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New Home Office SBRI Competition – Forensics


Funding of £250k is available for this Phase 1 competition from the Home Office’s Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST). CAST exists to protect the public using science and technology by providing high quality, impartial advice, innovative solutions and frontline support to the Home Office and its partners, including the Police.

Across the UK last year, more than 500,000 crime scenes were examined for the recovery of forensic related material, principally, fingerprints and biological material. The challenge facing CAST is how to achieve step-change improvements to forensic processes used in crime investigation in the UK in order to increase the amount of material identified, reduce the time taken to process evidence, manage contamination and lessen disruptive interventions.

 The call for proposals will therefore focus on proof of concepts for technologies and processes which aid the rapid location and recovery of forensic material at crime scenes. The key requirement is to have the capability to quickly screen scenes or articles for the presence of fingerprints or other biological material that can be used in evidence. This may be achieved by a single technology which can locate both fingerprints and biological material, or separate technologies that can be deployed by investigators at a scene.

The competition will open on Monday 1st September, 2014 and close at midday on Wednesday 9 October 2014.

A briefing event is planned for 10 September in London. To register go to Eventbrite.

About SBRI.

For further information about this competition please visit the website . 




Latest Major Funding Opportunities

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

The British Academy is inviting applications to their Mid-Career Fellowships. The Academy intends, through this scheme, both to support outstanding individual researchers with excellent research proposals, and to promote public understanding and engagement with humanities and social sciences. The aim of the scheme is to allow successful applicants to obtain time freed from normal teaching and administrative commitments. These Fellowships are covered under the Full Economic Costing (FEC) regime, but the Academy’s contribution to the salary of the Mid-Career Fellow will be capped at an upper limit of £80,000, awards can be held over a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 12 months, beginning in the autumn of 2015. The deadline will be in 09/2014 for awards to be taken up from 01/09/2015.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) invite proposals for collaborative projects between the UK and the Republic of Korea in the field of Fuel Cell Technologies. EPSRC and KETEP each have up to £2.5 million available to support projects under this call. Proposals are invited from leading UK researchers wishing to either develop relationships with leading researchers from eligible institutions in Korea or to deepen existing collaborations. If you intend to submit a proposal to this call, you must register your intent by email to by 4pm, 17/09/2014.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Advanced Metrology is offering funding for Feasibility Studies in the field of mathematics for metrology. This Centre has been created to develop the next generation of manufacturing metrology technologies for total machining and advanced surfaces.  Its main aim is to deliver a step-change in the link between measurement (through the science of metrology) and production, primarily for the benefit of advanced manufacturing industries. The feasibility studies should examine a subject area in the scope, review activity in it, identify key challenges and research questions not currently being addressed and develop full proposals for funding by established routes. Awards are limited to £50,000 at 80% FEC and to a maximum duration of six months. The closing date for applications is 12:00, 22/09/2014.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) invites applications for its Supergen Solar Challenge.  The Research Councils UK Energy Programme is looking to support projects that help address key challenges in Solar Technology. The areas to be supported are in: Materials and Process Development; Building Integrated Photovoltaics; Efficiency of PV technology; and Characterisation and Stability. There is up to £5 million available to support projects submitted in response to this call. It is intended that three to five projects will be supported through this call. The deadline for proposals will be 4pm, 04/11/2014.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) are pleased to invite proposals for their Civil Society Data Partnership projects under Phase 3 of the Big Data Network. The Civil Society Data Partnership projects will establish or build on relationships between academic researchers and civil society organisations to demonstrate the value of improved data infrastructure, enabling collection and analysis of data which is of interest to civil society organisations and through enabling the sector to better utilise its own data. Proposals are invited for a duration of up to 18 months, with the latest start date of 14 February 2015. The budget of each Civil Society Data Partnership project will be a maximum of £250,000 (100 per cent fEC). Theminimum funding level is £50,000 (100 per cent fEC) and it is expected that proposals for both small and large projects will be received. The call will open on 22/08/2014 and the deadline for applications is 4pm, 02/10/2014.

