Recent articles..

HSC study focus of Independent newspaper article

Professor Colin Pritchard

Published research in the Journal for the Royal Society of Medicine Open (JRSM Open for short), conducted by Professor Colin Pritchard and Andrew Harding in HSC, is today (Friday 02/05/14) the focus of an article in the Independent newspaper.

Andrew Harding

After the Francis Report into the scandal at Mid Staffordshire lay considerable blame at the Board for failing to tackle “…an insidious culture…focused on doing the system’s business – not that of the patient…”, Professor Pritchard and Andrew Harding looked at the occupational backgrounds of non executive directors (NEDs) of 146 NHS acute trusts (n=1,001 NEDs). The NHS is modelled on corporate governance, where a board of directors are scrutinised and held to account by non executive directors.

Considering NEDs principle task is to hold the executive, and thus the NHS, to account, the study found a shocking lack of non executive directors with medical, clinical or patient representation or background. As the Independent headline indicates, only 8% of non executive board members were healthcare professionals. Instead, it was far more prevalent and common for non executive directors to be from a commercial, or financial background – with a high proportion having been employed or current employees of major financials firms such as Deloite, KPMG, Grant Thornton, Merrill Lynch, Price-WaterHouse Coopers and JP Morgan. Females NEDs and those from ethnic minorities were also found to be in short supply.

For a full breakdown of the findings the article can be found, and is openly available here.

 

Could new framework take pressure off businesses who have to deal with privacy compliance?

 

 

The next Cyber Security seminar will be on:

‘Legal – URN (User Requirements Notation) Framework for Privacy Compliance’

Tuesday, 13th May

Coyne Lecture Theatre, Talbot Campus

4pm -5pm.

 

Bournemouth University is delighted to welcome Dr. Sepideh Ghanavati from CRP Henri Tudor, who will be visiting on the 13thMay to present an overview of the Legal-URN framework, which includes compliance analysis techniques and provides guidelines to manage multiple regulations at the same time.

The number of regulations an organisation needs to comply with has been increasing, and the pressure is building for them to ensure that their business processes are aligned with these regulations. However, because of the complexity and intended vagueness of regulations in general, it is not possible to treat them the same way as other types of requirements.

The cost of being non-compliant can also be fairly high; non-compliance can cause crucial harm to organisations, who may incur financial penalties or loss of reputation. Therefore, it is very important for organisations to take a systematic approach to ensuring that their compliance with related laws, regulations and standards is established and maintained. To achieve this goal, a model-based privacy compliance analysis framework called Legal-URN has been proposed.

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

We will look forward to seeing you!

Ethics

Posted in Uncategorized by ibuciak

This workshop will comprise a 20 minute presentation on ethical considerations, policy, and principles, followed by a Q&A session on your ethical issues or questions related to your research.

This workshop will be facilitated by Julia Hastings Taylor, Research and Knowledge Exchange, and is aimed at Academic Staff.

For more information and to book on to this event please visit the Organisational and Staff Development Pages on the Staff Intranet.

Doctoral Supervision Development: Established Supervisors

Posted in Uncategorized by ibuciak

Aim: To provide participants with the necessary knowledge to maintain their skills in supervising doctoral Postgraduate Research Students at BU and to share best practice between peers.

The workshop will focus primarily around the sharing of experience and good practice between established supervisors but will also cover the following areas:

  • Review of the Codes of Practice at BU purpose & operation
  • Focus on funding for doctoral students & building research teams
  • Trouble shooting: problems, issues, rules & regulations
  • Sharing of good practice

Monday 12th May 2014, 13:00-16:00, Talbot Campus.

To book your place on this workshop, please email staffdevelopment@bournemouth.ac.uk

Embedding Sustainability in Leadership

Posted in Uncategorized by ibuciak

This short masterclass will explore the Leader’s Role in Organisational Sustainability and the link to the whole concept of Corporate Social Responsibility. Embedding sustainability in the leadership of an organization requires a new paradigm – viewing one’s organization as a good neighbor, good citizen and a good employer. Participants will explore these dimensions using the World Cafes method and will apply the concepts of the stakeholders’ theory (Freeman, Harrison and Wicks, 2007) to their own institution. At the end of the event, each participant will have a clear understanding on how to embed sustainability practices in its own work to contribute to the overall CSR of the organization.

