Recent articles..

Research Professional – all you need to know

Every BU academic has a Research Professional account which delivers weekly emails detailing funding opportunities in their broad subject area. To really make the most of your Research Professional account, you should tailor it further by establishing additional alerts based on your specific area of expertise.

Research Professional have created several guides to help introduce users to ResearchProfessional. These can be downloaded here.

Quick Start Guide: Explains to users their first steps with the website, from creating an account to searching for content and setting up email alerts, all in the space of a single page.

User Guide: More detailed information covering all the key aspects of using ResearchProfessional.

Administrator Guide: A detailed description of the administrator functionality.

In addition to the above, there are a set of 2-3 minute videos online, designed to take a user through all the key features of ResearchProfessional.  To access the videos, please use the following link: 

Research Professional are running a series of online training broadcasts aimed at introducing users to the basics of creating and configuring their accounts on ResearchProfessional.  They are holding monthly sessions, covering everything you need to get started with ResearchProfessional.  The broadcast sessions will run for no more than 60 minutes, with the opportunity to ask questions via text chat.  Each session will cover:

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

Each session will run between 10.00am and 11.00am (UK) on the fourth Tuesday of each month.  You can register here for your preferred date:

25 November 2014

These are free and comprehensive training sessions and so this is a good opportunity to get to grips with how Research Professional can work for you.

REF 2020 update

In approximately 7 weeks we will know the outcome of the REF 2014 exercise. It is hard to believe that it is almost a year since we submitted to the exercise and that the results are round the corner. Whilst the expert panels have been assessing the submissions this past year, HEFCE have been working hard to design and shape the post-2014 REF, currently being referred to as REF 2020. They are currently midway through a review of the role of metrics in research assessment to ascertain the extent to which metrics could be used in the assessment and management of research. They have commissioned RAND Europe to undertake an assessment of the impact element of REF 2014, part of which will include recommendations to the assessment of impact in future REF exercises. They are currently consulting on whether an international REF exercise, rather than a national one, is the way forward. And, arguably the most important announcement to date, they have confirmed their open access policy for the next REF which stipulates that in order to be eligible for submission to the next REF from April 2016 all journal papers and conference proceedings have to be made freely available in an institutional and/or subject repository at the time of acceptance. Outputs not made freely available in a repository at the time of acceptance after April 2016 will be exempt from inclusion.

The Research Blog’s REF pages have recently been updated and you can read more of what we know about REF 2020 here:

As soon as we know more we will post it on the Blog. Until then we wait with anticipation for the REF 2014 results!

Signs of hope for getting interdisciplinary work published!

Phil Ward, the Deputy Director of Research Services at the University of Kent attended a British Academy funded workshop for early career researchers and promised signs of hope for interdisciplinarity in publishing.

Focusing on the work of Sarah Campbell, the Editorial Director of Rowman and Littlefield International(RLI), a small scale academic publisher, Phil wrote the following in a blog post on Research Fundermental:

Traditional Academic Publishing

Traditionally, academic publishing has replicated the silos of academia. Book lists mirror university departments, so you have lists for Philosophy, Sociology, Politics, Linguistics, and so forth. Each of those has a Commissioning Editor – somewhat akin to a Head of Department. The list is integrated into (and dependent on) the community it serves: the authors, reviewers and buyers are all, essentially, one and the same. As such, it tends to be quite inward looking: they know who will be interested in their titles, they know the conferences they go to, and if they happen to attract a reader from outside of the community it is (as Sarah says) ‘a fluke’. This insularity is exacerbated by university libraries. Academic publishing is expensive; it doesn’t have the economies of scale of mainstream publishing, and as a result it tends to be only the institutional libraries that buy the volumes. Thus, the publishers cater for the needs, the demands and the categorisation of the libraries.

