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Check out the updated Research Ethics website!

The Research Ethics website has been updated to take into account last week’s ethics restructure implementation. The research ethics restructure sees the formation of two Research Ethics Panels which will act on behalf of the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC), moving from a School-based to an integrated discipline-based model. The restructure identifies the two Research Ethics Panels as Science, Technology & Health and Social Sciences & Humanities.

The updated Research Ethics website includes sections on:

  • The purpose of ethical approval at BU
  • How to apply for ethical review
  • Explanation of the review and approval process for students and staff (to include ‘above minimal risk’ and expedited review)
  • Research Ethics Panels (REP)
  • University Research Ethics Committee (UREC)
  • NHS Ethical Review
  • Training and Guidance
  • Useful Documents
  • Contact Us

Please get in touch with Julia Hastings Taylor if you have any questions on the updated Research Ethics website or if you’d like to see any additional information.

Next Grants Academy – apply by 12th of March for March/April session – only a few spaces left!


The Grants Academy has been described by members as ‘brilliant’, ‘excellent’, ‘extremely educational and stimulating’ and ‘very beneficial’. It has also increased bids submissions from members acting as a Principal Investigator by 41% and 20% as a co-Investigator. Members have significantly increased their funding successes too and obtained funding from organisations such as the AHRC, European Commission, ESRC, British Academy, English Heritage and Burdett Trust for Nursing.

How does the Academy work?  Members attend an initial two day training course off campus, facilitated by an external expert bid writer with a well-developed draft proposal. The training days will cover the art of proposal craftmanship, the rules of the writing game and other invaluable information to help you perfect your proposal during the days. Feedback on these days from existing members have been very positive,  ‘the workshop was the best I have ever attended’. 

Members can then further develop their proposal over a couple of weeks, gaining unlimited support from the external facilitator in doing so and the cohort re-gathers for a mock peer review panel of each other’s applications. This gives a unique insight into this process in a supportive environment and helps further refine the proposal. One member has described this session as ‘[I now have] profound insights in[to] how the system works…and to realize how that must be for professional reviewers’.

What other support is given? Throughout the 18 month membership of the Grants Academy, members benefit form UNLIMITED support from the external facilitator (and in some cases additional external reviewers) which has been invaluable in helping members secure external funding ‘[His] input enabled me to produce a clearer, more logical and convincing proposal. He also alerted me to issues I had not previously considered and encouraged me to think about ‘impact’ and value for the UK in new ways’.

Members also have bespoke assistance from R&KEO in finding funding and collaborators. They also have access to a library of successful proposals from BU, a travel grant (£250), guaranteed places on Funder visits organised for them and surgeries with external facilitators.

How do I apply? To apply for a place, please contact me Dianne Goodman and I will send you a Membership Agreement Form to be signed by you, your line manager and your DDRE. Applications close on Wednesday March 12th 2014 for the next training sessions due to take place on the: 24th and 25th of Mar and the 22nd Apr 2014

If there is a waiting list for spaces on the Grants Academy due to its success and you will be added to this if no places are available on the next cohort. If you find that you are unable to make these dates you may find it helpful to know that we have 1 further Grants Academy session which will be held on the:

12th and 13th of May and the 9th of Jun 2014

You are welcome to apply and register for the next Grants Academy session (March/April) or the session listed above (May/June) and we are happy to put your name on our list for a future session provided you can confirm at the time of applying that you have blocked out these dates in your calendar and we receive your application signed by your line manager and DDRE.

What’s the small print? When making your application, you must ensure that you are available for the 3 dates in their entirety. Membership is only obtained once all training days have been attended. Obligations of membership are that at least one proposal for external funding must be submitted within the first six months of membership. As the training days are attended with a draft proposal, this should be obtainable. Within 18 months at least three proposals for external funding must have been submitted. Failure to meet these obligations will lead to membership being revoked.

If you have any questions about the Grants Academy please get in contact with Dianne Goodman (scheme administrator) or Rebecca Edwards (scheme manager).

Grants Academy Next Workshops – Deadline for your Application to join for the March/April Sessions – 12th March 2014 – get yourself booked in today – only a few spaces left!!

Book Now! Leverhulme Trust – our next funder visit March 19th 2014

Following on from our well attended visit from the AHRC and the British Academy I am pleased to remind you that the Leverhulme Trust will be visiting us next on the 19th of March – it is not too late to get yourself booked in….