Thursday 8th May 2014, 15:30-17:00, PG146, Thomas Hardy Suite, Talbot Campus.

For more information and to book on to this event please visit the Organisational and Staff Development Pages on the Staff Intranet.

Panel discussion at Conference of the Canadian Society Sociology of Health Montreal 2014

Bournemouth University Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen was invited to take part in a panel discussion at the 4th Conference of the Canadian Society of Sociology of Health.  The panel consisted of academics are long-term collaborators on a project called Birth by Design (BBD).  The meeting was made possible by fellow BBD collaborator Prof. Ivy Bourgeault (University of Ottawa).

The BBD collaboration comprises academics from a range of different scholarly backgrounds including sociology, political science and midwifery.  The group started in 1997 with international colleagues who worked originally on a collaborative project called ‘Birth in Europe and North-America’.  This work resulted in the book Birth by Design1 and many papers in major sociology academic journals including Sociology of Health & Illness and Social Science & Medicine.2-10

 

 

 

 

The panel discussion was introduced and led by BBD collaborator Prof. Cecilia Benoit (University of Victoria, Canada). Dr. Sirpa Wrede (University of Helsinki) outlined the BBD project and the new methodological insights it provided at the time of cross-national comparative research into maternity care.  Prof. Raymond DeVries (University of Michigan & Maastricht Universiteit) spoke of the difficulties Dutch midwives face in their effort to maintain the unique maternity care system in the Netherlands.   Prof. Gene Declercq (Boston University School of Public Health) presented findings of a study of US mothers.  Prof. Jane Sandall (King’s College London) spoke about the policy implementation gap and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen reminded the audience to keep a theoretical perspective in mind when conducting comparative research in general.     Prof. Bourgeault had organised that all slides were translated in the French as the conference was bi-lingual.

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

 

References:

  1.  DeVries, R., Benoit, C., Teijlingen van, E. & Wrede, S. (eds.) (2001) Birth by Design: Pregnancy, Midwifery Care and Midwifery in North America and Europe, New York: Routledge.     Birth by Design was short-listed for the 2004 BSA Medical Sociology Book Prize!
  2. van Teijlingen, E.R., Sandall, J., Wrede, S., Benoit, C., DeVries, R., Bourgeault, I. (2003) Comparative studies in maternity care RCM Midwives Journal 6: 338-40.
  3. DeVries, R., Wrede, S., van Teijlingen E., Benoit, C. & Declercq, E. (2004). Making Maternity Care: The Consequences of Culture for Health Care Systems. In: Vinken, H., Soeters, J. & Ester, P. (Eds.), Comparing Cultures, Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 209-231.
  4. Benoit, C. Wrede, S., Bourgeault, I, Sandall, J., DeVries, R., van Teijlingen E. (2005) Understanding the social organisation of maternity care systems: Midwifery as a Touchstone, Sociology of Health & Illness, 27(6): 722-737.
  5. Wrede, S., Benoit, C., Bourgeault, I.L., van Teijlingen E.R., Sandall, J., De Vries, R. (2006) Decentered Comparative Research: Context Sensitive Analysis of Health Care, Social Science & Medicine, 63: 2986-2997.
  6. van Teijlingen, E.R., Wrede, S., Benoit, C., Sandall, J., De Vries, R. (2009) Born in the USA: Exceptionalism in Maternity Care Organisation Among High-Income Countries Sociological Research Online, 14(1) www.socresonline.org.uk/14/1/5.html
  7. Sandall, J., Benoit, C., Wrede, S., Murray, S.F., van Teijlingen E.R., Westfall, R. (2009) The reconfiguration of professional relations with clients: social service professionalism or market expert? Current Sociology 57(4): 529–553.
  8. Bourgeault, I.L., Declercq, E., Sandall, J., Wrede, S., Vanstone, M., van Teijlingen E. DeVries, R. & Benoit, C. (2008) Too posh too push? Comparative perspectives on maternal request caesarean sections in Canada, the US, the UK and Finland. In: Chambré, S.M. & Goldner, M. (eds.) Advances in Medical Sociology Patients, consumers and civil society. Vol. 10. London: JAI Press, 99-123.
  9. Sandall, J., Benoit, C., van Teijlingen E., Wrede, S., Declercq, G. & De Vries, R. (2012) Gender and maternal healthcare. In: Kuhlmann E. & Annandale, E. (eds.) Palgrave Handbook of Gender & Healthcare (2nd edn.). Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 389-404.
  10. Benoit, C., Sandall, J., Benoit, C., Murray, S.F., van Teijlingen E., Wrede, S., Declercq, G. & De Vries, R. Maternity Care as Global Health Policy Issue. In: E. Kuhlmann, E., Bourgeault, I. (eds.) Palgrave International Handbook on Health Care Policy & Governance,  Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming).