The Times, They Are A-Changin’

RLI Core Disciplines and themes

However, technology is changing this, and RLI are taking the opportunity to rethink things. Rather than setting up twelve distinct lists, it has set up four ‘core disciplines’ (Philosophy, Politics, Cultural Studies and Economics), around which other disciplines and themes overlap, merge and rub. You have gender and anthropology, but also postcolonialism, social movements and the environment. This has inevitably created some problems internally amongst the commissioning editors as to what their remit is, but this shouldn’t be visible externally. What has made this possible is technology. Social media has allowed RLI to identify and advertise to people across and outside traditional silos, using key words, and ebooks, open access, and print-on-demand have all drastically brought down publishing costs and have made smaller communities, and cross-disciplinary ones, viable.

Getting Interdisciplinary Works Published

This is all very positive, and give me hope for the future of interdisciplinarity. But that doesn’t mean that those working across disciplinary boundaries have been given a golden publishing ticket. You still have to work at it, and Sarah offered the following tips to preparing your book proposal:

  • Define your book and your potential audience. Is it: 
    • an interdisciplinary work for a multidisciplinary audience? That, suggested Sarah, is hard to pull off; 
    • an interdisciplinary book for a multidisciplinary audience? Easier to make the case, but the potential market is smaller and more niche; 
    • an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary work for a single disciplinary audience? This fits more easily with the traditional publishing model, and would thus be easier to market; 
    • or a single discipline book with the potential to appeal to more than one audience?
  • Define your overall theme and objective. It might be interdisciplinary, but it still needs to cohere. 
  • Think about keywords. How will an interested audience discover your book? 
  • What are the existing networks? Are there conferences, or groups on social media? Demonstrate that they exist. 
  • How advanced is the dialogue within the network? Is it just beginning, feeling its way, and establishing parameters, or is it more established? If your planning an edited collection, this is even more important, as they tend to be, by their very nature, looser and less focussed.

**The full programme, including recording and powerpoint slides of sessions of British Academy sponsored workshop ‘Pushing the Boundaries: Early Career Research and Interdisciplinarity can be found through this link.

Paper added to CEL collection


The latest paper of BU’s Centre for Excellence in Learning (CEL) was published in the Nepal Journal of Epidemiology.  The lead author Padam Simkhada (BU Visiting Faculty) together with BU’s Edwin van Teijlingen and three academic colleagues in Nepal published their paper: ‘Accessing research literature: A mixed-method study of academics in Higher Education Institutions in Nepal’ [1].

This latest paper reports on the knowledge of and practice in accessing electronic research-based evidence among university teachers in the health and medical field in Nepal.  This paper originates from a recently finished DelPHE (Round 4), British Council: award.  The study called Partnership on Improving Access to Research Literature for HE Institutions in Nepal (PARI Initiative) was a collaboration between Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal, the University of Sheffield and BU’s School of Health & Social Care.   This is the second paper to appear from the PARI study, the first paper reported on research methods teaching [2].

The paper argues that accessing electronic research literature provides an opportunity to gathering up-to-date research-based information that should be core to all health curricula in Nepal.  The authors call upon curriculum developers and university authorities in Nepal to revise health curricula and help build electronic searching skills among staff and students.

The Nepal Journal of Epidemiology is a full Open Access journal which means anybody across the globe can access it for free.



  1. Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Devkota, B., Pathak, R.S., Sathian, B. (2014) Accessing research literature: A mixed-method study of academics in Higher Education Institutions in Nepal, Nepal Journal of Epidemiology 4(4): 405-14.
  2. Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Pokharel, T., Devkota, B., Pathak, R.S. (2013) Research Methods Coverage in Medical & Health Science Curricula in Nepal, Nepal Journal Epidemiology 3(3): 253-258.