The Medical Research Council’s (MRC) Confidence in Concept scheme provides annual awards of £250k-£1.2m to institutions, to be used flexibly to support the earliest stages of multiple translational research projects. It is intended to accelerate the transition /from /discovery research to translational development projects by supporting preliminary work or feasibility studies to establish the viability of an approach. The closing date for applications is 4pm, 17/10/2014.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) invites applications to its Proximity to Discovery: Industry Engagement Fund.  The fund will support a small number of research organisations to use creative approaches to building relationships with industry partners and can be used for people and knowledge exchange at the very earliest stage of a collaboration and may not necessarily be aligned to a specific project objective. A total budget of £15 m is available to support CinC and Proximity to Discovery: Industry Engagement Fund. The closing date for applications is 4pm, 17/10/2014.

The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research in collaboration with the Technology Strategy Board are inviting applications for its CRACK IT challenges.  CRACK IT Challenges is a challenge-led funding competition from the NC3Rs which is designed to: fund collaborations between industry, academics and SMEs; minimise the use of animals in research; and support the development of marketable products and/or improved business processes. There are up to three Challenges this year with a total of seven Sponsors, with funding ranging from £100k to £1m and contracts from 1-3 years.  The competition is open from 15/09/2014 and the deadline for applications is 12 noon, 19/11/2014. Please note that in order to apply you must register with the SBRI for the competition by 12 noon, 12/11/2014.  

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) invites applications to its International Opportunities Fund. The scheme provides resources to NERC-supported researchers to allow them to forge long-term partnerships with overseas scientists that add value to current NERC-funded science. There are two grants available: 1) IOF Pump-Priming Grants – These aim to help researchers establish and develop new collaborative links with international partners. Proposals for IOF Pump Priming Grants may request funding of a maximum of £40k (at 80% FEC) for up to two years duration. 2) IOF Pump-Priming Plus Grants – These aim to support establishment of novel international collaborative links, as for the IOF Pump Priming grants, but allow for development of partnerships that require more resource. Proposals for IOF Pump Priming grants may request funding of a maximum of £320K (at 80% FEC) for up to three years duration. The closing date for proposals is 25/09/2014.

The Royal Academy of Engineering is now inviting applications for The Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship. The fellowship allows the academic to concentrate on full-time research and be relieved of teaching and administrative responsibilities. The purpose of the Fellowships is to cover the salary costs of a replacement academic who will take over the awardee’s teaching and administration duties for up to one year. The deadline for applications is 4pm, 27/10/2014.

The Technology Strategy Board and Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia (OERA) are jointly investing approximately $1.4m CAD (£755k) in collaborative R&D projects to develop enhanced sensing technologies for tidal stream energy applications.  The aim of this competition is to develop technologies that lead to the acquisition of better data, improved data analysis and collection methods, helping to reduce risk, uncertainty and cost to the tidal stream energy industry. Proposals must be collaborative and business-led, including at least one business from Canada and one from the UK.  This is a two-stage competition that opens for applicants on 06/10/2014.  The deadline for expressions of interest is at 4pm Greenwich Mean Time on 28/11/2014.  

The Technology Strategy Board will shortly be inviting registrations and applications for its call on Forensics. The call for proposals is seeking to achieve a step-change in crime investigation in the UK, through the application of novel techniques for gathering forensic evidence. The call will open on 01/09/2014. Registration closes on 22/10/2014 and the deadline for applications is 29/10/2014.

The Technology Strategy Board and the Environment Agency will shortly be inviting registrations and applications for their call on Non-intrusive river flow measurement. This competition is focused on the Environment Agency’s need to measure river flows in challenging locations where existing standard instrumentation cannot be used. However, a solution that could also be deployed in less demanding/normal river conditions would be ideal. In order to enter this competition, registration is required. Registration closes on 15/10/2014 and applications are due in by 22/10/2014. The award is to be confirmed.