Grants Academy to the Rescue! Last chance until the Autumn!

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 that will need to be signed by you, your line manager and your DDRE.

The next training sessions due to take place on the: 12th and 13th of May and the 9th of June 2014 and will be the last until the Autumn

Due to our Grants Academy scheme’s success you may be added to a waiting list if no spaces are available on this training session. We are hoping to announce further Grants Academy sessions in the Autumn. You are welcome to apply and register for these Grants Academy sessions and we are happy to put your name on our list.

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 touch with Dianne Goodman (scheme administrator) or Rebecca Edwards (scheme manager).

Grants Academy Next Workshops – get yourself booked in today – I have only a few spaces left!!

Fusion Funding – My exploratory visit to the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Posted in Uncategorized by vtauringana

As previously reported on BU research blog, I was awarded Fusion Investment Funds to explore opportunities for research collaboration and staff and student exchanges with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban, South Africa. I am posting this blog to report on my exploratory visit to UKZN last week (Tuesday 22nd to Friday, 25th April, 2014).

The first day of my visit was spent in what I would call ‘high level meetings’ with UKZN senior management staff. In the morning I met Professor Anesh Maniraj Singh who is the Dean of the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance. He expressed his enthusiasm for the research collaboration and the staff and student exchanges and indicated that he will come over as soon as the partnership agreement is signed. Next I met Professor Stephen Migiro, the Dean and Head of the Graduate School of Business and Leadership. He was also very much in favour of the proposal. He talked about the problems the university was facing especially in finding external examiners for their PhD students and hoped that once the partnership is signed, some BU staff may be engaged as examiners. The final meeting of the day was with the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor John Mubangizi. He was so impressed with the proposal that he instructed the Dean of the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance and the Dean of the Graduate School of Business and Leadership to work with me so that the proposed partnership is signed as soon as possible subject to both BU and UKZN due processes.

On my second day I met the students to gauge their interest in coming over to BU. I made a 20 minutes presentation outlining the nature of the student exchange after which I invited questions. There was quite a lot of interest and excitement about the proposed student exchange judging by the number of questions that I had to answer. At the end of the session I invited the students to indicate by raising their hands if they would be interested. No prizes for guessing that 100% of the students would be interested in coming to BU once such an exchange agreement has been signed subject to financial constraints.

The morning of third day at UKZN was taken up by a meeting with Professor Lesley Stainbank (Professor of Accounting) where we discussed possible research collaboration. I spent my lunch in the company of Professor Anesh Maniraj Singh talking about how the proposed partnership could effectively benefit his School of Accounting, Economics and Finance and ‘catch up’ with the developments in teaching and research in the UK.

My final day involved a 50 mile drive UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg Campus where I presented a research paper entitled ‘The impact of DEFRA guidelines on the reporting of greenhouse gases’. The presentation was attended by about 50 people who appeared knowledgeable about the topic of the presentation. I rounded up my visit to UKZN with a talk to the postgraduate students who expressed the hope that the proposed student exchange could include a summer school for them so that they could also come for a short period and experience the education atmosphere at BU.