Prof.  Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health
Bournemouth University

Weekly HE Policy Update


EPSRC funding for dementia detection

Eight new research projects that will explore a variety of techniques and technology aimed at improving detection and diagnosis of dementias, are to receive over £8 million in funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). University’s £1m study of eyeball link to Alzheimer’s (BBC News)


Marking boycott over pensions 

The University and College Union says they will halt any planned exams and stop students from receiving; coursework, formal marks or feedback during industrial action, involving members at 69 UK universities which will start on 6th November. The row centres on attempts by Universities UK to reform the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).Marking boycott set to affect ‘thousands of students’ (The Daily Telegraph)


International students

The government, and not the public is ‘afraid’ of international students, while the current policy on student visas is causing ‘terrible damage’, according to Keith Vaz MP. The home affairs select committee chair co-hosted a debate on the issue of student visas to help form the committee’s report, which will be published prior to the 2015 general election. Keith Vaz: Government Is ‘Afraid’ Of International Students (The Huffington Post)

Scottish Students

Scottish students are being forced to take out record levels of debt after the Scottish government cut the grants they could claim by 40%. Official figures show that total student borrowing jumped by 69% for the last academic year up to £430m, the highest ever level. The heaviest burden is being carried by the poorest students after ministers cut overall spending on grants for living costs from £53m to £36m last year. Ministers under fire as £35m of cuts to student grants revealed (The Herald Scotland), Scottish student borrowing soars by 69% to record levels (The Guardian)


Postgraduate loans

A national postgraduate loan system would be ‘eminently affordable’, according to research from the Institute for Public Policy Research. The analysis models the impact on the exchequer of a loan scheme similar to that available for undergraduates. If postgraduates were asked to repay their loans on earnings above £15,000 a year (rather than £21,000 as with the undergraduate loan), the report estimates that only 6.9 per cent would not be recovered. The total cost of unpaid loans would be £44m, compared with £4.2bn for undergraduate loans. Postgraduate loan system would be ‘eminently affordable’  (FT)

Private education salary boost

A report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies reveals that state school-educated graduates are earning significantly less than their privately educated peers, even when they are employed in the same roles. Even among graduates who went to the same university, studied the same subject and left with the same class of degree, those who went to private schools still earn 7 per cent more than state-educated students three and a half years after graduation.  Private school graduates ‘out-earn state counterparts’ (BBC News)


Social Mobility

Research by the Institute of Education has shown that parents’ level of education has a particularly strong effect on men’s incomes in the UK and in a handful of other countries. Although the study focused primarily on men, it also found that women in England and Northern Ireland born to parents who were early school-leavers earn 11 per cent less than the daughters of graduates, even if they have the same qualifications. Parents’ education ‘has greater effect’ in unequal countries (THE), British men earn 20 per cent more if a parent went to university (Telegraph)

ESRC Transformative Research Call: internal competition

The ESRC expects universities to exercise demand management for the ESRC Transformative Research Call and therefore a special panel has been convened.Therefore, colleagues wishing to submit an application to this call should adhere to the following time scale:

You can find further information here: ESRC Transformative Research Call

The aim of this call is to provide a stimulus for genuinely transformative research ideas at the frontiers of the social sciences, enabling research which challenges current thinking to be supported and developed. Transformative research is an involving pioneering theoretical and methodological innovation. The expectation is that the transformative research call will encourage novel developments of social science enquiry, and support research activity that entails an element of risk.

If you have a queries please contact  Alexandra Pekalski

Three for the price of one: Keynote Talk, Outstanding Contribution Award and Media Appearance.

Prof Gabrys delivers a keynote talk at the KES 2014 international conference, receives the Outstanding Contribution to the KES International organisation award and appears in two popular Polish TV’s “Panorama” news programmes.

It was a very nice and productive trip to a beautiful Polish seaside city of Gdynia where the 18th International Conference on Knowledge-Based and Intelligent Information & Engineering Systems took place between the 14th and 17th of September 20014.

I thought that I was only going to deliver a keynote talk which in itself was a nice recognition of the ongoing work that we are doing in the areas of robust adaptive predictive modelling and data science and a great opportunity to talk to over 200 delegates from over 30 countries attending the conference but as it turned out there were some other attractions awaiting.

