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Catherine Philip hosts latest Tenant Business Surgery

The Centre for Entrepreneurship (CfE) was delighted to welcome Catherine Philip of Wessex Business Focus Ltd to the Incubator to host our latest Business Surgery.

The CfE Business Surgeries are run on a regular basis and provide a fantastic opportunity for early stage businesses to ask questions and pick the brains of experienced professionals and entrepreneurs. They are aimed at both CfE tenants and also BU students running businesses.

Catherine is a Chartered Tax Adviser and has recently moved from a top 20 accountancy practice to her present role as innovation broker and freelance tax adviser. “Having worked with a variety of SME’s”, says Catherine, “I have become increasingly aware that many business owners do not have sufficient time or other resources to implement their business plans. I especially enjoy working alongside my clients to help them take their business plans forward: my analytical, numerical and research skills enable me to offer bespoke, pragmatic solutions to their business challenges.”

Previous Business Surgeries have been hosted by Gary Seneviratne, (Adido), Peter Czapp, (The Wow Company), and Ewan King, (Content is King).

Robin Humphreyies, Managing Director of games developers, Static Games Ltd (, and current BU student, agreed the discussion ‘was very useful’ and he was looking forward to having the opportunity to meet with Catherine again in the near future.

Kaisa Kangro, Managing Director of el Rhey Ltd, (, specialist designers of children’s rainwear, said, ‘the meeting with Catherine was very insightful’, and added, ‘it is great that an expert is sharing her knowledge and time with new start-ups like us; this can make a big difference and help us develop our business further.’ Kaisa also commented that, ‘meeting people and making professional contacts is relevant for any new business, and the Centre for Entrepreneurship has been very helpful in that area.’

The Centre for Entrepreneurship is immensely grateful to Catherine for her time and expertise today and for her continuing support of the CfE and its businesses within the Incubator.

The next Surgery will be held on the 5th September and be hosted by Matt Hawkins, founder and MD of C4L. To find out more about the surgeries please contact Nikki Gloyns at

How security requirements engineering methods can be used to support the development and documentation of security standards…

Posted in Uncategorized by lrossiter


You are invited to join us for the next Cyber Security seminar:

‘Pattern- and Security-Requirements-Engineering-based Establishment of Security Standards’

Tuesday, 19th August

Coyne Lecture Theatre, Talbot Campus

4pm -5pm.

Security standards such as Common Criteria or ISO 27001 are ambiguous on purpose, because these standards shall be usable for a large set of different scenarios. The establishment of a security standard requires removing all ambiguities, eliciting concrete security requirements and selecting appropriate security measures.

Dr Kristian Beckers is a security requirements engineering researcher at the University of Duisburg-Essen. He investigates how security requirements engineering methods can be used to support the development and documentation of security standards. In this seminar, Dr Beckers will introduce you to the methods and systems which have been created to fit a specific security scenario. In particular, you will find out about the Information Security Management System (ISMS) which was built in compliance with the ISO 27001 standard.

If you would like to join us for this seminar, please book your place via EventBrite.

We will look forward to seeing you!


Make Your Voice Heard

Logo with a megaphone and event title

It’s not enough just to do cutting edge research. We also know that we have to share it and pass on our findings or even our views about matters that are important to society.  Such profile-raising can help attract future research funding, raise our standing and that of BU and, with an eye on REF2020, help achieve impact.

Talking to journalists, using social media and updating blogs or websites does not come naturally to all of us and can be seen as just another demand placed on people who are already struggling with a busy schedule.

The communications department at the University have offered to make it easier for us to get our voice heard. They are hosting an event entitled Make Your Voice Heard to explore how to do this with impact and effect.

Taking place on 10 September 2014, we will discuss important topics, such as how academics can enrich the media and how to balance different stakeholder wants and needs. There will also be opportunities to acquire some practical tools, tips and techniques.

Ultimately, it would be great to see more of our staff sharing their unique and valuable perspectives on matters important to society and raising the profile of BU in the local, regional and national scene. Whether that’s through informed comment or sharing research outcomes, the communications team can help us do it more effectively.

‘Make Your Voice Heard’ runs from 9:00 – 14:00 on Talbot Campus and we will even be providing lunch. It is open to all researchers, from PGRs to Professors.

You can see the full schedule and book your place by following this link to the Eventbrite page. If you would like to find out more before booking, please contact Sarah Gorman (Corporate Communications Assistant).

I look forward to seeing you there…..

This week’s HE Policy Summary

Posted in Uncategorized by ccherry



Fees/David Willetts interview in Sunday Times

OXFORD and Cambridge universities could be allowed to increase fees to as much as £16,000 a year under plans being considered for the Tory manifesto, David Willetts, the former higher education minister has revealed. The piece concludes that although Willetts said he would like Oxford and Cambridge to “admit students from a wider range of backgrounds and schools”, critics fear that a rise in fees will further deter poor students from applying to England’s top two universities.

Students face £16,000 fees for Oxbridge (The Sunday Times)



Value of degrees

Having a degree means you are now likely to earn £500,000 more during your working life compared with someone who did not go to university. Degrees in engineering, computer science and maths deliver the best average salaries, ranging from £40,000 to £45,000.

The value of a degree? £500,000 over your career (The Daily Telegraph)




Interesting feature on The Brilliant Club and how it’s helping young people, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds, to aim higher when they think about university. Daisy Hooper,  policy and projects manager at University Alliance spoke at the Brilliant Club conference in late July to push the position that social mobility is about progression (i.e. universities and students should be focusing on what would give them the best experiences and skills for their future careers.)

Three years ago they were studying tourism: now it’s James Joyce (The Times) 




There was some coverage over a Which? University poll which found that more than half of students (54%) have said they have not thought about what they will do if they fail to gain the marks needed for their first or second choice university.  The Mail also ran a piece on how rising numbers of schools are abandoning A-levels in favour of alternative qualifications amid anger at constant ‘meddling’ with the exam system.