Working on a variety of initiatives in R&KEO over the years, one element of development which we receive consistently excellent feedback, is the events we arrange where funders come to BU and present their organisations funding priorities and give advice on making an application. We have arranged for several funders to visit BU in 2014, we have already hosted visits from the AHRC and the British Academy and are pleased to announce our next arranged visit is with the Leverhulme Trust.

This will be taking place on Wednesday 19 March 2014, and Jean Cater (Mrs) The Assistant Director from the Leverhulme Trust which funds all academic disciplines will be visiting to discuss their grants and give advice on making an application.

Spaces on this event are becoming limited due to the room available so booking is essential!

Grants Academy members can be guaranteed a space by emailing Dianne. Or by emailing Staff Development

The booking hyperlink is:

Leverhulme Trust  funder visit

This is taking place mainly over the lunchtime period (12 midday until about 1pm -1:30pm ish) so please feel free to bring your lunch with you

We look forward to seeing as many of you who can make it.

Fusion – Study leave to research 2 books – AIDS Education and Media Gaze

I am delighted to report that I have been sucessful in my Fusion Investment Fund bid for study leave to research two academic books, between August this year and the end of January 2015.

These are books are titled ‘Pedro Zamora: A Media Icon for AIDS Education, under contract with Cambria Press, and ‘Straight Girls and Queer Guys: The Heteromedia Gaze upon the Queer Male’, under contract with Edinburgh University Press.

This will include not only research time where I can involve myself looking at archives, examining media texts and holding interviews, but also this will involve visiting other academic institutions, charitable health educational organisations, and practice production houses.

These projects are very exciting, as to some degree they represent a culmination of ideas that I have been working on for many years.

With the Pedro Zamora AIDS education book, I first heard of Pedro Zamora and his status as a leading youth educator on AIDS way back in the early 2000s. Appearing the The Real World TV series, and reaching a worldwide audience, his impact  was phenomenal, and his legacy as an influence on AIDS educators is very important. Pedro’s death in 1994, just after The Real World aired, seemed such a loss.  Yet his legacy continues, speaking to Latino and gay youth audiences.  Whilst I have examined Pedro’s appearances in media texts, in a few of my publications, I have not yet closely examined his impact as an AIDS educator, relative to practice.  I have set up a range of interviews with those who not only knew Pedro, but also have been inspired by his impact, and potentially exhibit this in their educational practice

With the ‘Straight Girls and Queer Guys’ book, I will be considering the rise of the relationship between ‘straight girls’ and ‘gay guys’ in the media.  This seems like an entirely different prospect (to the Pedro Zamora book), but in many ways its another aspect, of media identification potential. This relationship dates back to the early part of the 20th century, considering the union or camaraderie exhibited between gay men and prostitutes in London, and the use of the secret language of ‘Polari”, a coded language where secret discourse could be exchanged, without the general population getting in on the know.  Later gay men’s identification with female movie stars such as Judy Garland, revealed a similar type of coupling – where gay men identified with the sense of tribulation and trial as being outside.  Even more later shows like Will and Grace seem to offer this type of union, and on the internet, there is a proliferation of this coupling.

Well enough for now, there’s lots to think about.  I am just so pleased that I can get to do these engaging projects.  I am now in the process of careful time planning, as I tell my students, time management is everything.

Dr Chris Pullen – Senior Lecturer in Media Theory – The Media School.





The Ethics Restructure – Implementation Tomorrow!

As you are already aware, the University recently approved the restructure of our research ethics review process, which will go into effect tomorrow.

As part of the implementation, the Online Ethics Checklist has been upgraded to ensure it is fit for purpose and as such, you may experience slight disruptions to the Online Ethics Checklist tomorrow as the new system is being uploaded. Please be patient with the system and feel free to get in touch with Julia Hastings Taylor if you have any questions.

The research ethics restructure sees the formation of two Research Ethics Panels which will act on behalf of the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC), moving from a School-based to an integrated discipline-based model. The restructure identifies the two Research Ethics Panels as Science, Technology & Health and Social Sciences & Humanities.

Regarding the ethical review process, the restructure emphasises the need to identify potential risk and ensures that projects, which reach the threshold of ‘above minimal risk’ (further defined in the School Implementation Plans), receive a thorough ethical review. Please email Julia Hastings Taylor if you would like a copy of your School’s Implementation Plan.

