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Parliamentary Science Committee want science budget protected

Posted in Research news by Jo Garrad

parliament-uk-logoThe House of Lords and House of Commons Science Committees have written to Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills to ask him to protect the science budget.

An excerpt from the letter reads:

“The rumoured 40% cuts to your department’s budget pose a serious threat to Britain’s position at the cutting edge of science. We are writing to urge you to increase investment in research and development in the upcoming Spending Review and not to rush reorganisations of funding structures that could have unforeseen and long-term negative consequences.

The UK already invests significantly less of its GDP in R&D than our international competitors. We cannot afford to fall yet further. Cuts to the research base would send a very worrying signal to investors and could lead to a brain drain of our top academic talent.    

The Government’s aims to rebalance the economy and support high-value job creation are laudable, but they cannot be achieved without investment. Real-terms increases in the science budget and support for innovative businesses will leverage inward private investment and pay dividends for years to come through a healthier and happier society, and a stronger economy.”

Further comment on the letter can be found in this Research Professional article.

Wellcome Trust aims to increase spend to £5 billion over next 5 years

strategy - SMThe Wellcome Trust aims to invest £5 billion over the next five years to improve health, as it launches a new strategic framework focussed on advancing the best ideas in science and research, seizing opportunities as they arise and taking advantage of our independence to drive reform.

This marks another step forward for Wellcome, the world’s second highest spending charitable foundation, which has invested £6 billion over the last ten years and £11 billion since it began in 1936.

Wellcome’s new framework consists of three complementary approaches across science, research and engagement with society:

  • Advancing Ideas. Wellcome will continue to respond to great ideas and inspired thinking that address the fundamental health challenges of our time. Last year we unveiled our new funding framework to enhance our ability to support excellent research in the UK and worldwide.
  • Seizing opportunities. Wellcome brings ideas together to make a big difference, providing intensive support that creates real change. We identify times when our concerted intervention can accelerate progress towards better health.
  • Driving reform. Wellcome changes ways of working so more ideas can flourish, leading by example and campaigning for wider reform. Our record in areas like open access to research results, public engagement, and research careers has earned us the credibility to challenge ways of working, and to propose better alternatives.

The success of Wellcome’s £18 billion investments portfolio, which funds all of their work and is managed by an in-house team, has already given them the independence and resources to support such transformative work as the sequencing and understanding of the human genome, research that established front-line drugs for malaria, and Wellcome Collection, their free venue that explores medicine, life and the arts.

“The Wellcome Trust has a long-standing record in science and research of which we are very proud,” says Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust. “We are able to build on that legacy with an increased commitment to supporting people and teams with great ideas in basic science and applied research, social science and the humanities, which will remain at the core of our work. But we can now also bring additional focus to some of the biggest health challenges of our time. We responded swiftly to Ebola but there are other serious issues where we believe that we can help bring about change for the better.”

Their priorities will evolve as new challenges arise, drawing on insights from a rich history of achievement and a network of experts from different disciplines around the world. Their initial priorities include:

  • Drug-resistant infection. Growing resistance to antibiotics and other drugs threatens many of the benefits of modern medicine. Wellcome will explore how best to use and protect the treatments we have, and to encourage the development of new ones.
  • Vaccination. Too many lives are still lost to diseases that could be prevented by vaccines, mostly in low and middle-income countries. Wellcome will investigate how best to stimulate research, technology development and policy to address this critical unmet need.
  • Our Planet, Our Health. Human health is intimately linked to the environment in which we live. Wellcome will build understanding of how global food systems and urbanisation connect to health, improving the evidence base for public policy.
  • Science education. An appreciation of science, for the future scientist or the informed citizen, begins with learning in school and beyond. Wellcome will help give young people an engaging, relevant and inspiring science education.

