depends on individual motivation for success. Individuals make research choices that further their career and are fundable. EU links exist because researchers at well-funded institutions saw mutual net benefits, however EU collaboration proliferated because mutually assured Framework Programme funding supported it.


The report suggests a mechanism for effective research collaboration is to create more flexible agency-level bilateral agreements with associated secure funding. A Memorandum of Understanding should identify common priorities and mutual research standards yet this should be backed up by a research fund. Page 6 describes collaboration with Brazil as an example of this.


Furthermore, UK research funding beyond the EU is highly dependent on the ODA budget which limits research themes and fundable countries. Post Brexit the UK needs new money without ODA type restrictions to support collaborations with partners not eligible for EU funds.


Note: UUK have also released a second report on whether free trade agreements can enhance opportunities for UK higher education post Brexit.



Roberts, Sir Gareth. (2006). International partnerships of research excellence.



PCCC study finds that choice in HE can be more about managing relationships between parent and child than just making the ‘right choice’​

Helen Haywood and Richard Scullion have had their paper titled ‘It’s quite difficult letting them go, isn’t it?’ UK parents’ experiences of their child’s higher education choice process accepted for publication in ‘Studies in Higher Education’, a prestigious 3 star journal. The paper derives from Helen’s doctoral research on parents’ experiences of their child’s Higher Education choice process. The main findings include that parents experience this process, not as ‘rational’ consumers, in the way that much government and HEI communication assumes, but primarily as parents whose main aim at this key stage in their relationship with their child is to maintain this relationship and to minimise any arguments and conflict. ‘Relationship maintenance’ is thus the main theme. In some cases, parents are prepared to go to considerable lengths in order to manage this process and to ‘keep the peace’ with their adolescent child and their experiences are vividly captured in lengthy quotations which derive from the qualitative, interpretive research undertaken with this under-researched group. The findings in this paper will resonate with parents and particularly parents of adolescents. It also has important implications for HEIs and government policies and focuses on an often neglected facet of choice – the role of relationships in making choices.
This paper challenges the dominant discourse that Higher Education (HE) choice is a consumer choice and questions assumptions underpinning government policy and HE marketing. HE choice is largely viewed as a rational, decontextualized process. However, this interpretivist study found it to be much more complex, and to be about relationships and managing a transition in roles. It focuses on parents, an under-researched group, who play an increasing part in their child’s HE choice. It finds that they experience this process primarily as parents, not consumers and that their desire to maintain the relationship at this critical juncture takes precedence over the choice of particular courses and universities. The role of relationships, and in this context relationship maintenance, is the main theme. This is experienced in two principal ways: relationship maintenance through conflict avoidance and through teamwork. These significant findings have implications for the way governments and universities consider recruitment.

To read the full article, please click on the below link:

Dr. Miguel Moital contributes to amateur documentary on FoMO

As I was about to leave home and head to Heathrow to travel to India as part of the Bournemouth University’s Global Festival of Learning, I checked my work email one last time. There was an email inviting me to be interviewed about FOMO, but with a caveat: the interview had to take place that day or on the morning of the following day. This is because the interview was for the documentary competition #docinaday organised by the London Documentary Network.

The competition involves giving a theme to participating teams on Saturday morning, and they then have 36 hours to plan, record and edit a film of up to 6 minutes that captures the theme. The theme was fear and the team decided to focus on FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. They googled for experts in the area and came across the research blog entry reporting my 14:Live presentation on 14 March (a BU event), precisely on that topic.

Given the urgency of the request, I immediately replied that I was unable to do it in person as I was about to leave to the airport. They suggested we met at the airport (they were based in London), which I agreed as I had a 3 hour wait. During the interview, I talked about some of the findings of the research we have carried out on FOMO in events.

The team has just notified me that they were actually runners-up!

I think they have captured the essence of FOMO well, and I shall be using the film as part of my consumer experience and behaviour lecture on the topic. While it is unlikely that the film will have a large viewing, this example shows how important it is to keep feeding the Internet with information about what we do. You never know when someone needs an expert in one of your topics of expertise, and having this information readily available on the Internet may lead them to you.

Dr. Miguel Moital, Department of Events & Leisure

Volunteers Required (without ticklish feet!)

We are looking for BU staff and students to help us test the accuracy and reliability of the newly developed NERVE device.  Designed to monitor loss of sensation in the hands and feet, it is hoped that this device will eventually be used by patients in their own homes. Our research study will compare the accuracy and reliability of the NERVE device to a device currently used in clinical settings.

So as long as you’re over the age of 18, have 10 minutes to spare and don’t have overly ticklish feet, we need you! All you need to do is lie down and tell us at what point you feel a vibration on the finger, big toe, and possibly the ankle and knee.

For more information please contact Emma Frampton ( and arrange a time suitable for you!

Free Workshop: Sexuality & Gender in the 21st Century




FREE Workshop:
Gender & Sexuality in the 21st Century

Bournemouth University

31 May 2017, 10:00 – 15:00

Unimaginable a decade ago, the intensely personal subject of gender identity has entered the public square.’—National Geographic (Jan 2017)

This openness to discussion of sexuality, gender, and emotion begins to expose this latest generation’s ambivalence, even dissonance regarding these terms. The workshop will explore this, both historically and within the contemporary culture of the 21st Century.