If you have any specific questions regarding the restructure, please contact Julia Hastings Taylor.

Forthcoming Seminars Organised by Women’s Academic Network

I’d like to invite you to the forthcoming  seminars  organised by the Women’s Academic Network.


Dr Cynthia Carter

Venue: K101

Date and time: Friday, 28 Feb, 14:00-16:00


Biography (

Dr Cynthia Carter is a Senior Lecturer in the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University.

Her books include Current Perspectives in Feminist Media Studies (Routledge, 2013); Critical Readings: Violence and the Media (Open University Press, 2006); Critical Readings: Media and Gender (Open University Press, 2004), Violence and the Media (Open University Press, 2003), Environmental Risks and the Media Routledge, 2000) and News, Gender and Power (Routledge, 1998). She is currently co-editing a companion on media and gender.

She is Founding Co-Editor of the journal Feminist Media Studies (Routledge) and is editorial board member of Communication, Culture & Critique (Wiley-Blackwell), Communication Review (Taylor & Francis), Communication Theory (Wiley-Blackwell), Critical Studies in Media Communication (Taylor & Francis), Fifth Estate (online), Journal of Children and Media (Routledge), Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Sociology Compass (Blackwell), and Studies on Women and Gender Abstracts (Routledge).

Cindy will discuss her work with the Global Media Monitoring Project (, the largest longitudinal study on gender in the world’s media. She has been involved in the study since 2000.


Professor Catherine Cassell

Title of presentation: The state of qualitative management research and future challenges for qualitative researchers

Venue: EB206

Date and time: Thursday, 03 April, 2014, 14:00-16:00



Catherine Cassell is Professor of Organisational Psychology. Previously she was Head of the School’s People, Management and Organisations Division and head of Postgraduate Research programmes. Before joining MBS she held appointments in the Management School at the University of Sheffield and at Sheffield Business School. She was the founding chair of British Academy of Management’s Special Interest group in Research Methodology – a group she is still heavily involved with – and is currently a member of the Association of Business School’s Research Policy Committee. Professor Cassell is an Associate Editor of the ‘British Journal of Management’, inaugural co-Editor of ‘Qualitative Research in Organisations and Management: an international journal’, and on the Editorial Advisory Boards of five other journals. She is a Fellow of the British Academy of Management and an Academic Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Catherine’s research interests are in the area of organisational change and learning; and diversity and dignity in the workplace. She has a specific interest in the use of qualitative research techniques in both management and organisational research. Together with Gillian Symon from Birkbeck she has published a number of books and articles in this area, plus chaired and convened symposia at international conferences. She has also jointly edited special issues of a number of different journals all focused on the use of qualitative methods and alternative epistemological approaches in management and organizational research. Furthermore she has completed a two year ESRC funded project entitled ‘Benchmarking good practice in qualitative management research’ (with G. Symon and P. Johnson) where the team developed training materials aimed at enhancing good practice in the field. She has also received research grants from a number of organisations including ESRC, EPSRC, British Academy, ERDF and the EU and has supervised 15 doctoral students to completion.

For catering purpose, please book your place with Staff Development


Christine Bosse

Venue: EB306

Date and time: Friday, 11 April, 2014, 15:00-17:00


She is widely known in the public for her direct and no-nonsense communication and is enthusiastically engaged in the societal debate for a better and safer world. She is a role model for many aspiring young people as the highest ranking female CEO in Denmark and was appointed the 22nd most influential business woman in the world in 2009 and 2010 by the Financial Times.

Stine Bosse serves as chairman of Flügger Denmark, The Royal Danish Theater, CONCITO, Børnefonden, and Copenhagen Art Festival. She serves as vice chairman of ChildFund Alliance and sits on the board of among others TDC, Allianz and Aker ASA. Additionally, Stine Bosse is the former chairman of the supervisory board of the Danish Insurance Association (Forsikring & Pension), and former board member of Grundfos, Nordea Bank A/S and Amlin plc. In the Spring 2010, Stine Bosse was appointed Advocate for the Millenium Development Goals by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, to fight world hunger and poverty. Stine is also the founder of Women in Europe Network.