University admissions: students ‘failing to make back-up plan’ (Telegraph)

Students ‘not prepared’ for results day (Times Higher Education)

How schools are ignoring the tougher new A-levels: Number taking alternatives on the rise amid anger at ‘meddling’ with exams (Mail Online)



Student cap

The Russell Group of leading universities has called on the government to drop plans for a free-for-all in undergraduate recruitment next year, following publication of a report from HEPI on the experience of Australia that suggests the policy could have disastrous financial consequences. 

The piece includes a quote from University Alliance’s Chair Professor Steve West. Professor Steve West, chair of the University Alliance group of newer universities, said Australia’s example was “incredibly important” for England.

“We need to set out a longer-term plan for solving the problem and creating a sustainable higher education system,” 

“The UK needs to ensure it is able to grow the graduate population, as our global competitors continue to do, and to encourage talent from right across society.”

Top universities urge scrapping of free-for-all student recruitment plan  (The Guardian)

A levels

A report from UUK concludes that universities will struggle to fill their places because teenagers are increasingly choosing vocational courses instead of traditional A-levels.  The Telegraph reports that rising numbers of students are missing out on uni places after failing to achieve the top A-level grades. 

Universities struggle to fill courses: Falling A-Level grades and shift away from traditional exams mean thousands of places will not be filled (Daily Mail)

A-level overhaul ‘a challenge to recruitment’ for universities (Telegraph)


A levels

1000s of pupils in the UK are being given scant or wrong advice about the best A-level subjects to study to gain a degree place, a study by the Student Room online forum has found. Almost a third of those who took part in the study rated their school’s career advice as ‘weak’ and a quarter said they did not have enough information to make informed choices about their future careers or the subjects they should study to achieve their ambitions.

Students complain of bad A-level advice for degree path (BBC News)


There is a leader piece in The Times which suggests that the UUK results show higher fees are forcing students to make smarter choices. 

Higher fees force students to make smarter choices (The Times)


Teach@BU – HEA Fellowships 2014

As a result of the Teach@BU pilot, the following HEA fellowships have been awarded:


Mary-Beth Gouthro, ST

Hanaa Osmann, ST

Senior Fellow

Anya Chapman, ST

Bethan Collins, HSC

Fiona Cownie, MS

Jill Davey, HSC

Anita Diaz, SciTech

Crispin Farbrother, ST

Karen Fowler- Watt, MS

Gill Jordan, HSC

Kevin McGhee, SciTech

Colin Paterson, HSC

Louise Preget, BS

Janet Scammell, HSC

Ben Thomas, SciTech

Christa Van Raalte, MS

Sara White, HSC

Principal Fellow

Elizabeth Rosser, HSC

Chris Shiel, SciTech

Gail Thomas, HSC

Internationalisation and learning and teaching

Posted in Uncategorized by Chris Shiel

During 2013/14 I have been involved in project work led by the Higher Education Academy, on internationalisation. A ‘learning and teaching summit’ of approximately 30 UK and international experts, held in 2013, provided the outline for the project and worked towards the development of an internationalisation framework; subsequent consultation across the sector resulted in refinements.

The outcome is ‘The Internationalisation higher education framework’ which was launched at the HEA’s Annual Conference, ‘Preparing for learning futures: the next ten years’, at Aston University.   The framework is available on the HEA’s website and is worthy of reflection.

We might at this point consider: what else we could do to internationalise the curriculum at BU? How should we prepare learners of all nationalities to contribute to a better global future? Does the curriculum and experience we provide enable all learners to make a difference to the world?

One way that Bath Spa university is considering preparing its international students is by teaching them separately for the first year, then allowing them (if they pass) to join UK students in the second year. I am not in favour of this approach. However, it proved to be the subject of lively debate on a ‘live chat’ for the Guardian HE network. I participated as a panel member in the discussion, which was titled: ‘Should academics adapt their teaching for international students?’

The live chat was about learning and teaching and internationalisation; it attracted more than 200 comments on the website, in addition to debate on Twitter (using #HElivechat). More details are available at:

I think we do need to adapt our approaches for international students but we also need to be aware that diversity goes beyond being ‘foreign’.  The aim has to be to develop (and deliver) an inclusive curriculum, where diversity is addressed in the widest sense – but this is a challenge. Perhaps the ‘inclusive curriculum’ work currently being taken forward by CEL, may go some way to developing new ideas. 

If you would like to discuss any aspects of ‘internationalisation’ and learning and teaching please feel free to contact me.


BU Learning and Teaching Fellowships 2014

In May 2014, the opportunity to apply for a BU Learning and Teaching Fellowship (BULTF) award was promoted across the University community. The award is intended to demonstrate the University’s commitment to valuing education excellence based on a fusion with research and professional practice and to encourage the widest dissemination of these activities. Any member of staff who is engaged in supporting and promoting excellence in student learning was eligible to apply, including: academic staff; staff in learning support roles, for example, subject librarians; study support staff; learning technologists; careers advisers, or placement support staff; and those supporting colleagues’ learning through staff development.

There were eleven applications this year and we are pleased that six colleagues were successful in meeting the criteria:

Dr Milena Bobeva, BS

Dr Bethan Collins, HSC

Joanna Hawkes, ST

Dr Mel Hughes, HSC

Marian Mayer, MS

Dr Mark Readman, CEMP

Overall, there were some good examples of very innovative practice; the comments included from peers and students lent strong support to the applications. The stronger candidates looked beyond direct teaching practice to the wider context of higher education, demonstrated willingness and the ability to extend themselves beyond their job descriptions/ roles, demonstrated drive and leadership. The best applications have clearly set their sights on national recognition and extending their influence beyond BU. 