The Welcome Trust invites applications to its Arts Awards that support scientific engagement through the arts. The scheme aims to support imaginative and experimental arts projects that investigate biomedical science and all art forms are covered by the programme: dance, drama, performance arts, visual arts, music, film, craft, photography, creative writing or digital media. The Trust invites applications for projects which engage adult audiences and/or young people. Funding can be applied for at two levels: 1) Small to medium-sized projects (up to and including £30 000) - Funding can either be used to support the development of new project ideas, deliver small-scale productions or workshops, investigate and experiment with new methods of engagement through the arts, or develop new collaborative relationships between artists and scientists. 2) Large projects (above £30 000) - This funding can be used to fund full or part production costs for large-scale arts projects that aim to have significant impact on the public’s engagement with biomedical science. The closing date is 08/11/2014.

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.

Congratulations and Good Luck

Ke Rong

July saw an increased level of activity for bids being submitted and awards being won with congratulations due to Schools/Faculty for winning research and consultancy contracts.

For the Business School, congratulations are due to grants academy member Chris Chapleo for his consultancy with Nigel Reed Smith Ltd, to Ke Rong and grants academy member Xiaosong Yang (MS) for their application from the British Academy, to Juliet Memery and Dawn Birch for their contract with the Crown Estate and to David Marshall for his consultancy with New Forest Biscotti.  Good luck to Maurizio Borghi for his application to the AHRC, and to Thanh Huynh for his contract to the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Luisa Cescutti-Butler

For HSC, congratulations are due to Luisa Cescutti-Butler for her short course with Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.  Good luck to Anthea Innes and Fiona Kelly for their application to the Department of Health, to Clive Andrewes for his short course to Fathom Point Limited, to Lee-Ann Fenge for her consultancy to Help and Care, and to Anthea Innes for her application to Dorset County Council for the BSO/BUDI Orchestra.

Tom Watson

For MS, congratulations are due to Jamie Matthews for his application from the Japan Foundation Endowment Committee, to Liam Tomms for his consultancies with WISH (Women in Social Housing) and Grapevine Telecom Ltd, to Stephanie Farmer for her consultancy with Dorset County Council, to Melanie Gray for her consultancy with Grapevine Telecom Ltd, to Tom Watson for his IHPR Conference 2014, and to grants academy member Rebecca Jenkins for her consultancy with Mind Share. Good luck to Richard Southern for his application to the EPSRC to research deriving motor control laws for bipedal locomotion from experimental data, and to Isabella Rega for her application to the Technology Strategy Board.

Kate Welham

For the Faculty of Science and Technology, congratulations are due to Kate Welham for her short course on the Introduction to Near Eastern Archaeology, to Robert Britton for his application to the European Commission Marie Curie Fellowship, to David Parham for his consultancy with Cornwall County Council, to Kathy Hodder for her consultancy with Fieldwork Ecological Services Ltd, to Paul Cheetham, Iain Hewitt, and Miles Russell for their short course on The Big Dig 2014, to Chris Shiel for her consultancy with the Open University, to Genoveva Esteban for her consultancy with Queen Mary University London in connection with public engagement, to Jonathan Monteith for his consultancies with Dartmoor National Park, the Lester Brunt Partnership LLP, Anesco and Bloor Homes Limited, to John Gale for his short course on Time Walkers, and to Adrian Pinder for his consultancy with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust. Good luck to Robert Britton for his CASE studentship to NERC, to grants academy member Luciana Slomp Esteves for her application to the British Conference of Undergraduate Research to host their 2017 conference, to Amanda Korstjens for her application to NERC, to Jan Wiener and Anthea Innes (HSC) for their application to the ESRC to research Dementia-friendly architecture, to Katherine Appleton for her application to the BBSRC, to Sarah Bate for her application to the ESRC to research early detection and remediation of developmental prosopagnosia, and to John McAlaney for his consultancy to the West Lothian College.

Image of Dr Heather Hartwell

Heather Hartwell

For ST, congratulations go to Heather Hartwell, Adele Ladkin,  Stephen Page and Ann Hemingway (HSC) for their application to the ESRC to research promotion of wellbeing as a destination resource, to Adam Blake, Steven Richards and grants academy member Neelu Seetaram for their consultancy with Price Waterhouse Coopers LLP, to Jonathan Hibbert for several consultancies with Reading Borough Council, Glasgow Caledonian University, Dorset County Council (two consultancies), Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS) and The Old Royal Naval College (ORNC), and to grants academy member Alessandro Inversini for his consultancy with Mind Share.