This very well organised conference attracted the attention of the Polish TV and the topics of data science, artificial intelligence or big data, all in the focus of our Data Science Institute at BU, were judged to be of considerable interest to the general public. Not only I had an opportunity to talk briefly about the conference topics during the TV coverage at the conference venue (which was aired in the evening news programme on the 15th of Sep) but together with one of the local organisers we were invited to the “Panorama” programme studio to take part in the morning news programme the following day (aired on the 16th of Sep). The interaction with the journalists and the production teams brought to my attention how important is our role in informing and educating about this very dynamically changing field and related technological innovations which have already had such a huge impact on our lives and will play even bigger role in the near future.

So whatever next, I thought. Well, there was another surprise around the corner. Though I have been involved in the KES International for a number of years it has come as a very pleasant surprise and an honour to receive the Outstanding Contribution to KES International award during the conference dinner.

An icing on the cake, you could say. :)

Latest Major Funding Opportunities

The following funding opportunities have been announced. Please follow the links for more information:

Wellcome Trust, UK

The Ebola trials call aims to support research that can swiftly begin to investigate new approaches for preventing and treating the disease, during the current epidemic in West Africa. Its goals are to identify clinical interventions, including drugs and vaccines, with the potential to contribute to tackling the present crisis. Closing date: Applications may be submitted at any time.

Cancer Research, UK – Biotherapeutic Drug Discovery Programme Awards

These Awards support research towards the identification/validation of new targets, and the discovery and development of novel biotherapeutic agents.

The Drug Discovery Committee will consider most levels of project funding if there are appropriate justifications. Closing Date: 17/12/14
Cancer Research, UK – Biotherapeutic Drug Discovery Project Awards
These Awards support research towards the identification/validation of new targets, and the discovery and development of novel biotherapeutic agents.
The Drug Discovery Committee will consider most project durations if there are appropriate justifications. Closing Date: 17/12/14
Federation of European Toxicologists and European Societies of Toxicology (EUROTOX), - Travel Fellowships, Belgium
Applicants are sought for travel fellowships to attend the 2015 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Toxicity held in New Hampshire, USA, August 8-14, 2015.
Successful applicants will receive up to 850EU travel support from EUROTOX and assistance with registration/accommodation from the GRC Conference. Closing date: 12/06/15
Food and Drug Administration (FDA), US – Clinical Studies of Safety and Effectiveness of Orphan Products Research Project Grant
FDA provides grants for clinical studies on safety and/or effectiveness that will either result in, or substantially contribute to, market approval of these products. Phase 1 studies are eligible for grants of up to $250,000 per year for up to 3 years.
Closing date: 04/02/15

Please note that some funders specify a time for submission as well as a date. Please confirm this with your RKE Support Officer.

You can set up your own personalised alerts on ResearchProfessional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s RKE Officer in RKE Operations or see the recent post on this topic, which includes forthcoming training dates up to November 2014.

If thinking of applying, why not add notification of your interest on ResearchProfessional’s record of the bid so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.

6 Easy Ways to Stay Safe Online – BU Cyber Security Unit is at Bournemouth House today!

Posted in BU research by Julia Taylor

October is Cyber Security month and the Bournemouth University Cyber Security Unit (BUCSU) is at Bournemouth House today (Thursday, 30 October) from 1100-1500 to provide BU staff and students with guidance on how to keep you and your family safe online. We have a few giveaways and demonstrations, so be sure to stop by. If you can’t make today’s event, the BUCSU will also be at Bournemouth House on Thursday.

Recent high profile hacks stress the importance of ensuring effective cyber security measures are in place. Criminality in the cloud has become a prominent issue with the latest publicity around the intrusion of Apple’s iCloud and the insensitive dissemination of celebrity private and intimate photographs. Users of the popular photo messaging service, Snapchat, who used an unofficial third-party app to circumvent the anti-save function have also fallen victim to a malicious attack whereby more than 100,000 videos and photos were released online. Last month’s ‘Peter Pan virus’ brought the issue of cyber security a bit closer to home as tens of thousands of people received an email which appeared to be from BH Live, the Bournemouth entertainment company, claiming they had booked tickets to see a pantomime at the Bournemouth Pavilions. The perpetrators used a basic phishing technique to lure recipients to open the attachment, which installed a virus capable of stealing passwords and sensitive personal information.