Each award comprises a sum of £2000, presented to the individual Fellowship Holder in recognition of their excellent practice.  It is expected that successful candidates will use this opportunity to prepare themselves and their case for National Teaching Fellowship application in order to ensure that BU’s strength in education practice is recognised at national level. Well done to all!

Professor B Gail Thomas

Dean of HSC & Director of the Centre for Excellence in Learning

Making a difference: BUDI donates percussion instruments to Alzheimer’s Society

In May 2014, BUDI held a cake sale to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Awareness Week. BUDI decided to use the monies to make a difference within the local community, by donating a set of percussion instruments to each of the Alzheimer’s Society ‘Sing for the Brain Groups’ in Dorset.

Dr Michelle Heward and Michelle O'Brien from BUDI present the percussion instruments to Yvonne Rogers from the Alzheimer's Society

‘Singing for the Brain’ involves people with dementia and their carers taking part in structured group sessions that use music to encourage communication and participation and include opportunities to talk to other people. Each session includes a range of activities including vocal warm-up and singing a variety of familiar and new songs. There are eight ‘Singing for the Brain Groups’ in Dorset, which run in Blandford, Christchurch, Dorchester, Gillingham, Portland, Sherborne, Westbourne and Weymouth.

Percussion instruments presented by BUDI to the Alzheimer's Society

To find out more about the ‘Sing for the Brain Groups’ in Dorset, please call the Alzheimer’s Society on: 01202 716393 or email:

BUDI would like to thank everyone that donated to this worthy cause, and SUBU and the BU Baking Society for their support with this event.

Latest Major Funding Opportunities

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

The AHRC, working with the ESRC and other RCUK partners, is seeking to appoint a Leadership fellow for a three year period to provide intellectual leadership and strategic advice on the development of the new Conflict Theme within the Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research (RCUK Global Uncertainties Programme). The Fellowship must start between 01/01/15 and 01/04/15. The deadline for applications is 16:00 on 30/09/14

The AHRC are inviting participants to attend a two day workshop  – Mixed Reality Game Design – part of the AHRC-funded Performance and Games Network, and will explore the collaborative space between performing arts and game design. The event is suitable for practitioners and researchers working in performing arts, game developers/designers, and researchers from other disciplines interested in this theme. Funding is available for travel and accommodation. The event takes place on 27th – 28th October 2014. Applications for assistance should be made as soon as possible.

Are you a scientist, technologist, engineer or mathematician who has had a career break of 2 or more years for family, caring or health reasons and wishes to return to research? If so the Daphne Jackson Trust may be able to help with a Fellowship. There are sponsored fellowships with closing dates given on the website or, if you have a host institution in mind, you can apply at any time.

The EPSRC in collaboration with the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), supported by Department for Transport (DfT) invite research proposals working towards the following joint research call is to establish a number of cross-disciplinary consortia to conduct research into novel applications for materials to reduce whole life asset costs. It is anticipated that three to four proposals (in the region of £500,000 – 800,000) will be funded. Closing date – 09/10/14 at 16:00.

Funded by the EPSRC and co-ordinated by the University of Sheffield AMRC, High Value Manufacturing Catapult fellowships aim to strengthen relations between academics and manufacturers, and accelerate the transition of research from the laboratory to industry. The fellowships will enable academic staff to spend six-month research visits, spread over one to four years, in one or more of the HVM Catapult centres. The projects must be aligned to work previously funded by EPSRC. Applications should be received by the funder by noon on 29/08/14.

The EPSRC invites Expressions of Interest (EoI) from UK universities to join a consortium to establish an internationally-recognised Institute to lead in research, education and knowledge transfer in the data sciences: The Alan Turing Institute. Those considering an application to this call must register, by 20/08/14, to attend an open meeting on 24/09/14. The closing date for application is 30/10/14.

The EPSRC Resource Allocation for Archer call (Summer 2014) is now open. Top-ups for existing holders are also available. Both calls close on 15/09/14 at 16:00.

EPSRC Programme Grants are a flexible mechanism to provide funding to world-leading research groups to address significant major research challenges. Applicants must discuss their suitability for Programme Grant funding with an identified EPSRC contact before submitting an Outline application. There are panels throughout each academic year.

The EPSRC-funded Programme Grant “Silicon Photonics for Future Systems (SPFS)” includes an innovation fund to enable the inclusion of additional partners to bring additional value to the programme. Initial engagement will be via short research projects that support the aims of the programme. Therefore, proposals from UK‐based academic researchers are invited for projects valued up to £100k to support the research areas of the Programme Grant. Closing date 05/09/14.

Announced on the ESRC website, the Open Research Area in Europe (ORA) partners are pleased to announce that they expect the fourth joint call for proposals to open this autumn. Four countries participating in the fourth ORA call: UK, Germany, the Netherlands and France. Proposals will be accepted for research projects in any area of the social sciences involving researchers from any combination of two or more of the participating countries (excluding bilateral applications from French-German teams). In this call the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) will be collaborating with ORA as an associate partner and applicants to the ORA Joint Call may seek partnerships with Japanese researchers.

The ESRC is inviting Expressions of Interest for the post of Co-ordinator for ESRC’s new Urban Transformations portfolio. The appointment is for 12-18 months in duration, with the successful applicant offering a minimum of 50 to 60 per cent time allocation (FTE) over this period. The EoI should be submitted by 16:00 on 08/09/14 and the successful applicant should take up this post by 01/12/14.

The Joint POST-ESRC postgraduate fellowship scheme provides an opportunity for ESRC-funded postgraduate students to be seconded to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) to assist in producing independent, balanced and accessible analysis of public policy issues for Parliamentarians. The start date of the fellowship will be between January and October 2015, to be agreed between the applicant, POST, the applicant’s supervisor and university. Applications should be received by the funder on 03/10/14.