Upcoming event: “Double Your Customer Spend in 12 Months!”

Tuesday 23 September 2014,
5:30pm arrival for a 6pm start
Executive Business Centre, 89 Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth, BH8 8EB

The Centre for Entrepreneurship is delighted to invite you to a presentation by Peter Czapp.

Peter Czapp is co-founder of The Wow Company, a proactive accountancy practice that advises small businesses across the UK, helping them make more profit, pay less tax and have more fun!

Some of Wow’s clients have achieved amazing things; growing quickly, winning awards for their customer service & generating large profits. The one thing that Wow’s top performing clients all have in common is that they are masters at generating revenues from their existing customers. In this seminar, Peter shares insights into what Wow’s most successful clients do differently, including sharing practical tips that you can apply in your own business right away. If you’re looking to double your client spend, attend this event to find out how!

To book please visit:

British Academy – calls released!

The British Academy have confirmed that they are now inviting applications for the below schemes in 2014-2015. If you wish to apply for these schemes, please do ensure that you contact the Research & Knowledge Exchange Office (R&KEO) as soon as possible – BU’s internal deadlines have been added to the below information.

Please note: The British Academy have asked us to inform you that the latest time at which applications will be accepted from both applications and approvers via eGAP will now be 5pm on the relevant deadline date (rather than midnight, as was previously the case).

 Please see below the timetables for 2014-2014 funding schemes:

Postdoctoral Fellowships

  • Application forms, Outline Stage: available from  27 August 2014
  • BU internal deadline to RKEO – 2 October 2014
  • Applicant deadline, Outline Stage: 8 October 2014
  • Result of Outline Stage announced: 21 January 2015
  • BU internal deadline to RKEO – 19 February 2015
  • Application deadline, Second Stage: 25 February 2015
  • Final results confirmed: May 2015
  • Awards available for starting date: Not earlier than 1 September 2015 and not later than 1 January 2016

 Mid-Career Fellowships

  • Application forms, Outline Stage: available from  13 August 2014
  • BU internal deadline to RKEO – 11 September 2014
  • Applicant deadline, Outline Stage: 17 September 2014
  • Result of Outline Stage announced: 17 December 2014
  • BU internal deadline to RKEO – 15 January 2015
  • Application deadline, Second Stage: 21 January 2015
  • Final results confirmed: March 2015
  • Awards available for starting date: Not earlier than 1 September 2015 and not later than 1 January 2016

 BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants

2014-15 Round (Round 1)

  • Application forms: available from  3 September 2014
  • BU internal deadline to RKEO – 9 October 2014
  • Applicant deadline: 15 October 2014
  • Final Results confirmed: March 2015
  • Awards available for starting date: Not earlier than 1 April 2015 and not later than 31 August 2015

2015 Round (Round 2)

  • Application forms: available from  1 April 2015
  • BU internal deadline to RKEO – 30 April 2015
  • Applicant deadline: 6 May 2015
  • Final Results confirmed: July 2015
  • Awards available for starting date: Not earlier than 1 September 2015 and not later than 31 March 2016

Skills Acquisition Awards

  • Application forms: available from  3 September 2014
  • BU internal deadline to RKEO – 23 October 2014
  • Applicant deadline: 29 October 2014
  • Final Results confirmed: March 2015
  • Awards available for starting date: Not earlier than 1 September 2015 and not later than 1 April 2016

BA/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowships

  • Application forms: available from  15 October 2014
  • BU internal deadline to RKEO – 13 November 2014
  • Applicant deadline: 19 November 2014
  • Final Results confirmed: March 2015
  • Awards available for starting date: Not earlier than 1 September 2015 and not later than 1 January 2016

Neil Ker Memorial Fund Grants

  • Application forms: available from  22 October 2014
  • BU internal deadline to RKEO – 30 November 2014
  • Applicant deadline: 3 December 2014
  • Final Results confirmed: March 2015
  • Awards available for starting date: Not earlier than 1 April 2015 and not later than 31 December 2015

Stein-Arnold Exploration Fund Grants

  • Application forms: available from  22 October 2014
  • BU internal deadline to RKEO – 30 November 2014
  • Applicant deadline: 3 December 2014
  • Final Results confirmed: March 2015
  • Awards available for starting date: Not earlier than 1 April 2015 and not later than 31 December 2015

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.