My overall impression of the visit is that UKZN is a very good university which has very good teaching, research and student facilities that are equivalent to those at BU. The staff and the students that I met were very friendly and showed commitment to working with BU students and staff once the partnership agreement is signed. I am very grateful to the Fusion Investment Fund that enabled me to visit UKZN. I brought some material about UKZN as a university and also about the research being undertaken by its staff. Feel free to email me at vtauringana@bournemouth.ac.uk if you need any further information.

Dr Ven Tauringana
Associate Professor of Accounting, The Business School.

Free places for BU staff at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) workshop 21st May 2014

Thanks to FIF Mobility Strand Funding, Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI) are delighted to be welcoming colleagues from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York to Bournemouth University from 20-23rd May 2014. As part of their visit, BU Staff are being invited to join a free workshop. In this workshop MoMA’s specially trained Museum Educators will share their successful model and established approach for making their services dementia-friendly (validated via evaluation from New York University).

This workshop showcases MoMA’s innovative style of education delivery, providing attendees with an opportunity to hear the success of their approach and a practical demonstration in the Atrium Gallery. Staff with an interest in alternative teaching methods and those working with vulnerable groups may be particularly interested in attending. Please also pass on this information to any PhD students you feel may benefit from attending.

Date: 21st May 2014
Time: 11:00 – 15:30
Venue: Talbot Campus

There are a limited number of places available on this workshop for BU staff. To book a place, or for more information, please email mheward@bournemouth.ac.uk or call 01202 962538.

Please be aware that spaces for this workshop are limited, and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

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: http://www.youtube.com/researchprofessional 

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:

27 May 2014

24 June 2014

22 July 2014

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.

Neuroscience@BU seminar: “Emergent oscillatory activity in the cerebral cortex” Friday the 2nd of May 14:00 PG 10 (Poole House)

Next Friday the 2nd of May at 14:00 h in PG10, we will have a research seminar in neuroscience entitled “Emergent oscillatory activity in the cerebral cortex”.

Our guest is Prof. Maria Victoria Sanchez-Vives, http://www.sanchez-vives.org/,  ICREA Research Professor at the IDIBAPS (Institut d’Investigacions Biomediques August Pi i Sunyer) in Barcelona, head of the Systems Neuroscience group.

Prof. Maria Victoria Sanchez-Vives has published a number of influential papers in journals like e.g. Science, Nature Neuroscience or PNAS and is currently the Chief Editor of Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience. She has been funded by Human Frontier Science Program, national and international agencies and has been partner in six European Projects. She is currently coordinator of the FET EU project CORTICONIC.

Her main interests include how neuronal and synaptic properties as well as connectivity determine the emergent activity generated by neuronal networks. The integration of the cortical information giving rise to bodily representation and the combination of brain-computer interfaces and virtual reality for understanding these processes, is another research line of her group.

We strongly suggest not to miss the opportunity to attend to this seminar. Afternoon cakes, coffee and tea will be served during the event.

Best wishes, Emili

Emili Balaguer-Ballester, PhD
Faculty of Science and Technology , Bournemouth University
Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, University of Heidelberg

———————————

Title: “Emergent oscillatory activity in the cerebral cortex”.

Abstract: “Understanding complex systems like brain networks is a challenge. Cortical networks can perform computations of remarkable complexity, accounting for a large variety of behaviours and cognitive states. At the same time, the same networks can engage in stereotypical patterns of spatio-temporal activation, such as the ones that can be observed during sleep, anaesthesia and in cortical slice. Collective phenomena emerging from activity reverberation in cortical circuits at different spatio-temporal scales results in a rich variety of dynamical states. Slow (around or below 1 Hz) and fast (15-100 Hz) rhythms are spontaneously generated by the cortical network and propagate or synchronize populations across the cortex. This is the case even in isolated pieces of the cortical network, or in vitro maintained cortical slices, where both slow and fast oscillations are also spontaneously generated. The similarity between some of these patterns both in vivo and in vitro suggests that they are somehow a default activity from the cortical network. We understand that these emergent patterns provide information on the structure, dynamics and function of the underlying cortical network and their alterations in neurological diseases reveal the circuits dysfunction”.