The ESRC are looking to appoint an individual or team to review in detail the opportunities, issues, design considerations and short and long term cost implications of establishing a web-based probability panel  in the UK. A web-based probability panel offers transformative potential for social science research and should reduce data collection costs over time. The ESRC are seeking detailed advice and guidance to inform our decision-making and would expect the appointed individual or team to consult widely with the user community to establish the potential demand, options and design considerations for a UK web-based probability panel. Closing date 16:00 on 11/09/14.

The Leverhulme Trust is offering  Up to £125,000 over up to three years to allow a UK-based researcher to build a new collaborative research project with overseas institutions, to develop international networks. These collaborations enable a Principal Investigator based in the UK to lead a research project where its successful completion is dependent on the participation of relevant overseas institutions. First-stage outline applications can be submitted at any time.

The MRC and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in the Government of India  invite proposals to the UK-India Joint Centre Partnerships call via the Newton Fund.  This initiative seeks to build upon substantial pre-existing collaborations between high quality research teams based in the UK and India. Applications must relate to one of the following – Cancer biology, Translational regenerative medicine in neuroscience or Antimicrobial resistance especially resistance to antibiotics. Closing date 29/09/14 at 16:00.

The MRC Integrative toxicology training partnership (ITTP) PhD studentship scheme is an initiative with the aim of improving and boosting capacity in the toxicological sciences by sponsoring PhD studentships. Details for applications by potential supervisors for the next round of studentships to start Autumn 2015 has a deadline of 30/11/14 and there must be a representative at an Interactive meeting on 22/09/14.

NERC invites proposals to the new research programme Valuing Natural Capital in Low Carbon Energy Pathways (VNC), which will form a challenge for phase 3 of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC). Proposals should also include links to the new NERC Valuing Nature programme. The overarching aim of this research programme is to understand the implications for natural capital and the provision of ecosystem services of a range of future energy scenarios, including scenarios that are compatible with the UK’s energy policy goals of maintaining energy security, keeping energy affordable and cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2050. The closing date for this call is 16:00 on 18/09/14.

NERC and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), with the Technology Strategy Board, are running an SBRI competition with funding of £1.45m to develop new technology solutions for coordinating a suite of marine autonomous systems (MAS) enabling tracking of dynamic features. Recognising their common interests, and the potential for dual-use technology to enable tracking and sampling of dynamic features in the marine environment, the NERC and Dstl, together with the Technology Strategy Board, are seeking innovative solutions from industry. A briefing session will be held for all applicants to provide the opportunity to discuss the requirements of the brief with NOC. It is planned that this will take place on 02/09/14, with registration by 22/08/14 required. The competition will run in two phases with the closing date for phase 1 being 31/10/14. Phase 2 will be advised based on the outcomes from phase 1.
NERC, through its Strategic Environmental Science Capital Call, will invest in strategic capital priorities to provide a well-found research and innovation environment that will support existing and future world-class environmental science. Eligible Research Organisations are invited to submit proposals for capital assets (for science, innovation, estates, I.T, facilities), with a minimum value of £100,000 per proposal, but not exceeding a combined total value of £500,000. Proposals should demonstrate how the capital asset would support world class environmental science, aligned with NERC’s remit and strategic priorities, and have potential to stimulate innovation and economic impact. The deadline for submission of proposals is 13:00 on 22/08/14.

The Royal Society’s University Research Fellowships scheme is for outstanding scientists in the UK who are in the early stages of their research career and have the potential to become leaders in their field. The scheme covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine and any researcher addressing a direct biomedical research question. Closing date 11/09/14.

Round 9 of the Technology Strategy Board’s Innovation Vouchers is now open! This scheme is designed to help businesses gain the knowledge they need to innovate and grow. They are open to SME businesses looking to obtain expert advice from a knowledge supplier they haven’t worked with before (such as BU or a School / Faculty within BU). Up to £5,000 is available and the deadline for this call is 22/10/14.

The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £3.5m in collaborative R&D projects to stimulate new ways of reducing energy consumption in computer systems. They are looking to encourage innovative approaches in hardware and/or software across all computer systems, including the internet of things (IoT) – and embedded systems. The aim of this competition is to accelerate the development of emerging technologies and to strengthen the focus of UK industry on the issue of energy consumption in computer systems. The funder is seeking proposals that show companies working together – particularly large with small – to scale up innovations in this area. Proposals must be collaborative and business-led. A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 3 September 2014. The briefing will also be made available live as a webinar, which will be recorded for viewing subsequently. Consortium-building workshops will also be arranged.  This is a two-stage competition that opens for applicants on 01/09/14. The deadline for expressions of interest is at noon on 15/10/14.  The second stage deadline for invited applications is at noon on 04/12/14

The Department for Transport and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, working in partnership with the Technology Strategy Board, are to invest up to £10m in collaborative R&D projects to research further how driverless cars can be integrated into everyday life in the UK.   This call aims to establish the UK as the global hub for the R&D and integration of driverless vehicles and associated technologies into society and to attract future investment by identifying up to three urban test locations for further research, with projects expected to range in size from total eligible costs of £5m to £10m. All projects must be collaborative and business-led. Applicants must register by noon, 24/09/14 with submission by noon, 01/10/14.

Via the Technology Strategy Board, CRACK IT Challenges is a milestone-driven funding competition from The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs). There are up to four Challenges this year with a total of seven Sponsors, with funding ranging from £100k to £1m and contracts from 1-3 years. The Challenges will be announced on Wednesday, 6 August. Further information is also available on the CRACK IT website.

The Technology Strategy Board is investing up to £6m in an SBRI competition to develop innovative solutions that can help cities plan more successfully for the future. This SBRI competition aims to encourage new ways of achieving better integration of infrastructure and services across a city, by improving understanding of how elements of these systems interact with each other. Up to £6m is available to encourage companies to develop prototypes and to demonstrate how they would link up different city models. Solutions should enable users to interact with multiple models to tackle different city problems. Contracts will be awarded to single suppliers, who may sub-contract to other partners. This competition is open to all organisations that can demonstrate a route to market for their solution. The deadline for registration is noon on 07/01/15 and the deadline for applications is noon on 14/01/15.