Latest Major Funding Opportunities

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

The AHRC and ESRC have developed a partnership with three organisations that are interested in hosting a funded Design Fellow within their organisation: The Design Council, Skills Development Scotland and The Cabinet Office Policy Lab. The Fellowship will fund design researchers to spend up to 12 months embedded in such organisations, working on a collaborative project that will be of interest and benefit to both the researcher and the host organisation. Awards must start between 1st August 2014 and 31st December 2014 inclusive. Closing date 24/04/14.

EPSRC are inviting research proposals from consortia across the Engineering and Physical Sciences communities to address the manufacturing research challenges in developing applications, production technologies and future processes that incorporate advanced functional materials. Up to £2.5m per proejct is available. EOIs are to be submitted by 15/04/14 with invited full proposals to be submitted by end July 2014

 As part of their community building exercise, EPSRC Centre – LiME (national centre in liquid metal engineering) have set up a special fund to support small-scale feasibility studies in the UK solidification community (excluding the original LiME investigators). A total of £144,000 has been ring-fenced to support a total of 6 studies, each at a cost of up to £24k (80% FEC). The duration of each feasibility study should not exceed 6 months. This support will provide proof-of-concept results for preparation of grant proposals to the relevant funding bodies. Closing date 14/03/14

The ERA-NET Bioenergy wishes to fund collaborative projects on integrated biorefineries. Projects must aim to provide optimal value by a complete, integrated utilisation of raw material from sustainable. Pre-proposals closing date 28/04/14.

 NERC are offering funding for the Oil and Gas sector. They have a call for innovation funding to facilitate the take up of NERC science and expertise by the oil and gas industry. The closing date for this call is 16:00 on 08/05/14.

NERC also have a number of Knowledge Exchange opportunties. All close on 06/05/14 with interview dates in June aNand July. These include:

  • Oil and Gas – developing a broader, strategic approach to mapping and engaging the sector, including identifying future opportunities and approaches to engagement
  • FASTNEt – understanding UK shelf water quality and productivity
  • Horticulture – to bring tangible benefits to business performance through sustained knowledge exchange and effective research translation
  • Environmental Nanoscience – for the Environmental Nanoscience Initiative (ENI) research programme in 2014 for a period of one year with the possibility of further extension
  • Future Cities – meeting the need of the Cities-Lab to access the UK environmental science base
  • International Ocean Discovery Programme – developing knowledge exchange activities and improve engagement with industry


The Technology Strategy Board, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are to invest up to £13m in collaborative R&D and feasibility studies projects, to stimulate innovation in the UK’s  civil nuclear power sector.  Academic and research oganisations can apply but cannot lead a project. The total non-business involvement in a project cannot exceed 50% of the total project costs for collaborative R&D, or 30% of the total project costs for feasibility studies.   R&D projects to range in size between £500k and £3m and particularly encourage larger companies to work with SMEs.  A briefing event for applicants will be held in London on 19/03/14.  Applicants must register by 23/04/14. The deadline for feasibility studies applications is noon on 30/04/14.  The application process for CR&D projects is in two stages, with the deadline for  stage 1 (expressions of interest) also noon  on 30/04/14.
The Northern Ireland Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPSNI) in partnership with Technology Strategy Board, working with the Northern Ireland Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) and Invest Northern Ireland (InvestNI), is launching a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition to stimulate the development of innovative technology solutions to optimise patient health and social care outcomes through improved medicines adherence, through the Medicines Optimisation call. Technology has a role to play to help improve medicines adherence. This competition is seeking to develop innovative solutions to improve medicines adherence in response to assessed needs. Taking the right medicines at the right time is a key step in the medicines management process and perhaps the most important in terms of health outcomes, assuming the appropriateness of the prescribed treatment.Register by 07/05/14 with deadline for submissions 14/05/14.
The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £4.75m in collaborative R&D and feasibility studies to stimulate innovation and growth in the manufacture of electronic systems. A briefing event and webinar for potential applicants will be held in London on 26/02/14. The deadline for registration is noon on 26/03/14. The deadline for expressions of interest for collaborative R&D projects, and for applications for feasibility projects, is noon on 02/04/14. 

The Wellcome Trust’s Research Resources grant scheme aids research by supporting projects to catalogue and preserve significant primary source collections in libraries and archives across the UK and Ireland. Between  £10,000 and £100,000 is available. The current theme is ‘Investigating development, ageing and chronic disease’ and the closing date for preliminary applications is 15/04/14. Other collections may also be considered.