 

 

 

Latest CEMP Research Bulletin

Here is the updated CEMP Research / Innovation bulletin for May / June 2014. CEMP bulletin May June 2014

Please contact Julian or Richard in CEMP if you are interested in any of the funding opportunities here, or have other ideas for collaborative projects with CEMP.

AHRC funded Digital Reading Symposium at the EBC on 19 June

The AHRC-funded Digital Reading Network will be hosting its first symposium on 19 June.  The event will take place in the Executive Business Centre at Bournemouth University.  All are welcome to attend this free event but please note that places are limited.

 

Bob Stein, a pioneer of electronic publishing and founder of the Institute for the Future of the Book, will be our keynote speaker.  Bob will be discussing his latest venture, SocialBook, a new digital publishing platform which promises to take the idea of social reading to a new level.

 

The day will feature contributions from international scholars and practitioners drawing on a wide range of approaches and methods in an attempt to understand the momentous changes affecting readers and reading in the digital age.

 

Topics discussed will include

  • Ebooks and ereaders
  • Online book clubs and discussion forums
  • Reading and social media
  • Digital well being
  • Artists’ books
  • Digital comics

 

As well as scholarly papers, the day will include workshops, roundtable discussions, exhibitions and poster presentations.

 

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Further details of the programme and travel and accommodation information are available on the DRN website (www.digitalreadingnetwork.com).

 

To register your place, please contact srose@bournemouth.ac.uk.

 

Gender and Sovereignty

Title: Gender, Sovereignty and the Rights of the Sexual Security Regime in International Law and Postcolonial India

Friday 9th May 2014, 12:30-15:00, Lansdowne Campus
Professor Ratna Kapur (Jindal Global Law School, India)

In this talk, Ratna will use the recent ‘Delhi rape’ case that received global attention in 2012 to trace how an appalling episode of violence against a woman is articulated within stable categories of gender and invites state intervention in the form of criminal justice, stringent sentencing and a strengthened sexual security regime. She argues that the stability of gender and gender categories based on the binary of male and female has been an integral feature of international law and has been maintained partly through an overwhelming focus on sexual violence against women by states as well as non-state actors. This focus relies on a statist approach to sovereignty, where advocacy is directed at the state for redress and protection, primarily in the form of carceral measures, which in turn translate into a tightening of the sexual security regime.

This session will start at 12:30 with Lunch being provided.

To ensure a space at this talk please visit the Staff Development and Engagement Pages on the Staff Intranet.

Financial Management Workshop

A Financial Management Workshop is taking place on Wednesday 14th May 2014, 15:00-16:00 on Lansdowne Campus.
This session will be facilitated by Jennifer Roddis Senior R&KE Support Officer, and Paul Lynch, Senior R&KE Support Officer.
This workshop is aimed at Academic Staff.
In this workshop there will be the following topics covered:

  • your financial management
  • income and funding budgeting
  • financial resourcing
  • strategic financial planning

To book your place on this workshop, please visit the Staff Development and Engagement Pages on the Staff Intranet.  

Seminars, hospitals, falls, and a cuddle with a koala

Earlier this month I was invited back to Australia for another research visit to Monash University. I was invited to visit Melbourne last year for a research visit and to present at a one-day seminar. This was along with two other UK colleagues from Birmingham and York, who also specialise in falls prevention (one is a geriatrician and the other a nurse). The three of us were invited back and this time we presented at two one-day seminars.

The seminars

Day 1: The first day was focused on falls prevention among older people. I was invited to give two presentations, one on an area of long-term interest to me; increasing older people’s uptake and adherence to falls prevention interventions. The other was to present findings on a pilot project funded by all the RCUK’s and departments of health (led by the MRC), on the topic of outdoor falls. This led to some interesting discussions, and it was also useful to hear other presentations from leading researchers from Sydney.

 

Day 2: The second day focused on patient safety. Some challenging issues were discussed such as learning lessons from mid-Staffs. There was also some discussion of preventive medicine, and I was invited to lead a workshop on behaviour change techniques to increase participation in physical activity interventions for the prevention of falls.