Wellcome’s new Chair, Eliza Manningham-Buller, says: “It is an exciting time to be assuming the chair of the Trust. The organisation has a great record of achievement, working with others to improve human health. We now have the means to develop even higher ambitions. The long-term funding of discovery science will remain at the core of what we do but we are also determined to act quickly when we see other opportunities to make a real difference to health.”

View the full details of the Wellcome Trust’s Strategic Framework.wellcometrust_logo

Research Councils pledge to work together more

Posted in Research news by Jo Garrad

RCUKlogoResearch Professional have summarised an email received from Philip Nelson, chairman of Research Councils UK, which says that the councils will act as a “single, collective organisation”.

All seven research councils have signed up to ‘Research Councils Together’ where they will be discussing wider changes for a more collective way of working across the research councils, leading to greater efficiency and effectiveness.  This does not equate to the creation of a single research council.  Find out more in the Research Professional article.

The use of VectorPixels to represent Photographic images

WeVectorPixels would like to invite you to the latest research seminar of the Creative Technology Research Centre.


Speaker: Alain Simons



Alain is new lecturer at Bournemouth University, teaching on the Games Technology/Games Programming courses, and this is an opportunity to learn about his PhD research.


Title:   The use of VectorPixels to represent Photographic images


Time: 2:00PM-3:00PM

Date: Wednesday 28th October 2015

Room: P302 LT, Poole House, Talbot Campus


Abstract: Photographic images are represented by a grid of pixels. Each pixel has a colour value (3 different ones for RGB colour Images) so that computations are very easy to do.   However the number of pixels that are available is increasing at a faster rate every year. Images also need to be transported as in every other digital information. Two problems are arising with the growing amount of pixels. How can 4K images will be transported over the internet? How long will it take to compute 8K images? Those questions are tackled for the moment with better compression techniques and faster CPUs, but they have their limits. VectorPixels want to start from scratch, a new approach, a new algorithm to visualize images on screen. No hardware is available at the moment to capture VectorPixels so for creating VectorPixels ordinary pixel information will be used. Our algorithm is made up of three components namely trace, calculate and save. A VectorPixel is a vector based pixel as the word itself indicates.


We hope to see you there.

Open Access Success Story #2

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The Faculty of Science and Technology Open Access Lunch and Networking event will take place today at 12noon, Shelly Lecture Theatre, at Poole House ground floor in Talbot.

In conjunction with the International Open Access week, Dr. Zulfiqar Khan shares his experience of Open Access.

Dr Zulfiqar Khan has led the University Sustainable Design Research Centre (now cluster) since 2007. The centre has grown its research and professional practice portfolio with significant international collaborations.

SDRC received its REF14 Panel Feedback as, “Sustainable Design Research Group had the highest proportion of outputs judged to be internationally excellent”. He is current lead/champion of REF 2020 UoA 12.

SDRC currently has thirteen PGRs (3 to be recruited soon), two postdoctoral research assistants (one to be recruited soon), three visiting professors, five visiting fellows and twelve academic staff. Majority of research is externally funded/match funded. Some of major funders include Ministry of Defence, Schaeffler, Future Energy Source ltd, National University of Science & Technology, SKF and WIT etc. for more information please visit SDRC.

Dr Zulfiqar Khan has established a significant research portfolio in corrosion, corrosion condition monitoring & simulation in collaboration with The Tank Museum and Ministry of Defence.

Recent publications from current research have been published in open access. Open access provides an opportunity of making research findings available to a wider audience especially those who do not necessarily subscribe to the journal itself or the database which include (the) specific journal(s).

HEFCE sets out post 2014 REF open access policy as, that in order for certain research to be eligible for submission to REF, their outputs should be made open access. There are several identified routes, e.g. gold open access or uploading to institutional repository where the material should be freely available for downloading or reading for anyone with an internet access. The output should also be easily discoverable.