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.

Cyber Security Seminar: Everyday Security for Everyday Lives (Lizzie Coles-Kemp, Royal Holloway)

Our next Interdisciplinary Cyber Security Seminar will take place on Tuesday, 4th March at 5pm.
The seminar will take place in EB202 in the Executive Business Centre, and will be free and open to all. If you would like to attend, please register at

Our speaker will be Dr Lizzie Coles-Kemp. Lizzie is a qualitative researcher, interested in the everyday practices of information production, circulation, curation and consumption within a broad range of communities. She works in Possible Futures Lab within the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway University of London. Her main focus is the interaction between people and security and privacy technologies, how each influences the other and the communities of practice that emerge. As part of this focus, she explores topics such as identity and technology use, gender and information management and information control as a means of power. Current interdisciplinary work includes: value sensitive design in public service delivery, cultural analysis in institutional security and the use of visual research methods in interdisciplinary research.

Abstract: Over the last five years at the Information Security Group, Royal Holloway, a research group called Possible Futures Lab has been working on projects that explore what notions of information control mean in the context of everyday lives. We have two primary objectives: to improve designs related to everyday information production and control and to influence thinking on topics of everyday information security. Each of our projects has started with ethnographic research that has enabled us to identify and observe the relevant spaces and places. From there we have co-designed with each community discovery tools for seeing, experiencing and exploring these spaces. These tools help us to better understand the community viewpoints on information and its control and to design/re-design services and technologies to better support this position. This talk gives examples of this approach in two of our projects that focus on cyber security decision making.

Congratulations to Anne Quinney

Anne Quinney, Senior Lecturer Social Work (HSC) who has been appointed to the Editorial Board of the highly esteemed British Journal of Social Work.

Anne recently stepped down as Editor and Co-Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Practice; social work in action.  Whilst she also recently completing her five-year term of office as Editorial Board member of the peer reviewed journal Social Work Education.


Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health

How To Manage Research Data

Research Councils and funding bodies are increasingly requiring evidence of adequate and appropriate provisions for data management and curation in new grant funding applications. In July, the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) will be holding two half day workshops which will provide an introduction to research data management and curation, the range of activities and roles that should be considered when planning and implementing new projects, and an overview of tools that can assist with curation activities.

 The Learning Objectives of the workshops will be to:

  • understand funders’ requirements for data management and sharing
  • learn how research data management and curation can safeguard research outputs and increase citations
  • identify the processes and activities involved in good practice for research data management
  • be aware of the free services and tools available

 There will be two workshops each pitched to a slightly different audience on the dates below:

  • 2nd July 2014 2-5pm 
  • 3rd July 9-12pm  

Further information can be found on the Staff Intranet. If you are interested in attending, please book on by emailing


Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travel Fellowship: Anita Immanuel


Part-time HSC Ph.D. student Anita Immanuel has been awarded a travel fellowship by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.  This travel fellowship will enable her to visit experts in her field working in Australia and Canada.  Anita’s Ph.D. study examines the quality of lives of adults who have survived cancer of the blood or lymphatic system. Patients with haematological cancers have frequently reported lack of care-coordination as an unmet need following their intensive treatment.  

 Dr. Helen McCarthy, Anita’s clinical Ph.D. supervisor at Bournemouth Hospital congratulated her by saying: “The travel will give her a global experience which she can translate into recommendations for improving care provision in the UK.” 

 Dr. Jane Hunt commented: “Anita’s research is something she is passionate about. Her research will identify any unmet needs in this group of patients and will give us a better understanding into comprehensive survivorship care thereby maximising quality of life.”

There are currently no proper guidelines or care path ways for the follow up care for patients who have completed treatment for blood and lymphatic cancers in the UK.  However, both Australia and Canada have well established models of follow-up care for cancer survivors.   With the increase in the number of cancer survivors and possible long-term side effects that could impact on the quality of life, it is important to formalise the post-treatment follow up and provide a seamless coordination between the health care providers. 

Anita highlighted: “I am delighted to have been selected for a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travel Fellowship.  The Travel Fellowship will allow me to visit to countries where the notion of survivorship is better developed and where we in the NHS can learn from the way care is organised.”

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen, Anita’s third supervisor added: “The Fellowship will contribute to the underdeveloped area of care for and research into adult haematological cancer survivors.  I am particular pleased that Anita has achieved this as a part-time student working simultaneously in the NHS.”