 

Research visit

Before the two one-day seminars, we had some engaging discussions sharing about the research being conducted at our respective institutions. This included work that will lead to an international position paper on how to advance the science of falls prevention research. We also visited a local hospital whereby we were invited for a Question Time type meeting, with the three of us UK visitors plus our host (Dr Anna Barker, Monash University) were quizzed on falls prevention in the hospital setting(!). This proved stimulating and interesting that the same issues being tackled over here are similar to what is experienced at the other side of the world. We also had the excitement of the first participant to be recruited into the RESPOND trial in which I am a collaborator. The RESPOND trial is a multi-site randomised controlled trial that will test the effectiveness of a patient-centred programme to prevent secondary falls in older people presenting to the emergency department with a fall. The protocol paper should be published in the near future…

 

And the koala…

Before heading back to the UK I managed to get 24 hours in Adelaide to visit a colleague who visited the UK back in around 2007. We’ve kept in touch over the years as her PhD was on a similar theme to mine around the psychological barriers to older people’s participation in falls prevention interventions. We managed to get to a zoo and queue up for the much awaited cuddle with a koala. This was fab; like cuddling a teddy bear that is alive! My hosts also kindly arranged for a fish and chip meal on the beach before catching the flight home (felt a terribly British thing to do!).

 

On the whole this was a good visit to do. It led to several useful discussions that I have taken back with me that will shape my research direction, both in the immediate future with my current grant proposal writing and subsequent proposals. It was also useful to strengthen the collaboration between our institutions and engage in useful dialogue with practitioners about the issues I as a researcher am trying to help them overcome.

 

Dr Samuel Nyman

BUDI and Psychology Research Centre

Happenings in HE last week…

Posted in Uncategorized by ccherry

Due to the Easter break, the first update of last week came on Weds.

Wednesday

The collapse in part-time undergraduate study since 2008-9 does not show that people are turning away from taking degrees part-time, a new HEFCE analysis shows. Part-time student fall ‘mainly due to non-degree courses’ (THE)

‘Grade inflation’

A study from HEFCE has found “significant unexplained variation” in students’ likelihood of gaining a first or 2:1 depending on their chosen university.

Scottish referendum

A large number of universities have chosen to quit the CBI employers’ federation in protest at its decision to register as a formal anti-independence campaign for September’s referendum.

Course changes

Institutions making last-minute changes to courses have prompted an inquiry by the competition authorities. Are universities breaking consumer protection laws? (Guardian)

Thursday

Higher education policymakers in the UK should pay much closer attention to Australia’s funding system, which is “often ahead” of England’s, Libby Hackett and Nick Hillman argue today. This is to launch a joint University Alliance and HEPI report, ‘HELP from Down Under? – ‘It’s not only on the cricket pitch that we can learn from Australia’

Student fees

Concerns over current funding system: The trebling of UK university tuition fees has resulted in a “highly uncertain” future for higher education funding and produces just a 5% saving for the taxpayer, research shows. A report, published by IFS, calculated that for every £1 loaned by the government to students to cover fees and maintenance, 43p will not be recouped. The study calculates that each student will be lent an average of just over £40,000, meaning the amount not recovered will be about £17,000 a student.

 

Review of university funding: UUK have announced a sector-wide panel of experts is to look at ideas for reforming England’s university funding system. Panel to review student funding model (THE)  

Universities role in financing students: Ryan Shorthouse argues that institutions should play a greater role in financing undergraduate students. He says that, “a graduate tax is a solution to a non-existent problem.” Universities, lend a thought to funding (THE)

International

Rising numbers of students are considering taking courses overseas, driven by an increase in tuition fees in the UK and the need for “travel and adventure”, study by the British Council finds. British students ‘being driven overseas by fees hike’ (Telegraph)

Future thinking

Pundits predicting that an “avalanche” of technological and competitive change will sweep away “traditional” higher education are wrong and often have a commercial motive for making such comments, according to UUK. Sector traditions can survive ‘digital avalanche’ (THE)

Equality

Universities should not acquiesce in a system that perpetuates inequality – they must take a stand against it, argues Thomas Docherty. Whose side are we on in this moral contest? (THE) 

Friday

Moody’s has predicted that “weaker regional universities in England could struggle for survival in the wake of a brutal US-style beauty contest for students and their tuition fees”. The report’s forecasts suggest the changes in funding and removal of the cap are likely to affect universities in England through “the imposition of market-driven strategies” in the same way as their peers in the US and Canada. Moody’s predicts gloomy future for weaker universities throughout UK (Guardian)

Tuition fees

In a blog for the Telegraph, Jenny McCartney argues that the current problems with the RAB “could easily have been predicted – event by the class dunce”. In their efforts to make tuition fees fairer, the Coalition has created a financial mess (Telegraph).