The open access also works as a PR vehicle for research activity. Dr Zulfiqar Khan and his PhD student (Hammad Nazir) recently published in the Journal of Adhesion Science & Technology, Taylor & Francis, an SCI indexed journal. Taylor & Francis publish a list of twenty most read articles. Majority of top twenty most read publications are available since 2012. A recent paper which was published through the open access route entitled “Modelling of metal-coating delamination incorporating variable environmental parameters” is now the top most read paper in the list with 1620 views/downloads. This paper was available since December 2014.

Similarly “Optimisation of interface roughness and coating thickness to maximise coating–substrate adhesion – a failure prediction and reliability assessment modelling” was available since April 2015, has made it to the top most read publications with 586 views/downloads and is placed 8th (dated 18/09/2015).

While a third, recently published paper “A unified mathematical modelling and simulation for cathodic blistering mechanism incorporating diffusion and fracture mechanics concepts” which was available from Mar 2015 is now the 12th (dated 18/09/2015) most read publication with 496 views/downloads.

Dr Zulfiqar Khan said, that open access is an efficient vehicle to make our research outputs more widely available to bring significant benefits in terms academic, industrial and societal impacts.


Open Access Success Story #1

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The Faculty of Management Open Access Lunch and Networking event will take place today at 12noon, EB708, at the Executive Business Centre in Lansdowne.

Dr. Fabian Homberg will share with the audience his experience of Open Access especially in dealing with various publishers, his personal thoughts on advantages of open access and the long term sustainability of open access publishing.


I am back – Kaska Musial-Gabrys

K Musial-GabrysOver a month has passed since I re-joined Bournemouth University. As some of you may remember, I first joined BU in 2010 but then went to King’s College London for almost four years. Now I am back in my new role of Principal Academic in Computing (what a mystery that job title is!). Living at the sea side cannot be overrated!

Main areas of my research are complex networked systems, and analysis of their dynamics and evolution, as well as predictive, adaptive modelling of networked systems. I have recently started research in a new direction – the application of machine learning approaches to networked, dynamical systems. So, if you have some data for analysis, please keep in touch.

As for my experience, I received my MSc in Computer Science from Wroclaw University of Technology (WrUT), Poland, and an MSc in Software Engineering from the Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden, both in 2006. I was awarded my PhD in November 2009 from WrUT, and in the same year I was appointed a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at Bournemouth University (BU), where from 2010 I was a Lecturer in Informatics. I joined King’s College London in November 2011 as a Lecturer in Computer Science and I worked there till the end of August 2015. At Bournemouth I work in the Faculty of Science and Technology and together with my colleagues we try to develop Data Science Institute that is a cross-disciplinary initiative at BU.

I hope that I will be able to meet you in the future, maybe over a cup of coffee? Please do let me know if you think that my research work may be relevant to what you do.


Conference on Citizenship and Education – 3 November

In association with the British Sociological Association, BU is hosting the conference “Citizenship and Education“. The event will take place in Bournemouth House on the 3rd of November, and is organized by the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences.

The program includes a Policy and Politics: Citizenship and Neo-Liberalism panel, and sessions on Comparative Contexts, “Britishness” and Faith, Faith and “Cohesion” and Policy Processes and Relations where experts from around the world will present and discuss their most recent results. Dr Bridget Byrne and Professor David James will open and conclude the event with keynote speeches.

The complete program is available here.

For more information or to book to attend the conference, please visit the British Sociological Association website.

BU International Open Access Week : 19 – 25 October 2015

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Open Access Week, a global event now entering its eighth year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.

WHAT IS IT?       Open access is free, unrestricted access to peer-reviewed scholarly research literature and data.

WHY DO IT?       Publicly-funded research should be made freely available to the community who support it


To the members of public

  • Allows access to journal articles without restrictions of costs and time delay
  • Reveals the latest medical discoveries and breakthroughs (which may save your life)
  • Gives crucial information  freely to medical professionals, students and nurses in developing countries so saving thousands of lives
  • Enriches the educational experience of millions of students and teachers around the world (who otherwise cannot afford subscriptions to prestigious journals)

To the academics

  • Removes  barriers  to networking and sharing research
  • Increases exposure and use of publications
  • Facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration and new discoveries
  • Increase usage, citations and impact

Please visit the links below to hear from our academics about some of the Open Access research that is available to you:

Celebrate Open Access at BU and join us at these exciting events.