The rapid rise in reported high profile cyber-enabled attacks highlights the need for greater awareness to cyber risks. This has been specifically recognised in the USA and Europe as October has been dubbed the official cyber security awareness month to encourage vigilance and protection by all computer users. Therefore, the Bournemouth University Cyber Security Unit (BUCSU).

If you’ve got any burning questions about cyber security….or perhaps you’ve been the victim of a cyber crime and want to know how to prevent a future attack….or maybe you simply want to pop by to check out our giveaways and demonstrations….either way, we’re looking forward to seeing you at one of the events!

The BUCSU will also be attending the ‘Putting Crime out of Business’ conference in Bovington on Tuesday, 4 November. The Unit will have a stand to promote the available business services as well as Dr Christopher Richardson presenting on cyber crime.

Hello from Jenny Hall: Senior lecturer in midwifery

I have been invited to introduce myself as a new member of HSC, having joined at the start of September. I am part of the midwifery team and based on the Portsmouth campus, though seem to have been in Bournemouth quite regularly! I have recently left UWE in Bristol, and have also worked in the north and east, so I am completing the four points of the compass here now in Bournemouth. I have been in education in midwifery and the NHS for many years and so come with a certain amount of experience, and passion of developing midwives of the future. My research, education and scholarly interests are in holistic care and spirituality in relation to childbirth; the art of midwifery; promoting normality of pregnancy and birth; dignity and humanised care and the use of arts-based methodologies. As I am aware these cross over various established groups and I hope therefore to be able to meet many of you as I connect in. Thank you for the warm welcome I have received and I look forward to continuing to developing relationships and projects.

Festival of Learning – what could you do? Be part of something special this July…

The Festival of Learning is back for the third year between 11th -17th July.

This year will build of the fantastic success of the Festival in 2013 and 2014. Over the past two years the Festival of Learning has had circa 9,000 visits with an average event rating of 9 out of 10 and 96% of evaluated attendees stating that they would be very likely or likely to attend another event.

To further this success in 2015, we need you to host lectures, workshops and debates (or whatever type of engaging activity you can think of) showcasing the fantastic knowledge base of BU.

But why get involved?

  • It is a great opportunity to celebrate life at BU and share your passion with a different audience.
  • It can add fresh perspective to your research. Read this article about how public engagement can help you think about your research from a fresh perspective.
  • It can change people’s lives. Here in the Festival office we have been moved by members of the public telling us about how the Festival has helped reignite a passion for learning, helped support the growth of the charity and even helped people to walk for the first time in years.
  • It is a great networking opportunity. Colleagues involved in the Festival in previous years have developed partnerships which have, for example, led to collaborative PhD studentships.
  • It is fantastic for skills development. Especially for early career researchers, the Festival offers an unprecedented opportunity to develop communication techniques which engage members of the public and builds confidence in communicating complex ideas (essential for a future lecturing career!)
  • It helps to meet the expectation of funders and policy makers. The European Commission, HEFCE and our Research Councils (amongst others) expect researchers to demonstrate to the public the value of their research. The Festival provides of a great vehicle to do this as you will receive central support (e.g. for marketing) rather than going it alone.
  • It can support student recruitment. And not just undergraduates, but those looking for postgraduate courses and short courses who have never before considered BU as a potential place to study.

What you need to know

  • The call for proposals is now open and closes on 19th December at 12noon.
  • You don’t have to run a long event. Many members of the public actually prefer to attend an event which only lasts an hour or so, rather than for a whole day.
  • The Festival runs from 11-17th July 2015. Eager Festival followers will note that the Festival of Learning is being held slightly later this year. This is in order to ensure that our local schools and colleges are able to participate more fully in the Festival and to avoid clashes with examinations (both those being held by schools and Universities).