The Wellcome Trust’s Strategic Awards in Biomedical Science provide flexible forms of support to excellent research groups with outstanding track records in their field. In particular, Strategic Awards support research to address the challenges outlined in the Wellcome Trust’s Strategic Plan for 2010-2020. Proposals which involve interdisciplinary research collaborations of basic scientists and/or clinicians (medical and veterinary) and/or non-biologists (e.g. mathematicians, physicists, chemists, engineers, social scientists) are particularly encouraged. Applications can be submitted on a rolling basis.

The Wellcome Trust and  National Institutes of Health PhD Studentships scheme provides opportunities for the most promising postgraduate students in Biomedical Sciences to undertake international, collaborative four-year PhD training based in both the UK/Republic of Ireland and USA at the National Institutes of Health campus. The deadline for applications is 03/11/14.

The Wellcome Trust’s People Awards and Society Awards are two related schemes supporting projects that encourage the public to explore biomedical science, its impact on society and culture, its historical roots or the ethical questions that it raises. The schemes are open to a wide range of people, including: mediators, facilitators and practitioners of science communication; science centre/museum staff; artists; educators; film makers; theatre producers; games developers; public participation practitioners; health professionals; and academics in bioscience, social science, bioethics and medical history and humanities. There are deadlines thourghout the year with the next three being:  15/08/14 (17.00),  14/11/14 (17.00) and  20/02/15 (17.00).

The Sir Henry Dale Fellowship brings together the Royal Society and the Wellcome Trust, two of the world’s most prestigious and influential scientific organisations, in their shared commitment to supporting the future leaders of biomedical research. The scheme is for outstanding postdoctoral scientists wishing to build their own UK-based independent research career addressing an important biomedical question. The scheme seeks to support individuals who would have previously applied for a ‘biomedical’ Royal Society University Research Fellowship or a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship hosted by a UK academic organisation. The preliminary deadline is 21/11/14.

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.

Surrogate mother producing faulty goods: commodification of childbirth

Over the weekend an interesting story appeared on the BBC news and in the Sunday papers.  The story goes that an Australian couple left a Thai surrogate mother with a baby who is genetically their child.  The reason for this abandonment is that the baby is not perfect.  If that is not bad enough the couple has taken the healthy twin sister of this baby back home to Australia.  Some newspapers reported that the Australian parents knew that the baby had Down’s syndrome from the fourth month of gestation onwards, but that they did not ask until the seventh month  - through the surrogacy agency – for selective abortion of the affected fetus.    The surrogate mother, Pattaramon Chanbua, says that the couple were told: (a) that she was carrying twins and (b) that one of the twins had Down’s syndrome as well as heart problems. The surrogate mother refused the intervention on the grounds of her Buddhist beliefs.

Surrogacy is often a commercial transaction e.g. in the USA, although such a ‘business contract’ is not legal in the UK (Ireland 2011) and some parts of Australia as widely reported in the media.  However, in this case the Australian couple had paid Pattaramon Chanbua (a mother of two) to grow and carry the baby for them. She told the BBC that she had engaged in the surrogacy deal to get money to pay for the education of her other children.

This case epitomises several aspects of life that are of interest to sociology: (a) the commodification and commercialization of life (and health); (b) inequality and exploitation; and (c) globalisation.  Commodification refers to the process by which something that was not originally bought and sold becomes a good or service, i.e. a commodity that is for sale.  As we become more modern and with economic progress/the rise of capitalism, more and more parts of our lives become commodified.  Modernisation changes society and its social institutions and organisations. Economic development is based on industrialisation, but is also strongly linked to urbanisation, mass education, occupational specialisation and communication development, which in turn are linked with still broader cultural and social changes (Inglehart 1997).

The second key issue sociologists are interested in is inequality and the link between poverty and poor health.  In a global perspective where we, people in high-income countries, or so-called developed countries exploit people in low-income countries (or Third World, developing countries or under-developed countries).

Thirdly, globalisation refers to the world becoming a smaller place, both in terms of physical travel as well as the way we perceive it (Simkhada & van Teijlingen 2009).  It takes us less time to travel to London, Paris, Kathmandu than it took our parents’ or grandparents’ generation, and at the same time the information about a disaster or a  human tragedy story such as this one in Thailand reaches us more or less instantaneously.  At the same time, modernisation and globalisation, particularly in many low-income societies, are contributing to rapid socio-cultural changes.

Surrogacy as commodification

Surrogacy is the commodification of a couple having a baby themselves.  Other social solutions from the past to the problem of not being able to conceive include: (a) having more than one wife, a solution for men in a patriarchal society; (b) for women sleeping with their husband’s brother, to increase the likelihood that the baby ‘looks like’ the husband; and (c) adopting someone else’s child.

We must remember that aspects of maternity care have always been commodified.  Rich British families in the nineteenth century would have been paying a wet nurse to breastfeed their babies and a nanny to look after their children whilst instant formula baby milk bought from a shop has been replacing breastmilk supplied by the baby’s mother for nearly a century.

We don’t think surrogacy is the interesting issue here, we should ask ourselves the more basic question ‘What makes us think that every birth and every baby is going to be perfect or even okay?’

One explanation is, of course, that we have seen a rapid decline in the number and the proportion of babies dying in high-income countries such as the UK over the past century and a half.  Women having better nutrition, fewer children, having one’s first child later (but not too much later), better sanitation, and improved obstetric care have all contributed to making childbirth safer now for both mother and baby than ever before in the history of humanity.   However, these changes have also affected our ways of thinking about childbirth (Mackenzie Bryers & van Teijlingen 2010).