NB: Please email Charmain Lyons ( if you wish to join the Faculty Open Access Lunch so that lunch can be ordered for you.

For more information about

  • The International Open Access Week and how you can get involved or help out;
  • Open access in general;
  • how to publish your article open access

Please get in touch with Pengpeng Hatch (, tel: 01202 963154).
All logo and colour scheme attributed to :

HE Policy Update



Organisations representing universities and students have joined the campaign for the UK to remain in the European Union, while a group of pro-EU scientists has also set out its arguments. NUS and UUK join EU ‘in’ campaign. (THE).  


Oxford University

A Freedom of Information request has revealed there are just 13 women paid more than £140,000 a year, compared with 145 men at Oxford University. Oxford University criticised for gender gap among top earners (BBC News).



Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary has been questioned by the BIS select committee on the TEF. When questioned on the timescale of the TEF, Mr Javid said that introducing the TEF for 2017 is workable but concerns for universities around it being rushed were understandable, he went on to say that his priority is to ensure they get the TEF right.  Sajid Javid: priority for TEF is to ‘get it right’ (THE).


A piece in the Guardian looks at the future of HEFCE, including how likely it is to continue to exist as well as the importance of it to the higher education sector.  Has Hefce had its chips? (The Guardian HE network).


Green Paper

The likely inclusion of widening participation metrics in the teaching excellence framework is being shaped by ministers’ drive to meet targets set by David Cameron and a fear of dropout rates rising after the scrapping of student number controls. Cameron access targets ‘a major factor’ in higher education Green Paper (THE).

General Election

According to a report by HEPI, students had less impact on the outcome of this year’s UK general election than expected. HEPI reveal that one of the reasons for this could be the lack of enthusiasm for Labour’s £6K fees policy. Student voters had ‘less impact than expected’ on general election (THE).


Student loans

GuildHE has criticised the Chancellor’s plan to freeze loan repayment thresholds for all post-2012 students and graduates in England, calling the move an ‘unfair retrospective change’ that would prompt doubts among future students about whether to go to university.

Osborne plan to force current students pay more for loans ‘unfair’ (THE).

AHRC report measures value of public investment in culture

ahrcA new report, published today, addresses the challenge that cultural institutes face when trying to capture the full value of their work to individuals in society.  Commissioned by the AHRC’s Cultural Value Project and using two of the UK premier cultural institutions, the Natural History Museum (NHM) and Tate Liverpool (TL), the report explores alternative approaches and practical evaluation techniques to measuring the value of culture.

The report addresses an evidence gap as far as cultural policy is concerned and has the potential to bring quantitative economic techniques to policy debates which, say the authors of the report, have been “fragmented and curiously ungrounded in empirical evidence”.

View the AHRC press release and link to the report here and find out more.

Cultural celebrations of the biggest Irish Community outside Ireland. A Fusion project.

Posted in Uncategorized by morrisonp

I have recently returned from a Santander sponsored trip to Glucksman House Ireland, New York University for a series of meetings with key academics within the department of Irish Studies Professor Miriam Nyham, and Professor Mick Moloney at NYU. I attended a number of events to connect with key stakeholders in the Irish events sector in New York. Having recently received funding from the BU Fusion Staff Mobility and Networking Fund (SMN) I plan to continue my networking at NYU performing research regarding my PhD topic ‘The role of identity and place attachment for Irish Diaspora audiences at Irish cultural events’. I am very excited about returning to NYU in Spring next year to meet with my contacts at Glucksman Ireland House, NYU and to perform my Ethnography field research at the Irish Arts Center NY, the Irish Center in Long Island and the range of events at Glucksman Ireland House NYU with many commemorative Irish cultural events. For more information about this project, please contact: Pearl Morrison

Mick GH

Undergraduate Research Assistantship programme – staff application deadline extended

Staff are invited to submit applications for an undergraduate research assistant (URA).