Latest Major Funding Opportunities

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

BBSRC are supporting the delivery of events to facilitate discussion and improve awareness of knowledge exchange and commercialisation (KEC) of BBSRC-funded research. BBSRC will contribute up to £2,000 in grants towards costs of external speakers, room booking, time spent in organising the event and other reasonable costs. The cost of lunch and refreshments will not be covered. No deadline given.

The RCUK Energy Programme, via EPSRC, invites expressions of interest from those willing to attend a workshop in London to scope a joint call between UK and the Republic of South Korea in civil nuclear research. The workshop will consider issues around decommissioning and radioactive waste treatment and disposal. The workshop will begin at 10:00 on the 7th July and will finish at 16:00pm on the 8th July. There will be a dinner on the night of the 7th July. To attend this workshop, the EoI should be submitted by 16/05/14. Successful applicants will be invited by 06/06/14.

EUREKA  has launched a new call for technological innovation projects. Each project must meet two main elements. First, a project needs to be transnational and involve at least two companies from two different EUREKA member countries. Secondly, the project has to develop high-tech marketable products, technology-based services or methods: any technologies and applications are welcome as long as they have a strong market potential. Applications must be submitted by 01/08/14.

It is vital that the knowledge and expertise arising from science funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is harnessed for the benefit of a wide range of stakeholders. To facilitate this, NERC wishes to fund scientists to apply their knowledge and skills to support decision-makers dealing with the challenge of managing environmental risks to infrastructure. NERC has up to £600k available for this call. NERC would like to fund a range of projects from short term (3-6 month) projects, which explore the value of environmental science to a stakeholder organisation, to longer-term (up to 18 months) projects which develop environmental science into solutions to address the challenge of managing environmental risks to infrastructure. There will be a Brokerage workshop on 20/05/14. Closing date for proposals: 16:00 on 19/06/14.

The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £5m in projects that stimulate innovation in the UK location-based services sector. The aim of the competition is to support projects that capitalise on the increasing accuracy, coverage and speed of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) such as GPS and other non-satellite technologies such as iBeacon, Wi-Fi and radio frequency identification (RFID) to build innovative location-based services or improve the user experience of existing services. Proposals must be collaborative and business-led although project partners can include research and non-profit organisations as well as other businesses. They expect to fund mainly industrial research projects in which two or more partners will attract up to 50% public funding for their eligible project costs (60% for SMEs). A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 06/05/14. Register by noon on 11/06/14 with full submission by noon on 18/06/14.

The Technology Strategy Board and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are to invest up to £2m in feasibility studies to encourage the development of innovative technologies for the safe and responsible exploitation of the UK’s shale gas resources. Projects can be collaborative or developed by a single business. The funders  are encouraging projects that involve technology transfer from other sectors, for example from the ICT, digital, space and high value manufacturing sectors. A briefing day and consortium-building event for potential applicants will be held on 09/07/14. Register by noon on 17/09/14 with full applications submitted by noon on 24/09/14.

The Wellcome Trust Translation Award develops innovative and ground breaking new technologies in the biomedical area. The current highlight concerns ‘Restoring the Body’ but projects covering any aspect of technology development from a range of disciplines – including physical, computational and life sciences – will be considered at any time. The deadlines in 2014 are: Concept note: 25/04/14, Preliminary deadline 13/06/14 and invitation to attend an interview for shortlisted candidates in January 2015. There are later dates in 2014 – 24/10/14 and 08/12/14, resepectively, with interviews in July 2015.

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.

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