Social scientists recognise a social model and a medical model of childbirth (van Teijlingen 2005; van Teijlingen & Ireland 2013).  The former sees childbirth as a physiological event in women’s lives.  Pregnant women need psycho-social support, but not necessarily high-technology interventions by doctors.    The medical model stresses that childbirth can be pathological, i.e. every pregnant woman is potentially at risk.  The medical model argues that every birth needs to be in hospital with high-technology screening equipment supervised by expert obstetricians.  In other words, pregnancy and childbirth are only safe in retrospect.  In terms of social changes, we have moved from a more social model to a more medical model in a society which is more risk averse.



Edwin van Teijlingen1 & Jillian Ireland2

  1. Professor of Reproductive Health Research, Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health, Bournemouth University.
  2. Visiting Faculty, Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health, Bournemouth University; Midwife & Supervisor of Midwives, RCM learning Rep. Poole NHS Hospitals Trust.




Inglehart R. (1997). Modernisation and post modernisation: Cultural, economic, and political change in 43 societies. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Ireland, J. (2011) Reflections on surrogacy-using the Taylor model to understand and manage the emotions in clinical practice, Essentially Midirs, 2(9): 17-21.

Ireland, J., van Teijlingen, E. (2013) Normal birth: social-medical model, The Practising Midwife 16(11): 17-20.

MacKenzie Bryers, H., van Teijlingen, E. (2010) Risk, Theory, Social & Medical Models: a critical analysis of the concept of risk in maternity care, Midwifery 26(5): 488-496.

Simkhada, P.P., van Teijlingen, E. (2009) Health: a global perspective, In: Alder, B. et al. (Eds.) Psychology & Sociology Applied to Medicine (3rd edn.), Edinburgh: Elsevier: 158-159.

Teijlingen van, E. (2005) A critical analysis of the medical model as used in the study of pregnancy and childbirth, Sociological Research Online, 10(2) Web address:


CfE Welcomes a New Entrepreneur in Residence

The BU Centre for Entrepreneurship is delighted to welcome Arabella Lewis-Smith to our cohort of Entrepreneurs in Residence.

Jointly founding the Salad graphic design and digital consultancy in 2001 – aged 26 and with a background in fashion – Bella is living proof that, starting with just passion and a creative spark, anything is possible. The classic entrepreneurial success story, Salad has grown from humble beginnings to the award-winning agency it is today, with a team of 13 and working with the likes of Hall & Woodhouse, Olives et Al, Salomon and the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Alongside Salad, Bella was instrumental in the launch in 2007 of another venture, Pasture Naturals – which has since shown significant growth and established itself in the luxury washroom product market.

That both businesses have flourished despite a lack of direct experience of either sector speaks volumes for the power of intuition, enthusiasm and sheer hard graft. Above all, though, Bella is convinced that the most important ingredient is people, “I love what I do… the secret has been finding – and putting faith in – lovely, talented people who share that passion. In the early years of Salad I tried so hard to be corporate, slick, polished…. basically, someone I’m not. When I relaxed and started simply being me everything just clicked.”

Whilst for Bella the commercial objective is success – it will never be success at any cost. As an agency, Salad has never espoused a late night working culture – and Bella’s firm in her belief that, in order to do their jobs to the best of their ability, people need to be happy, to be treated fairly… and to have fun.

It’s a message with which Bella hopes to inspire others – and a key reason why we’re so excited she has accepted our invitation to participate in Entrepreneurs in Residence scheme.

For more information about Salad follow To see the profiles of all our Entrepreneurs in Residence please click on

This week’s Policy Summary

Posted in Uncategorized by ccherry


University funding/philanthropy 

Universities targeted more than nine million of their former students with cold calls and spam emails over the past year as they increasingly adopt US-style tactics to raise funds.

Universities resort to cold calling ex-students (Independent)

Interesting piece in the FT (Money) on Saturday - How to…invest in university knowhow  It looks at a number of ways to invest including Buying into commercialisation specialists, choosing a fund and Venture capital trusts and enterprise investment schemes.



Student loan book

David Willetts has written a comment piece for the FT saying that we should give universities the opportunity to buy the debt that their graduates owe. To do so would be to give the universities a direct financial interest in ensuring their graduates secure well-paid jobs that enable them to pay back more of their debt sooner.  He was also interviewed on Newsnight last night with his comments (including that the policy is being considered by ministers and officials)

Let universities buy debt, says David Willetts, (FT)

COMMENT: David Willetts – Sell the student loan book – and let the academy buy, (FT)

Let universities underwrite student loans to reduce burden on taxpayer (Guardian)

Student debt should be ‘bought’ by universities, say ministers (Telegraph)

Student loan change ‘will put jobs in focus,’ says Willetts (BBC Newsnight – 28 July)

Scottish Independence 

Greg Clark has used one of his first speeches as Universities and Science Minister to warn Scottish researchers of the disadvantages of leaving the UK. He said that a vote for independence in September “is a vote to leave the UK’s institutions, such as the research councils”.

Greg Clark issues warning on Scottish independence (THE)



Data published on demand and supply in higher education subject areas

HEFCE has published a large amount of interactive data on the current and future supply of graduates and postgraduates in all subjects. For individual subject areas the data show:

  • numbers studying at A level
  • numbers accepted to, and studying in, higher education at undergraduate level
  • numbers studying at postgraduate levels.