What to do next

Simple Guide to The Research Process in Healthcare

The research process can be a tricky one, especially if you are navigating more than one organisation’s processes! Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) with help from RKEO and Local NHS R&D departments, have created a simple flowchart that represents the research process in the NHS and BU, with the aim of helping healthcare researchers understand the process and what they need to do when!

You can download the guide here: BU&NHS Combined Research Process. The process is always evolving so please ensure you check here regularly for the most recent version.

Workshop on 5th November: University students and enterprise: learning from other universities

A workshop is taking place on 5th November at Talbot Campus entitled University students and enterprise: learning from other universities

In this session led by BU staff, the findings of the first national study of university business consultancy involving students will be presented.   It will be of interest to any staff involved in the leadership or management of employability, knowledge exchange, education and indeed research.

To find out more about the event and to book your place at this event, please visit the Staff Development and Engagement pages.

Lunchtime project invitation talk: Living Well Active – Improving the Lives of People with Cancer – 5th November & 12th November

You are cordially invited to this lunchtime project invitation talk which is open to all  staff.

Please feel free to bring your lunch.


                                 “Dorset Living Well Active – Improving The Lives of People Living with Cancer”

                                         Exploring Opportunities for Schools/Faculties, Staff and Students 


  • Wednesday  5th November 2014    13.00 – 13.50pm          P403,  Poole House
  • Wednesday  12th November 2014   13.00 – 13.50pm         B225,  Bournemouth House

Dorset Living Well Active is a flagship project funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and Sport England with an ambition to enable 1000 people living with cancer in Dorset to improve their potential for health, fitness and wellbeing.

Living Well Active is building a ‘virtual health and fitness club’ bringing together healthcare professionals, physical activity providers, educators, support groups and organisations who are passionate about helping people with cancer live the best life they can. Examples of existing organisations we are currently working with are:

  • Bournemouth University, County Sports Partnerships, Local, regional and National Cancer Charities, GP Practices, Hospitals, Local Authorities
  • Health Commissioners, Behavioural Change Support Organisations (Chronic Health Conditions), Leisure Centres/ Fitness Clubs / Countryside and Parks , Walking for Health, British Cycling, England Athletics, NGB Sports, Dorset Race Equality Council, Help and Care, Boots.

On successful completion of this project it is planned to expand its geographical boundaries to surrounding counties.

Dorset Living Well Active offers Bournemouth University a wealth of opportunities for research, partnership, product and service development, student experience, volunteering and to be part of a nationally recognised project improving the lives of people living with cancer.

Areas include:

  • Website, Social media and Engagement Tools, Service User Experience, GP Practice Development, Social Return on Investment Studies
  • Behavioural Change and Positive Psychology, Physical Activity and Sport (Delivery and Training), Nutrition, Journalism, Graphic Design.

I really welcome the opportunity to explore your potential to benefit from the Living Well Active project and make a positive difference to people, communities and health services in the process.


Thank you

Layne Hamerston

Visiting Associate

Centre for Wellbeing and Quality of Life

Centre of Post Graduate Medical Research and Education

YouTube BU Open Access

Bournemouth University’s Shaun Osborne video recordings to celebrate Open Access Week (21-26 Oct. 2014).  Open Access publishing makes academic papers freely available to all across the globe!

See six BU clips here highlighting Open Access papers!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen


£750,000 competition announced to help students with clever ideas

Enterprising university students will bid for £750,000, in a new competition designed to encourage the practical use of intellectual property (IP) in their business ideas.

Launched 15 October 2014, the StudentshIP Enterprise Awards will provide funding, ranging from £10,000 up to £100,000, for university projects that bring enterprising students, businesses, and their local community together to work on innovative projects. In-house projects or collaborations with other universities or businesses that create, manage or exploit intellectual property will all be considered.

For more information more here.

Subscribe to receive the Daily Digest email