The Undergraduate Research Assistantship programme aims to support at least 50 undergraduate students to work under the guidance of an experienced academic in a research position that is directly related to their career path and/or academic discipline.

The staff application deadline has been extended to Sunday 25th October.

To apply for a URA, please complete the following URA Application and send to by midnight on Sunday 25th October.  The following selection criteria will help your application.

If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Clarke, KE Adviser (KTP) on 01202 961347 or email

Smartphone device for diabetic tele-monitoring nominated for three awards

A smartphone device for monitoring sensation loss in patients with diabetes has been nominated for three awards at the Institute of Engineering and Technology Innovation Awards. The device, developed by Bournemouth University, the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch NHS Foundation Trust and Poole Hospital Trust enables patients to self-monitor their symptoms and wirelessly transmit their results to their consultants.

Over time, people with diabetes can develop nerve damage, caused by prolonged exposure to high blood glucose levels. Sensation loss needs to be monitored by medical professionals to try and limit further damage. The severity of the nerve damage will dictate the frequency of hospital visits, but it can be as often as monthly which is quite time intensive for both patient and consultant.

The device, created by Dr Venky Dubey and his Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Neil Vaughan, involved the development of a smartphone app and a 3D probe fitted to the phone. The 3D probe is designed to vibrate, according to the intensity set by the app, which helps to analyse the levels of sensation loss in a patient. This data, along with basic details such as weight and height, are recorded by the app and can be transmitted to a GP or consultant who can monitor the need for further treatment or check-ups. As well as being a considerable time saver for both patients and medical professionals, the device also helps to give patients more control over their care.

Commenting on the nomination, Dr Dubey said, “I’m very pleased that our device has been nominated for three awards as it recognises the hard work that went into the project and its potential to make a difference to patient care. Looking to the future, we hope to run clinical trials to test the device and gain patient feedback so that we are able to improve it further before its commercial potential is realised.”

The smartphone app and 3D probe have been nominated for three awards at the Institute of Engineering and Technology Innovation Awards. The categories the team have been nominated for are communication, healthcare technologies and measurement in action. The awards ceremony will be held on 18th November in London.

Reminder for the 03/11/15 Research Professional visit – Book in now!

Research-Professional-logoAttend our Research Professional visit taking place on the 3rd Nov and get expert help with setting up your personal account and searches!

Every BU academic has a Research Professional account which delivers weekly emails detailing funding opportunities in their broad subject area. Jordan Graham from Research Professional is visiting BU on the 3rd of November 2015 to demonstrate to academics and staff how to make the most of their Research Professional account.

This will include:

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

Location and the session timings are:

Talbot campus P424

10.15 – 11.15 – Research Professional presentation

11.15 – 11.45 – RKEO interactive session setting up searches

Lansdowne campus S103

13.30 – 14.30 – Research Professional presentation

14.30 – 15.00 – RKEO interactive session setting up searches

After the presentation, the RKEO Funding Development Team will be on hand for an interactive session where they will help you set up your Research Professional account, searches and offer advice from a BU perspective.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about funding opportunities and to meet the Funding Development Team, particularly if you are new to BU.

Please reserve your place now at a BU Campus to suit through Organisational Development

Government discussions around spending review

Posted in Guidance by Jo Garrad

spending-review1Research Professional have been following several discussion threads around the impending government spending review and the possible implications for the science budget.  The latest article is centred on the science minister, Jo Johnson’s assurance that the results of the Sir Paul Nurse review of research councils will be considered by government.

By following the link above, you will also find various other discussions about potential mergers of government departments that may have a knock-on effect on future research resources.

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