Each subject area can be reviewed individually, which means the recent and potential flow of graduates in different subject areas can be considered. To read this item in full visit:



More students are staying on after their first year at university

The percentage of full-time students remaining in higher education after their first year is at an all-time high according to HEFCE figures published today. Low non-continuation rates have been a consistent feature of English higher education since the mid-1990s. The latest information shows that retention rates have improved, even though numbers entering higher education have increased and there are more students going to university from disadvantaged backgrounds. Successful participation for all students in higher education is critical to social mobility. While the overall figures are encouraging, the findings for 2011-12 reveal very different rates between particular groups:

  • Gender Women were less likely to leave HE during their first year than men: 5.9 per cent and 7.6 per cent respectively in 2011-12. But men and women transferred to a different institution at similar rates: 2.1 per cent and 2.0 per cent respectively.
  • Ethnicity Black entrants had the highest rate of non-continuation of 9.4 per cent in 2011-12, and Chinese entrants had the lowest of 5.2 per cent in 2011-12.
  • School A higher percentage of state-school entrants were no longer in HE after year one than entrants from independent school: 6.5 per cent compared with 3.5 per cent in 2011-12.
  • Age Mature entrants were more likely to have left HE one year after entry. In 2011-12, 10.4 per cent of mature entrants left after one year compared with 5.7 per cent for young entrants.
  • Subject Computer science had the highest percentage of entrants no longer in HE in 2011-12 compared with other subjects at 11 per cent in 2011-12. Medicine and dentistry had the lowest rate at 1.9 per cent in 2011-12.
  • Disability Non-disabled entrants were less likely to remain in HE at the end of their first year, with 7.8 per cent not continuing in 2011-12, compared to disabled entrants at 6.2 per cent in 2011-12.
  • Social background Entrants from areas with low participation in HE were more likely than entrants in high participation areas to no longer be in HE at the end of year one: this is the case for both young and mature age groups.
  • Location London and the North West region had the highest percentage no longer in HE, while the South West had the lowest: in 2011-12 the percentages were 9.0, 7.7 and 5.3 per cent respectively. London had the highest percentage of entrants transferring, while the North East had the lowest.

To read this item in full visit:



No specific update, but there are two current Government inquiries that might be of interest:

  1. All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration inquiry into the impact of the closure of the Post Study Work (PSW) visa route.
  2. Media, Culture and Sport Select Committee inquiry into Tourism – further information available here.


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:

26 August 2014

23 September 2014

28 October 2014

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.

Supporting Breastfeeding: it takes a whole community

Posted in Uncategorized by sway

In collaboration with the Anglo European Chiropractic College (AECC), the School of Health and Social Care hosted a conference on Saturday 12 July to raise awareness of the joint chiropractic, midwifery newborn feeding clinic. The conference was able to take place due to the successful Centre for Excellence in Learning Fusion Funding bid submitted by the project team, Dr Susan Way, Alison Taylor and Dr Joyce Miller. The day was attended by health care professionals from across the locality as well as student midwives, chiropractic students and members of the public who are passionate about supporting mothers to breastfeed successfully. The day started with an excellent presentation from the key note speaker Dr Margot Sunderland, Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health London and author of the world renowned book ‘What every parent needs to know’. Dr Sunderland tested our assumptions about the neuroscience and psychology of baby bonding.

Dr Joyce Miller, Senior Clinical Tutor, Chiropractic Paediatrics and Alison Taylor, Senior Lecturer Midwifery then shared with the audience the chiropractic and midwifery perspective of the innovative approach to supporting the breastfeeding mother / infant pair through the newborn clinic run at AECC. The talk was ably support by two students recounting their experience of being involved in the clinic and the unique learning opportunities it has afforded them to work in partnership with women in a real time practice environment. The interprofessional environment also offers an invaluable opportunity to work alongside different health professionals who would not normally come together.

Alison presented the final talk entitled, ‘letting off steam: video diaries to share breastfeeding experiences’, which was based on the continuing analysis of her doctoral data. This was warmly received and generated a number of questions requiring health professionals to reflect on and challenge their current practice.

The final session of the day was a workshop in the style of a World Café ( asking the audience to come together in smaller groups to explore a number of questions that could enable a community to support women to successfully breastfeed. By listening together, debating questions that mattered and connecting diverse perspective, the workshop generated much energy, noise, laughter and understanding of each other’s role.

Feedback from the day included:

“More than exceeded my expectations- such a wonderful buzz of enthusiasm, so good to be with such passionate people from different specialities lots of new information. Loved workshop” and “Really enjoyed the day. Excellent presentations and lots of interesting discussions. Impressed with the students giving presentations and facilitating”.

An excellent day was had by all and there was much confidence from the organisers that the newborn clinic will meet the needs of women and continue to be a successful enterprise.

For further information about the clinic please contact or

What makes a great website? We need your opinion! – Call for volunteers for an on-line website study

The future is arriving and we are becoming ever more dependent on accessing the Internet with over 36 million people in the UK going online on a daily basis. There are quite literally thousands upon thousands of different websites out there, but how many of them do you know and what do you think makes a great website?

Daniel Bradley is a postgraduate researcher, working with Professor Siné McDougall in the Psychology Department, who is looking for volunteers to take part in an online study where you have the chance to have your say. Whether you are a super-surfer or rarely visit the Internet, we would value your opinion.

What’s Involved?

In an online study, which you can do from any computer with an Internet connection, you will be asked to give your opinion about a selection of websites and indicate how familiar they are to you. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes.

Ethical Approval

This study has ethical approval from Bournemouth University.  All data will be held anonymously and no individual will be identifiable from their data.  The data will only be used to generate scientific results and publications.

Find out more

If you would like more information before starting the study please email Daniel Bradley at

Alternatively, skip straight to one of the following links where you will get instructions about what to do next.  Please choose the link that applies to you:

If your surname starts with the letter A through to F please click:

If your surname starts with the letter G through to K please click:

If your surname starts with the letter L through to P please click:

If your surname starts with the letter Q to Z please click:

Reading this week’s policy tea leaves…

Posted in Uncategorized by ccherry



Student loan book sale U-turn 

Vince Cable has announced plans to scrap a proposed sale of student loans – worth an estimated £12bn. The reversal could squeeze the number of university places offered to school leavers. The sale was announced originally by the Chancellor with the proceeds funding the early years of the growth in student numbers when the university student cap is lifted in 2015-2016. Now it is unclear how the expansion will be bankrolled with undergraduate recruitment for 2015 to begin in less than two months.  The BIS secretary told the Social Liberal Forum that the government was considering the sale of student loans on the basis that it would reduce government debt. Recent evidence suggests this will no longer be the case.