Reflections on an Oasis

Our final blog concerning our Fusion Investment Funded study leave, ENABLE: Establishing Sustainable Research Networks and Building Learning Environments, is written with very mixed feelings in mind.

For seven months we have worked across Southeast Asia to develop and establish links and research collaborations, teaching and education partnerships and to rediscover our passion for social action as ‘professional practice’ associated with our disciplines. The work has been intense, tiring, sometimes frustrating, but always illuminating and productive. It was a wrench to leave.

The return journey began with raised anxieties, heightened a couple of weeks earlier by the awful shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines aeroplane following the same route (although by then re-routed), and exacerbated when we were separated into two distinct travelling units, Jonathan with one child and Sara with the other, because the previous university travel firm booked tickets as two separate families! To make matters worse only Jonathan and Isabel’s tickets showed up and we had to wait to secure the other tickets. We were then given seats at opposite ends of the aeroplane and had to wait again for re-seating. The flight began well enough and was fairly smooth, only briefly punctuated by a somewhat antisocial ‘ramming’ of chair in front into one of our legs with particular force by someone who thought ‘turn off your electronics’ meant send texts to your friends!

However, we landed in one piece and breathed a sigh of relief, or possibly resignation, until, as in our usual practice of each taking one of the children through immigration the UKBA officer asked Jonathan rather sternly ‘where is the child’s mother?’ and when indicating where Sara was the officer proceeded to say that children have to be seen with their mother because mother’s are in general the carers of children and if present they have to be with the child. ‘Red rags and bulls’ often appear to Jonathan in unjust situations and he, as usual, took issue with this, but whilst we all got through immigration clearance more quickly, the officer insisted that his rather warped and myopic view of British law and custom was now right. Oh dear! We wondered what had happened in the seven months we had been away and whether we were entering Gormenghast!

But, back to the project itself! Our four key objectives have been met throughout the project, with varying degrees of success and changing morphologies:

1. Establish a sustainable research network promoting social sciences and interdisciplinary research at BU:

We have made contacts with individual academics, departments and universities across Southeast Asia, notably Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Universiti Utara Malaysia, alongside contacts with Massey University in New Zealand,  Hong Kong University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Myanmar Institute of Theology.

We have given names and contacts to people abroad and within BU to follow up. Research projects are being developed, publications are in train or planned for the future.

2. Develop research streams of locally specific or cross-cultural relevance:

Our research, completed with the Orang Asli as part of the Tasik Chini Research Centre, has culminated in numerous publications being submitted, developed and developing, wide dissemination across many fora, and establishing on-going research links.

3. Engage and promote educational initiatives via guest lectures/research seminars, developing joint postgraduate research supervision and educational initiatives promoting student mobility:

We have presented lectures and seminars, provided postgraduate supervision and contributed to curriculum planning and development discussions, as well as negotiated an important credit transfer scheme (although uptake has been delayed until we can find students both able and willing to go on this exciting opportunity!). Professional papers have been written and submitted.

4. Engage in discipline-specific activities in relation to social work:

a number of discipline specific activities concerning social action and development have been undertaken, including curriculum planning, assisting in education developments in Myanmar and in Malaysia in reference to the new (to be implemented) standardised Malaysian Diploma Social Work, alongside contributing to NGO development work.