NRG talk on the Novelization of Comics in the 1970s

The next in the series of Narrative Research Group talks will take place on Wednesday 26 February at 4 p.m in CAG06. Paul Williams, Lecturer in Twentieth-Century Literature at the University of Exeter, will examine the ways in which ‘the novel’ was used in the 1970s to conceptualise ambitious comic projects. Although Will Eisner’s A Contract with God (1978) is frequently hailed as the threshold text popularising the ‘graphic novel’, it was one of several projects whereby comics were published in book form for adult readers in the 1970s. The talk will establish the different modes of production open to creators aiming for long, complete narratives. By outlining the main publication routes available at the time, we can start to explain why 1978 saw an exponential growth in book-bound comics for adult readers, before numbers dropped in 1979 and 1980.

Paul Williams is Lecturer in Twentieth-Century Literature at the University of Exeter, where he has been working since 2008. He has written on a wide range of genres, texts and media, including Cold War literature, Vietnam War films, hip-hop music and 1970s psychotherapy; his main publications are The Rise of the American Comics Artist (2010; co-edited with James Lyons), Race, Ethnicity and Nuclear War (2011) and Paul Gilroy (2012).

Psychology PGR student Simon Ferneyhough wins Santander Award and BPS Postgraduate Study Visit grant

Posted in BU research by Julie Northam

Congratulations to Simon Ferneyhough, second year PhD student in Psychology (SciTech), for obtaining funding from both the Santander Mobility Award scheme (£1000) and the British Psychological Society Postgraduate Study Visit scheme (£400).  In combination, these funds will be used to support a two week research placement at the University of the Balearic Islands, working with long-standing laboratory collaborator and newly appointed Visiting Professor in Psychology, Dr. Fabrice Parmentier.

Simon’s PhD research examines the impact of normal cognitive ageing on a specific aspect of working memory performance known as feature binding: the ability to integrate different features of objects and events (e.g., colour, shape, sound, location) into unified episodic representations. While existing research indicates that we will all face decline in feature binding performance as we get older, not all types of feature binding seem to decline equally – memory for objects in locations, for instance, appears to be particularly impaired; while memory for an object’s intrinsic features (such as colour and shape) appears to be relatively preserved.  Simon will use the visit to collaboratively develop a paradigm widely used in the auditory distraction literature to study auditory-spatial feature binding (that between a sound object and its location in space) across younger and older adult samples.

Simon’s PhD is supervised by Dr.Jane Elsley (Psychology) and Dr. Andrew Johnson (Psychology).

BU Social Science Input at Tasik Chini, Malaysia

A very significant aspect of our Fusion Funded Study Leave has been our invitation to spend time as Visiting Professors at the Tasik Chini Research Centre, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.  This Research Centre is primarily a natural science-based one, which is now expanding its remit to embrace social science, and which focuses on Tasik (Lake) Chini in the State of Pahang, about 4 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. This lake, one of only two freshwater lakes in Peninsular Malaysia, is composed of a very large area of 12,568 acres, and in terms of beauty and grandeur was not dissimilar to England’s Lake District.  Google the lake and a serene vision will appear of placid waters smothered in ravishing pink and white water-lilies in a valley of opulent, teeming rain forest and rimmed by green mountains. A veritable paradise, seemingly, and also the traditional ‘native’ lands of a community of indigenous, ‘first-people’, of Malaysia, the Jakun tribe of the Orang Asli (original people).


Hardly surprisingly maybe that this wonderful area received coveted UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status due to its lush diversity of flora and fauna. However, although once a popular eco-tourist destination, very few tourists are spotted now and the trade has virtually died off. The reason being that the lake itself is dying with total and irreversible collapse of the ecological system predicted by 2030.  Unrestrained mining of the mineral-rich soil in the area has led to mass deforestation, while logging, itself, and destruction of the colossal swathes of the forest has made way for Oil Palm plantations. Contaminants from mines in very close proximity to the lake have caused considerable pollution and the replacement of local flora with a pernicious species of aquatic weed and algae.  To add to a catalogue of disasters, and against the wishes of the those Orang Asli communities who managed to hear of it (as they were not formally consulted) and Malaysian environmentalists, an ill conceived dam was placed in 1994 at the juncture of the Tasik Chini and the great Pahang River. This served to prevent the annual ebb and flow of the lake that made boating of tourists difficult at times but was essential to the ecosystem of the area  The lake is now stagnant, polluted and  the fish, upon which the Jakun relied on as fisher folk, frequently unfit to eat, their flesh being tainted and their bodies invaded by parasites.