·  Student loans sell-off abandonment raises tension in cabinet (Guardian)

·  Privatisation of student loan book to be scrapped (Independent)

·  Cable ‘scraps’ sale of student loans (THE)


Student Loans

Lots of coverage about the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee’s report warning that the Student Loans system is at ‘tipping point’ and accuses the government of failing to get accurate forecasts on how much of the loans need to be written off. The committee reckons the sale off of the student loan book would raise approximately £2bn at the moment, not £12bn. Incidentally, Downing Street downplayed Vince Cable’s claims the Liberal Democrats were blocking the privatisation of the plan, saying it was “not aware of any change to the policy”.

·  Student loan system reaches ‘tipping point’, warn MPs (BBC)

·  Student loan system is almost financially unworkable, says MPs (Guardian)

·  Aditya Chakrabortty – Student loans: not even Cameron could privatise the unprivatisable (Guardian)

·  Leader – The Guardian view on collapsing plans to sell off student debt (Guardian)

·  Student loan system ‘needs urgent review’ says MPs (THE)

·  Nearly half of students will not pay back government loans warn MPs (Telegraph)

·  Student loan system ‘at tipping point’ says MPs: call to overhaul ‘fragile’ regime to prevent ‘black hole’ in funding (Daily Mail)

·  Funding for more student places thrown into doubt   (FT)

·  Student loan write-off losses cause alarm (The Times)

·  Billions lost in ‘black hole’ of student loans (Daily Express)

Graduate employment 

A summer report published today by the Association of Graduate Recruiters reveals there is a 17 per cent increase in the overall number of graduate vacancies, when comparing 2014 with the last recruitment season. The survey also shows that graduate starting salaries are set to improve, with the median rising £500 from last year to £27,000.

·  Graduate vacancies and salaries rise (THE)

·  UK graduate jobs ‘recover but posts left unfilled (BBC)

·  Jobs vacancies are rising, but graduates lack the right skills  (The Times)



A report by the London School of Economics and Political Science suggests that ethnic minority students are less likely than their white British peers to receive offers from UK universities. The only exceptions were mixed white/Asian and Chinese university candidates, who did not have a significantly lower chance of getting an offer.

‘Fewer university offers’ for minority groups’ (BBC News online) 

Ethnic minority applicants to university ‘less likely to receive offers’ (THE)

Ethnic minority students get fewer university offers, research shows (Guardian)

Student loans sell-off

Further coverage after Graham Parker, from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), told the Treasury Select Committee that it was a “reasonable assumption” that cancelling the student loan book sell-off would cost the Treasury £12 billion over five years and the move would add to public sector debt. It may also jeopardise Mr Osborne’s plan to remove the cap on student numbers which was due to be funded by the proceeds of the loan book sale. 

Scrapping of student loans sale could raise public sector debt   (Guardian)

Axing student loan book sell-off leaves £12bn hole  (The Times)



University Alliance making the case for urgent need for a more sustainable HE funding system

In the Hepi blog, Prof Steve West, Chair of the University Alliance, responds to HEPI’s new report on ‘Only Connect’: Is there still a higher education sector?,  written by Prof David Weston. Read it here 

The Wonkhe blog was an opportunity to explore the issue in even more depth  Read here


There’s considerable coverage following the publication of OFFA’s access agreements for 2015-2016.  

UK universities spending more on outreach and less on bursaries, report shows (Independent)

More universities to charge maximum tuition fees of £9,000 (Telegraph)

Millions spent helping poor students pass (The Times)

Ethnic minorities

Several more pieces on how ethnic minority students are less likely to win a place at university following the publication of research from LSE.  The study looked at 50,000 UCAS applications from 2008.

Universities give fewer places to ethnic minorities – still? (Channel 4 news)

Black And Ethnic Minority Students Far Less Likely To Receive Offers, New Study Reveals (Huffington Post)

Ethnic minority students less likely to win a place at university, finds research (The Upcoming)



Widening Participation

UCAS analysis has shown record numbers of disadvantaged teenagers applied for university allaying fears that higher fees would deter less wealthy candidates. Poorer students apply to university in record numbers (Times)

The recent OFFA report has shown that universities are moving away from bursaries and are diverting money into outreach and employability work. Universities woo poorer students with mentoring not cash (Guardian)

University Funding

A letter calling for government to resist the urge to re-cap student numbers has been published in the Times and the Guardian.

·         It is time to think again about how we are funding higher education and student loans (Times)

·         Sustainable funding for students (Guardian)

NERC announces inaugural Impact Awards

Posted in Research news by jcodling

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, NERC is pleased to announce its inaugural Impact Awards.

There are four award categories:

  • Economic Impact Award
    Recognising research that has achieved exceptional economic benefit.
  • Societal Impact Award
    Recognising research that has achieved exceptional social, cultural, public policy or service, health, environmental or quality of life benefits.
  • International Impact Award
    Recognising research that has achieved exceptional economic and/or societal impact outside the UK.
  • Early Career Impact Award
    Recognising an early career researcher who has achieved exceptional economic and/or societal impact within the UK or internationally.

A winner from one of the four categories will be selected to receive the Overall Impact Award, in recognition of the outstanding impact of their research.

The winner of each category will receive £10,000 and the runner-up £5,000, to further the impacts of their research. The Overall Impact Award winner will receive an additional £30,000.

The closing date for applications is 16:00 Wednesday 10 September 2014.

Click here for more information including eligibity and the application process.

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