Overall, during the study leave period, there has been 57 outputs, also including on-going work and connections to be completed over time. The 57 outputs included:

  • 6 books (3 published)
  • 14 book chapters (11 published or in press)
  • 12 peer reviewed papers (9 published or in press)
  • 3 professional papers
  • 1 book review
  • 16 conference presentations/open lectures etc.
  • 10 blogs
  • 6 media presentations

During our time away we have worked across five countries: Malaysia, Hong Kong SAR, Australia, Myanmar and Cambodia in order to carry out our research or present it, along with capacity-building missions for professional, social work training. We have undertaken respectively between 24 to 28 flights (trying, when one of us dislikes flying) and stayed in some extraordinarily interesting as well as very grim places during our fieldwork, resulting in abuse from miscellaneous assortments of blood-sucking insects (outsized mosquitoes, the usual bed bugs and fever-inducing leeches) bedding down with us or boisterously noisy lizards, both small and decidedly large, showering us with ordure from above.

One of us was joyfully returning ‘home’ to pioneering fieldwork in Southeast Asia and the other was equally rapturous to be introduced to it. We have developed a new appreciation of the diversity of international driving styles when finding it not unusual to be driven by taxi in the wrong direction through chaotic Yangon in the middle of two long lines of equally erratic cars heading in the right direction – towards us. Above all, we remember the various wonderfully funny, kind, clever, intriguing and endlessly good-natured people we me: all our participants, our various helpers, interpreters, drivers, guides and advisors, the academic staff and students who welcomed us so warmly, the inspiring NGO workers and service users; not forgetting the local café owner in Penang, who wept when we left before running to get her camera for group photos to remember us by.

Also, we will always remember just how much our children, Isabel and Milly grew and developed in stature (in all ways possible): learning the research process, engaging with children amongst the village communities, and themselves collecting valuable data and compiling magnificent school projects on their adventures and experiences. The children put up with a good deal with great fortitude, willingness and humour (or when the going got tough – heavy irony), easily comprehending the importance of the work undertaken; albeit, as 10 year-old Milly gravely commented in her write-up later, ‘fieldwork has its dark side’! Indeed, so impressed were we with them that they will be contributing their experiences and acting as co-authors to the forthcoming book on the Tasik Chini area.

Alongside the outputs, the work is now to capitalise on the study leave by the development and submission of funded research projects. Currently, these include gendered rituals in professional working, problematizing research ethics and learning disabilities, understanding religion as resistance, and gender in higher education.

The study leave represented a life-giving oasis, somewhere to wash and attend to our own sacred cattle as in the photo from Cambodia, and we gratefully acknowledge the help and supported afforded us by Bournemouth University and our two main host universities in Malaysia (UKM and USM). We would encourage other academic staff to apply for study leave and we think that the productivity of our period of study leave indicates how important this can be to both individual academics but also to the greater good of Bournemouth University.

Jonathan Parker & Sara Ashencaen Crabtree

Latest Major Funding Opportunities

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

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) have announced that their Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships scheme will be reopening next year. The AHRC is seeking applications from non-HEI Organisations or consortia to become Collaborative Doctoral Partners with the AHRC to support and provide high-quality doctoral training. It is recommended that you check the funding pages in spring 2015. 

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s (BBSRC) have launched their Images with Impact – BBSRC anniversary image competition. The competition is seeking the best images that showcase UK bioscience and its importance in everyday life. The competition forms part of a series of engaging activities throughout 2014 to highlight the impact of BBSRC’s research base, world-leading bioscience, and its important contribution to the UK economy over 20 years. With this competition we want you to capture the exciting developments happening in bioscience today with images from the Great British public, its students and its researchers. There are fantastic prizes up for grabs, with a total prize fund of over £2,400. The deadline for submissions is 06/10/2014. 

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s (BBSRC) Modular Training Partnerships scheme funds the development of industrially-relevant short training courses at Masters level. Training should be developed in close collaboration with industry, and evidence of industrial demand is a key requirement for funding. Modular Training Partnerships provide pump-prime funding for the development of individual training modules, and preparation and marketing of course materials, and course launch. The deadline for applications is 15/10/2014.

The Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) are pleased to announce that a Sustainable Aquaculture Call for Proposals will be published in September for collaborative proposals to support aquaculture related research, where aquaculture is the farming or cultivation of organisms such as fin-fish, molluscs and crustaceans. BBSRC and NERC have each committed £2·5m to this Call for Proposals. Additional co-funding from other partners, including the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), is anticipated and will be available to cover the costs of their researchers on proposals. Applications for the scheme will be open from September 2014 and are expected to close early November 2014. 

Following on from the RCUK Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Exploratory Workshop ‘Transformational Approaches to Improving Hearing Aid Technology’, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are highlighting this future call. It will aim to encourage Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) researchers to develop disruptive technologies for use in hearing aid devices. The estimated opening date is 16/09/2014 and estimated closing date is 27/11/2014. 

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) are offering a three month secondment opportunity to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology; open to EPSRC funded PhD students. The deadline for applications is 03/10/2014 and the start date for successful applicants is from March 2015.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) in the UK and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in India in collaboration with Department of International Development (DFID) are pleased to announce a joint call to fund Global Health Research which will bring together researchers from the UK, India and Low Income Countries. The MRC aim to fund work which addresses health needs of the most disadvantaged populations globally.  The scope of the call is research proposals that address major health needs of women and children in low resource settings, with a focus on issues relating to one or combinations of the following topics: Maternal, new born and child health (including women’s and girl’s sexual health); Nutrition and Infectious diseases (e.g. malaria). Applications must be submitted by 16:00 on the 21/10/2014. 

The Royal Society’s Professorship for Public Engagement in Science award is for a well-established scientist with exceptional scientific communication skills and media experience to support the Society’s public engagement work. The appointment will be for five years in the first instance with the opportunity to renew the professorship for a further five years. The maximum amount of time that the Society expects the successful candidate to commit to the Professorship is 50%. Therefore, the Society will provide a contribution to the salary of the successful candidate on a pro-rata basis depending on the time committed to the Society. This scheme is now open to applications, and will close on 16/09/2014.

The Royal Society’s Industrial Fellowship scheme is for academic scientists who want to work on a collaborative project with industry and for scientists in industry who want to work on a collaborative project with an academic organisation. It aims to enhance knowledge transfer in science and technology between those in industry and those in academia in the UK. The scheme provides a basic salary for the researcher and a contribution towards research costs. Closing date: 30/09/14.

The Welcome Trust’s Career Re-entry Fellowships scheme is for postdoctoral scientists who have recently decided to recommence a scientific research career after a continuous break of at least two years. It gives such scientists the opportunity to return to high-quality research, with the potential to undertake refresher or further training. The fellowship is particularly suitable for applicants wishing to return to research after a break for family commitments. Applications for this scheme are considered twice a year, details of the next round are as follows: Preliminary application deadline, 06/10/2014 (5pm); Invited full application deadline, 08/12/2014 (5pm); Shortlisted candidate interviews, 13-15/04/2014. 

The Welcome Trust’s Research Training Fellowships scheme is for medical, dental, veterinary or clinical psychology graduates who have little or no research training, but who wish to develop a long-term career in academic medicine. Applications are encouraged from individuals who wish to undertake substantial training through high-quality research in an appropriate unit or clinical research facility, towards a PhD or MD qualification. Applications are considered three times a year; the next closing date is 01/12/2014. 

The Welcome Trust’s Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowships scheme provides a unique opportunity for the most promising newly qualified postdoctoral researchers to make an early start in developing their independent research careers, working in the best laboratories in the UK and overseas. Candidates will be expected to identify an important biomedical research question and to develop and deliver a personal programme to achieve their research aims. The fellowship is for four years full-time and may be taken up on a part-time employment basis with the tenure of award lengthened accordingly. The fellowship provides an award of £250 000. Applications for this scheme are considered twice a year, details of the next round are as follows: Preliminary application deadline, 06/10/2014 (5pm); Invited full application deadline, 08/12/2014 (5pm); Shortlisted candidate interviews, 13-15/04/2014. 

The Wellcome Trust invites submissions for their Welcome Image Awards. If you are a research scientist, photographer or illustrator, your images could reach a global audience. The winning images will go on display at science centres and public galleries across the UK. The deadline for submissions is 30/09/2014.

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.

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

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