Our role as social scientists invited to work with the Tasik Chini Research Centre is to help to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge of the problems here and the local communities. Our work is to aid amplification of their voices in speaking of their experiences of trying to survive in traditional native lands that have been violated and usurped.  With our fourth intensive field trip to Tasik Chini coming up this week and a packed itinerary of interviews and focus group discussions planned with the local villagers, our ethnographies are rapidly developing. The Orang Asli people have much to be angry about and although too often treated as backward and uneducated in Malaysia itself, they have impressed us considerably with their passion for their lands, their rage and grief at the destruction, their eloquence, their gracious hospitality to us – and their ability to organise their communities and their protests up to the highest levels of Government. Truly they are a great if much abused people and we count it a pronounced honour to be so warmly welcomed by them, and regard this as some, and maybe, the most important work of our careers.


We hear much in the UK of the trite, overused and sometimes disingenuous phrase ‘making a difference’ when applied to higher educational endeavour and these experiences have brought into sharp relief the differences between its application to the banal and to the truly tragic. This area is part of the traditional land of the Jakun, and as such should be protected and preserved. But much more than this it is an international site for the earth’s future generations and we must, as academics, plough back what little knowledge we have into securing this heritage.


Sara Ashencaen Crabtree and Jonathan Parker

PR education history archive now online

An insight into the first decade of PR education in the UK has just been posted online. It is the archive of the Public Relations Educators Forum (PREF) from 1994 to 1999, its most active years. It can be found at:

Catalogued by Professor Tom Watson of the Media School, it illustrates the growth of PR education which began in 1987 in Scotland and a year later in England. PREF was founded in 1990 to bring the new cohort of PR educators together and help negotiate the academia-industry connection. As Bournemouth University (then Dorset Institute of Higher Education) was one of the first two UK universities to launch undergraduate studies in PR, the PREF archive also adds to university history.

It wasn’t an easy relationship with particular tension in the mid-1990s over industry’s attitude to the quality of graduates and its desire to impose a skills-led training curriculum on universities. This was resisted by PREF, as correspondence and evidence of meetings shows.

“This archive shows the teething pains of new academic-led education faced with industry’s desired for trained technicians. The positive news is that PR was an academic area in which women took leading roles from the outset,” Prof Watson said. The online archive contains copies of PREF’s newsletters and membership lists which show the rapid expansion of PR education in the UK.

The PREF archive is one of several projects to advance scholarship in public relations history being developed by Prof Watson during his Fusion Investment Fund-supported Study Leave.


BU hosts the first South West Police Cyber Crime Conference

Last week the five police forces across the South West Region started a partnership with Bournemouth University to develop a cyber-crime strategy.  The Bournemouth University Cyber Security Unit (BUCSU) arranged a 3-day conference to assist our Police in creating a collaborative framework. Moreover, this conference has helped build a future implementation of a critical strategy which addresses the increasing threat of cyber-crime to our society. 

A series of workshops were developed by BUCSU and attended by representatives from Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire police forces.  Those who attended included Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs); Chief Constables, police officers and practitioners involved in the investigation of cyber-crime.

The conference provided insight to the problems faced by the police with this global threat and has contributed towards creating a sustainable programme that could be implemented across the region and aid police officers in their pursuit of the 4 P’s of CONTEST (Pursue, Protect, Prevent, Prepare).

Dorset Assistant Chief Constable David Lewis said, “The purpose of the event was to find innovative approaches to combat the growing threat of cyber-crime in all its forms, from frauds and bullying to threats to our national and economic infrastructure.  We are building excellent relationships with the subject matter experts at Bournemouth University, their students and businesses in order to better protect our communities and bring those responsible for cyber-crime to justice”.

If you would like to find out more about the BU Cyber Security Unit and what it offers please contact Lucy Rossiter.   The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) are offering up to £5000 funded support through the cyber security innovation voucher scheme.  The vouchers will help SMEs, entrepreneurs and early stage start-ups who see value in protecting and growing their online business by having effective cyber security. For further information please visit the TSB website to find out how innovation vouchers can help you. 



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