The workshop will gather academics and community representatives from within BU and beyond, whose work may help us to understand more fully contemporary takes on sexuality, gender, and emotion. These may include:

  • Youth and Sexuality
  • Sex Tourism
  • Sex Trafficking
  • Disability and Sexual Well-being
  • Sexuality and Ageing
  • Gender and Sexuality in the Workplace
  • LGBTQ+ concepts of gender and sexuality
  • Other issues we haven’t even considered yet?

We will spend the day learning informally about each other’s interests and previous work around sexuality, gender, and emotion, thus creating the beginnings of new partnerships for further exploration, discovery, research, dissemination, and community action. NO lectures!

Workshop organised by Dr Kip Jones, Director, Centre for Qualitative Research, BU and Dr Lee-Ann Fenge, Deputy Director, National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work, BU.

Free lunch provided, places are limited.

Register here:

Showcase YOUR research in the Curiosity Playground

The Curiosity Playground is part of this year’s Festival of Learning and celebrates the creative, fun and wacky research happening at Bournemouth University.  Hosted by the BU Research Staff Association (RSA), the event will involve researchers showcasing their work though creative and interactive methods, including props. The props will help to engage children, to enable the researchers to talk to them and their parents about their research. The purpose of this event is to increase public awareness of the spectrum of research that Bournemouth University conducts, and the key message is that research is fun, interesting and amenable to all.

If you are interested in being involved in the Curiosity Playground, please attend the next BU RSA Coffee Morning on 26 April (10-11am) in R302, Royal London House, Lansdowne Campus. The FoL organising team will be there to provide some info about how to plan a public engagement activity, with examples of what has worked well in the past.  They’ll be on hand to help you shape your ideas and think about innovative ways to share your research.

Eight lucky researchers will be chosen to take part in the event in July, and will be provided with a small budget to develop their activity for the day.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Kind regards,

BU Research Staff Association

Network Plus: Industrial Systems in the Digital Age Conference 2017 – Looking Beyond Industry 4.0

The first EPSRC Industrial Systems in the Digital Age Conference – Looking Beyond Industry 4.0 is taking place on 20 and 21 June 2017, at the University of Glasgow.
The call for papers and conference details can be found at:

Submission of abstracts is invited for both oral and poster presentations. All abstracts must be submitted through Easy Chair. Only one oral and/or one poster abstract may be submitted from an individual participant.

If you are interested in shaping the future of UK’s automation and computing beyond Industry 4.0, you only need to submit a one-page abstract by 28 April at

Masterclass: The clinical doctorate model – Enabling Practitioner Research

Monday 15th May 2017, 14.00 – 15.30, Lansdowne Campus

This masterclass will be presented by Professor Vanora Hundley, Deputy Dean for Research and Professional Practice, Faculty of Health & Social Sciences. The development of a clinical PhD studentship utilises the opportunity to bring in research income, while developing a bespoke educational opportunity that is attractive to employers and directly relevant to practice. Professor Hundley’s clinical doctorate model has been recognised nationally as an example of excellent practice which facilitates Knowledge Exchange and enhances future research collaborations.

This is part of the Leading Innovation Masterclasses series.

There are two other masterclasses in May: ‘Developing Interdisciplinarity’ with Professor Barry Richards, and ‘Benchmarking your students’ digital experience’ with Jisc’s Sarah Knight.

Find out more about these and book a place at the following link:
Leading Innovation – Masterclasses

Vicious cycle: the ‘troublemakers’ tackling sexism in elite sport.

Published in The Conversation: Carly Stewart and Jayne Caudwell, referring to recent incidents in British cycling and drawing from women’s autobiographies, offer a critique of post-feminism:

A number of top women cyclists have claimed, publicly, that they have experienced and/or witnessed sexism in their sport. As a consequence, some of these women have been branded troublemakers. Given this backlash, we argue for an increased awareness of the post-feminist filters through which we view elite sport, and we suggest that such an awareness might ensure that women who do speak out about sexism are not dismissed as individual troublemakers.

Autobiographies by elite sportswomen, and sportsmen, provide detailed accounts of the everyday lived experiences of the culture of competitive sport. These testimonies are often ignored. And yet, they throw light on the practices that constitute gender relations within the win-at-all-cost world of international sport.

The autobiographies of top cyclists Nicole Cooke – The Breakaway, and Lizzie Armistead – Steadfast provide rich description (Denzin and Lincoln, 2011) of how those in powerful decision-making positions in British cycle propel the system of gender inequality.

In our article, we argue that the notion of post-feminism contributes to a lack of attention to sexism:

“In recent years, post-feminism has been linked to an increase in the visibility of female athletes in the sporting media. Female athletes are often (self-) represented as strong and resistant to gendered limitations. This reinforces their seemingly abundant opportunities for liberation and upward mobility in elite competitive sport.

And so post-feminism demands that successful high-profile female athletes embody the normative signifiers of heterosexual femininity and competitive advantage. Many do – and their achievements as both “pretty and powerful” are hailed by post-feminism as proof of equal opportunity in western societies …


… for critical feminists, the warning is that when individual women “can have it all” we are not actually combating systemic gender inequalities. This is because the idea and actuality obscure the subtle, lived reality of everyday sexism. The idea that women can have it all ends up reassuring people that feminism is no longer necessary. Problems are turned into stories about conflict between individuals, a tactic used to disparage feminism and to silence voices that divulge details of discrimination and abuse. All the while, the faults in the system go unaddressed.”